How Many Candy Bars = One Gel? (Or: How to Get the Most From Your Kid’s Candy Bucket on Your Long Run This Weekend)

by Carilyn on November 1, 2012

(Stolen From My Kids’ Candy Stash After They Left For School This Morning)

While I have absolutely no Halloween candy left despite the fact that not a single Trick Or Treater came to my door last night (and no, those are NOT candy wrappers under my pillow), I know some of you with more willpower than I have a lot of left over M&Ms, Milky Ways and Butterfingers (remind me not to go out to eat with you because you’d probably order a salad. Or tofu. Or a tofu salad!) and are wondering what to do with it. Before you give it to your kids, make a giant Blizzard, or God forbid, throw it away, might I suggest you stash it for your next few long runs.

Now that it is finally cool outside, we can happily resume taking real chocolate on our 20 milers rather than chocolate flavored gels (just thinking about eating another Chocolate Outrage gel makes me want to hurl – and we all know I do that well. And often.). And because many of you are probably suffering from a post-Halloween sugar hangover (not me, I’m still flying high – amazing how long 3 bags of Butterfingers will keep you going!), I thought I’d use my extra energy to break down what you need to know about using your leftover Halloween candy (or your kids’ while they’re at school) for run nutrition.

First, you need to know how many grams of carbs you should ingest per hour of running. If you don’t already know this, a simple formula, set forth by Scott Jurek, is a good place to start:

(Body weight divided by 2.2) x 1.0 = grams of carbohydrates per hour

Scott was my first ultra coach, and the one who helped me make my first National Team, so I’m a big fan of his nutritional expertise. This formula seems to be widely followed, and will give you a pretty good starting point for you to develop your own formula of how many candy bars you should consume per hour to help you get through your run.

Now, after you’ve done the sort-of complicated math above (eat a Milky Way if you need to), here’s a breakdown of the carb counts in the most popular Halloween size candy:

Name               (weight)           Carb count =

Reese’s                      (21g)                       Carbs = 12g

100 Grand              (21g)                       Carbs= 15g

Almond Joy         (15g)                       Carbs = 10g

Butterfinger        (18g)                       Carbs = 14g

Kit Kat                      (14g)                        Carbs = 9g

Milky Way             (17g)                       Carbs = 12g

Snickers                  (17g)                      Carbs = 10g

Twix                          (10g)                       Carbs = 7g

Milk Duds              (12g)                       Carbs = 9g

Skittles                    (20g)                       Carbs = 18g

M&Ms                       (18g)                        Carbs = 12g

Peanut M&Ms      (18g)                       Carbs = 11g

Pay Day                    (19g)                       Carbs = 10g

Mr. Goodbar         (18g)                       Carbs = 9g

Nestle Crunch    (10g)                        Carbs = 7g

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (14g) Carbs = 8g

3 Musketeers      (15g)                         Carbs = 11g

Tootsie Rolls      (small)                      Carbs = 10g

Tootsie Pop                                             Carbs =15 g

Now I know this chart is all wiggly jiggly, but I don’t know how to make a spreadsheet, or a graph, or a real chart, so I had to just type it in to WordPress. This is how it came out, and I’ve eaten too much sugar to have the patience to fix it. But, despite the poor quality of my secretarial skills, I am an expert on chocolate (over)consumption, so I hope this chart helps you put those little Milky Ways to use for your running improvement!


Happy Running!



SteveQ November 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

The chart is higgledy-piggledy. “Wiggly jiggly” is how you get after eating everything on the chart.

Carilyn November 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Ha ha! I definitely feel like that!

Char November 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I honestly think that Australia should adopt Halloween into it’s holiday calendar. I’m all for a holiday where sugar and chocolate is the main focus.

Carilyn November 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

Wow! I didn’t know y’all didn’t celebrate Halloween. That is a definite “mandatory” holiday! 🙂

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