If you’re training for a marathon or half marathon at some point you’ll be running for longer than 60 minutes which means you’re ready to add mid-run fueling to your routine. Finding a fueling option that works well is super easy for some runners and rather complicated for others.
If you are trying mid-run fuel for the first time, go to your local running store and look to see which fuel looks the most appealing to you. Start by trying that gel or chew first, then if it doesn’t work figure out what ingredient might be causing you issues and pick a second fueling option that doesn’t contain the same ingredients.
Most gels and chews are formulated especially for endurance athletes so you don’t have to be too concerned about not getting the right ingredients or combination of ingredients. What’s most important is that you find a product that is both palatable and that your stomach can tolerate.
If all else fails and you can’t find a fuel that works for you, work with a dietician or another qualified professional to figure out what might be causing your issues. If you’re super ambitious you can also make your own fuel, but personally I find it much easier to buy pre-made fuel.
Nutrient Information: 110 Calories, 22g Carb, 60mg Sodium, 80mg Potassium (Clif Shot Turbo contains caffeine in varying amounts)
Distinguishing Attributes: It has the fewest ingredients of all the gels, and is 90% organic and vegan.
Gu Energy Gel
Nutrient Information: 100 Calories, 25g Carb, 50mg Sodium, 40mg Potassium
Distinguishing Attributes: Contains dual fuels*, maltodextrin and fructose, as well as a blend of amino acids.
Nutrient Information: 90 Calories, 21g Carb, 25mg Sodium, 25mg Potassium +/- Caffeine (depends on flavor)
Distinguishing Attributes: Gluten-free, vegan, and kosher options are available. Contains only two grams of sugar— runners who are limited in the amount of sugar they can consume at one time report that they tolerate this product well.
Honey Stinger Gels Classic / Organic
Nutrient Information: 120 /100 Calories, 29g / 24g Carb, 50mg Sodium, 85mg/50mg Potassium
Distinguishing Attributes: Classic gels contain B Vitamins; Ginsting flavor contains both caffeine and Ginseng extract. Organic gels contain 95% Organic Ingredients.
Pacific Health Labs All Natural Accel Gel
Nutrient Information: 100 Calories, 20g Carb, 115mg Sodium, 5g Protein
Distinguishing Attributes: It is the only gel on the market that contains the patented 4:1 carb to protein formula proven to provide more energy, faster.
Nutrient Information:110 Calories, 27g carb, 200mg Sodium, 20mg Potassium, +/- Caffeine (depends on flavor)
Distinguishing Attributes: Contains C2Max, a duel source of fuel (glucose + fructose) which enables you to consume more fuel each hour and therefore keep your system energized.
Clif Shot Bloks
Nutrient Information: 100 calories, 24g carbs, 12g sugar, 70mg sodium, 20mg potassium per 3-piece (30g) serving; two servings per package
Distinguishing Attributes: “Fastpak” packaging- once you rip open the package, you can easily pop the chews into your mouth one by one, with one hand—without breaking your stride.
GU Energy Chews
Nutrient Information: 90 calories, 23g carbs, 11g sugar, 50mg sodium, 40mg potassium per 4-piece (30g) serving; two servings per package
Distinguishing Attributes: Four flavors contain caffeine, which can give you an extra boost. The gluten-free chews also contain amino acids and antioxidants (vitamins C and E) to help fight tissue breakdown. Because they have added amino acids and antioxidants, they can also help you stay focused during your run.
Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews
Nutrient Information: 160 calories, 39g carbs, 27g sugar, 80mg sodium, 40mg potassium; one serving per package
Distinguishing Attributes: Certified organic, certified gluten free, sweetened with organic honey and tapioca syrup & provide a natural and sustainable source of energy.
Jelly Belly Sports Beans
Nutrient Information: 100 calories, 25g carbs, 36g sugar, 30mg sodium, 40mg potassium; one serving per package
Distinguishing Attributes: Each bean is loaded with carbs for fuel, electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance and vitamins to optimize energy release and protect cells against oxidative damage. Sport Beans are also kosher & come in a convenient resealable bag.
Powerbar Energy Blasts
Nutrient Information: 200 calories, 46g carbs, 17g sugar, 80mg sodium, 3g protein; one serving per package
Distinguishing Attributes: Can be used before or during exercise. Formulated with PowerBar C2MAX dual source energy blend: a 2:1 glucose to fructose blend found to deliver 20–50% more energy to muscles than glucose alone.
Skratch Labs Fruit Drops
Nutrient Information: 80 calories, 20g carbs, 14g sugar, 80mg sodium; two servings per package
Distinguishing Attributes: Fruit Drops are all natural. Each chew has been lightly powdered with cane sugar, so the chews don’t stick together. No waxes or excess materials are used to keep the chews soft and ready to eat.