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Energy Chew Reviews

Energy Chews

At GearGuide, we’re just not big fans of energy gels. Odd textures and flavors never quite won us over. Energy chews are another matter. We like the gummy bear and jelly bean approaches to these bite-sized nuggets of nutrition. Pop one into you mouth, chew, wash down with water. Take another if you need it. If you don’t, put the pouch away for later. It’s a much more convenient and metered way of handling your caloric intake requirements. Here are four options:

CLIF Shot Bloks – Mountain Berry

Made by the folks responsible for CLIF Bars, CLIF Shot Bloks deliver 33 calories per chew and come six blocks per pack (two servings) for a total of 200 calories. There are 24 grams of sugar/carbs per package from tapioca syrup, dried cane syrup and maltodextrin, and different combinations of sodium and caffeine, depending on what flavor you choose. There are nine flavor options.

We tried the mountain berry which comes with a modest 50 milligrams of sodium (per serving) and no caffeine added. This option was mildly sweet but almost tasteless. Not offensive in any way, just not flavorful. Firmness was toward the lower end of the range of the products we sampled.

[Rating:3.7/5] Sweetness
[Rating:2.3/5] Flavor

GU Chomps – Lemon

From the guys that popularized energy gels, GU Chomps turn that semi-liquid booster into semi-solid form. There are eight chews in each GU Chomps pouch, enough for two servings. Each chew has just over 22 calories giving a full pouch around 180 calories. Total sugar/carbs are 46 grams per package, 23 grams per serving. These come from the same combo of ingredients found in the CLIF products including tapioca syrup, cane syrup and maltodextrin. In addition, GU adds some amino acids, and antioxidants like vitamin C and E. Caffeine is added to several of the flavors including peach tea and strawberry. GU Chomps are gluten free.

We tried the latest addition to the GU Chomps family, lemon flavor. It was the sweetest of the all the chews we tried and among the firmest. Lemon presents one of those flavor profiles that people either love or hate. We had several on the test team that fell on either side of the spectrum which explains the middle-of-the-road score for flavor. If you fall into the “love lemon” category, you’ll really like these chews.

[Rating:4.7/5] Sweetness
[Rating:4.7/5] Flavor

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews – Cherry Blossom

Known primarily for their waffle snacks, Honey Stinger also produces a series of all-organic chews. We were introduced to them a year or so ago thanks to a local retailer. The Honey Stinger chews are certified gluten-free and dairy free. 10 pieces come per pouch for one full serving of 160 calories, 80 milligrams of sodium and 27 grams of sugar/carbs. Sugar comes from tapioca syrup, evaporated cane juice and grape juice concentrate. Vitamin C and one gram of protein round out the standard product. Two of the seven flavors add caffeine.

Our chosen flavor for this test was cherry blossom. Sounds so delicate and the sweetness factor definitely wasn’t overpowering. The Honey Stingers were the flavor standouts in our test. Firmness was right in the middle of the pack making them easy to chew.

[Rating:3.7/5] Sweetness
[Rating:3.3/5] Flavor

Jelly Belly Sport Beans – Fruit Punch

Made in Fairfield California, not too far from GearGuide HQ, Jelly Belly came to fame in the mid-1980s thanks to former California Governor and then-President Ronald Reagan. They were ubiquitous in the Oval Office during his two terms.

Fast forward a few years, and the company has added a range of sport products to its lineup including the Sport Beans. Each one-serving pouch is 100 calories, 80 milligrams of sodium and 25 grams of sugar/carbs. Sugars come from similar sources to the other products in this review including tapioca syrup, cane juice and apple juice. There are four standard flavors and four “extreme” flavors that include a boost of 50 milligrams of caffeine.

We went with the Jelly Belly Sport Bean fruit punch flavor. They ranked right up towards the top in our flavor test coming in number two with our testers. Sweetness wasn’t overpowering and the firmness quotient is exactly where you’d expect a jelly bean to be. One of the things we really appreciated about the Jelly Belly Sport Beans was the packaging. It’s the only one that’s resealable.

[Rating:4/5] Sweetness
[Rating:3.3/5] Flavor

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to GU and Outside PR for providing product for this review.

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