RUNNING FUEL 101 and our Sunday pics.

Why the heck do we need to eat during long-distance runs or races?  

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Because—>  our muscles need carbohydrates big time to keep working hard, our blood sugar levels need to remain stable to avoid crashing and we need electrolytes to avoid cramping/to help to stay hydrated/for other important functions in our bodies.  Let’s take a look at some of the options out there!  

**Sports Beans.  I have only tried these during a run a handful of times but they have always tasted really good.  I’ll talk more later on about my feelings with chewing while running but these beans are so small that you don’t feel like you are having to chew like crazy before swallowing them.  They come with caffeine (Watermelon, Cherry, Pomegranate) or without caffeine (Lemon Lime, Orange, Fruit Punch, Berry).  Per serving—> 100 calories, 80mg Sodium, 40mg Potassium, 25g Carb, 21g Sugar…10% Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Thiamin and Niacin.  

You can find a 24 pack HERE for $22.60 ($0.94 per pack).

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**GU.  I feel like GU is probably the most talked about running fuel out there and I couldn’t get myself to get on board with it until I tried the Salted Caramel (would love to know what your favorite flavors are) about two years ago.  I actually really like this flavor and I love the added caffeine that comes along with it.  The beauty of gels is that it takes little effort to ingest.  No chewing involved (well, at least I don’t;).  Just rip it open and go for it (along with some water too).  I usually start sipping on one a few minutes before an aid station, grab a cup of water at the aid station and then finish off the gel.  For me I take gels about 15 minutes before the race and then every 45-50 minutes during the race.  The thing I love about gels in general is that I feel the boost of energy pretty dang quick after I take one.  I feel like the glucose goes straight to my blood stream which is pretty great when you are running.

You can get a 24 count of the Salted Caramel Gu HERE for $26.91 ($1.12 per gel).

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I just noticed the plain flavor and I am interested in trying this because let’s be honest… there are a lot of times that eating/flavor sounds absolutely awful during a long run/hard run/race and this might just might do the job for those instances.

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Another Gel that you will see at most running stores and at a lot of races—> Hammer Gel!  As part of their description “We use long-chain complex carbohydrates for smooth, consistent energy release.  There’s only a trace of sugar, so Hammer Gel doesn’t set off wild insulin spikes causing ‘sugar high’ and ‘sugar crash.’ You won’t find our products saturated with cheap, ineffective, commercial-grade sugars, which can ruin health and performance.”  These ones have more of a syrup like consistency to me and water is definitely needed when taking these (or add them to your water bottle and get your water and energy all together).  The peanut butter/peanut butter-chocolate flavors do have some fat in it (some stomachs really can’t handle much fat at all when running) but the others do not.  

You can get a mixed 12 pack for $21.11 ($1.75 per gel) HERE

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How often Hammer Gel recommends taking them:

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**Honey Stinger Chews.  The limeade and cherry cola contain caffeine and the grapefruit, cherry lime protein, raspberry protein and juneberry protein do not contain caffeine.  They are sweetened with organic honey and tapioca syrup.  A weird thing that I noticed one time with these during winter running… they froze up and got hard during the first half of my run and I was worried I was going to have to chew on them for a long time before swallowing because they were frozen but they actually warmed up really quick and I was able to eat them pretty quickly.

You can get a 12 pack HERE for $20.52 ($1.71 per pack).

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Their stats:

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**Cliff Shot Bloks—>  the first running fuel I ever used.  I personally love their flavors and think that they taste great.  They were with me on my PR marathon (ummm… like 6 years ago) BUT I stopped using them for races because of the chewing factor.  I have used them for training runs over the years because I don’t mind slowing down or taking a break at the water fountain to eat them during a casual long run but for me they are tough to eat if you are going full out in a race or faster paced long run.  I also don’t feel as much of an instant surge of energy compared to the gels but they do give me the nice boost shortly after eating them.  

3 pieces per serving and they recommend eating an entire packet each hour of running.   They offer caffeine and non-caffeinated versions. 

