Energy chews can provide a quick source of energy, which can be convenient during endurance exercise, such as running, cycling, hiking, or training for a triathlon. Allison Knott, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDN says, “Energy chews are a convenient way to lớn consume carbohydrates during endurance exercise—they’re easy to lớn carry and provide a concentrated source of energy.”
It is important to lớn note that energy chews are only recommended for longer exercise, not every workout. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends consuming 30 to lớn 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour for any exercise lasting more than thở 60 to lớn 90 minutes. In addition to lớn providing carbohydrates, some chews provide electrolytes and performance enhancers, such as caffeine.
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When choosing an energy chew, it is important to lớn consider the ingredients, nutritional nội dung, additives, electrolyte levels, and serving size. An energy chew that works for you may be different from what works for someone else; it often takes trial and error to lớn determine what fuel and hydration is best for your toàn thân during exercise.
Our team of registered dietitians reviews and evaluates every single supplement we recommend according to lớn our dietary supplement methodology. From there, a registered dietitian on our Expert Review Board reviews each article for scientific accuracy.
Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to lớn your routine to lớn ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs, and to lớn find out what dosage to lớn take.
Caffeinated and non-caffeinated options
Sweet and salty flavor
Provides a good amount of sodium
Easy to lớn open and carry
Contains wax for texture, which may not be suitable for all
CLIF BLOKS quick energy chews are our top pick, because they taste great, offer great nutrition for refueling mid-workout, and come in bite-size pieces in an easy-to-open sleeve that fits nicely in your pack or pants pocket.
Clif Bar recommends consuming half of the CLIF BLOK packet (or one serving) 15 minutes prior to lớn starting your activity, followed by one or two packets every 60 minutes of activity, as tolerated. It also recommends a small mouthful of water after consuming a BLOK, to lớn balance out your sugar and electrolyte intake, to lớn help maintain your fluid status.
Each pack provides 48 grams of carbohydrates from tapioca syrup, cane sugar, and maltodextrin, as well as sodium and potassium to lớn cover any losses through sweat. While the salted watermelon flavor is not caffeinated, you can choose a caffeinated flavor if desired. With 11 flavors to lớn pick from, there is an option for everyone’s taste preference. Our favorite flavor is the CLIF BLOK Salted Watermelon, and we lượt thích that it has a higher amount of sodium, 100 mg per serving, which may lower the amount of electrolyte supplement needed during exercise.
Price at time of publication: $46 for 18 servings
Chews per Pack: 6 chews | Serving Size: 3 chews | Servings per Container: 2 | Calories per Serving: 90 | Carbohydrates per Serving: 24 grams | Sodium per Serving: 100 mg | Caffeine: 0 mg
Small, resealable packet—fits anywhere
Caffeine and non-caffeinated options
Provides electrolytes, B vitamins, and Vi-Ta-Min C
Beans vary in size and therefore nutrition content
May be difficult to lớn consume while running
Jelly Belly Sports Beans provide what you need when it comes to lớn fueling your workout on a budget.
In addition to lớn 25 grams of carbohydrate per serving from cane sugar and tapioca syrup, these beans provide sodium, potassium, and small amounts of B vitamins and Vi-Ta-Min C. Try eating Jelly Belly Sports Beans 30 minutes pre-workout, and then one or two beans every 15 minutes of activity. The resealable packet makes it easy to lớn carry in a pocket, waist, or armband during exercise.
There are a few potential drawbacks to lớn these otherwise convenient sports beans. For example, you may find it challenging to lớn take out one or two beans at a time during exercise, and while one package consistently offers 100 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates, the beans are not all the same size. That means each package may have a different number of beans, and you won’t know exactly how much nutrition is in each bean.
If you are still working to lớn find your favorite flavor, Jelly Belly Sports Beans offer an assorted flavor pack in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated options, letting you try all flavors at once to lớn determine what you lượt thích best!
Price at time of publication: $32 for 24 count
Beans per Pouch: Varies, one ounce worth | Servings per Container: 1 | Calories per Serving: 100 | Carbohydrates per Serving: 25 grams | Sodium per Serving: 80 mg | Caffeine per Serving: 0 mg
Simple ingredient list and provides electrolytes
Preservative, coloring and wax-free
Higher water nội dung makes them easy to lớn chew
Limited flavor offerings
Higher chew count per serving
Skratch Labs Thể Thao Energy Chews provide your needed carbohydrates using few ingredients in a variety of tasty flavors. Skratch recommends consuming an entire packet before exercise and then during exercise as needed. Each packet contains 36 grams of carbohydrates from cane sugar and tapioca syrup.
