For me, there’s nothing like Salted Caramel Gu. I love the stuff, and I’m usually willing to fork over the cash when buying in bulk. But when my training days get longer, and I need to spend my money on things like my mortgage, I turn to this recipe to make my own, homemade, energy gels.
This recipe works well because you can tweak the amount of each ingredient to suit your own taste buds. I’ve also heard from riders who swear by things like creamed honey. Be sure to comment or drop us an email if you’ve created variations on our recipe.
A Simple, Cheap, Easy, Homemade Energy Gel Recipe
What You’ll Need
2 tablespoons Honey: Depending on how picky you are about your honey, you can grab a fairly good sized bottle for $5 or so. The 16 ounce variety at left cost $5.49.
1 tablespoon Brown Rice Syrup: A fairly large bottle (21oz) should run about $10. This is an optional ingredient–keep on reading.
1 Tablespoon Blackstrap Molasses: I bought unsulphured, organic molasses at my local grocery store for $3.49 for 16 ounces.
-Makes about a 2-ounce serving, which is generally equivalent to two single gels.
The great thing about this recipe? It’s simple, and still extremely effective–plus you can add in other flavorings if you feel like experimenting.
Another Variation for a Thinner Consistency
The brown rice syrup of the first concoction adds more thickness to the recipe–probably closer to a Cliff Shot. Since some cyclists and triathletes like the thinner consistency of a GU, replace this with more honey, and follow up with a pinch of salt to balance the potassium of the molasses with sodium.
You may want to play with the mixture of honey, salt, and molasses to get the right taste and consistency. When I pulled the syrup out, I ended up with the following recipe:
- 8 tbsp of Honey
- 1 tsp Molasses
- A pinch of salt
A Few Recommendations:
Fill a gel flask or two up with this recipe, and save yourself from sticky fingers and packet tearing–plus you’ll have several servings in your jersey pocket or energy belt to keep you going during a long training ride/run.
The cool thing about these recipes is that you can alter the ratios to your taste–like it sweeter? Add more honey. Like it thicker? Add more Brown Rice Syrup. Want more flavor? Add lemon zest or chocolate syrup. Play around with it!
If you find that you like this gel replacement, you’ll probably want to buy the ingredients in bulk and make up a batch every few weeks. As far as I know, these homemade gels should last for a long while without refrigeration (unless you add other products that need refrigeration), but you can always replace it more often if you’re worried about shelf life.
I have started using these ingredients this summer and I have been enjoying it. I usually do 3 parts honey, 1 part molasses, one part brown rice syrup, and salt to taste. My last batch I put in a small amount of lemon juice. It’s a nice addition.
Great idea adding the lemon juice!
My recipe is put about a teaspoon spoon of salt in as little water as I can to boil it and make a supper solution tjywn add half a cup of blackstrap molasses and half a cup of honey and heat together which helps mix the ingredients better. I live Phoneix,AZ and naturally have a high sweat rate so all the minerals have lead me to not having cramps. This fills my 5 shot hammer gel flask to perfection. Also, not all the salt makes it in but most does. If you want a thinner mix add water!!
I found the ingredients hard to mix. Without water the salt cannot melt. I tried to add some hot water to the salt, heat the thing up and then add molasses and honey to the hot water instead, then it can mix well but the resulting mixture is too “watery”.
Any tips to help mixing them?
I have my own beehive. Thought why buying gel when I have abundance of best honey (manuka bush at our door step)? Besides honey, I added pomegranate molasses, instant coffee w just a little bit of hot water for caffeine as well as helping to melt salt. I thought it tasted a bit strong. However, surprised it tasted just fine during my run. Prob all those gels are strong taste too if not taking during the workout.
How did we go from 2TB/1TB/1TB honey/syrup/molasses to 8TB/1tsp honey/molasses when you cut out the 1TB of syrup?