Black Cherry are my favorite and you can find them HERE… 18 for $34.95 ($1.94 per pack)

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Clif also offers their Shot energy gel.  These have more of a thin consistency compared to the other gels that I have tried and they offer 8 different flavors.  Easily-digested and something fun about these is that it has a litter leash—>  aka when you tear the tab it stays attached to the packet unlike the other gels when you tear it open the top part comes completely off making it hard to hold onto all of the pieces of trash.  If the thicker consistency of gels isn’t your favorite then this one might be the one for you!  

24 pack HERE for $25.64 ($1.07 per gel).

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**The fuel that I am excited to use again once I am running long enough to need fuel—> Vi Fuel.  I used them for awhile and then somehow switched over to GU but I am thinking that Vi will be perfect for all of my silly stomach issues.  Vanilla (they use real vanilla… nothing fake)  is my favorite of the flavors but I also like chocolate and peach cobbler.  You can read my full review on Vi HERE!  You can get a 24 pack HERE for $39.50 ($1.64 per gel).  They recommend taking one 15 minutes before your workout or race and then another one every 30-45 minutes according to your needs—> and to ALWAYS take with water.  They are all about using real ingredients in their products which I have heard from many different athletes that it really helps them with stomach issues.  

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Stats for Vi Vanilla:

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**Candy.  I haven’t used candy as fuel in a while but I sure used to—> skittles, gummy bears, licorice, swedish fish, candy corn, gummy lifesavers…. now you aren’t getting in the electrolytes/caffeine/amino acids that you will find in the above running fuels but they sure taste good.  It’s cheap, easy to grab if you run out of your normal fuel for your long run/race and delicious.  

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***REAL FOOD (seen a lot more in the ultra world)—>  I’ve heard of runners using things like frozen grapes, dates, pretzels, raisins, baby food, homemade energy gels, bananas, oranges,  fig newtons, a whole pizza folded up and eaten like a taco (Dean Karnazes I’m looking at you..) or a cookie after your race:)  

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I guess the key is to find what works best for you.  Experiment around and make sure to write down after a run how the fuel you used worked with you so that you can compare and contrast easily when trying to figure out the best fuel for YOU and YOUR RUNNING!!!  Record the times you took the fuel to so you can also figure out how often/when to get those calories in!

PS as far as fuel belts go—> this one is my favorite because it is waterproof so I can put my phone in there (and not stress if it is raining or I dump water on my head) and a few gels and then I am ready to go!

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I didn’t hear her come in to my room Sunday morning but woke up to her sitting on the window seat serenading me with her guitar and keyboard.

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I made s’mores bars for the super bowl party and bought some veggie trays too… balance.

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Sundays.

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Super Bowl with my girls.

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The highlights for me were this fruit/toffee dip (the fruit was perfect), guacamole, s’mores bars and BRUNO MARS DANCING.  

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Taking his first steps like it ain’t no thang.  

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I hope you get to start your week off with a great run!  

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What fuel works best for you??  How often do you take it while running?

Any fuel that I have left out that you can include a review on in the comments (pretty please… we want to know what is out there)!!

Weirdest thing that you have eaten while running or right after a run?

Highlight of your weekend?!  Best Super Bowl food that you ate?

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90 comments

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I love Huma gels! They are my favorites for long runs. They’re made with fewer ingredients and all ones that I know and can pronounce! I like honey stinger and Gu, too, but Huma works just as well and for the most part is chia seeds, sugars for carbs, and pureed fruit! They’re soooo good.

I also like gels with lots of caffeine in them, but I eats and sometimes even larabars for really long runs, but I have a pretty tough stomach.

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I agree on these. They are DELICIOUSNESS! The strawberry one tastes like you are slurping down a packet of strawberry preserves. Love them. Easy to get down. Work well for me :)

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Thanks for the review. I was wondering about Huma gels. I had so much GI issues last year until I switched to Honey Stinger with no more GI issues for my last marathon training cycle. A friend recommended Huma, but I was afraid to order entire box, not knowing if it will work and the cost per unit. I will have to try them now.

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I love Huma too! I’ll use others, but this is my first choice. I like the one with caffeine…mocha!