Skratch Labs bypasses the use of waxes, preservatives, and artificial coloring. They use powder made from real fruit to lớn offer authentic flavors, such as blueberry, matcha, cherry, raspberry, or orange. We lượt thích that the sour cherry flavor includes 50 milligrams of caffeine from green tea, but Skratch Labs also offers non-caffeinated options.
Price at time of publication: $24 for 10 pack
Chews per Pouch: 10 chews | Servings per Container: 2 | Calories per Serving: 80 | Carbohydrates per Serving: 19 grams | Sodium per Serving: 35 mg | Caffeine: 0 mg
USDA Organic ingredients
Gluten and dairy-free
Provides Vi-Ta-Min C
Higher chew count per serving
Honey Stinger Organic Energy Pink Lemonade Chews utilize organic, whole foods ingredients lượt thích grape juice and Đen carrot juice concentrate, and they come in convenient bite-sized shapes. Organic tapioca syrup, honey, and sugar are their top ingredients. The chews provide 23 grams of carbohydrates per serving. These simple carbohydrates break down fast to lớn go straight to lớn muscles for fuel.
While all ingredients are organic, non-GMO, and gluten- and dairy-free, Honey Stinger does not offer a caffeinated chew version. Even though they are dairy-free, they are not considered vegan because of the honey.
Price at time of publication: $32 for 12 pack
Chews per Pouch: 10 chews | Servings per Container: 1.7 | Calories per Serving: 100 | Carbohydrates per Serving: 23 grams | Sodium per Serving: 40 mg | Caffeine per Serving: 0
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Single ingredient whole food
No added sugar
Provide trace amounts of minerals
The fiber may cause digestive issues for some
Does not come in a convenient package
If you’re looking for a natural food source instead of a manufactured supplement to lớn fuel your long workouts, we recommend trying Joolies organic Medjool dates. In addition to lớn quick energy during exercise, dates offer many health benefits.
The carbohydrates from dates are mostly from natural fructose and glucose. Two small dates provide 30 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 25 grams of natural sugar (no added sugar), and 260 milligrams of potassium. Dates are naturally sodium-free, so sánh you will also need to lớn consume an electrolyte drink to lớn replenish sodium during your workout. (Note: To use during exercise, a few dates will need to lớn be carried in your own packaging, lượt thích a plastic or reusable bag.)
Price at time of publication: $15 for 11 ounces
Servings Size: 2 dates | Calories per Serving: 110 | Carbohydrates per Serving: 30 grams | Sodium per Serving: 0 mg | Additives: none
Courtesy of Amazon
Good source of B vitamins
Doesn't contain any gelatin or soy
Organic and non-GMO
Some report the texture as being too gooey
ProBar Bolt Organic Energy Chews are not only a good source of electrolytes, but they also contain high amounts of B vitamins. Some of the B vitamins are involved in energy producing pathways, while others are involved in new cell generation; some research shows that those who don't get enough B vitamins may not be able to lớn perform exercise at high intensities as well. Also, there is some evidence for increased needs for riboflavin and B6. This product provides 100% of daily needs of B6, which may help with performance.
Each serving, half the pack, is 90 calories, with 75 mg of sodium and 23 grams of carbohydrates to lớn get you through those longer workouts. Plus, if you're looking for an option that is gelatin-free but still has that great chew texture, this is the pick for you.
Price at time of publication: $25 for 12 pack
Key Specs: Chews per Pouch:
Chews per Pouch:About 10 | Servings per Container: 2 | Calories per Serving: 90 | Carbohydrates per Serving: 23 grams | Sodium per Serving: 75 mg | Caffeine: 0 mg
Is an Energy Chew Beneficial?
Whether energy chews can be beneficial depends on how long you exercise and how your digestive tract tolerates fuel during exercise. During exercise that lasts over an hour, energy chews provide carbohydrates to lớn help prevent “bonking” or “hitting the wall,” and some types of chews will also contribute to lớn replenishing electrolyte losses through sweat.
Most chews are not high enough in sodium to lớn provide the recommended 300 to lớn 600 milligrams of sodium per hour of exercise. Therefore, chews may need to lớn be paired with an electrolyte supplement to lớn reach recommended sodium needs.
Working with a sports dietitian can help you clarify your fueling needs and determine what may work best for your toàn thân.
