The 10 Best Energy Gels, Chews and Bars to Buy for Running in 2018

Keep your energy levels up while you train

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Fueling your body with carbs during longer runs and races will prevent you from running out of energy and help boost your performance. But what you eat while running depends on your own preferences. Many runners like to fuel with energy gels or chews because they're easy to carry and digest. Others may prefer the taste of energy or granola bars. A general rule of thumb is to take in about 100 calories after an hour of running, and then another 100 calories every 40-45 minutes after that. Many sports gels contain 100 calories, so it's easy to keep track how many calories you're consuming.

Check out this collection of some of the best energy gels and chews used by long-distance runners.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Clif Shot Bloks

Clif Shot Blocks
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Clif Shot Bloks are a great way to replenish the carbs and electrolytes your body needs. They're very portable, soft and easy to chew, much like gummy candy. Some runners who don't like the taste or consistency of gels prefer Shot Bloks. They come in a variety of flavors, including: black cherry, cola, cran Razz, lemon lime, orange and strawberry.

Best Fast Absorbing: GU Energy Gels

Gu Energy Gels
Courtesy of Amazon.com

GU Energy Gels are a favorite among marathon runners because they're quickly and efficiently absorbed by your body. Some flavors include vanilla bean, chocolate outrage, orange burst, strawberry banana and just plain.

Best Tasting Gel: Jelly Belly Sport Beans

jelly belly sport beans
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Jelly Belly Sport Beans are a tasty and convenient option for eating on the run. Available in six different flavors, sport beans contain carbs for energy, electrolytes to replace those that you're losing through sweat, and vitamins B and C. They taste very much like regular Jelly Belly jelly beans, but they're just a little saltier. Runners who don't like the taste or consistency of sports gels find these sports beans to be a great alternative.

Best Bar: Kind Bars

Kind Bars
Courtesy of Amazon.com

If you really don't like the taste or consistency of gels or chews, you may prefer a bar. Kind bars are made from all natural, nutritionally-rich ingredients that you can pronounce. With dozens of options to choose from, you're bound to find one that suits your taste and dietary needs. The larger sizes are about 200 calories, so one or two bars can get you through a long run. They also come in mini size, which are 110 to 130 calories per bar.

Best Natural: Skratch Labs Fruit Drops

It’s not enough to rely solely on sports drinks and water when you’re running long distances—to ensure maximum performance, energy gels are a critical part of any runner’s routine. For a naturally-derived burst of energy during your next run, try a Skratch Labs Fruit Drop.

These natural supplements are made with real fruit juice and simple, clean ingredients, including cane sugar and sea salt. These Fruit Drops are tasty and easy to digest, and they even work to maintain your blood sugar. A pouch of Skratch Labs Fruit Drops contains 10 drops, each of which contains 80 calories and 14 grams of sugar, for a potent source of sustained energy. 

Best Organic: Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

Honey Stinger Energy Chews
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are great for althetes who are looking for natural, organic choices for their long runs. These energy chews are unique because they include naturally occurring fiber and protein. The chews come in three flavors: cherry blossom, pink lemonade, pomegranate passion and a fruit smoothie variety package.

Best Tasting: Honey Stinger's Organic Stinger Waffles

honey stinger waffles
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Honey Stinger's Organic Stinger Waffles are two thin, tasty cookies with honey in between. Yum, right? Plus, they're the right amount of carbs (21 grams) for some mid-run fuel, but they're  easy on your stomach. Some runners whose digestive system can't tolerate gels find that they have no issue with Stinger Waffles. One downside is that they're a little bit bigger than gels and therefore a little harder to carry during long runs. But if you can find some room in your running belt, they're definitely worth carrying along.

Best Citrus: Glukos, Glucose Energy Tablets, Orange Cylinder

Glukos Energy Tablets are specifically designed to replenish your carb supply, which helps keep your energy levels up when you’re burning calories like crazy. These glucose-heavy energy gels pack a mighty punch, and they’re all-natural, as well: Glukos Energy Tablets contain no artificial preservatives, gluten, dairy, soy, high-fructose corn syrup or any other harmful additives.

Glucose enters your bloodstream almost immediately, providing a near-instantaneous hit of energy, so these gels are perfect for long-distance runners or anyone engaging in strenuous physical activity. Users also love the natural orange flavor and convenient packaging of Glukos Energy Tablets. Each tube contains 14 tablets.    

Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Carb BOOM! Energy Gels

Carb Boom gels
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Carb BOOM! energy gels are made from super concentrated complex carbohydrates and flavored with real fruit purees and concentrates. Formulated with a special blend of 22-25g of complex carbohydrates and just 2-4g of simple sugars, Carb BOOM! gels provide fast and steady release of energy into the muscles. Its rich complex carbohydrate formula is easily absorbed and digested without any stomach upset. Flavors include apple cinnamon, strawberry kiwi, vanilla orange, double espresso, and banana peach.

Best High Fiber: Huma Chia Energy Gel, Variety Pack

Huma Chia Energy Gels will wake you up instantly and help you feel extra-energized during your next long run or marathon. These all-natural gels are made from simple yet very effective ingredients, such as fruit puree, evaporated cane juice, coconut water, brown-rice syrup, and finely-milled chia seeds, and they contain all nine essential amino acids.

Thanks to its high fiber content, these gels are outstanding for their ability to offer a steady stream of energy. With nearly 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, Huma Chia Energy Gels are a true crowd favorite when it comes to energy boosters and gels. The variety pack comes with eight tasty flavors, including Chocolate, Lemonade, Blueberries, and Strawberries.

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