In 2012, I trained for and completed my first marathon, though my time was not as fast as I had hoped. A combination of heat and gastrointestinal issues slowed my pace for the last several miles. At the time, I was relying on standard gels and sports drink to help fuel my athletic endeavors, but after my horrible experience during that first marathon, I went in search of better options.
While I won’t be breaking any records or making any Olympic teams any time soon, I did want to improve my performance, so I started doing some research, cleaning up my diet, and experimenting with how I could fuel in a way that wouldn’t upset my system. Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen featured the ultra-running Tarahumara Indians and put chia seeds on my radar for the first time. Shortly after that, a friend sent me some information about a new company putting out a better gel that included chia seeds – Huma!
Since I started training and racing with Huma, I have not suffered the same gastrointestinal distress that plagued me during that first marathon. I feel great knowing that Huma contains ingredients I can actually pronounce and that I am supporting a Nashville-based, veteran-owned company. When I joined Tennessee Women’s Cycling Project, I was thrilled to see that Huma was a sponsor, especially since it was a product I already used and loved.
Over time, Huma has expanded their product line, adding flavors, caffeine, and a Huma Plus line that includes coconut water for electrolytes. Personally, I’m a fan of the fruit flavors, particularly lemonade and the Huma Plus strawberry lemonade. Whether I’m on my bike or on foot, chances are I’ve got a Huma gel with me. If you’re looking for a more natural fueling option with the same convenience of a gel, give Huma a try!