The 8 Best Energy Gels, Chews, and Bars for Running of 2021

Keep your energy levels up while you train

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Our Top Picks
"A great way to replenish the carbs and electrolytes your body needs."
Best Fast Absorbing:
GU Energy Energy Gel at Amazon
"Quickly and efficiently absorbed by your body."
"Contain electrolytes to replace those that you're losing."
"Dozens of options to choose from."
"Tasty and easy to digest."
"Include naturally occurring fiber and protein."
"Right amount of carbs for some mid-run fuel."
"Made from simple yet effective ingredients."

Best Overall: Clif Bar Energy Chews

Clif Shot Blocks

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, ginger ale, cran-Razz, citrus, orange and strawberry.

Some flavors may contain caffeine.

Best Fast Absorbing: GU Energy Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel

Gu Energy Gels

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, mandarin orange, strawberry banana and tastefully nude. Some flavors contain caffeine.

Best Tasting Gel: Jelly Belly Sport Beans Energizing Jelly Beans

Jelly Belly Sport Beans Assorted Flavors

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. Some flavors contain caffeine.

Best Bar: KIND Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Bar

Kind Bars

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 Sport Energy Chews

It’s not enough to rely solely on sports drinks and water when you’re running long distances—to ensure maximum performance, energy chews 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 Chews.

These natural supplements are made with real fruit juice and simple, clean ingredients, including cane sugar and sea salt. These fruit chews are tasty and easy to digest, and they even work to maintain your blood sugar. A pouch of Skratch Labs Fruit Drops contains 10 chews (2 servings), each serving contains 70 calories, 18 carbs, and 12 grams of sugar, for a potent source of sustained energy. 

Best Organic: Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are great for athletes who are looking for natural, organic choices for their long runs. These energy chews are unique because they include naturally occurring fiber. The chews come in many flavors including cherry blossom, pink lemonade, pomegranate passion and variety packages.

Best Tasting: Honey Stinger Organic Waffle, Honey

honey stinger waffles

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 High Fiber: Huma Gel Chia Energy Gels

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.

Huma Chia Energy Gels are a true crowd favorite when it comes to energy boosters and gels. The Original Flavors Mix comes with eight tasty flavors, including Chocolate, Lemonade, Blueberries, and Strawberries.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

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