Best Chews for Running

Are you searching for the best chews for running? We’ve compiled our top recommendations from sports dietitians in this inclusive list. 

red chews for runners

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If you’ve run any long distance event, you know that how you fuel is important.

Whether you prefer chews, gels or liquid all-in-one’s, picking one that works for you is important!

We researched some of the best energy chews for running, to help you determine your nutrition plan, and compare their nutrition info for you.

Finding the Best Energy Chews for Running

Fast digesting carbohydrates are necessary for fueling during running, since carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel source.

They are fuel, similar to putting gas in your car. If you go far enough, you will eventually need to re-fuel.

While your general nutrition is of extreme importance (here’s a sample long distance runners diet plan), what you take in during your long run matters too.

For example, if you’re running on a trail, chews can be great and easy to carry. But, you’ll probably want some other options too.

Sports nutrition products for runners include sports drinks, gels, chews, energy gummies, powders, and more.

It’s a personal preference for chews vs. gels. If you prefer not to chew, there are several options for the best running gels!

red gummy bears

Nutrition Highlights in Running Gels and Chews

The general fueling recommendation for endurance exercise is to consume 30-60g.

However, recent research is showing that runners may possibly need and are able to consume more carbohydrates per hour after the first hour of exercise.

So, half marathon nutrition and fueling for a marathon plans will need to include some sort of carbohydrate intake.

If you’re fueling for an ultra marathon (check out this post on the best foods for ultra running), you will definitely fall into the upper range.

hydration pack and bladder for runner

What Should You Look for in Running Chews and Gels?

Here are some things to keep tabs on. Depending on the distance you’re going, what you ate beforehand, and your gut tolerance, you can make a decision.

Again, 30-60 grams per hour is the minimum amount. Many runners will need to go up from there, including these good carbs for runners.

You also want to typically plan to take in hydration WITH your running chews.

How will you carry your hydration? Check out our recommendations for the best hydration packs for runners.

Here’s what to think about and look for in running chews:

  • Total carbohydrate amounts – (most options will fall between 20 and 25 grams per serving)
  • Sodium Some chews have higher amounts of sodium for those who are exercising longer or sweat more.
  • Liquids – Carrying liquids to take with energy chews – Your hydration plan will be important for digestion. Learn more about hydration for runners.
  • Training your gut – If taking fuel in during long runs is new to you, it may take some time and practice to train your runners gut. Practice!
  • Gluten -Do you need gluten free carbs for your run? If so, review all ingredients in your chosen running chews to make sure there are no sneaky additions.
people running together

Energy Chews for Running Options

Here are some great options for energy chews for running, or when searching for energy gummies for running.

Fine tuning your nutrition intake for distance running will help you avoid hitting the wall.

Want your running nutrition questions answered?
Fill out this form to be matched with one of our sports dietitians.

When choosing an energy chew, you’ll want to test out different products to assess texture, flavor, portability, and whether or not you want caffeine.

Also, take into account if you’ve had caffeine in coffee or pre workout beforehand.

Here are some examples of energy gels and nutrition content.

Honey Stinger Energy Chews – 6 chews provides 23g of carbohydrates and 40mg of sodium.

Honey Stinger Performance Chews – 1 packet provides 37g of carbohydrates and 160mg of sodium. These would be for higher intensity workouts, longer workouts, or a way to get in more fuel with less product. They also contain caffeine for an added boost.

ProBar BOLT® Energy Chews – 5 pieces provides 23g of carbohydrates and 15mg of sodium.

Clif® BLOKS Energy Chews – 3 pieces provides 24g of carbohydrates and 50mg of sodium. Some of their flavors also contain caffeine and some of their flavors provide 2x sodium (100mg) and 3x sodium (150mg) for heavier sweaters or more extreme temperatures.

Gatorade Prime Energy Chews – 6 chews provides 24g of carbohydrates and 70mg of sodium.

GU Energy Chews – “The GU you can chew,” these energy chews contain 20g of carbohydrates and 40mg of sodium per 4 pieces.

Jelly Belly Sports Beans – Not exactly a chew, but similar. These sport beans provide 25g of carbohydrates and 80mg of sodium per packet. Some of their flavors also contain caffeine.

Skratch Energy Chews – These chews come in a variety of flavors with a light sugar coating. A serving of 5 chews provides 18 grams of carbohydrates and 80 mg of sodium, while 10 chews would provide 36 grams of carbs and 160 mg sodium, more in line with other options.

Best Running Chews Comparison Table

Use this table to compare some of the best running chews to see which may meet your needs.

Honey Stinger Energy Chews23g40mg
Honey Stinger Performance37g160mg
ProBar BOLT® Chews23g15mg
Clif® BLOKS Chews24g50, 100, 150mg
Gatorade Prime Chews24g70mg
GU Energy Chews20g40mg
Jelly Belly Sports Beans25g80mg
Skratch Chews18 grams80 mg

Ultimately, you’ll see that many of the products listed above contain very similar amounts of carbohydrates with slight differences in sodium levels.

You likely won’t meet your hourly sodium goals through energy chews for running alone, so consider liquid options or salt tabs in addition.

If you’re a salty sweater, it may be worth working with one of our dietitians for an individualized nutrition plan to minimize sodium and sweat loss.

Don’t forget to properly fuel up AFTER your race, too! Here are more options for what to eat after a marathon.

Want your running nutrition questions answered?
Fill out this form to be matched with one of our sports dietitians.

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