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