The Casual Runner

Carb Boom Energy Gels

Product Review: Boom Nutrition’s Carb Boom Gels
Finding the Tastiest Way to Fuel Up for Casual Running Adventure.

This is the latest installment in the Casual Runner Team’s look at products that can help you in your own Casual Running journey. For a look at our other product reviews, just click here

Energy gels are a very popular form of in-run fueling.  They are designed to be readily available carbs to help you keep your energy levels high and your muscles pumping during endurance races. We are continuing our search for great tasting fueling options. For this we assembled our crack panel of experts. You already know Candace, Tracy, and Mike, but we decided to include Tracy’s fiance Tim on this panel because, well, he would have been sad had we had all of the fun without him. We all tasted an assortment of flavors of Carb Boom Energy Gels and shared our…often unfiltered…thoughts.

Keep in mind, while these taste tests were conducted during a race weekend, we did them while sitting in the comfort of an apartment. Why? Well, it would have been hard to keep track of everyone’s thoughts while running – even we do have our limits. More importantly, you never want to try anything new or be surprised by a flavor (especially if its not to your liking) while in the middle of a race. In the end, we learned that this experiment was all about finding the flavor that fits your particular taste palate. Here are the results.


The Flavor Line Up

For this taste test we would each be sampling the same 6 flavors: Grape Pomegranate, Apple Cinnamon, Raspberry, Vanilla Orange, Strawberry Kiwi, and Banana Peach. As you can see, Boom Nutrition offers a flavor lineup that is distinctly different from the typical gel flavors that many runners may find.

The Panel Weighs-In

Grape Pomegranate

Tracy did not hold back, saying that this tasted like “ruined childhood” (she is ever the poet) and that it would taste good in a smoothie but not so much mid-race. Candace found it to be like the skin of a grape, which Tracy agreed was a grape description. (Groan!). Tim found it to be “not bueno.” Mike, on the other hand, said that it was not as bad as he thought it would be, as he was initially totally turned off by the pomegranate name.


Apple Cinnamon

Mike thought that it tasted like the inside of a McDonald’s apple pie but Candace found it more like apple cider. Tim cautions you not to smell it (finding the smell reminiscent of nursing home applesauce). Fortunately, he said the taste was far better than the smell. Tracy could not get by the consistency, which she did not find appealing.


Tim found the flavor to be as-advertised, “just like raspberries.” Candace warned runners not to smell this one, and Tracy agreed, though she was significantly less charitable about the aroma. Mike found it to be very tart, which led him to question whether he could run while eating something so tart.

Vanilla Orange

Essentially, the Team concluded that this one was needs a new name! Tracy said “don’t be fooled by the name, its way better than I expected it to be.” Mike compared the taste to a creamsickle, while Candace said that “this is really good, iit tastes like a Fred Flintstone pushpop” and that she would use it in a race. Tim loved that it had caffeine (25mg) and declared that he would “definitely use this in a race as it is not overly sweet” while having “a nice taste.”

Strawberry Kiwi

Tim: “Nope. Liked it at first, but then, nope.” Candace said “definitely not.” Tracy said it tasted like “cardboardy styrofoam.” Mike found it to be way too sweet.

Banana Peach

Candace did not say that it tasted like baby food, instead she declared it to be baby food. Tim found the flavor to be overpowering and way too tart. Tracy declared that “we really need to stop smelling these things.” Mike agreed, but also found it to be too strong of a flavor to use during a run.


Ranking the Flavors

Of course we had to vote on the flavors. We each ranked them 1 to 6, with 1 being best and the lowest total score being declared the winner:

#6) Grape Pomegranate, 24 points: 6 (Candace), 6 (Tracy), 6 (Tim), 6 (Mike)

#5) Banana Peach, 18 points : 5 (Candace), 4 (Tracy), 5 (Tim), 4 (Mike)

#4) Strawberry Kiwi, 16 points: 4 (Candace), 5 (Tracy), 4 (Tim), 3 (Mike)

#3) Raspberry, 14 points: 3 (Candace), 3 (Tracy), 3 (Tim), 5 (Mike)

#2) Apple Cinnamon, 8 points: 2 (Candace), 2 (Tracy), 2 (Tim), 2 (Mike)

#1) Vanilla Orange, 4 points: 1 (Candace), 1 (Tracy), 1 (Tim), 1 (Mike)

Well, there you have it. As you can see, while we had 2 clear runaway favorites, the choice of gel flavor really does come down to personal taste. We hope we gave you something to chew on as you look for the best tasting flavors for your race day!

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!