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Humas are my FAVORITE! I love the strawberry, but my all time fav is the chocolate. Tastes just like brownie batter! I’m on my 3rd box of them.

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I definitely prefer gummy bears for those extra long runs. :) I once tried a chewy granola bar during a marathon. I can’t say I recommend this.

The highlight of my weekend was catching up with a friend over froyo as we celebrated National Froyo Day together. Such a wonderful holiday!! :)

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Clif also has out these new organic applesauce packs to slurp on. I had my first marathon last month and it helped me out 21+ miles in!!!

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I love the applesauce packs! I’ve used those during training runs several times!

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I love Honey Stingers. I’ve used them for years. I also really love the sports beans, but I hate how much noise they make while I’m running, so I usually only use them when I’m doing long runs on the treadmill (like yesterday!). GU does a number on my stomach anymore. I want to try Huma gels though, I hear good things!

Highlight of my weekend was probably spending time with my niece and nephew during the super bowl yesterday! I didn’t care who won, and the commercials I saw were pretty mediocre!

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I usually go for the cherry cola honey stinger chews.
I let them dissolve in my mouth slowly.

I once ate a homemade chocolate eclair as soon as I finished a half marathon. My friend made them and was at the finish line :)

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I used to use candy as well, and then I moved on to Honey Stinger chews (Orange Blossom are my fave) but last year I finally made the transition to Gu. I love chews but they can be so bulky to carry at races, plus it can take time/effort to get in enough chews, but I can usually get through a Gu pretty fast if I’m feeling low on energy. I do the same thing as you – in most cases I start sipping a Gu when I am getting close to an aid station so I can take a drink to wash it back. I only eat the Chocolate Gu and it leaves my mouth dry/sticky so I have to have a drink after!

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Right now i’m using Clif organic energy food – love the banana beet! I’ve also used food like dates and larabars too which works as long as the run is an easy pace.

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I must say that I’m more of a “natural” fueler: I love/prefer things like raisins, coconut water or orange slices on the run. I was beside myself with excitement when I ran the Paris Marathon in 2011 and they had raisins and orange slices at some of the fuel stations – yum!!

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I love shot blocks personally. The Gus leave a taste that’s hard to get rid of and makes my stomach feels coated. I want to try the stingers though!

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I usually use GU or Huma gels on long runs. I don’t generally take one before I run (except for race days) but I take them about every 45 minutes once I’m running.

I don’t eat strange things while running, though I’m sure I’ve had some odd ones post-run. I really like eating fake crab as a snack, so that’s probably one of the more random things I eat.

The highlight of my weekend was running my first 5k since 2009 and getting a new 5k PR! The best Super Bowl food I ate was a buffalo chicken dip that my guy made. We had all kinds of food ready to go and we ended up just eating the dip and chips and guacamole. Oops! :)

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The only fuel that I’ve found that works for me is Honey Stinger! Everything else just sits there and gives me cramps. During my Whole30 I tried dates as fuel and that worked really well also. I like mixing “real food” with gels!

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Hammer gels are my favorite! I find they are easier to swallow than others gels and make me less thirsty. I love the apple cinnamon flavor. I’ve also consumed raisins on long runs, but those get hard to chew.

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I use honey stinger waffles and salted caramel/watermelon gu. These are so far the only things that really make my belly feel good for the long haul. I did just buy some Tailwind to give it a try and see how well it works. I have heard some really great things.

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I started using Tailwind on long rides and I really like it. I haven’t tried it for running yet. I like that the taste is very mild – not overly sweet.

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I tried it last night for the first time. I did just a short 1.5 run to spin class and then 1.5 back after class. I liked it a lot actually. I wanted to test it on something short before really taking it out on the road. I will say the mild taste was great and my stomach never felt upset at all!

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I like to use dates as fuel. I have a pretty weak stomach and so far that’s worked best for me. Still experimenting though! Yesterday I tested out something new…homemade frozen oat/pb/honey balls….except they were not frozen by the time I went to eat them and it was a just a crumbly, sticky mess. Never again!

