Sugary energy gels—also known as "runner's goo"—prevent exhaustion, making them a must-have for many runners who favor long distances. Why are they so effective? "During exercise, our muscles use all of our stored glucose to fuel the activity. When it's time to replenish those stores, the body prefers quick, easily-absorbable energy that provides glucose right away so we can keep on exercising," as Alexandra Caspero, R.D. explained. By replacing these depleted energy stores with the carbohydrates found in goos, we have the ability to "go longer, harder, faster," said Corrine Dobbas, R.D. Translation: They're exactly what you need when you're trying to run a half or full marathon.
But real talk: Runner's goo also kinda sorta looks like baby food. And with new formulas of energy gel on the market, they're even starting to taste more like "real" food, too—as in, more organic and natural, and less chemically. (Runners on staff like Clif Organic Energy Food.) So, we invited non-runners to guess which is which! Conclusion: They're pretty similar, so make sure you don't get the two confused the next time you're heading out for a run or feeding a baby. (Just not into goo? Try these 12 Tasty Alternatives to Energy Gels.)