Any runner who is acquainted with distance training has also been introduced to the world of energy replacements. These often come in the form of goop or glob, but they are well worth the grimace when it comes to on the road nutrition. There is nothing worse than hitting a wall of fatigue on a long run when you are 10 miles out from your home or parked vehicle only to realize you have no means of energy replacement. This is where energy chews come in to save the day.
Loss of electrolytes, salt or calories can lead to heavy road fatigue. While some runners are able to suck down the all too popular gel supplements, many others have trouble with either the texture or the aftermath. These can cause severe stomach upset for those with sensitive bellies. They can also be downright difficult to swallow without a water chaser. Chews on the other hand, offer a gummy like texture to sink your teeth into and absorb energy more slowly. They also have less of a tendency to cause tummy trouble.
My favorite energy chews are Cliff’s Shot Bloks. These handy little cubes come in packages of 6 (though a serving size is 3 at a time) and pack an impressive 100 calories and 25 mg of caffeine. My favorite flavor is margarita, which contains extra sodium. I tend to sweat a lot of salt on my long runs, so these provide optimal salt replacement to prevent muscle cramping.
GU Chomps take a close second to Cliff’s, and I often pack these during races. These have a slightly lower calorie count, but offer the amino acids and focus-driving additives that help me overpower the mental tug-of-war that goes on during a long run. The flavors are also a bit more mild as they contain slightly less sodium, and come in a variety. Berry is by far the best choice, in my humble opinion.
Powerbar Energy Blasts pack a nice hunger-busting punch for runners who get famished during their workouts. These chews contain calorie packed gel which replaces lost fuel and fights fatigue with 190 calories per serving. The energy supply in the Powerbar Energy Blasts is probably the highest count among its competitors.
Runners who are more food conscious tend to prefer the Honey Singer Organic Energy Chews. These are one of the best tasting supplements on the market, and provide optimal nutrition. Runners are typically health conscious people (no shocker there) so these are definitely a favorite chew. Besides, who doesn’t like honey?
Nutrition on and off the road is one of the most important aspects of successful racing. For more advice on the best fuel for your body check out other articles that we have written as a guide for runners. Nutrition plays a huge role in successful training and racing. Calories must be properly distributed and come from whole sources, and in adequate amounts to accomplish running goals, whether they are basic fitness, performance or weight loss related.