Are sports chews, gels and beans as good as sports drinks?

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Sports gels, beans, and chews are the newest way to fuel your body for a workout, game, or long run.

they provide a quickly digested source of carbohydrates, which can be easily eaten before or during exercise.

Kate Patton R.D. a nutritionist at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health says they work much like a sports drink.

“Basically they’re giving you that carbohydrate. They’re giving you the glucose that you need to help maintain your blood glucose levels, so you have that energy on board to get you through that exercise and not really so much on your stored energy.“

Patton says sports chews, gels, and beans are more concentrated, so you get more carbohydrate in a small amount, compared to a sports drink.

gels, chews, and beans are also easier to carry than a bottle of sports drink.

She cautions you may want to wash them down with a little bit of water because each gel, chew, or bean could contain around 30 grams of carbohydrate and she adds do not to eat too many at one time.

“If you take it too quickly, all at once, then that’s going to be a quick surge of simple carbohydrate to your stomach that may cause a little bit of upset stomach.“

Patton says every athlete is different, but don't be surprised if it takes you a few days to get used to them.