I’m Back! And a Fuel Review: Clif Shot Bloks

Hello, dear friends!  Did you miss me?  I know I missed you!  I fully intended to post at least once while I was away, but I was just having way too much fun.  Due to vacation, I missed my usual Manic Monday post, and because I want to do a vacation recap, I won’t be doing a Friday Free For All this week either.  I know, crazy talk!  I’m hoping that after this week I’ll be able to get back on track a little bit.  I have a LOT of catch up reading and commenting to do!

My vacation this year was shorter than usual–I didn’t get to stay a full week.  As a result, I didn’t get to do some of the things I usually do while on the Cape.  Therefore, I’m going to be doing not one, but TWO vacation posts!  Many of you expressed an interest in Cape Cod as a vacation spot, so I thought it would be cool to first give a breakdown of what I actually did this time, and then the second post will be a quick recap of the fun things I wish I had time to do because they’re awesome.

And now, down to business.  This is a post I intended to get up while I was away, but it just didn’t work out.  The good news is, though, I was actually able to try two different flavors of this fuel, so I feel like I can give a really fair assessment.

As part of my half marathon training, I’m trying lots of different long run fuel options in order to find what works best for me before my first half marathon.  So far I’ve tried Gu in Vanilla Bean and Jelly Belly Sport Beans in Berry.

Last week’s long run fuel of choice was Margarita flavored Clif Shot Bloks.

Shot Bloks

What are they?

From the Clif website:

CLIF SHOT BLOKS are the latest nutrition option for endurance athletes. SHOT Bloks come in chewable, 33 calorie cubes, making it easy to customize and track caloric and electrolyte intake during long outings and races.

Apparently, the Margarita flavor has 3 times the sodium, to “ward off muscle cramps.”  I used these on my 8 mile run last Sunday.  It was a hot, sunny day, so I knew I would need a little something to get me through, and these “extra salty” Bloks seemed like a good idea to help with salt replacement, since I was sure to be a sweaty beast.  The Margarita flavor doesn’t contain caffeine.

Pros:

  • I think they taste pretty ok.  The salt and citrus is definitely reminiscent of a margarita, but it was almost too salty.
  • Easy to chew and swallow

Cons:

  • Horrible packaging.  There’s no zipper/reseal action, so if you need to put the package back in a pocket or pouch, you’ll end up with stickies everywhere.  I actually transferred them to a plastic baggie before I left the house.
  • Melty in hot weather.  The bloks got super sticky and melty in the pouch of my hydration belt, and I had to come to a complete stop to in order to pull them out of the baggie without getting it all over my hands.
  • No noticeable effect.  With other fuels that I’ve tried, I definitely got a little boost, but I didn’t really feel any different after eating these.  I ate the first three at mile 4 and the other three at mile 6, but I felt equally hot, tired and sluggish the whole run.

This past weekend while I was on the Cape, I tried the Berry flavor for my 8 mile run, and once again, I was underwhelmed.  While they were tasty, and this flavor apparently had caffeine in them, I didn’t notice any extra energy or get  any sort of “kick” like I did with the Sport Beans or Gu.  I most likely will not purchase Shot Bloks again, but I’d like to try the Clif Shot Gel to see if it’s any better.

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “I’m Back! And a Fuel Review: Clif Shot Bloks

  1. dgobs says:

    Yay, welcome back! I think not blogging because you were having too much fun is a sign of a good vacation! 🙂

    Thanks for the Shot Bloks review. I bought a pack randomly from a sporting goods store, just because they looked yummy (and they were… but I forget which flavor) and figured I’d try them again someday when I was testing out fuel. I didn’t even think of the packaging/melty-ness issues. Maybe they’re more of a cool weather fuel? Except for the fact that they don’t really work… disappointing!

    • DarlinRae says:

      It was disappointing, but oh well. I bought them on sale so I wasn’t too put out. Although I’m sure my runs would have been better with better fuel!

  2. Susie @ SuzLyfe says:

    Welcome back my friend! I missed you madly. I got some shot blocks at an expo a while back (I think) but I’ve never used them because the stats on them didn’t really impress me that much, and plus they looked…gag-worthy with regards to size. I’ll take my Jelly beans and candy, thanks!
    Can’t wait to hear some more about your vacay!

  3. Katherine says:

    Hi! I have to say I agree with your assessment of these. I used to use them because I couldn’t handle Gu or other gels, but they did get melty in my pocket and I hated the packaging. Conversely, in cold weather when I had them in a belt that wasn’t making any contact with my skin, they got cold and harder to eat … and I personally think that because of their size, they’re a bit hard to eat anyway. I’ve pretty much abandoned these as I’ve finally found a flavor of Gu that I like, and now on longer runs when I want something chewy, I just stick to gummi bears!

  4. piratebobcat says:

    glad you had a good vacay! I tried those blocks once and hated em – mostly cause it took so much effort to chew them. I prefer something I can slurp down easily. And margarita flavored? That might make me want to leave the course and hit the bar!

    • DarlinRae says:

      I definitely think if it had been any cooler, they would have been much more challenging to chew. And yeah, the margarita flavor was tough. Good thing I got to have some real margaritas on Monday 😀

  5. thesecretlifecoachofdc says:

    I’m so sad you didn’t like shot bloks! I’ve had them twice and enjoyed them each time, but that’s why there are so many different types of fuel out there–because everyone is different! I have only had the Black Cherry kind and I LOVE it, but I’m a cherry kind of person. I definitely agree with you about the packaging…..but I wasn’t nearly as annoyed with these as I get with gu when it gets all over my hands. 🙂

  6. irishrunnerchick says:

    Can’t wait to read about the vacay! I won something like these – but not made by Clif – but haven’t tried them during a run yet. I like the chocolate and salt caramel flavor Gu’s.

  7. txa1265 says:

    OK, just catching up – too bad about the blocks – not surprising they are melty with the heat … but ugh. I know with Gu or Honey Stinger gels I can feel them helping out. Too bad … well, now on to your Cape Post part 1 (been waiting for that! 🙂

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