The Best Time to Take Hammer Gel
Hammer Gel is an energy gel designed to provide quick carbohydrates to fuel athletes during endurance activities like cycling, running, and triathlons. However, determining the optimal timing for taking Hammer Gel can improve its effectiveness and prevent potential stomach issues. This article provides research-backed recommendations on the best time to take Hammer Gel before, during, and after exercise.
Take 15-25g of Hammer Gel 30-60 minutes before exercise to maximize glycogen stores
Consume 15-30g Hammer Gel every 45-60 minutes during exercise to maintain blood glucose
Have 20-30g of Hammer Gel within 30 minutes after workout to replenish glycogen
Always take with adequate water - at least 4-8oz per gel pouch
Reduce the amount if experiencing GI distress
Try different flavors and combinations to prevent taste fatigue
Time intake strategically around the start of new laps or miles
Adjust personal intake based on individual needs and tolerance
How Hammer Gel Works
Hammer Gel contains a concentrated source of carbohydrates that the body can quickly absorb. The key functions and effects of Hammer Gel include:
Rapid energy source - The simple carbohydrates in Hammer Gel are broken down fast and converted to glucose to fuel working muscles. This provides an immediate energy boost.
Maintains blood glucose - During long endurance activities, Hammer Gel helps maintain blood glucose and energy levels that may otherwise drop.
Easy to digest - Hammer Gel has a smooth, thin consistency that is easy to consume and digest compared to thicker gels.
Fast absorption - The simple carbohydrates in Hammer Gel are rapidly absorbed by the body to deliver energy quickly.
Reduces muscle glycogen use - Consuming carbs from Hammer Gel results in less depletion of limited muscle glycogen stores during exercise.
Provides electrolytes - Hammer Gel contains sodium and potassium to replace electrolytes lost in sweat.
Pre-Exercise Hammer Gel Intake
Taking Hammer Gel 30-60 minutes before starting exercise can offer several potential benefits:
Tops up glycogen stores - Consuming carbs from Hammer Gel before exercise helps maximize glycogen levels in the muscles and liver.
Avoids hunger at the start - Pre-exercise fueling can help you avoid feeling hungry or hypoglycemic when starting exercise.
Reduces GI issues - Taking some Hammer Gel early reduces the amount needed during exercise, which can minimize GI distress.
Hydrates body - The fluid from swallowing Hammer Gel helps hydrate the body before sweating.
However, taking too much Hammer Gel before exercise can cause stomach issues. Follow these guidelines:
Take 15-25g of carbs from Hammer Gel in the 30-60 minutes pre-exercise
Consume with 8-16 oz water to aid digestion and hydration
Allow enough time to use the bathroom before start
Experiment to find your personal tolerance level
Hammer Gel Intake While Exercising
Consuming Hammer Gel during endurance activities helps sustain energy levels and performance:
Maintains blood glucose as glycogen depleted
Delays fatigue and hitting the wall
Provides easily digestible calories during effort
Allows higher intensity and pace for longer
Consume 15-30g of carbs from Hammer Gel every 45-60 minutes
Take with 4-8oz of water to aid absorption
Reduce the amount if experiencing GI distress
Try different flavors to prevent taste fatigue
Synchronize Hammer Gel intake with the start of a new lap or mile
Set reminders to take regularly
Carry single-serve pouches for ease
Drink water after consuming the gel
Hammer Energy Gel - Easy Energy During Exercise
Post-Exercise Hammer Gel Intake
Consuming Hammer Gel in 30-60 minutes after finishing the exercise offers several benefits:
Rapidly replenishes glycogen - Carbs are most effectively restored during this window.
Rehydrates body - Fluid helps replace sweat losses.
Repairs and rebuilds muscles - The protein in Hammer Gel aids muscle recovery.
Reduces DOMS - Quick nutrient delivery may lessen next-day muscle soreness.
Follow these guidelines for optimal recovery:
Consume 20-30g of carbs from Hammer Gel
Have with 16-24 oz of fluid like water or sports drink
Add 10-20g protein from food sources if possible
Stretch and cool down after intake
Hammer Gel Flavors and Combinations
Hammer Gel comes in a wide variety of flavors to suit different preferences:
Warm, comforting cinnamon and apple
Tastes like ripe banana with a creamy texture
Rich chocolate flavor, not too sweet
Bright citrusy orange flavor, slightly tangy
Sweet strawberry flavor, smooth consistency
Smooth, mild vanilla taste
You can also combine flavors in the same pouch for more variety:
Apple-Cinnamon + Banana
Chocolate + Orange
Strawberry + Vanilla
Switching flavors and combinations helps prevent taste fatigue during long exercise.
Avoiding GI Issues with Hammer Gel
Some tips for avoiding gastrointestinal issues with Hammer Gel:
Start with small amounts and increase slowly
Take with adequate water - at least 4-8oz per gel pouch
Reduce amount if you experience any stomach discomfort
Avoid too much caffeine from the caffeinated varieties
Consider non-caffeinated options if sensitive
Try different flavors - taste fatigue can exacerbate issues
Slow intake - don't squeeze entire pouch into mouth at once
Be willing to experiment with different strategies to determine your personal tolerance.
Hammer Gel Versus Alternatives
Gatorade Energy Chews
Clif Shot Energy Gel
Honey Stinger Waffle
Hammer Gel provides an easily digestible liquid source of rapidly absorbed carbs in a range of flavors. The addition of electrolytes also makes it ideal for sustaining intense endurance efforts.
Take 15-25g of Hammer Gel 30-60 minutes pre-exercise to top up glycogen and hydrate
Consume 15-30g every 45-60 minutes during exercise to sustain energy and performance
Have 20-30g within 30 minutes post-exercise to replenish glycogen and rehydrate
Drink at least 4-8oz of water with each gel pouch consumed
Experiment with flavors and combinations to prevent taste fatigue
Adjust intake based on individual GI tolerance and nutrition needs
Time intake strategically around start of new laps or miles during exercise
Proper timing and intake of Hammer Gel can provide the fuel needed to maximize endurance, energy, and performance.
Pfeiffer, B., Stellingwerff, T., Hodgson, A. B., Randell, R., Pöttgen, K., Res, P., & Jeukendrup, A. E. (2012). Nutritional intake and gastrointestinal problems during competitive endurance events. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44(2), 344-351.
O’Brien, W. J., Stannard, S. R., Clarke, J. A., & Rowlands, D. S. (2013). Fructose-maltodextrin ratio governs exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rate during exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(6), 895-903.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much caffeine is in caffeinated Hammer Gel varieties?
A: The caffeinated Hammer Gel flavors contain approximately 25mg caffeine per pouch.
Q: Can Hammer Gel be used for ultra endurance events over 2+ hours?
A: Yes, Hammer Gel is well suited for ultra endurance activities due to its easy digestibility. Intake may need to be adjusted for very long efforts.
Q: Is Hammer Gel gluten-free?
A: Yes, all Hammer Gel flavors are gluten-free.
Q: Can Hammer Gel be taken during strength training or HIIT workouts?
A: Hammer Gel is not ideally suited for short, intense efforts where quick carbs are not generally needed.