I stopped in at Running Free Markham a few weeks ago and noticed an intriguing new product in the energy gel section- Endurance Tap. After being drawn in by the unique packaging and thought of delicious maple syrup helping me over the wall on my long runs, I bought one to try. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a gel that was simple, easy on the stomach and by far the best tasting on the market.
Endurance Tap is made of just 3 ingredients – maple syrup, sea salt and ginger. The maple syrup supplies 100 calories of pure sucrose (a disaccharide that metabolizes slowly and evenly – see my previous post on energy gels), 50mg of sodium from the salt and a decent amount of potassium. There is a small amount of ginger to calm the all-too-frequent stomach woes encountered when supplementing with simple carbs under heavy exercise. For those looking to eat clean this is about as clean and natural as it gels.
The packaging was exciting and unique- packaged in a foil pouch with a twist top which is presumably there because of the thinner consistency of the gel (see below).
When I opened the gel for some reason I wasn’t expecting the pure awesomeness of the maple taste. Perhaps I haven’t eaten enough pancakes lately but I had forgotten how delicious pure maple syrup is. The flavour is even more intense since this is essentially boiled-down maple syrup. But that’s what it tastes like-no fake flavours or imitations, just pure amazing Canadian maple syrup. The consistency is light – not at all thick like some gels. It is very easy to swallow even with a dry mouth and doesn’t coat the inside of your mouth with a thick paste like some gels do. Not only did it taste absolutely amazing but the consistency really made it convenient and easy. The last thing you want to do when you’re really huffing and puffing is chew a thick block or swallow a toffee-like paste, and they really succeeded in this aspect. The electrolyte makeup is about average for what’s on the market; if you’re doing really long distance stuff you will still need to supplement with an electrolyte of some sort.
In my previous post about energy gels I made mention of some of the ingredients that can cause stomach upset. Thankfully Endurance Tap thought to add ginger, which is well-documented in it’s ability to provide mild relief of stomach upset, to the mix. It’s barely noticeable in taste but it really made a difference in stomach comfort. I tried this on my interval swim day which is usually when I feel like puking my guts out…but thankfully this gel stayed down and maybe actually improved things.
The only drawback I could find is the price point of the gel. They currently retail for a little over $3 which in my opinion is a little steep considering most on the market are between $1.59-$2.20. The price is comparable with GU Roctane. So these may be priced out of the market for some for training, but in my opinion for races or training with really heavy exertion, the stomach-calming effects of the ginger and easy to swallow consistency are completely worth the price.
In my opinion Endurance Tap has created a truly unique product with this energy gel. With an absolutely delicious taste, easy to swallow consistency and being easy on the stomach, these gels are definitely something worth trying. I’ve tried most of the gels and chews out there and I can say without question that to me these taste the best and are the easiest on my stomach. As a final bonus, they’re a Canadian company based out of Toronto, so just like shopping at Running Free, you’re supporting the local economy buying these.
Endurance Tap is currently available in-store at Running Free Markham, Ajax and Orangeville for a little over $3 each.
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