- This Chia Energy Gel Completely Changed How I Fuel for Marathons
- Review : HUMA CHIA Energy Gel
- Chia Energy Gel
- DO YOU WANT TO LOSE 5+ POUNDS IN 7 DAYS?
- Red Tart Cherry and Chia Seed Energy Gel
- Marathoners Can Save Big With These Running Gel and Energy Ball Recipes
- Date Energy Balls
- Ready-Made Options
- Proper Fueling
- Flavor of Huma Gel
- What’s in Huma Gels?
- Consistency of Huma Gel
- Feedback from the others
- How to order Huma Gels.
- Looking for Product Reviews?
- Huma PLUS – Chia Energy Gel – Variety
This Chia Energy Gel Completely Changed How I Fuel for Marathons
Runners are beasts.
We gulp hydration from tiny paper cups, sweat through our shirts, grunt at passing cyclists. We run in packs. We attack finish lines. And yes, we definitely need fuel to keep going.
Imagine you’re slogging through mile eight or 18, lasered in on your goal-a PR or that post-run bagel-but your legs are screaming. So you pull out a little package from your fancy runner’s utility belt, rip off the top, and squirt some liquefied, possibly caffeinated, definitely squishy substance into your panting mouth.
Aah, sugar. Aah, carbs. Aah, applesauce? Your brain loves it but your muscles love it more. A minute or two later, a wave of energy flows through you. Maybe I can go a little faster, you think. And so you do. (Video: Is It Baby Food or Runner’s Goo?)
That’s why runners are often obsessed with fuel. Everyone has an opinion because everyone wants an edge. Drop in on a group long run and you’ll hear debates over Chocolate Gu versus Honey Stinger Waffles, or how a new gel flavor sent someone straight to the Porta-Potty. Like I said, we’re beasts, and we’re very particular.
But above all this chatter, you might hear a frantic plea: “Have you tried Hüma? You need to try Hüma. Do you want a Hüma?”
That person is me. I’ve become a maniacal unofficial spokeswoman and part-time dealer for this weird gooey chia-based gel, and I don’t care who knows it. Hüma has gotten me through marathons, half marathons, and shorter races where I probably didn’t need any fuel but took some anyway because they taste so damn good. That’s probably the most shocking fact of all: They actually taste good. Kinda like liquefied fruit snacks. And they go down easy-not too sugary-sweet, and without that chemical taste that can plague other gels.
When I first started running, I didn’t know you needed to fuel at all. But yes, there’s some science involved. Your muscles can only store so much glycogen, so if you’re running longer than an hour, you’ll benefit from some juicy extra carbs.
Of course, everyone should try to find what works best for their own bodies, but I’m smug enough to think that eventually you’ll come running over to Hüma. They all do.
Our love affair began on July 5, 2015, the day I blindly ordered a 12-pack box on Amazon after reading hundreds of reviews of every gummy-chewy-salty runner snack. (Runners love reading reviews.) I was looking for a hit of something new after a Caramel Macchiato Gu violently rumbled my stomach. Maybe it wasn’t the Gu’s fault. Maybe my pre-run breakfast was to blame, or I was just feeling off. The reason doesn’t matter-once fuel turns on you, you turn your back on it.
I had a brief affair with chews, too, and trained for a marathon carrying around a little plastic baggie filled with these watermelon-flavored cubes. They were tasty until they started to sweat under the sun. Then they got sticky. Plus, I found that the energy it takes to, well, chew the chews was better spent trying to stay upright. Or keep moving my feet. Or basically to do anything else. If I wanted a meal, I’d head straight to brunch. (Which I always do.)
So the Hüma seemed like the perfect medium. Plus, I was suckered in by the bright packaging, “100% all-natural” promise (whatever that means), and the cute umlaut over the “u.”
Then I actually tasted them. And they tasted like real fruit! Apples & Cinnamon, which tastes like the applesauce you ate when you were a kid, is 100 calories with 22 grams of carbs and 14 grams of sugar and is made of apple purée, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, powdered chia seeds, sea salt, citric acid, and cinnamon. Nothing too scary about that. They’re also vegan and gluten-free.
