How to Make Your Own Endurance Gels

Try these tasty recipes for energy on the go

Emma Cutfield—An endurance gel may not seem significant in portion, yet it can mean the difference between “hitting the wall” or reaching your personal best on race day and during your long runs.

You don’t need a culinary education or science degree to prep your own homemade gels. All that’s required is a passion for clean and natural ingredients. The base recipe given here replicates the Vega Sport Endurance Gel, which will be available on course during the SeaWheeze and is made primarily with dates and coconut oil.

Gels based from whole food, plant-based sources are easy to digest, maximizing your energy gain. Because they’re made primarily with simple yet functional sugars, they’re also packed with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and electrolytes which help your muscles function properly throughout a long run. Supplying your body with additional carbohydrate mid-run also helps prevent muscle breakdown, helping you crush goal after goal after goal.


1. Use the base recipe as your foundation. Have these staples on hand and a DIY gel becomes just as convenient as a pre-packaged option.

2. Pick a flavor variation & follow the prep instructions

3. Store your gels in 50g/small zip seal baggies. If you’re not using food grade, make sure you double bag to avoid punctures.

4. Ready to run? Pick a serving suggestion and go find your happy pace!  

Base Recipe (makes 2 X 45g servings)


  • 8 dates (pitted) and soaked in warm water for at least 4 hours (ideally overnight)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (unrefined)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup (unrefined), or raw honey
  • Sprinkle of sea salt

Variation 1: Pink Grapefruit Cinnamon

Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Blend the above ingredients with the base recipe in a food processor until smooth

Variation 2: Pomegranate Lime

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tbsp pure pomegranate juice
  • 2 tsp lime juice

Blend the above ingredients with the base recipe in a food processor until smooth

Variation 3: Mocha Mint

Additional Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp ground coffee
  • 1 tsp cacao/cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp water (or use tea alternative below)
  • 1 tsp finely diced fresh mint leaves (or use 2 tbsp of brewed mint tea. Steep it strong!)

Add the above ingredients with the maple syrup from the base recipe into the food processor and pulse until the mint leaves are well blended

Add the remaining base recipe ingredients into your food processor and pulse again until smooth

If using mint tea, simply pulse all ingredients in the food processor until smooth

Serving Suggestion 1: Traditional, light & easy
Take one serving every 45-60 minutes during long endurance runs or cross training cardio sessions exceeding 60 minutes in duration.

Time your gel intake with either a water fountain or water station on course (they will wash down easier), and consume them proactively. Even the most well absorbed carbohydrates need time to be digested in order to affect energy levels, aim to consume your gels 15 minutes before you usually notice energy slumps in your long runs.

Serving Suggestion 2: Hydrate and Energize
Dilute a gel into a 250-500ml (1-2 cup) handheld or hip-belt water bottle (the Hydraform is a great option). Shake with water, chilled tea, electrolyte water, or coconut water. Sip intermittently throughout your long runs.

Alternatively, you can blend the gel paste with the fluids prior to bottling.

Serving Suggestion 3: Spread on Toast
Spread one serving onto sourdough, gluten free, or sprouted grain toast as a super-powered jam alternative. This is a great meal/snack idea for 1-2 hours prior to racing or completing a long training run.

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Emma Cutfield is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Education Manager at Vega, specializing in sport performance. For more great DIY Endurance Gels, check out the free, online Endurance Nutrition Lessons at

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