Do you want to minimize the amount of time you spend moving at 0 mph during your race, run, or ride? (Illustration: Brendan Leonard)

How to Make Chip Drink

An overexplained “recipe” for my favorite endurance fuel


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Last Sunday, while running on a trail through the forest, I ate what I estimate was my 1,500th Clif Blok. Or 2,000th, who knows. I do a fair amount of running and biking in situations in which on-the-go calories are useful, and Clif Bloks just work for me. They don’t blow my mind; I don’t find them so irresistible that I grab a sleeve to munch on while watching Ted Lasso; they just deliver calories and caffeine and don’t mess with my stomach. I buy them in bulk and use them during long runs and races, and they’re fine.

Alas, I cannot live on Clif Bloks alone, so I’ve experimented with lots of other foods: burritos, pizza, cookies, stroopwafels, leftover Halloween candy handed to me by spectators during the New York City Marathon, Cheez-Its, Skittles, Coke, sports drinks, and several rice- ball recipes. All have their pros and cons. One food I find myself going back to is something that takes literally seconds to prepare: chip drink. Chip drink, of course, is a colloquialism that’s been used to refer to the tiny bits of potato chips left in the bottom of the bag after all the larger chips have been eaten, which chip eaters then, obviously, tip to their lips and “drink.”

Fragments of potato chips also come in handy when one is partaking in an athletic endeavor in which efficient ingestion of calories is necessary. Could you stand off to the side of the trail or road during a race or bike ride and in a leisurely manner eat full-size potato chips, one by one? Of course you could. It just depends on your priorities. Do you want to minimize the amount of time you spend moving at 0 miles per hour during your race, run, or ride? Then I recommend drinking potato chips, a practice that enables you to ingest about 200 calories (depending on which chips you eat) in a matter of a few seconds. Also: electrolytes. I have prepared an overly elaborate illustrated guide to enable you to make your own chip drink at home.

You might scroll through this and say, “All you did was smash up some potato chips! I could have done that.” Well, you’re absolutely fucking correct, Internet Guy With An Opinion—you can do it, and you should.

[Full disclosure: Kettle Chips did not provide funding or product for this post or my chip habit, and, as far as I know, is not aware of my existence.]

Kettle brand potato chips
(All illustrations: Brendan Leonard)
Cutting open the bag of chips
Smashing the bottom of the bag with your fist
Rolling the top of the bag down
Taping the bag shut
Stow bag in pocket/vest/etc while running/cycling/etc
Un-tape and unroll bag
Tape top of the bag togather, leaving an opening on both sides
Finished chip drink
Drink the chips

Here’s an obviously unnecessary video of the entire process, for further illustration:

Brendan Leonard’s new book, I Hate Running and You Can Too, is available now.