Glucose Gels - Level Life out of business

So in nearly 20 years of diabetes, I found an incredible glucose gel that I loved and that worked quickly and without bad spikes. It was called Level Life, and it started disappearing from the shelves everywhere AND online. Upon some digging, it turns out the company that owned them closed it down because it wasn’t profitable enough. I feel infuriated and sad all at once. TONS of diabetics loved these products and they are just gone.
Anything else out there people can recommend? I HATE glucose tablets as they spike me and I nearly died choking on them in bad lows more than once.


Well first of all, from what I know, CVS has been selling glucose gels as far back as ten years ago. It’s not Level Life, but it’s still 15g carbs per serving. I’ve never tried them, particularly because of the price. I can’t remember how expensive they were, but I remember seeing a three pack of Level Life glucose gel on sale for about $7, plus tax, plus shipping.

As an alternative to tablets and gels, you might be able to find glucose powder on amazon. It dissolves immediately in water and the chalk factor is taken away. I get them in 10g carb servings, and I’ve seen some online in 15g servings. Actually, now that I did the research, I’m shocked at how expensive some of them are.

For gels, I’ve used Clif Shots (non-fat and caff-free versions). 15g carbs usually doesn’t cut it for me when I’m low, and the Clif Shots are 24g, which gets me into a reasonable range after a low- especially if I’m out for a jog or walking over 5km. Plus, they’re more or less $1 each for a pack of 24 on amazon…

Clif Shot gels might not be pure glucose, but it’s all about how they work in practice- not in theory. In my case, orange juice (my CDE’s #1 recommendation) and glucose tablets bring me up very quickly, and I really don’t feel a considerable difference with Clif Shots either.

So you might want to give Clif Shot gels a go. There are other brands out there, and perhaps there’s something out there with less fuel in the package.

Hi Peter,
CVS DOES has gels, for $4 friggin dollars each! Walmart too! Level Life had 3 packs for $4. I’m legitimately sad. While I see how they may have become unprofitable, I would have liked to hear this news from the company rather than them just pulling out and disappearing… or even paid more! I would have paid twice what they were charging and been happy.
My little brother, also a T1D and very physically active likes the Clif products. I think I’ll look into them.

What? Level is out of business? This completely ruined my day.

I use their glucose gels all the time for lower lows (if that makes sense -I don’t often need the 15g of carbs in the gel unless I’m in the 40s or have considerable IOB). Their protein bars were also a decent post-overnight-hypo snack, and their protein shakes caused very minimal BG spiking.

Now I guess I also need to find another brand of glucose gel. I like to keep some with me just in case I am incoherent and the people I am with do not want to give the glucagon while waiting for paramedics to come.

wild berry skittles. one carb each. i keep them in used medicine bottles.

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I think there’s a lot of products out there that have a comparable effect to taking pure glucose. Glucose will obviously work faster, but even Joslin Clinic recommends orange juice over anything (30g at that for severe lows… but that might have been designed for my profile).

As for products similar to Clif, here are a few of the brands that I can think of. Many also come in a block form… from my experience, they’re fine in terms of treating hypos, but the blocks get messy. Benefit is that they’re easier to measure out (you can eat half of it).
Hammer Gel
Power Gel (I think it’s the same company that makes Power Bar)
Lava Gel
Mud Energy

One thing to note about these energy gels, they WILL dehydrate you if you do not drink water after consuming one. They’re not pure glucose.

Honestly, my go to lately has been energy jellies. They’re basically like energy gels but instead of a gel base, they use a liquid gelatin base. They’re also capped and have a straw like tip on them… I think they’re not yet popular in the states however.

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I found this ingredient list on Amazon for the energy jelly drink:

Energy replenishment (the energy of approximately two bananas) Ingredient: Dextrin,High fructose corn syrup,White grape juice,Acidity regulators(Calcium lactate,Citric acid,Sodium citrate), Gelling agents(Gellan gum,Potassium chloride,Xanthan gum,Glucomannan),Vitamin C,Flavour and flavouring,Emulsifier(Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids),Calcium pantothenate,Niacin,Vitamin E, Vitamin B1,Vitamin B2,Vitamin B6,Vitamin A,Folic acid,Vitamin D,Vitamin B12 Carbohydrates are a nutrient and source of energy. Typical examples include rice or bread, which contain a high percentage of saccharides. Dextrin makes up the majority of the nutrients in Weider in Jelly Energy In. Dextrin is digested and absorbed quicker than the starches found in rice or bread, making the drink perfect for sports. One pouch provides the energy equivalent of two bananas (180 kcal) and is perfect for quick energy replenishment before physical exercise or quick nutrient replenishment to substitute meals when you are too busy. Additionally, the drink is fat-free so you can enjoy a guilt-free supper or snack.

The main ingredient is Dextrin. Here’s what wikipedia has on dextrin:

Dextrins are a group of low-molecular-weight carbohydrates produced by the hydrolysis of starch[1] or glycogen.[2] Dextrins are mixtures of polymers of D-glucose units linked by α-(1→4) or α-(1→6) glycosidic bonds.

The second ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. I’ve been trying to keep this out of my diet all together. Did you know that the metabolic pathway for all fructose is different than glucose. Fructose is metabolized in the liver.

I just use Smarties. They’re about $2.80 a bag at Fred Meyer, and six carbs a roll. Two rolls usually works great, three if I’m below 45. I’ve never had a problem with choking, but they’re small enough I bet you could just swallow them whole.

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I really appreciate everyone’s input here. Thank you!

I used to get Level Life gel for my husband & just found another very similar product called ‘Transcend Glucose Gel’ on this website:
Hope that helps, Jesus bless.

I found a new product once Level went away. They are called Transcend. Their gels work wonders and they give away free samples so you can try them before you buy them. They are a great, customer friendly company. Here is their website. I love them!

This company makes tablets and gels. I have some, but have not tried them yet. Look like you can find them fairly cheap online.