This article originally appeared in Well+Good.
Runners have their own secret language. There’s the fast-and-fun “fartlek” and the lusted-after “negative splits.” And then there’s “fueling”—which takes on a whole new meaning when you’re putting one foot in front of the other for hours. In 2020, pavement-pounders have their choice of powders, tablets, gels, wafers, cookies, and jelly beans. So how do you know what’s the right way to power up for multiple miles?
Analysts project that the global market for energy gels (which work by raising your blood sugar levels mid-run to re-energize you) will grow by 7.2 percent to be worth $750 million by 2023. Nuun launched in 2010 as the first fueling company to separate electrolyte-replenishing from carbohydrate-intake. Chia seed fueling company Hüma entered the market in 2012, and Liquid I.V. cropped up in the very same year with the leading purpose of hydrating everyone—not just athletes.