by Diane Spicer
In this RunGum review, you'll find out whether or not this caffeinated gum is useful for you during a tough hike.
Hiking For Her was asked if a sample of this caffeinated gum for review purposes would be welcome.
And because HFH is always focused on finding the best stuff for your trail time, the answer was yes.
So three free packets of gum found their way into the Hiking For Her review queue.
RunGum is the brain child of Nick Symmonds (competitive athlete) and Sam Lapray (coach), two men who know a few things about how to coax the best performance from the human body.
There is no affiliate relationship between RunGum and HFH, and no money was paid for this review.
In other words, there is no financial incentive to write these words.
All of the photos and opinions in this RunGum review belong to Hiking For Her.
Caffeine is a stimulant to the human nervous system.
And humans have known that for a long, long time.
One piece of RunGum contains the same amount of caffeine (50mg) as a typical serving of a cola beverage.
Chew two pieces (the number found in one package), and you've ingested the amount of caffeine you get in your 8 ounces of morning coffee or an energy drink.
Energy gum can be a useful tool for outdoor enthusiasts for these reasons:
That all sounds great!
But how does it taste?
It's easy to imagine what mint and cinnamon gum taste like, but the fruit option was intriguing.
So that's what I popped into my mouth.
The gum tablets are about average size for a piece of gum, and are rounded.
Chewing starts out a bit crunchy, then softens up.
The taste of the gum really got my attention, and for a logical reason: caffeine is perceived as bitter by human taste buds.
However, the bitterness did not last more than a few chews.
The tropical fruit flavoring was not able to overpower the bitterness. In my opinion, it wasn't exactly a tasty experiernce, but did have a slight sweetness.
You have three flavor options, so it might take a bit of trial and error to settle on your preferred flavor.
And really, taste is not the point of chewing this gum!
Cautious by nature, I chewed only one tablet mid-morning and monitored my reactions to it over the next few hours.
I can report a definite boost in my energy level.
What I didn't expect was how it improved my mental focus by a noticeable margin.
I can predict several scenarios when this additional energy and focus would be handy on the trail:
You can probably think of more scenarios from your own hiking career when a quick energy boost would have been welcome.
This energy gum earns its name! But it's up to you to decide when you should be using it.
The highest level of RunGum consumption recommended on the package is eight pieces a day.
Humans are wired to respond quickly to stimulants like caffeine.
Fair enough. That's why this gum is billed as an "energy" supplement to amp up your appetite for trail work.
But there are other ways to enhance an endurance athlete's performance.
Let's look at two more ingredients in RunGum from the angle of enhancing your trail performance.
B vitamins are essential for energy production at the cellular level.
RunGum contains both B12 (as cyanocobalamin) and B6 (as pyridoxine HCl).
When there are plentiful amounts of these water soluble vitamins available, your body can be efficient in sustaining your energy levels.
The daily values for someone ingesting 2,000 calories per day (low for a backpacker) in one piece of gum include:
These percentages will jump up with each package of gum that you chew, but because these vitamins are water soluble, they will not accumulate inside your body.
What you don't use will be disposed of in bright yellow urine.
What the heck is that?
It's just one of many amino acids, the building blocks of protein molecules in your body.
And it's commonly found in the human food supply.
But this amino acid is a little different than most of the others.
Why might a hiker be interested in supplementing taurine?
The answer lies in regulation of water and mineral balance.
Taurine is also known as an antioxidant, protecting your cells from the harsh effects of molecular oxygen (free radicals).
The amount of taurine per tablet was not disclosed on the package, and there are no legal requirements to do so.
Out of curiosity, I looked up how much taurine is recommended as safe for human consumption:
So a little goes a long way!
Caffeine is not a great thing to put into your body in large amounts if you're pregnant or nursing, due to its unknown effects on fetal development and babies.
And it's going to cause jitters in your kids, something you don't want to deal with in a tent or on the trail.
If you're taking prescription medications, you might have unexpected reactions to this combination of caffeine and taurine.
There is a helpful warning on each package to remind everyone that caffeine is not a benign substance.
Older hikers (or anyone) with dental issues might find this gum's compressed formulation a bit too hard to chew, especially at cooler temperatures.
One more category of hikers might take exception to RunGum's ingredients: food purists.
Bottom line on the usefulness of this energy gum for hikers:
Get your B vitamins and amino acids from good trail food.
Enjoy a caffeinated beverage with
breakfast or lunch for a pick-me-up that also delivers water to your
But when you need a quick jolt of energy during a hike without stopping for food or hydration, a few pieces of RunGum might be the answer.
What makes RunGum so handy for hikers is the ability to carry a supply on a multi-day hiking trip without sacrificing a lot of room or weight in your backpack.
And while I wouldn't recommend that you rely upon this gum every day for an energy boost, I do see where it can be useful on a long day when you've still got several miles to go but you're flagging a bit.
Try all three flavors to find the one that appeals to your taste buds.
As always, Hiking For Her welcomes questions about all things hiking, so don't hesitate to contact me regarding anything you're wondering about in this RunGum review or elsewhere on this website.
And please do let me know when and how you've used this energy gum during a hike.
I'm all about learning new tips and tricks to share with hikers :)
Run Gum Review