Running with beans, gummies, or gels? (Not Chicken)

Race day is Saturday!! We leave for Virginia tomorrow! And I’d been planning to leave you with a post on what I plan to eat during the race. But for the past two days I’ve been feeling mildly lousy and not eating much of anything. Hopefully, I’ll be back to normal tomorrow and ready to race and snack on some of the yummies I’m about to share with you.

One of the most fun (and nerve-wracking) things about starting endurance running has been trying to figure out what to eat during the race. There are quite a few options to choose from. What have I learned?

If it tastes like candy, I’ll eat it while I’m training.

Today I’m going to do an extremely opinionated overview of three popular forms of nutrition: sports beans, gummies, and gels.

Sports Beans

These are hands down my favorite running snack. They’re easy to chew and taste more like Skittles crossed with jellybeans than something made for runners. I like the berry flavored ones that come in a purple bag.  Kevin seems fairly indifferent to the beans and might carry some depending on how he’s feeling. I think I’m the only one of us who really likes the beans. I LOVE them. Try them.

Gummies

These come in a variety of brands and styles. They can be a bit tough for me to chew while racing (depending on the brand). They’re Beth’s favorite because they don’t taste as dry as the beans. Kevin likes them best too. He says they make him feel full and he likes that.  I’m packing some gummies to eat while we’re waiting to start, but it will be mostly beans during activity.

Gels

We were a bit afraid to try these and have a generally mixed opinion. One of the biggest brands is Gu and that’s what we’ve been trying. What we’ve determined is that we don’t love the way they taste, but they really are effective. It’s worth taking the time to try a bunch and find a flavor you like. The first one I tried was Strawberry Banana – it makes me want to vomit just thinking about it (but, see above, could just be the day). It tastes like an overripe mashed banana and, well, yuck – unless you’re into that sort of thing. I like the Chocolate Outrage. It tastes like brownie batter. It tastes a little heavy, but
I’m thinking it will be the perfect fuel for those last couple of miles. Beth has a Vanilla Bean one that she says tastes like cake batter, which she’s planning for the end of the race as well. Kevin’s going to pack some gels because he says they’re best for an energy boost – he’s not so picky, he’ll eat any flavor.

So there you have some opinions. It’s all a matter of personal taste really.

Off to the race we go!

PS: If you didn’t get the “Running with Chicken” reference in the title. You need to go check out Garfunkel and Oates. 

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