Category: food

Chargel: A different kind of sports beverage

I routinely receive media invites to try various sports recovery supplements and almost deleted an invite to try “Chargel Gel Drink” when I noticed an interesting detail.

This recovery drink comes from a Japanese candy company? Of course I have to try it!

Morinaga is famous for its HI-CHEW fruit-flavored chewy candies. I love Hi-Chew candy, and the PR firm telling me about Chargel’s introduction to the US market completely buried this lede.

As I suspected, Chargel (flavored with real fruit juice) tastes amazingly like a less sweet version of Hi-Chew candy with an interesting jelly texture that I’m told has propelled this drink ahead of the popular Pocari Sweat electrolyte drink in the Japanese sports drink market. 18 grams of sugar in each 180-gram pouch is pretty high when compared with other sports drinks, but Morinaga’s fruit-flavored blend of carbohydrates and B vitamins tastes pretty delicious after a hard effort in warm weather.

If you’re familiar with east Asian foods, Chargel’s jelly texture may remind you of the soft, slippery jellies and noodles made from the konjac yam, or the slurpable soft jellies available at some boba tea shops. The jelly is almost identical to Jin Jin Jelly Straws, if you know this popular snack. This texture contributes to a satisfying feeling of satiety without making me feel overfully full while I’m out and about, and it goes down very easily during and after a hard ride.

Chargel comes in sippy pouches and tastes best chilled. So far in the San Francisco Bay Area, I only find Chargel at Japanese markets such as Mitsuwa and Nijiwa. Find Chargel in your area using Chargel’s online store locator, or buy directly from

Disclosure: I received a free sample of this product with no expectation of consideration. It really is pretty delicious.

Boulder Bike Blenders

Boulder Bike Blenders provides the bike, the blender and the ingredients so you can use their bikes to blend a smoothie. They had plenty of business from patrons at the farmers’ market in Longmont, Colorado when I saw them last Saturday.

Boulder Bike Blenders

They travel around to various events. Find where they’ll be next by following Boulder Bike Blenders at their Facebook page.

Bike Hut on Tunitas Creek Road is officially open!

The Bike Hut interior

The Bike Hut on Tunitas Creek Road is a rest stop, picnic area, watering hole and snack bar for cyclists riding up Tunitas Creek Road on the coast of the San Francisco Bay Area. Since the area has little retail and Tunitas is quite a climb, the advent of the facility is welcome news to the local cycling community. We first got wind of the Bike Hut last fall, and now, prodded by the passage of the Tour of California, the Bike Hut is officially open. The proprietors (who also run Potrero Nuevo Farm) are friendly, so stop by and check the place out.