Other flavors have 21 to 25 grams of carbs, and the Cafe Mocha flavor has powdered coffee and a double shot of caffeine. Chocolate has a caffeine boost, too. Strawberry is their biggest seller. It won’t replace a fresh pint of the real thing during summer, but there’s something sweet about gulping down that familiar berry flavor while training in the middle of a snowy winter. On very hot days, I grab Strawberry Lemonade for the added electrolytes, or else my skin turns to a salt lick.
A peek through my Gmail shows that over the years I’ve sent notes to friends with subject lines like “those gels I mentioned!” “running fuel!!!” and one to a new running friend who wanted advice on fueling that just says ominously: “Order it. Or else.” There’s even a to-do reminder: “bring Charlotte a Hüma Monday.” That’s how important it was-I wrote myself a note in the middle of a run to bring my runner friend a sample. Like I said, I’m a pusher. (And no, I don’t work for them.)
The truth is, I just want every other runner to find what works for them. Friends praise dates with peanut butter, Skratch Fruit Drops, Black Cherry Clif Shot Bloks. Walk into a running store and you’ll find dozens of strangely named pieces of quasi-food to put in your body.
But runners like repetition. There’s a reason we head to the same routes or stick with the same shoe model year after year. There’s comfort in familiarity and in controlling our surroundings, and that extends to the thoughts we think or what we put into our bodies. That’s why it’s so thrilling to find something that works, something that doesn’t fail you like your feet might during a long run or your pessimistic brain might…also during a long run. Getting a little help along the way doesn’t hurt. In fact, it might even make you more hüman.
- By By Kara Cutruzzula
Review : HUMA CHIA Energy Gel
I hadn’t heard of HUMA gels prior to this test which is a little surprising as they have been around since 2012. After a bit of reading I discovered the inspiration for the creation of the brand came from a US soldier working in Iraq. After reading a book on the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico he discovered that they used natural chia seed blend as fuel during 100+ mile endurance running events. He worked out that if he could harness this into a marketable product he might have something. The Huma brand was born.
I decided to use the gels in a half marathon, not something I would normally need in a race this short but a protocol I have used many times in training for ironman races, test the nutrition as much as possible under multiple levels of stress.
So I picked 3 of the 4 flavours for the run which happened to be Strawberries, Apple and Cinnamon and finally Blueberries. I didn’t take much notice of the flavours before I started as my stomach is pretty bullet proof and I wasn’t worried about GI distress.
Huma products utilise natural sugars, Cane Sugar and Brown Rice Syrup, to create the 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose, well known to increase the absorption in the body. Achieving this mechanism for delivery without the use of maltodextrin increases the advertised sugar content compared to other gels but uses real food alternatives and avoids confusion over what is and what isn’t listed as a sugar.
During the race the gel packs were easy to open on the move and were sized just right to fit in my hand so that one squeeze pretty much got all of the contents out first time.
First was the strawberries gel, a pleasant surprise, it was pretty much the best tasting gel I have tried, ever ! It was like strawberry jam with soft bits mixed in, no lingering after taste and once finished I really had to ask myself if that was a real gel. I’ve raced ironman level for over 13 years and I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a gel. I have favourites that I use and I can easily swallow but it’s a function of racing, never a pleasure. This was different.
The next 2 gels were similarly tasty, in fact, the blueberry gel was even better, again a runny jam like consistency. The texture and taste were excellent with no after taste once I had washed it down with water. My running partner was still laughing at me as I commentated during the run. Finally the apple and cinnamon, again I wasn’t disappointed, reminded me of apple pie filling.
Not a beat skipped during the run, the gels kept away any thoughts of nutrition deficiency and not having to worry about ill tasting nutrition or running to the toilet with GI issues made the race fly by. Finding a gel that has no added sugars, tastes great, is gluten free (not that I need this) and delivers 22grams of carbs adds up to a nice package.
The recommended intake is 1 gel every 30-45 minutes for exercise over 2 hours but I would work this out myself based on my requirements, having the same level of carbs as most of the leading brands shouldn’t make this too hard to switch or at least compare.
