Thursday, September 11, 2014

Carb BOOM! Gel Review

Carb BOOM! Gel Review

For me the true test of a gel isn’t whether it taste good at mile 20, but rather if I can still eat it at mile 85.  I’ve tried everything on the market and the only gel that works for me that late in a race is Carb BOOOM energy gels.  

I first discovered Carb BOOM gels in 2011 at the Mesquite Canyon Ultras in Arizona.  Since then they’ve become the cornerstone of my training and racing nutrition.  

Here’s why they work for me:

Ingredients:   The calorie source and composition varies from company to company, but I think BOOM nails it.  They have 27g of carbs (110 calories) of which 24g comes from maltodextrin and the other 3g comes from natural fruit concentrate.  This provides both a complex carb and a simple sugar in a 9:1 ratio – ideal for endurance athletes.  They only have 50mg of sodium, which I prefer since I don’t like a lot of sodium when I race.  This also allows one to use other sources of sodium (capsules) when needed rather than get a high dose of sodium with every gel.  Finally, most fueling sources on the market have 100 calories per serving.  BOOM has 110.  This might not seem like a huge difference and might not be for shorter races, but if one consumes 50 gels in a 100 mile race that’s 5 less gels you’d have to take to get the equivalent calories.  Ask any one that has run a 100 mile race – they’ll agree.  
Taste and flavor:  What first attracted me to BOOM was the flavor.  The flavor isn’t overpowering and actually tastes natural.  My favorites are Grape Pomegranate and Strawberry Kiwi, but all the flavors are great.  Fruit flavored gels are going to be sweet, but since BOOM is primarily maltodextrin I find them to be slightly less sweet than others on the market.  They also have a consistency that is somewhere between Gu (thick) and Powergel (watery). 
What I like to see BOOM do next:  In my racing and training I’ve been including a small amount of fat (~1-2g/1.5 hours in the form of MCT or coconut oil) in my nutrition plan.  I’d love to see BOOM add 1g of MCT oil to their gels.  This would make a ~120 calorie gel.  This would be ideal for me. 
Only the Orange Vanilla flavor has caffeine.  It would be nice to see the full line up of flavors with and without caffeine.  Not necessary, but it would be nice. 
If you’re looking for a great tasting gel without a lot of additives, give Carb BOOM energy gels a try.  They have free shipping and a variety and sample pack available.
Use code UPDMY4 for $5 off any 24 pack of gels.