The marketplace for fueling options for runners can be truly overwhelming! The options are endless: different forms, flavors, ingredients, formulas, etc. This is a good thing though, because different runners have different needs! I decided to take a look at 5 different fueling options and assess them for their pros and cons.
Huma Chia Energy Gel
Favorite Flavor: Apple Cinnamon
Pros: Huma Chia Energy Gels are all natural and made of organic food. All of the flavors are vegan and gluten free. Available in a huge variety of flavors – my favorite being apple cinnamon because the cinnamon cuts the sweetness. No sketchy aftertaste either!
Cons: Only some of the flavors have added caffeine and/or electrolytes.
Skratch Labs Energy Chews
Favorite Flavor: Raspberry
Pros: These energy chews have a really unique feature: their texture is great! They aren’t covered in wax, so they have a substantially better bite than other chews. I really like the convenience of having a chew vs a gel. They are easy to pop in your mouth as you go without having to suck gel out of a packet. Skratch Labs Energy Chews are made with simple ingredients and they are flavored with real fruit. I really enjoyed the flavor of them – it wasn’t super overwhelming and it didn’t taste artificial!
Cons: Might not be the best option if you have a hard time chewing and running at the same time!
Gu Energy Labs Energy Gel
Favorite Flavor: Birthday Cake
Pros: Gu energy gels are offered at a lot of major races. If you’re running a race that offers gel stations, chances are they are handing out Gu energy gels. This is a great thing because you’re not supposed to try anything new on race day! That being said, don’t let that be a determining factor because you can easily bring your own gels to the race. It is convenient though! There are a huge variety of flavors – I like the birthday cake flavor the best! Smaller than comparable products and super convenient size. They all have varying amounts of calories, amino acids, sodium, and caffeine.
Cons: Some of the more natural flavors don’t taste all the natural. For this brand, I prefer the more indulgent flavors like birthday cake and espresso love.
Untapped Athletic Fuel
Favorite Flavor: Coffee Infused Maple Syrup
Pros: Option for added caffeine in the form of coffee – YUM. Also option for no added caffeine if you have a sensitive stomach. Extremely minimal ingredients: 100% organic pure Vermont maple syrup. The texture is super thin which makes it easy to swallow.
Cons: Untapped athletic fuel does not include added electrolytes.
B-Line Natural Energy Gel
Favorite Flavor: Pomegranate Banana Maple Honey Coconut
Pros: B-Line Natural Energy Gels have great flavor! They also are made of organic ingredients and both flavors are naturally gluten free. Includes antioxidants, potassium, and omega fatty acids. I’m not sure that the antioxidants and omega fatty acids are going to help you all that much during the actual race or training run, but the potassium is a great addition!
Cons: Both flavors include honey so it might not be an option for some vegans. Large serving size. When I tried the blue flavor with the chia seeds, the chia seeds got stuck in the mouth piece – not fun!
Hopefully this helps you make a decision for your next training cycle! What gueling options do you use? Tell me in the comments below so that I can incorporate it into part two!
This post includes affiliate links, but don’t worry, I only recommend products that I know are high quality!
You can read about what gels I use in my race recaps!