My current triathlon racing strategy is to decant gels into a gel bottle to use on the bike, the consistency of the Huma gels would suit this strategy fine and I would have no issue using these on the bike leg during a triathlon.
Overall, I found the gels tasty, easy to eat, great consistency and texture. The pack was easy to open and appropriate size for carrying.
Chia Energy Gel
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RED TART CHERRY AND CHIA SEED ENERGY GEL RECIPE
Replace those sugary and artificially flavored store bought energy gels with your own easy to make homemade Red Tart Cherry and Chia Seed Energy Gel made in a your blender! This recipe is an easy and healthy way to pack in the energy you need for a great run, ride or workout! Chia seeds are packed with energy and help keep you hydrated while the tart cherry provides anti inflammatory properties, a perfect combination for pre workout or on the go nutrition. Blend up a batch, stick them in plastic baggies, freeze, and pull one out before your next sweat session! This natural cherry and chia seed energy gel recipe is a favorite here at Blender Babes.
Be sure to join our community for more healthy blender recipes. If you try this one at home, share your rating with us below.
Red Tart Cherry and Chia Seed Energy Gel
- 1/2 cup frozen tart cherries
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
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- Add orange juice and cherries to your blender jar.
- For Blendtec: Use SPEED 10 and blend 10 seconds then press PULSE or “X” to stop.
- For Vitamix: Start on speed 1, turn machine on and increase to speed 10 then flip to high. Blend for 10 seconds then turn off.
- Add in chia seeds and salt. (It will be slightly foamy on top). Let chia mixture sit for 5 minutes, then give a good stir. Let sit for another 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.
- Put blender jar back on it’s base and add honey.
- For Blendtec and Vitamix, use SPEED 5 until combined, approx. 5-10 seconds. It should be thick.
- Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup of gel into 5 individual snack size plastic baggies.
- Freeze until the night before a run or workout. Place in fridge to thaw & Enjoy before or during your workout!
- All done! Enjoy!! Now take a photo, rate it, and share your accomplishments! 🙂 Tag @BlenderBabes & #BlenderBabes
Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 1.5g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 60mg
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HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHERRIES
The cherry is the smallest member of the stone fruit family, which includes plums, apricots, nectarines, and peaches. Cherries are typically classified as either sweet or tart. Sweet cherries include Bing cherries, Lambert cherries, Rainier cherries and are mainly grown in Washington, Oregon and Idaho and tart cherries include the Montmorency and Balaton varieties which are produced primarily in Michigan.
Tart cherry contains powerful antioxidants that can help in areas such as joint health, cardiovascular health, and overall health benefit. Tart cherries are used for conditions involving inflammation and pain, such as arthritis, gout, muscle pain, back pain, diabetes, and neurogenerative diseases. Both Balaton and Montmorency tart cherries contain relatively high levels of the antioxidant melatonin compared to other foods, which can help you get a better night’s sleep.
Ryan is a Registered Dietitian (RD) living in Oklahoma City. She has a passion for helping others live a healthier and more delicious life. She believes that nutrition doesn’t have to be tasteless or boring! Her personal diet philosophy is to eat as many unprocessed whole foods as possible: whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and appropriate portions of meat (just not everyday). She knows when to indulge, too, but chooses wisely, like a true Blender Babe!
Marathoners Can Save Big With These Running Gel and Energy Ball Recipes
Training for and running long-distance races isn’t just exhausting — it can also be expensive.
Aside from race fees and running gear, you have to consider the cost of fuel. Splurging on gels, chews and electrolyte powder from a running or fitness store can put a real strain on your wallet.
To give you an idea of how much I spent on fuel while training for my last marathon, I did some math — something I try to do as infrequently as possible — and I was shocked by the numbers.
My fuel of choice was Huma Chia Energy Gel. If you buy it directly from the website, you’d pay $56 for a box of 24 gels, which works out to about $2.33 per gel.
In addition to the Huma, I also added Tailwind Caffeinated Endurance Fuel to my water. A bag of Tailwind costs $38.99 on the manufacturer’s site. That bag is good for 50 servings, which comes out to 78 cents per serving.
