Gels, chews or gummy bears (oh my)

I’ve been a fan of Clif Shot Bloks for ages. 6 blocks, 200 kilocalories, easy to carry, digest, taste great etc etc.

But…they’re pricey AF and I wondered if it would REALLY make a difference in my ride fueling if I was to switch to gummy bears or some other cheap chewy alternative.

For context, I’m not racing. No climbing (beyond the odd overpass). Just doing longish 2+ - 4+ hours endurance rides, mostly Zone 2 with a couple shorter Z3-4 efforts and depending on traffic and whether I’m alone or with a group, one or two sprints.


How much carbs is in those 6 blocks? Or what I am aiming at hearing, is how much carbs do you aim to take in per hour for those 2-4hour rides?

My ride/race nutrition is solely liquid carbs, for up to 10/11hr outings. I chug around 110-120g/hour from liquids and (SIS isotonic) gels. That’s with around 650/700ml fluid. In that mix is also Sodium Citrate and Pottassium Citrate. Home made (inexpensive and effective) carb mix.

My intake of carbs/hour is lower for shorter rides than longer rides. I do also preload with carbs depending if it is a race, long ride, training etc and not necessarily take in (much) carbs on shorter rides if having done so.

Riding 13-19 hours/week, the carb intake is not all about the ride itself, but also for the next ride.

Riding nutrition is a rabbit hole in and of itself. Finding what works for you is key as we don’t all function the same.

Not every low intensity effort is fueled nor is every high intensity effort either. It’s all about duration of effort to be undertaken which factors in what I fuel pre-, during and post-ride/effort.

But I am sure you know all of this Sir.


Thanks for the response. I know much of what you’ve said and am aware of the rabbit hole but still welcome all replies.

Here is a pic of the nutrition info

I typically have 3 bloks every 25km or so.


I’ve been experimenting with Apple Juice + a serving of Maple Syrup, with a Nuun tablet in each bottle. Tastes great & cheap.

But I’ve not been riding far enough lately to really find out how effective the concoction is.

I used to also carry a few payday bars as well.

Powders I’ve tried include Tailwind, Infinit GoFar, Sis, Perpetuem, Skratch, listed in order of preference. On long hot days these can be problematic because the carbs in the bottle mean your getting too many carbs on hot days and not enough on cold ones.


I find Blox and similar gummy items tough to chew and they stick to my teeth. I usually start with a banana at 30 min, then a couple of fig newtons at 1 hr and 1.5 hr, then gels at 2+ hrs.

Hydration is 100-150 cal of fruit juice + water + 1/8 level teaspoon of table salt in a 20 oz bottle. Add a pinch of No Salt or similar for potassium if so inclined.

Pricey sports-specific nutrition products are a few calories, some minerals, and a ton of BS.


Bananas are great if you can tolerate eating them while riding. I cannot eat anything sticky, so blocks are right out. Gels are great if I need extra nutrition. I tend to drink energy and that works well. Dates and something called “Frooze Balls” work well. Dates are dangerous as most are not pitted.


For me I struggle to digest sweets when racing but clif bloks are fine (aquabike, 1500m swim, 40km bike, as close to threshold as I can do). First race last year I think I used a gummy sweet with as little gelatine as possible - stopped eating as thought it would come back up. Second I tried Jelly Babies, severely dehydrated to the point I had to stop and collect a bottle of water at about 20km, but it was hot. For both I aimed for a certain amount of sugar per hour. On a less intense ride it would probably be different. I used to ride with sweets or dried fruit, dates particularly. No gastric issues.

I’ll add that when I eat anything, I swig a fair amount of water just afterward for synergistic effect. FWIW: Bananas and other fruit are ~75% water.


If this is what you are after, have you tried Haribo gummy sweets? They offer 344 calories/100g, so a bit more than your Clif Shot Bloks (90 calories/30g) if my math is correct. A 100g packet is around 83g carbs.

I do notice that the Clif Shot Bloks have 24g carbs. I assume this is per serving of 3 bloks, so 8g of carbs per block.

