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.