I've always been a fan of honey. I carry it in a gel flask and mix in a little lemon juice to thin it a bit and cut the sweetness. I've never had stomach problems with honey (but lots of problems with gels).<br><br>
I'd suggest trying different brands of gels, or Sport Beans, until you find something that works for you. There seems to be lots of individual variation in stomachs (mine is made of iron so I'm not much help).
Have to agree, to each his own, you'll probably have to experiment.<br><br>
I prefer the Power Gels™. They come in no caffeine, 1x caffeine, & 2x caffeine in various flavors. I've also tried and like GU. I love Clif Bars™, but Clif Shots™ trigger the gag reflex, so all in all, not much help.
Dennis...over the years, I've tried most of the leading brands of energy gels. Some people favor one brand over another, but I have fairly equal success with gu, power gel, hammer gel, carb boom, etc. Some of the gel flavors are just not tolerable, so taste tends to weigh heavily in my choices. I think most people just have to try various brands and flavors to see what they can swallow, and what sits well on the stomach. Your flavor choices are greatly reduced if you want only those without caffeine. I know that gu flavors without caffeine are the banana blitz and strawberry-banana. WIth power gels, I think the tropical, plain, and vanilla flavors are without caffeine. I have found that I can tolerate most of them just fine without stomach issues as long as I don't mix them with any type of energy drink. That means water only a few minutes before taking a gel, with the gel, and a few minutes after the gel. So, if you are using sports drinks like gatorade, powerade, etc, space it around the gels. I tend to use electrolyte tablets such as S Caps, Endurolytes, or Lava Salts and shy away from the sports drinks for that reason. The same holds true for other energy products such as clif bloks, sports beans, performance bars, etc. I simply don't use anything but water to wash them down. When I forget that rule is when I start having stomach issues. For those long runs where intensity is not as high, I have also had good success with perpetuem, which is a Hammer product that comes in powder form and is mixed with water. I've used gels in conjunction with the perpetuem without stomach issues. Good luck experimenting.
I like the Gu the best, but I go for flavor. And caffeine. I like the chocolate outrage the best, then the vanilla. I think it's cuz I like brownies and vanilla sandwich cookies... <img alt="blush.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/blush.gif"> I tried the no-caffeine strawberry-banana on yesterday's 20 miler, and maybe it was too little/too late but I didn't think I got much out of it. I also have an iron stomach, and can run with just about anything but a full meal before hand.<br>
(I don't have much against the PowerGels, but find the packaging hard to open... haven't found a Hammer Gel product I like, I think they all taste icky.)<br><br>
I've tried the sport beans (too sweet) and the clif bloks, but they get so stuck in my teeth I have a hard time with them. I also find it hard to chew and run, but that's more a coordination thing I think...<img alt="huh.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/huh.gif">
I can't eat shot blocks (Ileneforward and I experimented with this and they gave us the worst stomach aches). Sport beans do me in too (but Ilene likes those). Like everyone said here, you gotta try a bunch of different things and see what works best for you.<br><br>
I found that Accel-Gel works pretty darn good for me. No caffeine and protein to boot.<br><br>
If you're in the experimenting mood, you can get variety packets of different gels from this vendor called Zombie Runner (they specialize in trail running gear):<br><br><a href="http://www.zombierunner.com/store/categories/energy_gels/variety_packs/" target="_blank">http://www.zombierunner.com/store/ca...variety_packs/</a><br><br>
Hope you find what works for you.
Lots of idea's. I have experimented with everything I think, even trying to make my own stuff. For me the cliff shots turned out to be the best for me because it didn't create an acid stomach and had flavors that I liked. I think you will probably have to try everything you can and find out what works best for you. Larry
Hammer gels are the only ones I actually like (except Tropical <img alt="razz.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/razz.gif">ukeleft<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">. To me, all the others taste artificial or just plain nasty, or upset my stomach. Yes, this definitely calls for some experimentation.
<b>Dromedary</b>, I like the taste/texture of Cliff Shot Blocks but they also cause my stomach to cramp almost immediately. Like <b>Millbot</b>, I like the Montana-made Hammer gel products with apple-cinnamon being my favorite flavor. But I wish they would change their packaging and lose that hammerhead design on the top of the wrapper. It pokes too much when I slip it inside my sport bra to carry when I don't have pockets. Round those corners, darnit!