Fuel Review: Sport Beans

Happy Tuesday, all!  In case you missed my first Fuel Review post, I’m planning to do a series on various long run nutrition options I’ve tried leading up to my half marathon.  Eating while racing can be tricky for many runners, and since I’m a beginner, I really wanted to be cautious and make sure that when I cross the starting line in June, I have fuel that will energize me but not cause me to puke.

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This week’s fuel of choice was Jelly Belly Sports Beans.  I chose the “Berry” flavor.

What Are They?

Basically, they’re jelly beans.  They look like jelly beans, and taste like jelly beans.  But they also contain carbohydrates, electrolytes, and vitamins B and C.

From the Sport Beans website:

  • Carbohydrates to fuel your body during intense activity
  • Electrolytes (sodium and potassium) vital for maintaining fluid balance
  • Vitamins B1, B2, & B3 to help burn carbohydrates and fat
  • Vitamin C to protect muscles and cells against oxidative damage

The directions say you should fuel up with Sport Beans 30 minutes prior to exercise, and then as needed during exercise.  I ate half the package at about 4 miles into my 9 mile run, and the rest at about 6 miles in.  Once again, I was at locations in my run where I was close to various bathroom options in case I had GI issues.


  • The Berry flavor tastes awesome
  • They gave me a noticeable energy boost, though not as good as the GU (which contained caffeine)
  • Resealable, easy-to-open package
  • No noticeable GI side-effects


  • Holding onto a handful of jelly beans while trying to eat them and run is hard
  • Pretty difficult to chew and swallow while running

I would definitely use Sport Beans again.  It’s awesome that they didn’t mess with my stomach at all, and the excellent flavor is a huge bonus, although I do wish they had a little caffeine in them for an extra boost.

Have you ever tried Sport Beans?  What flavor is your favorite?


14 thoughts on “Fuel Review: Sport Beans

  1. dgobs says:

    I tried Sports Beans once (lemon-lime), but for soccer instead of running. My cousin had given them to me as part of a birthday gift, and – totally unaware of these energy products and how they work – I downed a package right before a game. I remember not feeling like I had any extra energy and wrote them off as a gimmick. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but now that I know more about what they’re meant for I think I’d definitely try them again for a long run. I’m glad to hear that they worked for you!

    • DarlinRae says:

      I think the problem is that a lot of people don’t use them for their intended purpose. It’s hard to notice the impact when you’re only on a quick workout. But having something to eat when you’ve already been running for an hour is HUGE. I was definitely starting to flag when I ate the first handful, and while the difference wasn’t huge, I felt less like my feet weighed a million pounds. Maybe only half a million 😉

      • Amy says:

        I use clif gel, cherry chocolate flavor. I’m currently also using the salted caramel flavor of gu. I’ve tried other fuel (lots of gels, shot blocks, beans, sugar cubes, gatorade), but I’m happiest with a gel flavor I like. Chewing gets to be too much work towards the end of long runs. 🙂

  2. Charlotte says:

    I have tried the beans also. I prefer the GU but on my half marathon back in Apr, I was trying the peanut butter GU for the first time and with a dry throat, it was sticking to the roof of my mouth and throat! I almost choaked on it! lol You are right about it being a bit difficult to hold on to and eat jelly beans. I did notice an energy boost with the GU and not the beans so much. I love your reviews! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 One word of warning, my 80 lb lab got into my stash of sports beans…not good 🙂

    • DarlinRae says:

      Haha oh my goodness! Thankfully we don’t have any doggies to keep out of my stash. I mean, I wish we did, but at least I don’t have to worry about that!

  3. Rachel says:

    I’ve never used anything besides Honey Stingers wafers, which are basically just sugar and help a little, but not much. I need to do more experimenting with long run fueling too, but for some reason I have been embarrassed to buy those things and I don’t know why…

    • DarlinRae says:

      It is kind of weird. I just bought a whole bunch of different ones at once to lessen the awkwardness. Although that probably looked pretty strange too, come to think of it…

  4. SuzLyfe says:

    Sport Beans are my absolute favoriteist, always have been, always will be. I swear my them and ginger chews. I use the extreme ones during races and the regular ones otherwise. I also like an occasional FRS, starburst/fruity tootsie rolls, and butterscotch. I used to like dried mango (the day glo orange drugstore kind) too.

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