As far as exercise supplements go, there are a bazillion to choose from. Everybody has different needs, and tastes, what may work great for one, might be horrible for another, you have to experiment, try until you find what works best for you.
That being said, I’ve landed on the Honey Stinger brand, utilizing a few of their different products to keep myself pedaling, or swimming, those longer distances. I think an important point with any exercise supplement is to use only what you need, which can be tricky, there’s probably a fine balance between being under-fed for performance, and consuming in excess, negating your exercise with extra calories and sodium, or giving yourself an upset stomach, prematurely ending your activity. Lately I’ve been trying to move towards the less is more thinking for anything but the 40+ mile rides.
There are a lot of other great brands out there, however, to me, these are the most palatable. I stay away from the caffeinated supplements (Honey Stinger has some caffeinated options as well) , of any brand, I get enough shakes as it is, and caffeine in any form besides my morning coffee or tea, makes me feel gross.
About a year ago, I discovered the The Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews, and they quickly became my favorite. I’ve enjoyed all of their flavors (well, I haven’t tried the caffeine varieties), and recently have moved to using the Fruit Smoothie flavor, as it has a mix of the other flavors included in each package.
The Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews, Fruit Smoothie flavor:
Honey Stinger Gold Energy Gel (review post here):
The Honey Stinger Waffle (all flavors are good):
I've tried many different energy chews, and in my opinion, the Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are the best tasting chews on the market. I can't speak too much to overall performance gains, that's too subjective, but I feel they help sustain my energy levels while pedaling my trike and swimming laps.