On occasion, I try my hand at long distance running with four half marathons under my belt. It’s an ongoing process to figure out just how to best carry and consume the snacks/electrolytes/energy that you need after an hour or so of high-energy activity. Because while you obviously need to stay hydrated, it’s also vitally important to keep your electrolytes balanced to help prevent muscle spasms and cramps. Downing sugary sports drinks isn’t ideal. And your body, after a while out on the trail, needs calories to burn.
Made by Fuel 100, they bill their Electro-Bites as “designed specifically for endurance athletes to help extend training and improve race performance.”
They come in small pouches, and the first thing I noticed was how light weight they are. In each punch is a 23 gram serving size (100 calories), which adds up to about 2 dozen of the little bites/nuggets. This seems like a distinct advantage to my general gels – those little bits of weight add up! And these are infinitely less messy than gels and bars.
The bites themselves are dry and crunchy with a bit of a chalky feel to them if you eat them without water, but once you get used it after the first couple, you don’t really notice. If you do eat them with a swig of water, they practically dissolve.
They’re simple enough – made of organic coconut oil, organic agave syrup, potato starch, sodium, magnesium and potassium. And they come in 5 different flavors – simply salty, salty vanilla, salty vinegar, apple cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. My favorite flavor was apple cinnamon, and despite my wariness before trying the salty vinegar, it was pretty good.
That overall salt theme, even subtly noticeable in the apple cinnamon and pumpkin spice, is good, since as you exercise, you lose salt. The bites do make you a bit thirsty, which is probably a good match up really – down a handful and then drink some water – balance out the hydration and electrolyte intake. Just drinking water isn’t enough to keep you going hour after hour on the trail, and you have to replace those missing salts to be able to keep going; hypernatremia (too much water/not enough salt) can be just as dangerous as dehydration.
Take home message: Super lightweight, easy to open (could rip open with your teeth), not messy, and designed (quite literally) to let you go that extra mile.
Cool random fun fact: They were one of the snacks used by Heather “Anish” Anderson, long-distance trail hiker extraordinaire, who beat the unsupported Appalachian Trail thru-hike time last year by four days – She did in 54 days, 7 hours, and 48 minutes what takes most hikers 6 months.
You can buy them here. It’s $13.20 for a six pack – you can get all six of one flavor or a variety pack with at least 4 flavors.
Please note that the Electro-Bites were provided free for review purposes. Opinions all my own.