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Look at little Brooke! Aww

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I’m all about the honey stinger gels for long runs! I used to take gus, but after a half marathon last spring, I had the worst stomach issues for the rest of the day, I decided the gu was the issue and switched to honey stinger gels. They go done easily since are thinner than gu and taste WAY better.

My run club has supported water stations, and this weekend there was donut holes! I opted out (until we got back to the club), but other people were grabbing them. They typically have candy and clif shots for us too. <— Swedish fish, yes please.

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I thought I had found my favorite Gu in Salted Caramel but then I ran Chicago in October and now I think it is the absolute last thing I want. The thought of it for several months after made me gag! Ha!

I LOVE Honey Stingers! I think those will be my go to from here on out!

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Great post! I’m a fan of Huma gels. I take 3 during a marathon and 1 or 1.5 for a half. Works like a charm.

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Chewing takes up too much energy! I am glad someone understands!! I like the salted caramel GU, but I really like the Huma gels………the blueberry and strawberry are my favorites……….all natural and simple ingredients!

I had banana pudding (homemade with vanilla wafers) after my last marathon……..my husband looked at me weird when that’s what I chose off the food table, but it was perfect! Also, I have a race I do every June that offers fresh local peaches afterward……….so good, I eat like 3 of them!

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During the Chicago Marathon a couple years ago, I saw a spectator handing out Fig Newtons around mile 16. I was STARVING at that point because I didn’t have the greatest breakfast and those little figgy cookies hit the spot. Easy to digest but more substantial than Shot Bloks/candy.

Best thing I ate all weekend was the pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting my friend made for our Super Bowl party. I’m pretty sure pumpkin season is over but man those things were good!

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The Just Plain Gu is really… interesting. It tastes kinda like simple syrup. It’s not bad, but it does have a taste to it. I can’t say I’d ever be excited to ingest it, but then again, when you get to those later miles of a marathon where ingesting anything sounds gross, it may be just the ticket. It’s worth a try, at least.

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I always thought it tasted like a toned-down vanilla, but yeah, simple syrup also sounds about right. I was worried it was going to taste like paste/glue, but thankfully not :)

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I love hammer gel! I won’t even mess around now with trying some different. I use the raspberry and definitely feel it kick in pretty quickly. It actually doesn’t leave me thirsty which is nice and goes down super easy. Best running fuel I’ve ever had. I used to do jelly beans from trader joes but they are no match for hammer gel for me!

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I’ve used Sports Beans, Shot Bloks, Honey Stingers, and Clif Shots. I haven’t really noticed a difference between them and usually buy based off the convenience factor-which ones are available at the grocery store. I still get really confused on how much and how often I need fuel for my (very slow) half marathons.

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I take fuel during long runs and I usually have gu chews, I love the black cherry and orange flavors. I have recently discovered clif chews (margarita flavor) and it does magic to my body, although it doesn’t work as fast as the gu chews. In the immediate future I will have to switch to gels because of the chewing issue: I need to stop to chew, I can’t do it while running :(

mmmm…s’mores bars sound so wrong and right at the same time

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Best super bowl food was a big bowl of Golden Grahams.

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Gu is my favourite for sure. I cannot chew things during a race and a lot of the chewy type ones give me cramps too. Salted caramel used to be my favourite flavor but I overdid it and now I can’t even look at that flavour.

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I used to love the chews but I agree, it was so difficult for me to chew them while running. I’ve been using the Gu and I like the lime flavor the most! I still don’t LOVE the texture and everything but hopefully it will grow on me haha.

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My favorite flavor is chocolate cherry from cliff. I actually really like the taste of those. Honestly I have a pretty strong stomach and have never really had an issue with energy gels. I do feel like I choke on beans but who doesn’t like jelly beans?

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I made baked chicken wings and they were fantastic! The Super Bowl halftime show was amazing this year!

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Ultra runners like to eat cookies DURING their races, too!! :)

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Honey stingers are the only chews I can eat other than the power bar ones (cola flavor is the best!). I like Island Boost chocolate as far as gels go. It’s actually made with coconut water and more liquid than gel, so no need to take it with water. I really only like the chocolate flavor (they use Godiva!), but have passion fruit as well. You can get them online or REI, not sure where else.

