The right energy chew can make your run training even more enjoyable and effective. But it’s pretty tough to know what flavors and brands you’ll like best if you just look at our website. That’s where the whole idea of an energy chew comparison test came from.
We had almost 20 staffers test our top-selling flavors in each energy chew we carry to see how they rank when it comes to aspects including firmness, sweetness, saltiness and flavor enjoyment. You can shop all energy chews here, and check out our findings below.
Our tasters found that many of the chews sampled were quite firm, with Jelly Belly Sport Beans and Extreme Sport Beans offering the firmest texture and Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews offering the most squishy texture.
In addition to being softies, the Honey Stinger Organic chews are also the sweetest tasting of the energy chews we tested. GU Chomps were the least sweet tasting. Interestingly, our testers found the Extreme Sport Beans less sweet than regular Sport Beans. This isn’t because of the addition of caffeine – the Extreme Sport Beans Assorted flavor has a slightly more mellow mix (Pomegranate, Cherry and Watermelon) compared to the regular Assorted flavor (Berry, Fruit Punch, Lemon/Lime and Orange).
Our testers found that none of the energy chews sampled had an overwhelmingly salty flavor, but Jelly Belly Sport Beans were ranked as tasting the saltiest. Honey Stinger and Clif Shot Bloks tied as the least salty of the bunch, but if you happen to be a salt fanatic in search of electrolytes, keep an eye out for the Clif Shot Bloks Margarita Flavor, which has 210mg of sodium per serving compared to 70mg in their other flavors.
Enjoyment of Flavor
This is where it really gets personal, and our results were quite scattered in this category. Turns out, our testers are a very opinionated bunch, and their opinions about which flavor is most enjoyable were all over the map. So it looks like we’ve utterly failed in our quest to guide our readers toward the perfect flavor sensation.
However, many testers commented that overall, the flavors were what they expected based on the flavor names. So if you tend to like strawberry or lemon, for example, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy these flavors of energy chews. If you want to experiment with flavors, the variety packs from Jelly Belly and Clif might be the way to go before diving in to get a 12, 18 or 24 pack of any single flavor.