Huma Chia Energy Gel Review & Giveaway

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Huma Chia Energy Gel to review their product.  I hadn’t heard of Huma and I’m really particular about the way I fuel my runs so before agreeing to review their product I needed to know that they fit with my clean eating lifestyle.  I was beyond excited with what I found: I could pronounce every. single. ingredient.  Be still my beating heart.    Huma strawberry

Now before I go on, I feel it only appropriate to let you in on a secret. I hate GU Energy gels.  I don’t foresee my position changing anytime soon.  First of all, the name GU (goo) brings to mind the stuff I pull out of my shower drain, and second, I don’t want to put anything created in an ‘Energy Lab’ into my body; give me something from the kitchen.  Sorry if I’ve offended any of you that use GU but I hope to convert you to the natural side. 🙂 Compare the difference for yourself in the two ingredient labels:

(L) GU ingredients                     (R) Huma ingredients

GU ingredients                                                                   Huma ingredients
Click image to enlarge ingredient labels

Whew, now that I have that off of my chest, let me get back to the review and tell you a bit about Huma Chia Energy Gel.  It’s the brainchild of Ian McCollum and Kevin Sherbourne and was officially launched in November of 2012 – this explains why I hadn’t heard of them yet.  While leading troops in Iraq, 1st Lieutenant McCollum read about the Tarahumara, a tribe of Mexican Indians who regularly compete in ultramarathons using a special chia seed blend for fuel. 1st Lieutenant McCollum figured if it worked for the Tarahumara in Mexico, maybe it would work for him in Iraq.   Hello birth of Huma Chia Energy Gel! {Side note: Because this company has military roots it a special place in my heart thanks to my brother who was killed in Iraq.}

Quick Tech Guidehuma-info-graphic

The above graphic explains perfectly the benefits that Huma brings to the table (you GU users, make sure to look it over carefully) so I’ll cut to the chase and jump right into your ‘how’s it taste & perform’ questions.  The first time I tested it out was two weeks ago on my last taper run.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I opened the apples and cinnamon gel so I squeezed a bit on my finger first.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had the exact same taste and texture as apple butter; not that thick gel consistency & artificial flavor like GU.  I shared it with my running girls who all approved.  Unfortunately since this was a short long run (only 10 miles) I didn’t have it on my stomach long enough to see if I would experience any digestive issues.

379191_586170938077998_1348506775_n Then last week was my marathon and I debated heavily on whether or not to use it since I hadn’t had the opportunity to try it on a 20 mile run. I e-mailed the company and Ian responded saying they had never had any digestive issues reported; he was very confident and reassuring which led me to abandon the old adage ‘No new is good new on race day.’

Ready to Rock-n-Roll 26.2 miles fueled by ch-ch-chia!

Ready to Rock-n-Roll 26.2 miles fueled by ch-ch-chia!

I packed three of Huma gels for race day and took my first one (strawberry – yum!) in between miles 5-6; making sure to chase it down with some water.  It went down easy and stayed down even better.  No cramping, no GI issues.  By mile 15 I grabbed my next gel to top off my glycogen stores.  Same thing, no cramping, no GI issues.  Not a single time during the race did I experience any unpleasant effects with the gel or felt like I wasn’t properly fueled.  I also really liked how I didn’t feel hungry during the marathon; usually I start feeling the need for solid food in the last few miles. I finished the marathon strong, in pain, but strong and a lot of that had to do with the gel.

I adore that Huma harnesses the incredibly powerful nutrients of the chia seed and that this gel packs more of a punch then just topping off glycogen stores.  It contains complete protein, fiber and an extreme amount of Omega-3 (you know, the stuff good for your heart). Well color me a convert! I had been using Honey Stingers up until this point but not anymore.  The gel is moderately priced just under $2 a gel.  I realize GU is a bit cheaper but potato chips are cheap, too, but neither is good for you.  I just look at it as an investment in your body; like paying the extra money for organic produce.

Two thumbs up for Huma!

Two thumbs up for Huma!

And for you, my lovely readers, the wonderful gents at Huma Chia Energy Gel are allowing me to giveaway a sample pack to 3 Noshing on Asphalt readers!

Mandatory Entry:  Leave a comment letting me know how you fuel your endurance activities.

Additional entry (leave a separate comment for each):

  • Follow @HumaGel on Twitter
  • Like Huma Chia Energy Gel on Facebook
  • Tweet about the giveaway: “I want to win @HumaGel to fuel my runs. #Giveaway via @Asphaltnosher.”.

That’s four chances to enter! Contest will close on Tuesday, March 12th at midnight and the winners will be announced in Wednesday’s post.

Disclaimer:  I was given four Huma Chia Energy Gels to sample; I was not compensated for this post.  The Huma gushing and GU hating opinions are my own.  I will not review or promote products that I don’t fully believe in.