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Fuel Review: Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

September 9, 2010

Howdy Thursday, readers!  Last Saturday, I decided to take the Honey Stinger Organic Chews out for my long run (Cherry Blossom flavor, pictured below, in case you were wondering).

These chews seem to be ALL the rage since they’ve been mentioned in several running and/or outdoor magazines over the past three months. (The “rage” even infused my husband.  He came running out of the den the other day – “Outside” magazine in hand – yipping, “Look! Look! There are those honey chews again! We have them in the fuel bin; I’m taking one this weekend. They must be awesome!” Anyway …)

Right off the bat I can say one thing:  Delicious.  They were sweet, flavorful, and very chewy without sticking to your teeth (softer and more edible than gummy bears, I’d say).  I can’t say they’re the most delicious, though they were very good, but they do have a leg up on other energy chews because they’re organic and it says so right in the name (I’ll elaborate more on that later).

Of course with the good, there is always bad.  I’ll start with the worst of all:

1.  Lance Armstrong Joins Honey Stinger Ownership Team

This factoid alone is enough to make me want to ban Honey Stinger Chews. I’m sorry. I know. Maybe some of you are fans? But you know what?  I still can’t get over his personal ethics. Professionally, I get it:  he had testicular cancer, survived, then proceeded to win the Tour de France seven times! Whoop-did-ee-doo! But you know what? I think he’s a selfish human being and there are other people – like Donna Deegan – a three-time breast cancer survivor – who I admire FAR BEYOND Lance Armstrong.  (If you’ve never heard of her, check her out: Donna Deegan (click here).)

2. Back to the actual chews … one serving is 160 calories. Now, in theory, 160 calories isn’t a big deal, especially when you’re training for a marathon. But they’re kind of high on the carbohydrate side for me and thus, I wouldn’t use them personally unless I’m running nearly 2 hours or more. In general, you need to take in 20 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of exercise depending on your intensity and duration.  The Stingers offer 39 g of carbs which, in my opinion, leans towards the type of exercise with higher intensity and longer duration. For your average long run (not exceeding a half-marathon distance), you can pretty much re-fuel with any other chew on the market.

3. The package is a little bigger and thus a little bit more of a pain to carry if you’re planning on bringing them along in a pocket (but the package was easy to open).

4. They’re not the ONLY Organic Chew available.  Here’s my elaboration: I don’t know if you agree, but “organic” is kind of a big thing nowadays. It’s right up there for the general US population with “being green.” Well, I think Honey Stingers are really promoting the organic aspect of their product by utilizing the term in the product’s name, but the truth is that there are other products – including Luna Moon Chews – that are also organic. Thus, if the most important thing is that your chews be organic, this isn’t your only choice.

For me, over all,  I rank the Honey Stingers at No. 2, second to my still No. 1 – Luna Moon Chews.  The great flavor just wasn’t enough of a factor for me to propel them to No. 1. The flavor factor alone does not surpass the higher carbs, larger package, and Lance Armstrong endorsement. (In fact, I have a theory that they taste good BECAUSE they have more calories). But you know what? You’ll love them nonetheless so do me a favor and get some Stingers, get some Luna Moon Chews, and then leave me some comments about your opinions too, okay?

Happy running!


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