Saturday, May 18, 2013

Gear Review: Honey Stinger Caffeinated Cherry Cola Organic Energy Chews by Eric Charette

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2013

Gear Review: Honey Stinger Caffeinated Cherry Cola Organic Energy Chew by Eric Charette

Product Details: The latest flavor of Honey Stinger organic energy chews are made from 95% organic ingredients and sweetened with organic honey.  They also contain 32mg of caffeine that comes from white tea extract.  This combination provides a natural and sustainable energy source.  A single package contains 160 calories, 39 grams of carbs, 0 fat grams and 100% of the daily requirement of vitamin C.

Background Information: Honey Stinger Organic energy chews are formulated specifically for health-conscious individuals and athletes seeking a great tasting energy snack.  The were the first energy chew to provide naturally occurring fiber and protein that's derived from tapioca syrup and honey.  The previous flavors include Pink Lemonade, Caffeinated Lime-Ade, Fruit Smoothie, Cherry Blossom, Pomegranate Passion Fruit and Orange Blossom.

Pricing: $26.28 for a box of 12 available from Honey or locally at Fleet Feet Sports Huntsville.

Impressions: A few weeks ago Honey Stinger launched the latest flavor in their highly popular organic energy chews line.  I was already a fan of the other flavors offered by Honey Stinger so I dropped by Fleet Feet Sports in Huntsville and picked up a box.  I didn't even manage to get out of the store before I had a pack open and was eating them like candy.  This was the best energy chew I had ever tasted and instantly determined that it was my new energy supplement of choice for running and other endurance sports.  While in theory it was that easy to say, I still needed to put them to the test.

Testing: Last weekend I was helping out with the Fleet Feet Huntsville trail running group at Monte Sano State Park.  My role was to run ahead of the trainees and mark the route, which included a super fast downhill section along War Path Ridge, a muddy open route under the power lines, then a stout climb back up K2 before returning to the start.  This route had lots of side trails and not wanting people to get lost, I was placing quite a few markers.  This became problematic as I ran low on markers before the final climb.  I decided I needed to retrace my steps and redo some of the markings, and improvise in a few places.  The end result was that the planned 7 mile route turned into 11 miles for me and I was running very low on energy.  When we returned to the parking lot, I reached for the Cherry Cola Energy Chews and ate about half of the package.  Within minutes, the minor bonk I was feeling went away and the slight dizziness I was experiencing from going three hours without fuel cleared up.  We were going back out to remove the markings so I packed the rest of the package in my pocket and took them on the run.  I was able to easily eat them while running due to their small size and didn't have trouble breathing or having to choke them down like some other oversized brands.  After the 18 mile day I was so happy that I had them along with me or things would have been quite miserable.

Summary: While the new cherry cola energy chews meet my needs for providing the right amount of carbohydrates, it was the taste and the extra boost of caffeine that sold me.  They are gluten and dairy free which I don't have issues with, but for some people this may make a difference.  To summarize, these were the main points from my experience with the new energy chews.
  • Great taste
  • Boost from caffeine
  • Small size makes them easy to chew and swallow and eat just a few of them and store the package in your pocket to take more later
  • Not overly sticky and don't leave residue on your fingers
It has been a week since I first tried the new energy chews and have gone through an entire box and have already picked up more for my next run!  

Eric has been a member of the Fleet Feet Racing Team since 2006 and was also a member of the U.S.A. inov-8 ultrarunning team in 2010 and 2011.  He also directs operations for the Racing Team along with friend and teammate Marty Clarke.  Eric's personal bests include a 16:29 5km, 34:45 10km, 1:15:32 1/2 marathon, 2:43:40 marathon and 3:53:15 trail 50km.  In his spare time he loves to spend time with his beagles Siri and Fiina.