fuel me: huma chia energy gel

Don’t worry, I’ll get to the review in a second.

I returned to triathlon training at the tail end of August, trading kick boxing, crow poses, and canning for my usual schedule of swimming, biking, and running.

I’m more motivated than ever for Austin 70.3. It’s amazing what a break (and more sleep and baked goods) can do—and I don’t mean for the fat calipers, for the mindset. I’m freshly reminded of why I love triathlon not just as a hobby, but as a lifestyle.

huma chia seed gel for triathlon

Highlights from the last few weeks:

-Swimming in the dark at La Jolla Shores (Big Moon Swim!)
-Making it to my first Tri Club Aquathon (bikini swim, bare foot run, beer!)
-Spontaneous one-on-one swim technique session with Hux at noon Masters (drive those hips!)
-Riding the 3.5-hour Bonsall/Hwy. 395 loop solo on Sunday afternoon, and realizing how many routes and backroads around here I have etched into my memory
-Returning to Sergio’s killer group workouts
-Knocking out more solo swims than usual, and liking them

And last, but not least, discovering a “gel” I actually “like.”

I put those words in quotation marks because hüma energy gel isn’t really gel. It’s more of a fruit compote cleverly disguised in gel-like packaging. And I say “like” nobody actually likes gel, at least not in the way we like doughnuts and chocolate and IPA.

huma chia energy gel triathlon

The people behind hüma get that. Their slogan “it’s time to enjoy your gel,” and rumors of trendy chia seeds made me curious. I tore open a packet of the strawberry flavor about 15 minutes before a swim the other day, and was pleasantly surprised. This stuff was … good! I immediately hid the other packets, lest I try to spread them on a bagel or stuff one down as a mid-afternoon snack. This week I tried the apple-cinnamon before a hot, mid-day long run, and I kid you not, the taste wasn’t far off my grandma’s applesauce.

With 100 calories, 110 grams of sodium, and 21 grams of carbs, hüma rivals other gels on the market, in terms of sports nutrition. And they’re about as natural as you could get—like someone told gels to get naked and let their leg hair grow. They include chia seeds, less for the trend factor and more to help even out carbohydrate absorption for a steadier energy buzz. The blend of evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup for nature’s goody-bag of glucose and fructose to maximize carbohydrate absorption. (Glucose is often used in sports products. It’s stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen, our muscles’ favorite quickly available fuel. Some people are not able to metabolize enough glucose to keep pace, however, so using a second sugar in combination with glucose–each with a distinct “use pathway”–means more total carbohydrate for you. Fructose helps provide energy without feelings of fullness.)

huma energy gel triathlon apple cinnamon

My long run was perfectly fueled, and my worst-case scenario GI issue stayed out of the picture. (This I’m not chalking up to hüma just yet, as it’s an ongoing process, but still puts points on the hüma scorecard.)

Try it out, people. It might just make you swear off sticky, gooey, food knock-offs forever.

3 thoughts on “fuel me: huma chia energy gel

  1. September 20, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Where can one find hüma? (also.. word on the street is you’re experimenting with concocting your own gel?? ;-)

    1. Jen
      September 20, 2013 at 4:57 am

      You’ll have to Google around for it, I’m not sure if it’s sold anywhere around here. And yes, sort of, by proxy.

  2. kristin
    September 20, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Love the Huma….no GI issues since I have started…..and I like beer too….70.3 next weekend….