I’m fairly concerned about maintaining a balance of electrolytes in my system while hiking. Not only do I have low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat (which are intensified without proper electrolyte intake), but also I’m prone to sweating a thick rim of salt onto my clothes, particularly in warm weather. In fact, a couple of weeks ago when I hiked at Ashby Hollow on a 65 degree day, I could feel the tension in my face as I attempted to smile, the sweat having pulled my cheeks into a taut leather. Subsequently, I found myself craving something salty (anything salty!) in an attempt to bring my system back to homeostasis.
The problem, though, is that I’m not a fan of drinking electrolytes, both for the taste and for my sensitive stomach. Sports beverages tend to taste like candy but in liquid form. I’d much rather just drink water. If I have to, I can force myself to choke down a sports drink, but it’s not my preference.
Well, because I’m such an amazing negotiator, Gatorade agreed to send me samples of its newest product, G Series 01 Prime Energy Chews. Why are you looking at me like that? Don’t you believe me? OK, fine. Fine! I’ll admit it. I cheated on this one. My baby sister works for Pepsi, which owns Gatorade, and she was able to get some samples of the Energy Chews before they hit the shelves.
Isn’t that awesome? Giggle, I’m so smitten with this sisterly perk (Thanks, Ar!).
The G Series Energy Chews are marketed to be eaten before one starts exercising to load up on the necessary electrolytes and vitamins (in other words, to “prime” oneself for the physical exertion to follow). They come in four flavors: cool blue, orange, strawberry, and fruit punch (or what I like to call “red”).
Each package comes with six square chews with large “G”s embossed on their facades. The texture of the product is uncannily similar to that of Swedish Fish (if not slightly more tacky once bitten), which is actually the only kind of gummy I like. I really dislike that gummy bears “bounce back” when bitten into and that other sweets like Twizzlers tear like plastic (besides that they contain wheat. blargh!).
The Chews pretty much taste like Gatorade in gummy form, so maybe like Gatorade Swedish Fish. And when I say they taste like Gatorade, I mean that they have that innocuous artificial flavor that’s almost sweet like candy but slightly misses the mark. They’re pretty good. And if I can enjoy the experience of eating what amounts to a Swedish Fish while getting a boost of electrolytes as well, I’m totally on board.
I’ll be honest. I spent quite a bit of time on Wikipedia looking up the more foreign-sounding ingredients. Although I’m pretty sure that this product spent more time in a lab than growing organically in a garden, I was pleasantly surprised that most of the ingredients seem to be derived from natural sources (including isomaltulose, which I gather is a derivative of sugar). But let’s be real: Gatorade was cooked up in a lab, and “red 40” is a far cry from beet juice for food coloring.
I also spent some time comparing the nutrition facts for these chews against those of the powder mix that blends with water to make Gatorade. I found that, if you’re strictly going for calories and electrolytes by weight, it’s really a no-brainer; Gatorade beverage will win hands down. For the equivalent of one ounce of product, the powder provides over twice as many calories, over twice the sodium, eight times the potassium, twice the carbs, and 17 times as much vitamin B3. However, the powder lacks vitamins B5 and B6, as contained in the chews.
I’m guessing part of the reason for the disparities is that the Prime Chews are intended to be used as a quick pre-exercise boost to load up on necessary inputs without stressing the stomach as opposed to post-exercise consumption, which would be intended for feeding stripped muscles.
Regardless of the intention, I would likely not consider eating the Prime Chews before exercise. Like I’ve said, I have a sensitive stomach, and the thought of eating gummies before pounding up a mountain sounds like a terrible idea. And at $2.00 per pack of six chews, they’re not a terribly economical replacement for Swedish Fish. That being said, the Chews are a tasty treat and less messy than the Gatorade powder alternative, so I wouldn’t be opposed to keeping a strip of them on hand in case of an emergency.
Now I just have to figure out which is my favorite flavor. It’s definitely the blue fruit. You can totally taste the blueness of it. It’s uncanny…Or maybe it’s the red fruit. That redness hits the spot. It’s just like biting into a juicy red…fruit…