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I really like Cliff Organic Energy fuel- Banana Mango flavor (for “during”)- it is really easy to get down during a run. The only drawback is the packaging is bigger than the cliff shots you included in the post, so you have to plan in advance to fit them in race belt. There are some other flavors like margarita pizza but that does not appeal to me during a run……I’ve been told that it tastes good though.
I am also not a fan of chewing anything too gummy or sticky. I like the Skratch labs energy chews – they are not too gummy or sticky and are really easy to eat during a race. They are also made without a lot of the chemicals/additives that are bad for those of us with stomach issues.
The strangest thing I ever saw during a race was at the Chicago Marathon, around mile 20. A spectator had a plastic container full of pickles – people were running by, sticking their hand in the container to grab the pickles. A pickle sounded really good, but there was no way I was going to eat one from that community container!

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SPIbelt is my favorite! And my go-to fuel is GU or honeystingers. Interesting you pointed out that they freeze in cold weather- I have seen this too, but it depends where you store them while running! Happy
Monday!

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I have only run far enough to use fuel a handful of times. I’d love to try the honeystiner brands though, I hear a ton of great things about those and the cliff shots and Gus aren’t my favorite thing.

I ate so much junk at the super bowl. I did have a chicken salad sandwhich and potatoe salad to make it more healthy. But everything else was junk food.

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I eat dried mango slices or dates during a long run. If its a run over 13 miles, I’ll include a granola bar too. I’ve tried gels in the past but do not like how gross they make my stomach feel.

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The Plain Gu flaver is great. It shouldn’t be called plain, because it does have a taste. To me, it tastes like cake frosting and it is one of my favorites. Especially if you are carrying a flavored fluid like Nuun, you don’t have to worry about a weird flavor combo.

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I ran my first half without knowing anything about fuel and bonked at mile 10, finished but felt pretty gross. Since then, I have played with fuel. I like Gu. I like most of their flavors but Salted Caramel is definitely my favorite! I like the stinger chews as well. In cold weather I usually take out the Gu or chews a bit before I need them and warm up the packet in my hand. I have also tried the Honey Stinger gels, but they were way too sweet for me! Weirdest thing is probably a Clif bar because I had no fuel before a long run. Poor planning, but it worked!

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I have done clif shot blocks and am starting to look into other gels to fuel because chewing while running is almost impossible haha. and best superbowl food was peanut butter cookies. not even mad at the mass quantity I ate. just fueling for my long run today, right??

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I love Sports Beans, but I have a tendency to drop them while I run, which does me no good.

I tried Glukos “gel” (http://www.glukosenergy.com/products/glukos-energy-gel-sample.html) over the weekend for the first time & I loved it. Admittedly I “drank” it while stopped, but it was almost like drinking lemonade, so I didn’t need to wash it down with water. It’s a very very thin consistency, I would NOT call it a gel. I felt great afterwards & definitely felt like I had more energy. My gripe would be that the pouch // packet it’s in is much larger than a Gu. But I will definitely use it again.

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Fueling is such a tricky thing and it’s quite individualized too. It took me a lot of trial and error to get it right. What I realized is that eating real food was better for me than fueling on gels and what not. My body just didn’t digest it well.

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im so glad you posted this. my coach said my fueling needs some work and there is so much info out there its kinda confusing. ive used cliff shots during disney races and stick with vanilla. i dont like crazy flavors during running. the last half i did i thought the race had fuel on course but they didnt so my husband brought my sweet tart heart gummies (seasonal), they are so good, but your right the chewing factor is an issue.

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Thanks for this post- I really need to up my fuel game! I don’t love the idea of the synthetic fuels, but for me the more natural options just don’t cut it. I’m going to give Sport Beans a shot, and take it from there.

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I’ve been using Clif Shots for fuel during runs lately. I like the mocha flavor with caffeine best, but I have found that if I take two too closely together I get pretty nauseous. I’ve been using Clif Blocks mid-tennis match and I love them but I don’t think I could handle that much chewing while running.

