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The ability to try a wide variety of cycling and running products has given me a much better understanding of which energy gels, supplements, and recovery products to use.  I try to portray my experiences with various products to you guys as best as I can — if you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask!  Today I’ll share my initial thoughts on the Honey Stinger Ginsting flavor energy gel I tested during a recent longer, slow run in Alameda.

The Honey Stinger Ginsting energy gel has 120 calories per gel, 50mg sodium, 85mg potassium, 32mg caffeine, 29g total carbs, and 29g sugar.  Similar to the Honey Stinger Gold, which is a honey flavor that doesn’t have added flavors, the Ginsting just adds a boost of caffeine.

First and foremost:  Honey Stinger gels are sweet.  Considering the company is called Honey Stinger, and honey is the main ingredient, you should probably expect it to be sweet.  I enjoy the added sweetness and sugar provided by the honey — but be sure to wash the gel down with water or electrolyte drink!

If you’re not a fan of sweet candies or something really sweet while out racing, Honey Stinger may not be the best product.  As always, I strongly recommend trying Hammer (and any other gel) on a training run before deciding to use it on race day — as tempting as it can be, leave the sample energy gels and other goodies in the bag!

Full review available after the jump.

As for ease of use, the Ginsting is probably best for people who have a sweet tooth.  I found it to be extremely sweet, but didn’t have a problem eating the gel during a recent run.  It has a consistency closer to GU – but not as thick – and will almost certainly require a drink after consumption.

If you’re looking for a sweeter, more natural tasting energy gel, I’d recommend giving Honey Stinger products a try.  I’m not the biggest fan of honey, but feel that I can appreciate the taste during future training runs and events.

Another thing you will likely notice is the sugar difference in Honey Stinger (29g)  compared to GU, Clif, and rival products.  I randomly grabbed four different GU flavors (Blueberry Pomegranate Roctane, Pineapple Roctane, Vanilla Orange Roctane, and Vanilla Gingerbread — all four flavors had just five grams of sugar — and the two random Clif gels I grabbed had 8g or less.

You can purchase the Honey Stinger Ginsting energy gel for $1.25 each, or a box of 24 for $28.50.  Your best bet will be to order directly from the Honey Stinger website, or find another place online ( and EMS Online) sell it.  You’re likely going to have a hard time finding it locally, as only a few shops in the Bay Area sell Honey Stinger.

Mike’s Note:  A friend of mine said he eats a toasted bagel and uses a packet of Honey Stinger instead of cream cheese, butter, or jelly.  Honey Stinger also endorses this technique, with the official website also recommending trying to mix a gel into a cup of tea.

Ted’s Note:  29 grams of sugar is not bad for you.  If you are out running long enough to eat an energy pack, you can handle 29 grams of natural sugar.

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