On a 20-mile run, I typically had about three servings of Tailwind and three of the Huma Chia Energy Gels. That meant I was spending around $9.33 to fuel a 20-mile run.
Once I realized how much I was spending on pre-made fuel, I decided to look into making my own versions to take on the run. The following recipes helped fuel me on runs longer than 10 miles and cost a fraction of the price.
Date Energy Balls
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder
There are literally hundreds of recipes online for date energy balls. Whether you like coconut, chocolate chips or peanut butter, chances are you’ll find a recipe you love. I’ve tried a few of them, but for running, I’ve found keeping it simple is best.
For my date energy balls, I throw approximately 15 medjool dates and ¾ cup of sunflower seeds into a food processor and pulse until everything looks gooey and delicious.
I roll the mixture into small balls and place them on a tray or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then freeze them. Once frozen, I pop them in a zip-top bag and throw them back in the freezer.
I’ll often eat these as a snack before an early morning weekday run or take a few with me on a longer run to keep my energy levels up. You can eat them frozen, but if you prefer them slightly thawed, take them out of the freezer about 10 minutes before you plan to eat them.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder
Making your own chia energy gel is much easier than you’d imagine. Simply soak some chia seeds in water to plump them up, and then drain and mix them with pureed fruit.
I like to use strawberry and banana, but you could also add sweet potato or canned pumpkin if you’re looking to sneak in some veggies. I find the fruit to be sweet enough on its own, but you could always add honey or maple syrup to enhance the flavor.
If you need extra electrolytes, No Meat Athlete recommends adding ¼ teaspoon of salt substitute and ⅛ teaspoon of baking soda to your gel to help replenish the minerals you sweat out on a tough run. He also has a full recipe for energy gel if you want a thicker version that’s more like the store-bought stuff, though I personally like the simplicity of pureed fruit and chia seeds.
Make your gel the night before your long run and store it in the fridge. In the morning, pour it into a sturdy zip-top bag or a baby-food pouch and head out on your run. Aim to ingest about 1 ½ ounces for every 30 to 45 minutes of exercise — I use these 5-ounce pouches and one typically lasts me through a 12- to 15-mile run.
If you don’t have the time or desire to make your own energy balls or gel, there are plenty of fueling options available at your local grocery store.
Raisins or other dried fruit can be an excellent mid-run fuel, according to Greatist. If you have a sweet tooth and need something with less fiber, try eating some gummy bears or marshmallows during your run to replenish your energy.
And if you’re training for an ultramarathon, take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich along with you on your run to keep your tummy from rumbling.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder
No matter what you choose as your long-run fuel, make sure you’re fueling early and often. Runner’s World recommends you start fueling 30 minutes into a long run and repeat it every 30 to 60 minutes.
Depending on your body, you might prefer taking in small bits of fuel every 15 to 20 minutes or larger amounts every 60 to 75 minutes.
The amount of fuel you need on a run largely depends on your body. This is something you need to practice time and time again while training to make sure you get it right on race day.
The last thing you want to deal with on race day is an upset stomach (picture the port-a-potties along a race course), so it’s vital you stick to the nutrition plan you used during training since that’s what your body is used to.
Training for and running a long-distance race can be exhausting and expensive — but if you train and fuel your body the right way, it’ll be worth all the hard work.
Catherine Hiles is a half-marathon junkie whose proudest moment is running 13.1 miles with her daughter in a stroller. She plans on running a 50K one day when she’s not so tired all the time.
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I reached out to Huma to try the gels and they very kindly sent me a sample pack. Thank you Huma Gels.
I tried them and as I always do, I shared them with my running partners to see what they said in addition to my thoughts.
Writing a review for a product you really enjoy is an easy thing. I’m happy, the company is happy and I have lots of good things to say. It’s not quite as easy when you don’t love it and it’s downright hard if I hate the product. Luckily I didn’t hate Huma Gels but I also can’t say that I loved them.
Huma Gels. Pretty, right?
