ASK GRETTIE: Sports Gel Alternatives

Here is my latest column over at Chic Vegan

I am training for my first marathon in July. I depend on Gu packets and Shot Block packages to get me through my runs. From what I’ve read on your blog it seems that they are processed, syrupy no-nos, and now by eating these I feel like I am undoing the steps I’ve taken before my run!

What do you recommend as fuel during hard workouts and long runs? What can I put in my pockets for my main event? 26.2 miles is a long way and I want to support all my hard work the best way I can.

Thank you so much for all you share!

~ Rhea

Congratulations on tackling a marathon!

When it comes to exercise nutrition questions I always pull out my very well used copy of “Thrive” by Brendan Brazier. Brendan is a Professional Ironman Triathlete and the Formulator of Vega. I highly recommend this book.

You are right to question the commercial sports gel products on the market. As you stated, many of them contain artificial colors and flavors, and are not always made with the highest quality ingredients. It is super easy and way less expensive to make your own gel. Brendan suggests blending dates and agave nectar as a healthy nutrient rich substitute to the sports gels currently available in stores.

The basic recipe calls for 4 dates and 1/4 cup of agave syrup and makes about 3/4 cup which will fill two 4-ounce gel flasks. You can flavor the gel with anything you’d like.

Let me know how the marathon goes.

Happy training!


Do you have a questions for Grettie? She is here to answer any of your health and nutrition related questions! Email her at .

Image of Brendan Brazier courtesy of GLiving


Filed under Althletics, Chic Vegan Column, Education, Gluten Free, Published Work, Vegan, Vegetarian

4 responses to “ASK GRETTIE: Sports Gel Alternatives

  1. Great post. Continue to keep more bright publications. Been following blog for Three days now and I should say I am beginning to much like your post. I need to know how can I subscribe to your blog?

    • Hi Leighann! I am glad that you are enjoying my posts…I really enjoy writing them. There is a button on the homepage of my blog (on the upper right-hand corner under the picture of vegetables) that allows you to subscribe via e-mail…every time I write a post it will be e-mailed to you. I’d love to have you as a subscriber!

  2. I’m not running far by any stretch of the means, but after or during a workout, I find that coconut water is very refreshing for me.

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