5 Energy-Gel Alternatives You Can Make at Home For Cycling

When we start getting into indoor cycling or any other type of exercising, we tend to begin needing to eat more to fuel those longer sessions. The main thing people use when it comes to fuelling a workout is energy gels. I personally find them to be quite expensive for what you get and they commonly in larger quantities, tend to upset people’s stomachs. Commercial energy gels are full of things many of us typically wouldn’t eat unless exercising.

I find the cheaper energy gels upset my stomach, but the more expensive ones don’t, so for myself personally, it’s either spending a lot of money or feeling poorly. I decided to start experimenting with some at home recipes of food I think are excellent for all types of workouts including mix intensity and HIIT indoor cycling and workouts. I started making my own energy gel alternatives for cycling indoors and studio classes as I just got fed up with energy chews and gel packets from the local shop.

Homemade cycling energy gels and snacks taste even better knowing you made them yourself. In this article, we’re going to talk about some fantastic high energy foods you can easily make from home, and then after we talk about how to modify them to suit your workout. We are not making homemade gels in this article but foods that will do the trick when doing a spin class workout or a weekend ride on the road.

High Power Flapjacks

The combination of oats and sugar, I believe, is an amazing mix of high and low glycemic carbohydrates and the best way to fuel a workout. They are super cheap to make, and you can really modify them to suit the flavors you like.

How to Cook them

  • 225g Butter
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 4 tbsp of Honey
  • 350g Porridge Oats

Get the oven preheated, butter, and line the tray. Now, melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar and honey, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Pop the oats in a mixing bowl, pour the mixture you just made in. Stir till it’s all mixed together. Put the mixture into the original tray and cook for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden. Leave to cool in the tin, then when cold, cut into portions.

(Credit) https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easy-honey-flapjacks

Rice Energy Squares

I absolutely love rice crispy squares and always find myself eating them on a ride as a high energy food that keeps me going. Again, they are another great mix of low and high glycemic index carbohydrates, giving you quick energy and long-term energy. They are super easy to prepare, and you can add anything you want to them.

How to cook them?

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • Packet of Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
  • 6 Cups Kelloggs Rice Krispies Cereal

Ok, nice and easy to get these ready. Start by melting the butter on low heat on a pan on the hob. Add the marshmallows and stir until they have melted in. Once the liquid is nice and thick and moves around the pan well, start adding the Rice Krispies and stir well until they are all mixed. On the side, spray a square pan with cooking spray and put the mixture you have just made into it. Let them cool and cut them when they have set.

(Credit) https://www.ricekrispies.com/en_US/recipes/the-original-treats-recipe.html

Banana Boost

Bananas are excellent for cycling. They are full of high energy carbohydrates and a lovely amount of potassium. Banana bread is even better though, as the bread part adds some satisfying slow release carbohydrates. Many people find that banana bread is really easy on the stomach, and most people seem to use it as an excellent fuel for long-distance training.

How to cook them?

  • 140g Butter
  • 140g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 140g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 mash ripe bananas

Start by heating your oven up, ready to 160c fan. Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the sides with baking parchment. Cream 140g butter and 140g caster sugar, then slowly beat 2 large eggs and add them with some of the flower. Fold the remaining flour add the baking powder and the mashed bananas. Pour the mixture into a tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Test each at 5 minute intervals after 40 minutes by putting a skewer in, and when it removes clean, it’s ready. Remove from oven, leave to cool for 15 minutes and cut into pieces.

(Credit) https://lemonsandspices.com/

Fruit and Nut Energy Bars

Fruit and nut energy is impressive and, like the other bars on this list, share the same qualities of giving you fast and slow energy. The beauty of these though is that they are of amazing nutrients and will fuel you and give your body such a huge boost. They are a little more expensive to make but totally worth it and much better than store-bought energy gels.

How to cook them

  • 1 cup Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup of Unsweetened Flaked Coconut
  • 1 Cup of rolled oats
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 Cups Pitted Prunes
  • 1/3 Cup Freeze Dried Strawberries

Get your oven to 180c Fan, line a baking pan with 2 crisscrossed parchment papers leaving an overhang on each side. Spread the walnuts and sunflower seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and after 5 minutes, add the coconut. When the coconut is browning, remove them all and pop them onto the side. Meanwhile, process the oats and salt in a blender or food processor until ground, then transfer to a bowl. Add the prunes to the oat mix and stir until a thick substance. Add the walnuts and the nut mixture still till mixed. Bring the mix to the pan you prepared earlier and spread even top with the strawberries. Refrigerate for 20minutes or until set. Cut into little bars, and you’re ready to go. They will last for about a week.

(Credit) https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/fruit-and-nut-energy-bars-recipe

Chocolate Fridge Cake

If you have a sweet tooth, then this is the one for you. We’re going to tell you how to make chocolate fridge cake. It’s high energy. It goes down well and will keep you wanting more. We have slightly modified this recipe to keep it simple, but it still will taste amazing.

How to cook them?

  • 250g/8oz Biscuits
  • 300g/5oz Milk Chocolate
  • 100g/3½oz Unsalted Butter
  • 150g/5oz Golden Syrup
  • 75g/2½oz Raisins

Firstly start by lining a tin with cling film. Bash the biscuits up using a rolling pin. Get the hob on with a pan and start melting the chocolate, butter, and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl. Remove the bowl from heat and stir in the raisins and the broken biscuits. Spoon the mixture into a tin and level. Pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours and cut it into pieces.

(Credit) https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chocolatefridgecake_74814

How do we make a food suit a workout?

When you are thinking about adding to a recipe on a sports front, the key is to just think about the stuff you’re adding. If you need more quick energy, you are going to want to add food with a high glycemic index such as;

  • Bananas
  • High Sugar Fruit
  • Honey
  • Golden Syrup
  • Pure Maple Syrup

If you want food that is going to give you a slower release of energy, then you will want to look at foods such as;

  • Wholegrain Rice
  • Oats
  • Brown Bread

Then if you want super slow release energy with a hit of protein, you could add things such as nuts. Or, if you wanted to just add protein in general, you could add whey protein or soy protein. The options are endless when it comes to baking, and you will need the calories to keep you going.


When it comes to making a homemade indoor cycling energy gel alternative, it can be a challenging task, and it’s only you that can choose when it comes to how you want it to taste and what you want it to do. We use these recipes because they are very easy to modify and help recover from a boost a workout and recover from a tough endurance cycling exercise. We have left the credits below to the original recipe, which follows the process in more detail.

Some of my favorite ingredients to add are almond butter, brown rice syrup, chia seeds, frozen fruit, peanut butter, sweet rice flour, and even pitted dates. All are available at the grocery stores and cheap to buy. I feel these give me tremendous energy on spin bike rides. Anyway, many endurance athletes have turned to making their own food for sustained energy and using natural ingredients. We can see why the health benefits can be much better, and they beat commercial gels hands down. Some people even add salt tablets to replace what they lose when they sweat and even put sugar straight in their water bottles.


Hi there, I'm Sayed Hamed Hosseiny, the founder and one of the authors at yourexercisebike.com (YEB). I am a former indoor cycling instructor and personal trainer with nearly 20 years of experience. With a passion for indoor cycling, I have spent years designing cycling parts, repairing, and importing exercise bikes. All the articles, tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on YourExerciseBike.com (YEB) reflect my personal opinion and expertise in the field. I'm excited to share my knowledge with fellow exercise bike enthusiasts and help people find reliable indoor cycling information and the best exercise bike for their needs. If you have any questions or suggestion, you can contact me at sayed@yourexercisebike.com.

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