Endurance athletes: If you are an endurance athlete, you likely exercise for long periods, maybe more than thở 60 to lớn 90 minutes at a time, most days of the week. Some days, you may even have more than thở one long workout in a day. For endurance athletes, energy chews can help fuel the consistently long workouts that last over an hour or more. Chews can also be helpful for preventing fatigue on days when you have more than thở one long workout scheduled.
Those who exercise for 60 or more minutes: Even if you’re not an endurance athlete, you may have days when an endurance workout (such as running or cycling) is longer than thở 60 to lớn 90 minutes. In these cases, energy chews can help you stay fueled. Some people will need to lớn consume energy during exercise when exercising more than thở 60 minutes, and others might not need to lớn unless they're exercising for closer to lớn 90 minutes or more. It will likely take some experimentation to lớn figure out what works best for you.
Who Might Not Benefit from Energy Chews
Energy chews make for a great addition when refueling mid-exercise, but there are situations when they might not be the best option.
Recreational athletes: If you are engaging in exercise for under 60 minutes, you likely will not benefit from taking an energy chew before or during exercise.
Those who are looking for a new snack option: If you’re not in the middle of a workout, energy chews might not be the best option for a midday snack. Energy chews are formulated with simple sugars, designed to lớn fuel your workout quickly. They are not intended for a snack at rest.
Those with sensitive stomachs, especially when exercising: If you have discomfort such as bloating, cramping, or diarrhea when eating and exercising, you may benefit from experimenting with different energy chews, gels, or bars and/or adding small sips of water when eating mid-activity.
What to lớn Look for in an Energy Chew
Energy chews come in a variety of flavors, consistencies, and ingredients. There is also slight variance on the size of chews and recommended timing and dosing amounts. We recommend trying a few different brands and types of chews to lớn see what consistency is easiest to lớn chew and feels the best for your digestive system.
Evidence shows that caffeine may boost athletic performance, most notably in aerobic exercise. Many energy chews contain caffeine to lớn help boost performance. If you are sensitive to lớn caffeine, you may choose to lớn avoid energy chews that have added caffeine. Always read the label carefully to lớn kiểm tra whether the product contains caffeine.
Ingredients and Potential Interactions
It is essential to lớn carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to lớn know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included, relative to lớn the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to lớn a healthcare provider to lớn review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.
Many energy chews contain caffeine to lớn help boost energy. If you are sensitive to lớn caffeine, you may choose to lớn avoid energy chews that have added caffeine. Always read the label carefully to lớn kiểm tra whether the product contains caffeine.
Carbohydrates: Energy chews consist of easily digested carbohydrates, often referred to lớn as "simple sugars." Carbohydrates should be the primary ingredient listed, as this is the energy source your toàn thân needs mid-workout. The carbohydrates in chews can come from a variety of sources with different combinations of the simple sugars sucrose, glucose and maltodextrin. Note that fructose as a primary ingredient in energy chews or other sports nutrition products may cause stomach upset.
Knott recommends, “When choosing an energy chew, look for one that contains a mix of carbohydrate sources. This will help ensure tolerance and aid in maximum absorption while exercising."
Electrolytes: Electrolyte balance is essential to lớn any endurance athlete. Electrolytes play an important role in controlling fluid balance, muscle contractions, and heart rate. When you are out of balance or low on electrolytes, your performance will diminish. In particular, profuse sweating can result in a sodium imbalance, which means that it’s most important to lớn consume sodium during a long training session.
If you are relying on your energy chews to lớn help replenish your sodium losses, look for options on the higher range for sodium. Use 50 to lớn 100 milligrams of sodium per serving as a good baseline. There are options that tự not contain significant amounts of sodium, which simply means it is important to lớn also consume an electrolyte drink, especially for endurance athletes. If you are taking any sort of diuretic medication, resulting in increased losses or storage of electrolytes, be sure to lớn speak with a healthcare provider or sports dietitian about maintaining proper electrolyte balance during bouts of intense training.
Caffeine: Caffeine is often an additive in energy chews, as it has been shown to lớn improve athletic performance. Everyone responds differently to lớn caffeine, so sánh it is important to lớn know how your toàn thân responds, and adapt your intake accordingly. That may mean choosing non-caffeinated chews if you are caffeine-sensitive. It is also important to lớn note that taking more than thở the recommended 3 to lớn 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of toàn thân weight will likely not improve performance.