The result from me is that they are okay. I think the Huma Gels work well if you are doing shorter events and if you are not working at the high end of your effort level. For longer duration events I think that they are too heavy on glucose only and don’t have enough electrolytes.
Flavor of Huma Gel
I personally don’t like a strong flavor in my gels. This is just my preference. The Huma Gels that I tried all had a pretty strong flavor. I didn’t mind the Lemon but the Apple Cinnamon was so strong I didn’t actually finish it. They are very sweet and they don’t taste bad but they are flavored and they are sweet and in the case of apple cinnamon a little spicy. So if you like that flavor it’s perfect for you. All these taste things are just preferences so what I find has really nothing to do with what you’ll find.
Several of the Huma Gels come with caffeine and even double caffeine. I didn’t try those because caffeine does irritate my stomach. But most people love caffeine in their gels. Huma Gels say that they use a natural source of caffeine. They don’t say what that is though.
What’s in Huma Gels?
Here are the ingredients from a raspberry gel I still have. Fruit, cane juice, brown rice syrup, water, ground chia seeds, fruit concentrate, sea salt, citric acid, natural caffeine.
So, it’s pretty clean ingredients. They are vegan and gluten free if you want that. One thing to note is that every Chia seed guru I know is pretty adamant that the big benefits of chia seeds are when you eat the seeds whole. So if you follow that camp of knowledge then you want to note that these gels use ground seeds.
This is an assortment of Gel packets I have lying around to show where Huma falls. They are pretty big.
Huma Gels does a good job of explaining their ingredients on their website and they are very upfront about what is in them and what’s not.
As an athlete that does very long events in hot climates I’ll say this. These gels are pretty much just sugar in the form of cane juice and brown rice syrup. That’s not a bad thing all gels are just a form of sweet calories. But there is only so much glucose your gut can absorb at any time which is why some gels mix a glucose, fructose and maltodextrin. With Huma they don’t break it down but I guess the fruit is fructose but cane juice and brown rice syrup I think will be glucose. It hits you quickly. If you are like me this might mean you could feel the energy wear off more quickly than a gel with maltodextrin. It will depend on how you personally handle digesting these different sugars.
Huma gels have very little electrolytes and no amino acids. For most people this will mean that you’ll need some more sodium, magnesium and potassium from another source in long workouts.
Consistency of Huma Gel
The Huma gel consistency is normal. Not as thick as Gu Energy and not as thin as Glukos. Those are the two extremes in my experience.
Usability: The packaging in the Huma gels is very modern and colorful. But I used 3 separate gels on three separate days and each time the opening of the packet didn’t work well for me. When I ripped it open it left only a very small hole to push the gel through which required a longer stop than I would have liked. This is a pet peeve of mine with gel packets I want them to open easily while I’m on the go and be able to get all the gel into my mouth in as little time as possible. I was unable to do that with Huma Gels.
Like with all gels you should drink plain water with any gel. Usually 4 ounces or so is recommended. On the website Huma Gels actually recommends 8-10 ounces per gel. That is a lot of water to take in while running.
This is a GU Energy packet on top of a Huma Gel Packet. It’s a little bigger.
Interestingly, Huma Gels is the only one of the gels that I’ve tried that comes with a note that it’s made in a factory that also processes all 8 of the top allergens. So while the gels are gluten free and vegan if you have a nut, or dairy allergy you may need to avoid these which is a little crazy.
Feedback from the others
Like always I gave about half of these away. It’s good to be my running or cycling friend because I frequently have stuff to share. To be honest I never heard anything from anybody about these which actually probably means that they were fine. When something doesn’t work is when I hear about it and not the other way around. I’m overly picky. It’s who I am.
How to order Huma Gels.
These gels are available all over. You’ll find them in stores and you can also order them online at www.humagel.com
Overall for me these are not a good option. But they might be for you so if you’re curious – give them a try.
Disclosure: Huma Gels sent me the Gels to try at no charge. But the opinions are my own, obviously.
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Endurance athlete are no strangers when it comes to energy gels.
There are many different brands out there, and it can be trial and error before you can find a brand/product that works for you.
