Every time I travel out-of-town I try to stop at a bike shop or two just to see what they have in their display room. Most of the time I don’t find anything new, but occasionally I find a few hidden gems. A few weeks ago I stopped at a small bike shop in southern Indiana—they had all the usual items on display that you would expect to see in a small shop. However, just before I walked out the door I noticed that they had a few packages of an energy gel I’d never seen before, so I bought half a dozen packages to try. You probably have never heard of them before, but Hüma Chia Energy Gels are now one of my favorite carbohydrate gels for distance cycling.
There are two things you need to know about Hüma Chia Energy Gels: First, they taste great, and second, they are all-natural. I love carbohydrate gels that have simple ingredients and are easy on the stomach—and Hüma Chia Energy Gels fit the bill perfectly! They start with fruit puree (either apple or strawberry), then add a bit of evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup for a nice glucose/fructose carbohydrate mix, and a bit of filtered water to smooth things out. They also have one ingredient I’ve never seen in an energy gel before—ground chia seeds. The chia seeds add a bit of fiber to the gel (2g per package), but more importantly they provide all nine essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. In addition, Hüma also adds a small amount of sea salt and citric acid to every gel.
One 43-gram package of Strawberry Hüma Chia Energy Gel will give you 100 calories with 110mg of sodium, 30mg of potassium, 1g of protein, and 21g of carbs. The Apples & Cinnamon Hüma Chia Energy Gel will provide you with 100 calories, 100mg of sodium, 20mg of potassium, 1g of protein, and 20g of carbs. In addition, both flavors will give you 895mg of Omega-3 fatty acids.
I already mentioned that these gels have a great taste, but I need to talk about their texture for a moment. Overall, the gel is very smooth. However, because of the ground chia seeds the gel is slightly gritty—about like you would expect if you ate fresh strawberry jam.
You probably won’t find Hüma Chia Energy Gels at your local bike shop (yet), but you can order them from the Hüma online store. A box of 24 gels retails for $54, plus $3 shipping for one box, or free shipping when you order two boxes or more. I realize that at $2.25 per package these gels are more expensive than most of the other gels on the market—I think this is a case of getting what you pay for. After I went through the six packs I bought in Indiana I bought a box of 24 and am certain I will be ordering more in the future as well.