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Thaose smores bars look picture perfect. And that giant plate of fruit is calling my name!!! Looks like you were well fed this weekend :) The highlight of my weekend was getting to spend a lot of time with friends and minimal time doing work. How a weekend should be!!

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I’ve used Clif gels and shot bloks for as long as I can remember. It’s my favorite fuel source that doesn’t upset my stomach :)

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I have really come to like the Jelly Beans – they don’t get sticky, and require little chewing. I tried GU once,and couldn’t stomach the texture of it. I couldn’t even choke it down! Needless to say, haven’t gone back. I did use the GU brand CHOMPS for a while (my first few half marathons), and loved their taste, but they could be a little bit hard to chew and sticky at times. Once I found the Jelly Beans, I haven’t looked back. however, those pink lemonade Honey Stingers sound like they would taste awesome.

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I like honey stingers best, I love the pomegranate chews. I will take Gu once in a while, I like Salted Caramel and the Macchiato. I cannot stand orange flavored anything (except an actual orange) I feel like it repeats the whole run. Sports beans have the same effect so I avoid them.

I went out with one of my friends that I haven’t seen in a while. I had the best time hanging out with her.

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Chocolate Outrage Gu is my fave! Tastes just like brownie batter.

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When I was training for my first half marathon, I tried a lot of different fuels with such failure. The first one I tried had natural ingredients but had too much caffeine. I felt lousy for the rest of the day. I tried sport beans, chews, and Hammer gels but all of them bothered me. (Hammer works best for my husband and he loves them). It might have been the flavors I tried but a friend recommended Gu, which worked for me. The flavors that work for me are Vanilla, Chocolate Outrage, and the Carmel Macchiato. I like the Peanut Butter/Chocolate too. I also like the Mocha Cliff gel but have to be careful with the amount caffeine if I have more than one of them. Too much caffeine and gels that are too sweet put me over the edge in a bad way and slow me down because I am feeling so bad. It is funny how everyone is so different. Early on when I was struggling with fuel, someone at my local running store said some people swear by peanut butter pretzel bites.

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I hate the test of most fuel but PowerGel by PowerBar in chocolate (summertime only or it’s too thick) or vanilla are fantastic! I feel like I’m eating frosting right out of the can, which I love to do. All the fruity flavors grossed me out though. I will also eat ShotBloks before my runs sometimes… the black cherry or strawberry ones.

I tried some Gu but they were really thick and I tried the Hammer gels but they were really gritty to me. PowerGel is the only one I truly like.

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I am a huge fan of the salted caramel Gu as well. Definitely let us know what you think of the plain! By the 4th salted caramel Gu in my marathon I’m like *barf*. I love the sports beans, but always drop them when I am racing. So I do the beans at the start line (I don’t have a big breakfast – so I have the beans to start), then switch to gels. Loved this post!

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I like power gel and accel gel. I usually take about 30 minutes before and at about 6 miles and maybe 10 or 11 in half. Can’t do the chewing thing during a race.

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I just wanted to say that it’s important to look for the alcohol sugars in gels because they can have a laxative effect…..no good when you’re running!! I’ve had this problem with power bar chewy gels and a few other similar products. Before a race I love whole wheat bread with peanut butter and a banana. I really like the power bar chocolate wafers and Gu or Clif Shot in small quantities. I tried using the sports beans during a race and had a hard time not dropping them all over the place. I love them for training but can’t get them in my mouth during a race. I guess I just need more practice. :)

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I have tried so many different running fuels over the years and even tried gummy bears and swedish fish. They all made me sick. The ShotBloks were particularly disastrous as I was 7 miles into a trail run and 6 miles from the nearest road. I’ve also tried more natural fuels such as dates stuffed with peanut butter or a handful of almonds/peanuts. The only fuel/food I have found to stay down (and it’s weird so please don’t judge) is apple or banana baby food in the little twist-top pouches.

