Nutrition and Hydration Reviews (part 1)
Chews and Candy-like Fuel Sources
I thought it would be fun for me and informative for all of my readers to do a review on fuel and hydration. So I went to my local running stores and picked up some gels, chews, and electrolyte mixes to try! I plan on making this into a 3 part blog separating the reviews into chews, gels, and drink mixes. Today we'll be focusing on chews and candy like fuel sources. I have tried a total of 5 different types of chews for this review. I tried to get everything in similar or relatable flavors, but that wasn't always possible with the selection I had. If you want me to try another brand of chew/bean/candy just let me know and I will try it and update the article!
I will be considering the following:
Size (Is it easy to carry?)
How much you would need to carry for a race, which I'll just refer to as "Racing Logistics" (Note: This will be based on how much I take in for a marathon. In a marathon, I take in 100 calories every 6 miles or 45ish minutes)
For people with dietary restrictions I'll also mention it is:
Gatorade Endurance Carb Energy Chew (Orange)
Taste: These taste exactly like Gatorade but, they are not as sweet as the standard sports drink, so if you like the flavor of Gatorade you'll will probably like these!
Texture: These are the softest of the chews on this list. I would say they are one of the easier one the chew and dissolve, which is beneficial when you're on the run. I would relate the texture of these to more of a stiff jello than a more traditional gummy candy.
Size: These are the largest in size by individual pieces, but the smallest in size when it comes to packaging. The individual pieces are 1" x 1" squares, which are large, but not so large it is overwhelming to chew. These packaging seems small enough that it'd be easy to store a couple in your shorts during a race.
Racing Logistics: Each pack is 120 calories, so I would try to consume one pack every 6 miles, which would mean I would need to carry 4 packs. The packaging is about the same size as a gel, so this would be about the same as carrying 4 gels. The tear off could work better, but the packaging isn't too difficult to open.
Vegan/Vegetarian: They don't claim to be vegan, but it doesn't contain any animal derivatives, so I would consider it to be vegan based upon the ingredients.
Skratch Energy Chews (Raspberry)
Taste: These have the most flavor of all the ones I have tried on this list. They taste very similar to a raspberry jam with a hint of salt. The hint of salt isn't overwhelming, but it is noticeable if you are sensitive to salt. I would recommend these to someone who want a stronger flavored option when they are racing, in fact they probably would be great when you're in the later half of your race when your taste buds may be dampened and you need a boost.
Texture: These have a texture similar to gumdrops. They have a light sugar coating on the outside of them and are a little sticky to chew.
Size: These are the perfect size for popping in your mouth. They are little egg shaped chews that are about 0.5" x 1".
Racing Logistics: Each package contains 2 servings of 70 calories each, so 1 full package is 140 calories. This would mean I would try to carry about 3 pouches of the chews. Although the packages are not too large in size, they are larger than a gel and contain an odd amount of calories, so I would probably portions them out into 100 calorie baggies rather than leaving them in their original packaging.
Sports Beans (Mixed Flavors)
Taste: They taste exactly like jelly beans!The pack I got was the mixed fruit flavors which included berry, pear, fruit punch, lemon lime, orange and green apple. This would would good for someone who wants more variety in their race fuel.
Texture: They also have the exact same texture as a regular jelly bean! So they have a candy coating and a gummy inside. I didn't have any issue of them sticking to my teeth while I was chewing them either.
Size: These are the smallest in size of the other chews I looked at. They are well... the size of a jelly bean! The packing is wider than a gel, but it is also flatter, so they could be easily stored in your shorts pockets
Racing Logistics: These little guys are exactly 100 calories per pack so during a marathon I would have 4 packs of them. The packaging is flat and resealable, so it'd be easy to store them in pockets and eat them at your own pace. These have the best packaging for racing in my opinion.
Vegan/Vegetarian: Vegetarian not vegan, they have a beeswax as a listed ingredient.
Gu Chew (Orange)
Taste: These have a very pleasant flavor. I really like the orange flavor in these its similar to the flavor of orange gummy bears, maybe a little more orange rind flavor though.
Texture: These are also a softer chew, but not as soft as the Gatorade chews. More like a Swedish Fish candy texture. They didn't stick to my teeth after chewing them thoroughly.
Size: They are hexagonal in shape and are about half an inch across and 0.75" inches tall. They're similar in size to the Skratch chews, so they are about ideal size for eating while running. The packing is long and tube like. This packaging wouldn't be ideal for throwing in your shorts pocket, but might work if your were using a belt or vest.
Racing Logistics: One package contains 2 servings at 80 calories each, so it would be 160 calories per package, so I would need about 2 and a half packages for a marathon. With the odd sized packaging and the odd number of calories, I would most likely package these into 100 calorie baggies rather than keeping it in its regular packaging.
Clif Bloks (Lemon-Lime)
Taste: These also have a very pleasant flavor. These taste exactly like other fruity gummy candies, but slightly less sweet.
Texture: These are the most gummy in texture because of the more gummy texture, they stick to your teeth a little more than the other products on this list. They have a texture that is somewhere in between a gummy bear and Sour Patch Kids.
Size: These are cube shaped that are about 0.75" across. They're similar in overall size to the Skratch and Gu Chews, which is my ideal size for eating while running. The packaging in similar to the Gu Chews being long and cylindrical, but a little bit shorter than the Gu Chews which is still not ideal for putting in your pocket, but would be good for a belt or a pack.
Racing Logistics: These are pretty calorie dense with 100 calories per 3 chews and 2 serving being in each package. I would actually only need to carry 2 packages of these. With the even number of calories in each package, I would probably just leave them in their original packaging and carry them in a belt or a pack during a race.