Vala’s energy products are a refreshing natural alternative to fake flavour gels and provide 24g carbs per sachet…

Vala Energy Gel

£23.65 for 10 – international delivery available,   

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  • Only simple, real-food ingredients 
  • Steady energy boost 
  • Compact and stowable 


  • Very sweet 
  • You have to like dates 
  • Fairly expensive  

Taste: 4.5/5
Energy: 4.5/5
Portability: 5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5 

Almost as important as picking the right running shoe is choosing the best running gel. Another real-food alternative to maltodextrin-based gels, Vala’s gut-friendly, all-natural energy gels are made from just six ingredients: maple syrup, date paste, Welsh salt, lemon and lime juice, and chia seeds. A paste more than a gel, the consistency is quite different to most regular gels.

You can use them during high intensity efforts but they tend to suit slower, longer endurance efforts better than all-out racing – where you can consume them a little more leisurely. 

Vala Energy Gel taste

They’re also very sweet. With some gels you need water to wash down the gloop and rinse your mouth but with Vala it’s more to take the edge off the sweetness. I’ve used Vala gels for marathons, ultras, hikes and rides and I found them a bit overpowering when I tried to hit that 60g carbs per hour.  

For me, Vala energy gels are at their best as part of a mix of gels. The taste and texture are a really nice gear shift and I save these for when I want my refuelling to feel more like a treat. Because provided you like dates, you actually look forward to eating these. 

With 24g carbs in each portable 35g pack, you get a decent hit of even energy. They’re as good spread on toast and mixed in porridge for a pre-workout energy boost as they are gobbled neat. How many energy gels can you say that about?   

The packs are robust and on the small side. So they’re compact and stashable and it’s easy to fit two to three hours’ worth in pockets or belts. The rip-top opening can be a bit of a struggle. I sometimes found it came off without creating a wide enough opening and I ended up squeezing paste through the tiniest hole. But if you’ve been hunting for an alternative to fake-flavour gels, then these are worth a try in training.  

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