Energy Chew Dosage
Energy chews tự not have a standard dose. Most manufacturers take into consideration the total carbohydrate and electrolyte amounts when recommending the serving size. It is important to lớn follow the nutrition label directions for serving size, adapt the dosage according to lớn your needs (making sure to lớn incorporate enough fluids!), and always try new energy chews during training rather than thở on the day of a competition.
Knott adds, “It's best to lớn choose a chew that offers the optimal amount of carbohydrates in a number of chews that’s comfortable to lớn consume during exercise. For example, if you need 60 grams of carbohydrates in an hour, but it will require eating 10 chews to lớn reach that number, then that may be too many for some athletes to lớn tolerate. Understanding your tolerance and the ease of intake is important for successfully taking in enough carbohydrates via chews during exercise.”
Keep in mind that there may be multiple servings per packet of energy chews. Take note of the serving size and number of servings per packet before beginning your exercise, so sánh you can dose accordingly. Multiple packets may be needed to lớn reach your carbohydrate and sodium goals during exercise. For every hour of moderate intense exercise, the ISSN recommends consuming 30 to lớn 60 grams of carbohydrates and up to lớn 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour for ultra-endurance athletes. Sodium recommendations during exercise can vary based on sweat rate, climate, and length of exercise, but in general, 300 to lớn 600 milligrams per hour are recommended for exercising for an hour or more.
How Much Is Too Much?
There is no defined upper limit for energy chews, but consuming too many, especially at once, can lead to lớn gastrointestinal upset. The amount you can tolerate will vary by person and product. It's best to lớn test out fuel during training days. Follow package recommendations and, if necessary, slowly adjust the amount until you find the optimal amount for you. If you are unsure how much is right for you or are having difficulty with your fueling, work with a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition.
Chews that contain caffeine and sodium may also exceed recommended doses.
Caffeine: When consumed at 400 to lớn 500 mg/day or more, caffeine has been shown to lớn reduce, rather than thở enhance, athletic performance, and it may lead to lớn sleep disturbances, stomach upset, irritability, anxiety, or other harmful health outcomes.
Sodium: The range of sodium requirements in the endurance athlete can vary greatly. In certain instances, it has been shown that the ultra-endurance athlete needs more sodium, as they can lose up to lớn 1.7 to lớn 2.9 grams of salt per liter of sweat. Just lượt thích with fluids, adequate sodium intake is critical to lớn maintain performance and health while exercising. It is important to lớn monitor your sodium output and intake when training intensely for long periods of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I eat energy chews?
Energy chews contain a significant amount of carbohydrates, combined with sodium and sometimes caffeine. Many labels recommend consuming one or more packet or serving for every hour of intense activity. Some chews are best consumed just before starting your activity, while others are best consumed both before and during exercise. It is important to lớn tự what works best for your toàn thân based on tolerance, trial, and activity level.
Are energy chews safe for kids?
The short answer is no. Energy chews are designed with the active adult in mind. They may appeal to lớn kids, because they look and taste lượt thích gummies, but the carbohydrates, salt, and other additives such as caffeine in energy chews are not appropriate for kids. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry advises against caffeine for children under the age of 12, and it recommends limiting it to lớn no more than thở 100 mg daily for adolescents 12 through 18 years of age.
What are the benefits of energy chews?
Energy chews provide a quick fuel source that is often more easily digested and better tolerated than thở other mid-race fuel options. They can help provide carbohydrates that are needed for workouts lasting longer than thở one hour.
Is it possible to lớn eat too many energy chews?
Yes. Energy chews are a source of calories, carbohydrates, sodium, and sometimes caffeine. If you consume more than thở you need, you could experience digestive upset, increased chronic disease risk, toàn thân composition changes, or other unwanted side effects associated with too much simple sugar and caffeine. Only consume what you need, based on your workout, length of activity, and servings as outlined on the nutrition label.
Do Gatorade energy chews work?
At 24 grams of carbohydrates and 70 milligrams of sodium per serving, Gatorade energy chews are comparable to lớn other energy chews on the market. They are flavored and colored using artificial ingredients, which is why they weren’t included on this list, but they will certainly tự the trick to lớn help you fuel your workout.
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Why Trust Verywell Fit
As a lifelong athlete and registered dietitian, Brittany Scanniello is constantly keeping up on the latest sports nutrition research, trends, and new products that have hit the market. In her day-to-day, she works with active people, helping to lớn coach them on their nutrition choices for before, during, and after training, to lớn ensure that they are putting their best foot forward.
We also consulted Allison Knott, MS, RDN, CSSD who specializes in sports dietetics.
We work hard to lớn be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements. You can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here.