If you do 25km/3 bloks, and that takes you close to an hour (using the 25km as an average and not knowing the profile etc), that is a very low amount of carbs for the time spent riding, and a very expensive $$ cost to the time spent riding with not much energy benefit to the carbs utilised. Even if that was per half hour, using 48g/hour (6 bloks- so made you a fast rider doing 50kph :smirk:) is fairly low for a energy/performance viewpoint.

Side note: not calling you a slow rider with my math above :innocent:


Appreciate your perspective Sir Dan. I have tried Haribo and others. Hence the question on my OP. I could have just said chews vs candy but that wouldn’t have sounded as poetic :man_shrugging:t3:

As for my speed, it depends on whether I ride solo road, group road or solo gravel. I’m typically slower when solo (of course) and rarely do structured workouts outdoors.

As for the 25km mark, it’s kinda sorta random but just a reminder to eat something so I don’t forget.

If this helps, my outdoor rides typically see me “burning” in the range of 500 kilocalories per hour. I am not aiming for a podium spot when riding. More a ride for fun/health/fitness/weight management sorta guy.

I’ve found that the 3-6 block (24-48 gms carb) per hour consumption rate is normally sufficient to see me through most rides without bonking regardless of length.

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Only real differences I see between Clif Bloks and Haribo is one is marketed as a sports supplement and it has salt, whilst the other is seen as a sweet/candy.

From their ingredients, they are built the same, from my eyes.

In my eyes, yes it would make a difference, you would likely save $$ AND have more energy boost which, you are not looking for.

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Waitaminnit! You’re saying I’d have more energy boost with Haribo? Meaning I’d feel more energized?

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I won’t go that far, but before i had a series of tooth issues my favorite was the 2/1 USD gummy candy bags at petrol stations. Chesp sweet and tasty candy. I use electrolyte capsules for salts.

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Sir Glen

Not sure what ‘pricey’ may be so I’ll throw out a drink mix I’ve found.

Its UCAN and for 30 servings the cost is ~U.S. $70.

A serving will take me about 90 minutes of high Z2 / low Z3

If I’m doing harder work I supplement with Hammer Gel(s).

Would this product fit the "pricey AF’ category?



I say the Clif Bloks at about $3.00 CAD for a sleeve of 6 bloks is pricey AF, relative to gummy bears considering the ingredients are basically just sugar. If I do a 3-4 hour ride I’ll often go through 2 sleeves.

I have a hard time drinking calories cuz they usually taste too sweet for me.

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I tried to use Welch’s or Motts Fruit Snacks. I used them while running a few times. But after a couple mouthfuls my jaw gets sore from the chewing. I find Honey Stinger gels are easier. And also cheaper than a lot alternatives. I’ve tried using m&m’s. They’re fine inside, but not outside. And it’s hard to breathe while eating them.

Stroopwaffles are soft, but I eat them before not during.

For my half marathons and one full, I used honey stinger gels.

I prefer not to eat anything too solid while exercising unless I’m inside on a treadmill or trainer. But… personal preference.



3.00 CAD (a toonie and a half) is pricey AF for sure!

The UCAN in Orange isnt sweet to me. They also, I have one that is not flavoured but there is not enough sodium for my needs. Some say the UCAN is more a chaulky consistency.

Im not sure I coukd do gummy bears especially on a Z2 ride; come back fatter than when I left :frowning:


@Glen.Coutts How about just making a PB&J and cutting it up into squares and putting it in a bag. It is stowable in either a frame bag or shirt pocket. It is my go to food for races where available at aid stations and is budget friendly and has a nice balance of carbs and protein.


Thank you Sir. Not a bad idea. I’ve thought about that and homemade rice cakes too. I like the convenience of the blok/gummy option.

I always thought rice cakes would be like rice krispie cakes (which I LOVE) but they are not at all :man_shrugging:

Edit: don’t the sandwiches turn into a mushy warm ball of PBJ goo?

@Glen.Coutts Never had that happen. They will definitely flatten in your pocket but store better in a frame bag.

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