Running Nutrition Price Comparison

Nerdy dive into costs per portion of various gels, chews & bars

Running Nutrition Price Comparison
Photo by Andre Taissin / Unsplash

Originally shared with the Running Punks, who found this both rather useful, and immensely dorky, in equal measure.

One of the most expensive elements of running, especially when talking about endurance events, is fuelling. Buying enough supplies to keep your body going over multiple hours can put a dent in your savings account, and when you start talking about specialised products like gels and chews we're approaching remortgaging territory.

I am a huge fan of Veloforte, notably their energy bars, but always felt they were quite pricey. I wasn't 100% sure though, which led to be starting to compare them to things like Clif Bars, Gu Gels and Precision Chews. It kind of got out of hand though and now I have a comparison table, which I'm sharing below.


In order to keep this fair, I'm using the prices on XMiles when purchased individually with the 24+ item discount they offer.

If a product isn't available on XMiles (like VALA gels, Nakd bars and Jelly Babies) I'm using either their price purchased direct with a comparable bulk purchase, or their supermarket price.

I am comparing using "portions" of fuel: what you would typically eat every 20-30 minutes during an endurance event (roughly 20g carbs or 100-150 calories). So for example a Voom Bar is 45g carbs, which means that would be 2 portions, whilst a Gu Gel is 22g carbs so would be 1 portion. It's not a totally fair system, for example Torq gels are quite expensive, but contain 30g carbs per gel, yet I'm still counting them as a single portion.


Listing this as cheapest to most expensive. Those marked with a ❤️ are my fuel choices for an upcoming race.

  • Jelly Babies are £0.25 per portion
    • 4 jelly babies are about 20g carbs, cheap!
  • Soreen Lunchbox Loaves are £0.35 per portion
  • Kendal Mint Co NRG Bar Choc are £0.62 per portion
  • Active Root Sachets are £0.69 per portion ❤️
    • Drink mix, find it works well for me and keeps my stomach happy
  • Voom Pocket Rockets are £0.69 per portion ❤️
    • 2 portions per pack, easy to carry, pretty clean ingredients list
  • Nakd Bars are £0.75 per portion
  • Lucho Dillitos are £0.83 per portion
  • Clif Bars are £1.00 per portion
  • SIS Beta Chew is £1.01 per portion
  • Tailwind Stick Packs are £1.96 per portion
  • Precision Fuel Energy Chews are £1.06 per portion
  • SIS Beta Gel is £1.15 per portion
    • Strangely cheaper than the SIS Hydro gels when bought individually, likely because you get 2 portions per Beta Gel
  • Veloforte Energy Bars are £1.26 per portion ❤️
    • 2 portions per bar, real food using pressed fruit and nuts
  • Veloforte Energy Chews are also £1.26 per portion ❤️
    • 2 portions per pack, real food chews
  • High5 Aqua Gels are £1.37 per portion
    • Much cheaper when you buy a box though
  • Clif Shot Blocks are £1.46 per portion
  • One Good Thing is £1.50 per portion
  • Precision Fuel 90g Gel is £1.53 per portion
  • SIS Gels are £1.61 per portion
    • Much cheaper when you buy a box though
  • Gu Gels are £1.84 per portion
  • Maurten GEL 160 is £1.93 per portion
  • Torq Gels are £1.98 per portion
  • VALA Gels are £2.24 per portion
  • Veloforte Gels are £2.02 per portion
  • Maurten GEL 100 is £2.48 per portion
  • Supernatural Fuel is £2.71 per portion


shallow focus photo of white paper sheet mounted on cork board
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko / Unsplash

Products which have multiple portions per pack (bars, chews, some larger gels) tend to be cheaper.

Gels were expensive in general compared to bars and chews.

Veloforte are in fact quite reasonable compared to other products, with the exception being their gels which are pricey.

Drinks powders (Active Root, Tailwind) are cheaper per portion, especially if you buy that bags of powder over single serving stick packs.

Real food is significantly cheaper than sports products (which probably isn't a surprise to anybody)

Hopefully this blog helps folks looking for cost-effective fuelling for their races, if you've got any questions of suggestions feel free to ping me on Instagram here.