What is the importance of moisture in energy gels?
Energy gels are potent energy boosters, but don’t expect to extract 300 ml of fluid from a 60 ml gel. It is important to have realistic expectations, as each gel has limited capacity to maintain your hydration balance.
A good energy gel also includes moisture to facilitate the smooth absorption of carbohydrates. The moisture acts as a conductor for the carbohydrates in your intestines, promoting better digestibility. It is always beneficial to have fluid in your gels to enhance proper digestion.
Speed of Absorption
An additional benefit of moisture in energy gels is the faster and more complete absorption of carbohydrates. Thick, sticky gels can cause up to a 50% loss in absorption. Therefore, moisture in gels is advantageous to increase the efficiency of carbohydrate absorption.
Isotonic gels are an outdated science where you receive fewer carbohydrates and overly focus on fluid intake. A good energy gel contains sufficient moisture (without being isotonic) for the above reason and, in reality, has nearly the same fluid absorption as an isotonic gel but with a lot more energy.