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I am team fig newton (although I use a similar fig bar from Nature’s Bakery these days). To be honest I don’t fuel at all for half marathons or half marathon training. I may eat one just prior to my long run but other than that I am fuel free…and dreaming of bagels by mile 8 or 9 lol :)

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It is all about logistics when it comes to fueling on the run, for me. I also have a really hard time chewing and breathing as I run so most of the best tasting options are out for me. I have tried some of the Cliff Shot gels but since some of them are a thinner consistency, they can easily squeeze out too easily and get all over everything especially if it’s hot and they’re melted. I keep coming back to Cliff’s double shot espresso as the most effective and best tolerated flavor for me. I don’t like eating more than one per long run though since there is a lot of caffeine in each one.
I am always willing to try new forms of fuel each training cycle because I think it’s possible that your needs/tolerance may change over time and I always want to be open to trying what’s best!

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Today I ate marshmallows! I cut one of those huge ones into pieces and ate it on my 10 miler. It had the same calories and carbs that most gel packets have in them. I like gels for races, but I often eat “real food” in training. You know, like marshmallows, raisins or even bacon!

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I’ve been using PowerGels Banana-Strawberry flavour for races for the past 15 years! It’s a case of If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ;-) I have tried others things in training, like the Cliff Blocks but I also realized that I don’t like running hard and chewing at the same time! Because Cystic Fibrosis makes me sweat more than most runners, I have to carry liquid at all time with lots of salt in it. Nuun is doing an amazing job masking part of the salty taste and adding a bit more electrolites to the mix ;-)

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Real honey or agave sticks (you can get them flavored at the Winco in Orem for I think 0.15 each–cinnamon honey and coconut agave are my faves). I just chew on the end of the stick to tear the plastic and slowly suck on it while running and then chase it with a few gulps of water. Instant energy and my stomach doesn’t hurt after. Usually 1-2 an hour works for me.

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Weirdest thing eaten on my run? Chocolate pudding because someone said they worked like a gel.
Hint: they don’t.

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Man, I need to figure out another fuel to use. I haven’t been using any and now my runs are up to 16 miles or so! I need to figure out what I’m going to use this training cycle now! I used Gu for a long time and then switched to Honey Stinger chews, which are delicious but a little hard to store while running.

Highlight of my weekend –>Another PR! After running 16 miles on Saturday, I beat my previous PR (SET LAST MONTH!!!) in the 5 miler by almost a whole MINUTE! I still can’t believe it!

Also a peanut butter dip shaped like a football that my friend made for us was my second favorite highlight :)

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I have only every used Honey Stinger Gel Gold because it does not have any junk in it. I want to try the new organic Clif gels though, they look like they will work really well. I usually stop to drink/fuel every 5 miles on long runs because that is about 45 minutes give or take.
I only had to stay 20 minutes late at my job on Sunday! And that is a highlight because I am in a new position and I have not been leaving on time due to being overwhelmed and behind! But maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel :)

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So sad :(

http://www.people.com/article/racer-dies-during-krispy-kreme-challenge

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Oh that breaks my heart!

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I have used Hammer Gels and GU – they both seem to work well for me (every 45 minutes or so.) Although I gagged on the Peanut butter Hammer gel – it was way too thick for me! I got it down because I was on a long run, but I won’t buy it again.

What I cannot take is anything with sugar alcohol in it (i.e. Xylitol, Sorbitol, etc.) They are known laxatives and my stomach knows it! My husband doesn’t have any trouble with it, so every person is different. I’ve had more than one long run ruined by this and was glad when I figured it out! It’s the first thing I look for on the ingredients label.

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My stomach cannot tolerate the gels anymore, but i used to love chocolate.

I used to use the honey stinger chews. I agree though that they freeze during cold runs.
I just switched over to Clif shot bloks…during last years Boston Marathon my hands were frozen and I couldn’t get into my pockets for my stinger chews. I was really hitting the wall and I took a Clif blok from the station and it saved me and I qualified again. That’s all it took to convince me to stick with them!
I also find them less tacky than the honey stingers so they don’t stick to your teeth as much.

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Thank you for sharing this! I’m hoping to up my fuel game and find the best one to use!
As for Super Bowl food, I went over to my parents and it made me realize how much I love being Italian. There were giant platters of baked ziti, eggplant parmesan, meatballs, and sausage with peppers! I of course used the excuse that I had to “carb load for my run this morning” to reason my choice of eating it all!

