Beans that improve your running? This sounds like something a lad called Jack would swap his cow for on the way to market. However, you don’t need to own a cow, or revert to the barter system in order to get your hands on the Jelly Belly Sports beans, though you will need to shell out a guinea or two!
You can choose from a wide selection of flavours, with the Orange and Assorted being tested / tasted in this review. They really appeal to my sweet tooth, with the orange being tangy and the Mixed having a decent selection from the Orange, Lemon and Lime, Cherry and Fruit Punch. You’d want to try them all out once you’ve started.
Each 28g bag packs 100 calories and provides a selection of vitamins and minerals, though you’ll need to check the pack for full details. There’s an Extreme version of the beans that also provides a caffeine kick. I drink too much coffee during the day as it is, so decided against trying them out as I also like to sleep at night. Recommended usage is one bag half an hour before activity and one every 45 minutes during activity.
The bag is handy as you don’t have to eat them all at once. For those of us with a little less restraint, this isn’t particularly useful. When I did manage not to wolf them all down in one, the bag is a little small to get a few out, and a bit fiddly. Solution? Eat them all in one go and be done with it.
It’s recommended that you take these with water, which is a major problem for me. I only need water for runs that approach two hours, and even then I’m unlikely to drink it until I’ve stopped. I’ve taken these without water and I’m alive so far, so presumably you just need to make sure you’re properly hydrated. I run after work, and am usually well hydrated by then.
Overall, they’re tasty enough but I can’t help but think that they’re ultimately a bit too expensive compared to your usual sugary jelly bean or baby. There may be some added goodness if you’re out for an exceptionally long run that you can’t get from sugar fixes alone, but for a stock long run these really are a tasty treat as opposed to a necessity.