Snack Attack: Gels vs. Chews

As part-time imaginary professional athletes, Brett and I live (unnecessarily) structured lives. To keep in top form, survive grueling 3-4 hour workout days, and race like champs there are a lot of rules to follow. Here are 5 rules of thousands that come to the front of my mind:

1. Sleep lots. Wherever you can. Planes, trains, cars you aren't driving, your bed, other peoples if empty. Etc.
2. Eat lots. We're on the seafood diet. See food? Eat it. Yum.
3. Make a lot of loose plans with friends. "Yeah, maybe we can get together this weekend! That's a great idea! I'll try to give you a call." 
4. When meeting new people, try not to make friends with them. There just isn't time for that kind of nonsense.
5. Pass the salt please. To me. You gotta salt it up if you want to sweat it out.

Rule #2 is a tricky one. For one, Brett hates seafood, even though it's really really healthy. And the majority of food you can see, you just shouldn't eat. So you gotta be strategic. My secret is to bake a BAG of potatoes (sweet are better than white) at the beginning of the week and then eat them before and after every workout. I've done a lot of crazy things at the office, but walking around munching on a potato, I'm told, is probably the weirdest. And I regularly brush my teeth in the hall, so that's high praise.

Potatoes are a great source of pre and post workout energy. But what do you take mid ride or run to keep all pistons firing smoothly and at top speed? I've found that this varies tremendously by an athlete's sport. For example:

Mountain bikers: italian hero. Not really sure why.
Marathoners: thin broth at the mid day run stop. Salty and clean to poo at mile 23.
Roadies: nothing. Because roadies think they are awesome.
Triathletes: whatever costs most. Because it must be the best, and we are suckers.

Personally, I like Powerbar Gels. They're pumped full of caffeine, sugar, salt, and flavor. And unlike their disgusting and unsalted Hammer Gel counterparts, they aren't 3 inches too large. Thanks for all the extra packaging Hammer. Happy Earth Day.

Recently though, I found an even more expensive (and of course better) replacement for the gel. Gels are great for race day, when you don't have time to chew, but the gummy products out there today are really top of the line and give you a nice satisfying tactile sensation. Chewing is really rewarding. That's why kids bite each other. Not because they have a taste for human flesh.

SO, what's the best gummy product on the market? This week I'm putting three popular alternatives to the test:

Haribo Gummy Bear
Cliff Shot Bloks
Honey Stinger Chews

Gummy bears. Pros: Lots of sugar. Lots of Yellow 5 dye for my already shrunken testes. Reminds you of childhood and bellyaches at your first PG movie.

Cliff Blocks. Pros: interesting flavors (mid-day margarita anyone), good push from the bottom style packaging, fairly salty. Cons: fish gelatin, while kosher, is a little gamey if you ask me. Super organic though.

Honey Stinger Chews. Pros: DELICIOUS, fairly salty, great taste, yummy, get you buzzing, mostly made of good real sugars like... honey I think. Cons: packaging is clumsy. Lance Armstrong endorsed?

If you're hooked on gels, try a gummy product next time you have a chance. It's a much more satisfying way to get through a non-race type workout.


  1. Where are the gummy worms damnit!

  2. GUMMY WORMS! I like the sour ones. Gered, you should also consider trying the powerbar gel blasts. If you were ever a fan of Gushers, these are a real treat out on your ride. DELICIOUS.

    Also, for the record - I like fish.