Personally, I moved away from energy gels, because I found they gave me an upset belly.
Having trialed various products, and also eating real food, I settled on a product called tailwind, and my belly issues were resolved.
I’ve used tailwind for 2 years now without any issue.
However, of late, I have found that I’ve been getting hungry on my training runs, and thus hitting the wall and just feeling really sluggish, even with the tailwind.
So I decided to head back into the kitchen and experiment with the super grain; Chia Seeds.
He talked about fuelling during endurance events and alternative methods.
One of the things he mentioned was the chia egg.
A chia egg (also known as a flax egg), is a vegan alternative to the (chicken) egg.
Using this as a base, I created a delicious energy gel alternative.
Chia Energy Gels Author: Matilda Iglesias Recipe type: Gel Cuisine: Running Nutrition Serves: 5 Quick easy energy gel made out of chia seeds Ingredients
- ⅓ cup of Chia Seeds
- 1⅓ cups of Mango Nectar
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight
- Stir and transfer to your gel container or freeze for future use.
This recipe is easy to make in advance and to freeze into portions.
I use a reusable food pouch; Sinchies, to store my gels.
They defrost quickly in summer, so you can take them out just as you are heading out the door, and will be ready by the time you need them.
Chia seeds are high in fibre & protein, while the Mango Nectar is high in sugar, giving you a balance of the 3 major macros.
Just one of my chia gels was enough along with my tailwind to fuel me during a recent 20km tempo run.
How do you fuel during a long run?
Huma PLUS – Chia Energy Gel – Variety
Huma PLUS – Chia Energy Gel – Variety
Size:12 Gels | Color:Variety – Plus & Original
Huma PLUS is the Natural Electrolytes enhanced version of Huma Gel, the all-natural, great-tasting energy gels made from finely blended Chia seeds. They are designed to be a healthy option for getting you through tough exercise. The idea for Huma was born in the sands of Iraq. In the summer of 2009, a US Army 1st Lieutenant was charged with leading grueling missions throughout Iraq. At the time he was reading a book about the Tarahumara, a tribe of Mexican Indians who regularly compete in epic 100+ mile races as part of their culture. To fuel themselves on these ultra marathons, they use a special chia seed blend. He figured if it worked for them in Mexico, maybe it would work for him in Iraq. It did. In fact, it was amazing at keeping him going, and that discovery led to the creation of Huma Gel. Today, Huma combines Tarahumara tradition, extensive sports nutrition research, healthy ingredients and great taste to bring you the best energy gel on the market. Now with Huma PLUS you can enjoy extra electrolytes with your gel!
Huma PLUS – Chia Energy Gel – Variety 1.3 oz
- Nutrition Facts & Ingredient Label: About the product PLUS = 2X NATURAL ELECTROLYTES, sourced from Coconut Water, Sea Salt, and Chia Seeds. Double the electrolytes of Huma Gel. 100% All-Natural, Real Food ingredients – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan Friendly. Extra stomach friendly. Sports Nutrition Energy Gel with Electrolytes for all Runners, Cyclists, Triathletes, Endurance Athletes (running, cycling, extended exercise and events such as marathons, triathlons, century rides; sports like soccer, tennis, climbing, paddle-boarding, etc). Pre and During Race Energy Supplements also designed for use in training, workouts or any needed glucose/glycogen or electrolyte replacement activity. Powdered Chia Seeds help modulate energy uptake to ensure No Flash-Crashes. 2:1 ratio of short & long chain Glucose to Fructose for maximum carbohydrate uptake. Complete proteins with all 9 essential Amino Acids. Extra sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium. Contains 4 Huma PLUS flavors and 8 Regular Huma flavors – includes at least 10 of 12 currently available Huma flavors (mix of caffeine and no caffeine). Huma Gel: Enjoy your gel! Compares favorably to GU, Roctane, Honey Stinger, Powerbar, Clif Shot; goes down faster than chews. More
- Dimensions: 2.0 inches (H) x 4.0 inches (W) x 6.0 inches (L)
- Weight: 2.0 pounds
- Made in United States