I have been on a quest to find a more natural gel to use during my long endurance training runs and marathons. I became aware of this new product and reached out to them. Kevin Sherbourne, co-founder of the company, offered to send me some samples to try. I received 2 samples of each flavor: Apples & Cinnamon and Strawberries. My long endurance run was scheduled for a very hot day, but I got up early and got it in so I could give these a try. With the temps up and the humidity at an all-time high, I thought these conditions would be a good test on these products.
I have been using Gu and Clif Shot Gels over the past 5 years so I was skeptical. Well not anymore! To my surprise, these little gems were packed with flavor and had a perfect texture; easy to swallow. They actually ground up the chia seeds so they aren't slimy and slippery. I found the texture to be quite pleasing compared to the thick GU and Gels that I have a hard time getting down at times. The Apples & Cinnamon taste just like that! Made me think of apple pie. Now, I usually don't choose fruit flavor, I prefer chocolate and coffee, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Strawberries was also yummy, just like the sweetest and ripest berries right out of the fields! I really liked the fact that they are really, really easy to open. After struggling trying to open a GU or Gel during the Boston Marathon, and almost ripping all the way down the side, I really appreciate how easily these open...Thank You! I always chase my gels with water, as I did on my trial run, and I had no tummy issues and no sugar rush. I did feel energized, and it kept me going those final 6 miles in the heat. I didn't even feel depleted at the end. I always fuel my long runs every 45 min. with a gel, and Huma are small enough to fit into my water bottle pouch or a pocket, AND they are easy to squeeze and get every drop out!
How do Huma Gels compare to Clif Shot Gels? I went to the expert, Stephanie Bouquet, a fellow Boston Marathon runner and dietitian at SB-Nutrition, for the answers.
"Huma Gels and Clif Shot Gels both provide about the same amount of carbs, 20 grams, but the source of the carbohydrate found in Huma Gels is from a more natural source: a mix of fruit sugar (fructose) and cane syrup (maltose, glucose and malitose) vs. Clif Shot Gels that are more chemically engineered sugars. They both have a mixture of sugars which promotes good absorption, and they will both get to the muscles quickly. I liked the fact that Huma uses the chia seeds, a resistant type of starch that looks to help promote better blood sugar stability which is certainly a plus! Both gels give you electrolytes (sodium and potassium) and as long as you take them with water you will stay hydrated and have better absorption."
Another plus, Huma is easier on the digestion system, so those with tummy issues will better tolerate the Huma. Plus all the other added benefits from the chia make Huma a win win for me!
Finally, my quest to find a better tasting gel, easy to swallow, easy to open, and all natural without chemicals... is over! The only thing missing is caffeine, but guess what?! The great people over at Huma are already on it! Yes, they have 2 more flavors coming out soon, PLUS the addition of caffeine...an option I am looking forward to!
I am behind Huma 100%, and I suggest it to all my followers, clients, and anyone else, especially those with tummy issues.
Here are a few benefits of chia seeds:
Chia seeds provide nutrients absolutely essential for runners; nutrients that improve endurance, fight fat, reduce inflammation, and accelerate recovery.
Because of this gel-forming action, chia seeds slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, meaning the carbs you eat will be able to fuel your body for longer periods of time. The regulation of carbohydrate release also stabilizes blood sugar levels. (Keep in mind that because chia seeds have almost zero carbs, you’ll still need to take energy gels before and during your workouts.)
Chia seeds absorb thirty times their weight in water, and they help regulate body fluid levels and retain electrolytes, both key in the battle against dehydration. For long workouts in high heat and humidity, chia seeds are a handy way to prolong hydration.
Amino acids are the “building blocks of protein” while antioxidants are the ultimate defense against free radicals. Chia seeds are full of both. Eat them soon after your workout to jumpstart recovery.