Where to turn for an energy gel in the ever-increasing market? There’s the ‘sciency’ end of the spectrum with the likes of SIS (the clues in the first ‘S’ for ‘Science’) at the other the much more touchy-feely gels with nice ‘green’ credentials, MuleBar being an excellent example. New to the UK – but having made some serious inroads in the US – Hüma Chia Energy Gels, a 100% natural offering with a list of ingredients that are refreshingly pronounceable, are certainly looking to nudge in a space at the latter end.
Hüma is available in four flavours – Strawberry, Apple and Cinnamon, Mango, and Blueberry. As you might expect from a gel that eschews chemicals and additives in favour of fruit purees the tastes are crisp, clean and easily identifiable; they are, perhaps, a little on the sweet side, but show us a gel that isn’t.
The 100kcal from each sachet has carbs derived not just from the fructose in the purees but also from evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup. This blend delivers a better absorption rate and more sustain energy than single-source gels and should also prove easier on most people’s stomachs. Hüma is also gluten and dairy-free, vegan friendly and delivers sodium and potassium to replace ‘salts’ lost through sweating at a similar level to many electrolyte solutions.
The other trick that Hüma has up its sleeve is the blended use ground chia seed. Chia has gained considerable popularity with athletes over the last few years but has been a source of health and running energy for the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico for generations. Anyone familiar with Christopher McDougall’s classic book Born to Run will know of the Tarahumara legendary running prowess (their familiar name for themselves ‘Rarámuri’ roughly translates as ‘those who run fast’) and in TriGear’s opinion if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us…
Chia is certainly well recognised as an excellent source of essential amino acids and of Omega 3 in particular; it also works as an antioxidant and, as a fibre, helps regulate carbohydrate absorption, so again Hüma will prevent those sugar highs and lows.
Hüma Chia Energy Gel is, we think, a notable addition to the UK market and if you want to run like the Tarahumara this could be a good place to start – although that level of impressive endurance isn’t necessarily guaranteed…
Sachet sizes vary slightly between flavours – Mango 43g, Apples and Cinnamon 45g, Blueberry and Strawberry both 46g and all retail at £47.76 for boxes of 24.