As an ongoing feature here, as I prepare for the West Virginia Spartan Race in August, I’m testing out some products that may or may not be useful in endurance racing.
To begin, I’ve purchased a bunch of fitness snacks.
These are things that are meant to be consumed while you’re either on the course, running a race, or shortly before you get started. There are a lot of them out there.
Product #1: Extreme Sports Beans
Extreme Sports Beans sounds like nothing you’d ever want to put in your mouth. The name alone is enough to stop you in your tracks –but these are manufactured by the makers of Jelly Belly jelly beans, really the gold standard when it comes to jelly beans.
Ronald Reagan thought they were awesome –and if I’m honest, they’re the first jelly bean I ever had that was worth actually biting into.
Before Jelly Belly, most jelly beans were primarily for decoration –or to use as non-lethal weapons.
I used to break out my slingshot and fire licorice beans at tin cans in the backyard.
And this was how I spent my 20s.
So, yes, the name is stupid, but they come from good stock and what’s in a name?
Magic ingredients: An assortment of vitamins, minerals and 50 mg of caffeine, which sounds like a lot –except that it’s really not. A Red Bull energy drink has about 80 mg of caffeine. A 12 ounce coffee from McDonald’s is around 100 mg.
The beans are on par with a Coke.
Calories: 100 (or the equivalent of one bag of frozen broccoli –not the big one)
Taste: These will not be mistaken for Jelly Belly jelly beans. They’re sweet enough, but come with a distinct energy drink aftertaste. So, they taste like if Monster Energy Drink was a flavor or maybe Axe Body Spray.
Effects during workout: I didn’t see what I would call increased performance. I wasn’t stronger or faster. I got tired, as usual, but I was a lot more focused, which made it easier for me to keep going and get the job done.
That probably counts.
Effects after: I’d thought I might have to fight to get to sleep. I felt very awake and alert, but tired.
On the same day that I ate the beans and went to CrossFit WV, I’d also run a couple of miles earlier in the day (yes, I am bragging) and put in a full and strenuous day sitting at my desk.
Sleep was no problem. It took a little while for the full effect to wear off, but there was no crash, which was nice. Sometimes, when I drink an energy drink, I will abruptly run out of steam, but not so much with the beans.
Would I eat them again? Probably. They weren’t as wonderful as I hoped they’d be, but they weren’t awful.
Actually, I will be eating them again. I picked up a couple of bags of these things, but the other package is watermelon, which I know, I know, people love watermelon, but I hate it.
I’m kind of hoping that one tastes more like an energy drink than the real thing.