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I used to swear by candy because I hated gel. I, too, have been changed by the salted caramel flavor! It’s a texture thing — caramel is supposed to be that texture, so it makes sense. I also like the peanut butter flavor when I don’t need the caffeine. For ultras, it’s definitely real food — chips, pretzels, Little Debbie snack cakes, Coke/Mt Dew, etc. It’s like a running buffet!

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Honey stingers are the only ones I can stand. If I’m doing a long run I bring a hummus and veggie wrap and some homemade energy balls. I’ve tried a lot of the beans and gu’s and they all make me feel sick!
The weirdest thing we were ever served at a race were baked potatoes! It was an ultra, so maybe that’s normal!

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I love the sports beans! I tried them at a race expo and I have always used them. I’m really bad about fueling though. It’s something I definitely need to work on. I have taken swedish fish with my on a long run before. I got the idea here :)

I ran took a thawed otter pop during a race one time – that was a very, very very bad idea! It did not sit well in my stomach.

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I usually stick with GU but I’m interested to try Huma mentioned in the first comment! I’ve definitely felt better when I’ve taken gel regularly during my marathons. I’ll have one beforehand then one every 7 miles or so.

Weirdest food: I didn’t eat it, but some spectators were handing out sushi at the Long Beach Marathon two years ago…not sure if that’d be a good idea or not! :P

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Thanks for all the info. I thought I would love the chews, but I find them just too hard to handle when I’m running hard and tend to push them to the back of my mouth.. :(
Wondering about the honey stinger waffles that you have mentioned. When do you use them?

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Thank you so much for these reviews! I used to always eat Gu Chomps (or whatever they are called) but the faster I get, the harder it is for me to eat one. I did a race on Saturday and tried to take small bites but it was hard to swallow. I have tried the Gu Gels before and just the thick texture kind of gagged me and grossed me out.

I am interested in trying the Clif Shots since you said they were thinner than the Gels. I am not a huge flavor fan and most of those things gross me out, so I am hoping to find a flavor I like!

I don’t eat anything weird, but usually crave a fountain coke after my race. Not canned or bottled- fountain only. Preferably with crushed ice.

Highlight of your weekend?! – My first 10K!

Best super bowl food- Pizza bread!

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I don’t run long distances so I haven’t had any use for gels but this article will be so helpful when I do! The highlight of my weekend was getting a new pair of shoes (It’s the little things, am I right?).

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Huma gels and Tailwind Nutrition! Seriously! Try it out if you haven’t! That stuff is amazing!

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Shrimp cocktail!! I like gu for fuel during a long run, but it definitely took me awhile to get used to it!

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Thank you for making this list! I never know what running fuels are best and I feel like this helped SO much! Super Bowl parties are the best aren’t they? My sis always throws one and I love how everyone brings the best foods! Those smores bars look incredible. :)

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All about the peanut butter GUs! I think they taste like a pb frosting on a brownie. And I like that frosting a lot.

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Gu is good for me. I like salted caramel and chocolate outrage best but I’ll eat most of them in a pinch. Can’t stand strawberry banana though. Love strawberries, love bananas even more but never like those two flavors together.

On my first marathon I dropped some Gus when I dropped my track pants so had to try some of the course-offered Clif gels. Did not care for the vanilla one and eventually skipped the last one. Clif also makes a Margherita pizza in a BIG pouch. Must try it at least once. It tastes like an Army Meal Ready to Eat Spaghetti pouch. Not bad actually.

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I’ve really gotten turned on to Huma while training for my marathon this past fall. I was worried that they wouldn’t be as effective as Gu (love salted caramel, too!), but they really do work. The texture is a little funky at first, but it didn’t take long to adapt to it. I can actually take these without water if absolutely necessary, which is kind of nice, too. Love the fruity flavors–strawberry, blueberry, raspberry!

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I love coconut water – natures Gatorade! And Sport Beans!

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My running partner and I use honey and mashed sweet potato and put it in resealable freezy pop type bags. Works great, all natural, easy on the tummy.

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