Fall training is in full effect with runners, cyclists and triathletes logging in major mileage to prepare for their big events. This editor is gearing up for the NYC Marathon herself! Any distance athlete knows that equally as critical as fitness in these races is nutrition, and long runs and rides require not just hydration but fuel — i.e. sugar — to complete.
Halloween may still be a few weeks off, but walk into any sporting goods store and you will see aisles filled with sporty candy. Once the only option was something called GU, similar in taste and consistency to melted icing, but for those who prefer a chew to goo, there are now Chomps, Bites, Bloks and Beans to fuel us on the road. They are packed with easily digested carbs for energy; sodium and potassium for electrolyte balance; and some are naturally caffeinated with green tea extract for those looking for an extra boost. Here are a few of our favorite sweet and sporty treats, which happen to make tasty snacks too.
CLIF SHOT BLOKS. These soft gummy candies provide quick bites of energy and electrolytes in easy-to-chew 33 calorie/8g carbohydrate cubes. Available in an assortment of fruity favors like Cran-Razz, Margarita, and Mountain Berry, some have caffeine, and one extra sodium, so you can customize your nutrient intake. Shot Bloks are made with organic brown rice syrup, a minimally refined carbohydrate with naturally occurring sodium, potassium and magnesium.
HONEY STINGER ORGANIC ENERGY CHEWS. Sweetened with organic honey and tapioca syrup, Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews provide a natural and sustainable source of energy with the combined carbohydrate sources of glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose. Pink Lemonade, Pomegranate Passion Fruit, and a caffeinated Lime-Ade are just a few of the flavors. Each pack contains 160 calories and 39g carbs.
JELLY BELLY SPORT BEANS. From the maker of your favorite jelly beans, Jelly Belly, come Sport Beans. Sweetened with Tapioca and fruit juices, each little bean is packed with carbs for fuel, electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance, and vitamins B & C to optimize energy release and protect cells against oxidative damage. Each convenient resealable pack has 100 calories and 25g of carbs.
GU CHOMPS. GU Chomps deliver the premium ingredients and performance benefits we all know well from their GU. A blend of complex and simple carbohydrates, in addition to amino acids, provide both energy and recovery after workouts. In addition, added Vitamin C + E and antioxidants combat tissue breakdown. One packet of Chomps contains 2 servings for 1 ½ to 2 hours of fuel, and each serving of 4 Chomps has 90 calories and 23g of carbs.