Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2

Product Review – Hammer Gel


On the morning of the Baltimore Half Marathon, our training hosts had a veritable smorgasbord of gels, chews, and other fuel available for us. Being the ever-vigilant runner, I opted not to try anything new on race day, but grabbed a few items for later. One of them was Hammer Gel.

24353-DEFAULT-lI have been a long-time Gu user – it’s admittedly not the most appetizing thing I’ve ever ingested, but it does its job well and has never let me down. My only complaint with it is that it can be a bit difficult to get down. Texture withstanding, it’s thick, and when you’re in the middle of a hot race and your mouth is getting dry, that thick texture can be a bit of a burden, no matter how much water you have to go with it. This is particularly problematic if you’re gunning for a PR and don’t want to slow to a walk to get the packet down.

When I went out for my long run on Sunday, I decided to try out one of the Hammer gel packs that’s been mingling with my Gus for a while. The packet is a bit bigger, but not substantially so. The gel itself was thinner than Gu, making it easier to get down, and not as brightly colored. The flavor isn’t as intense, though, which was a bit disappointing but not a deal breaker. My only real “complaint” about Hammer is that you can’t squeeze the tab back into the gel pack opening for easy trash disposal.

For a run of 7 miles I typically only have one packet before I head out, and Hammer served me well on the run. I never had a lack of energy or felt like I was verging on fatigue. Unlike Gu, I didn’t seem to be burping quite as much in the minutes after taking the Hammer gel.

Verdict: I have one more packet which I’m looking forward to trying again, to see if I get similar results. Based on this one-time experiment, I would definitely consider Hammer Gel in the future, especially if it’s price is comparable to Gu. It’s always nice to have multiple option. I would happily recommend Hammer Gel to long-distance runners or other endurance athletes.

For Your Comparison: 

Screenshot 2015-01-15 13.49.31

Gu Nutrition Info

Screenshot 2015-01-15 13.48.09

Disclaimer: I got this product free through my training group, but received no compensation. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own. 


4 thoughts on “Product Review – Hammer Gel

  1. I have never tried this brand. For now my go to energy gel is Clif Shot, which serves me pretty well at the moment. I came to this conclusion after trying out an organics one to Power Gel to Gu. This is my post where it all began ( This is a post about Pocket Fuel ( If you’re interested, check them out.


    • I’m interested in reading your opinions on gels. I have a bad habit of not trying new things (if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right?) but I know that I could be missing out on better products by being stubborn. I do enjoy reading what others have to say about substitute products, though, which is one reason I’m trying to get better about sharing my opinions.


  2. I don’t know why, but energy gel was the first thing that I examined as to how I can run better. There’s no doubt that energy gel gives a bit of boost that we all need in terms of long runs, say, 12 miles minimum. (Personally, I do not take any energy gel when I run up to 10 miles.) And that is why I sought out the type, brand and amount of gel that I feel pretty comfortable with and for now Clif Shot works for me. And I think it all depends on each runner’s preference.

    I don’t think one is better or worse than another, in my opinion, after using it some time now, because the longer I run, the more I realize that it has little to do with energy gel but to do with techniques, like form, cadence, stride length, pace, and something else other than ‘running,’ like strength workout and stretching, to run better and faster. 🙂

    The reason why I shared my blog posts on energy gel with you was simply to share my research in terms of what’s out there. In the end, I think it is up to one’s preference, like how it tastes, how easy to handle, how quickly to swallow, etc. As long as they all give you a little bit of jolt, any brand should be fine, I think. 🙂


    • Gel is always an easy place to start – there are endless options (brand and flavor) and everyone seems to have an opinion on them. I use gels and chews because I can’t stomach food early in the morning and I hate setting out for a long run on an empty stomach. I feel a bit silly taking a Gu before a 5k, but it beats getting dizzy or running out of energy. If I hadn’t gotten the free samples, I don’t think I would’ve tried a new variety, simply because what I currently use works. The physical components are definitely much more important, though, as runners progress since becoming more efficient in those capacities = less energy wasted.


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