Comparison of Energy Bars
As any good athlete knows, results don’t lie. Here is an article from 220 Triathlon magazine comparing energy bars – we are proud to say that we were ranked number 1!
AUTHORS: NIGEL FARROW, DELLY CARR/TRIATHLON.ORG
SOURCE: 220 Triathlon magazine (Australia/NZ), Issue 12, pp. 104-107
In this second part of our nutrition test series, our group of age group athletes and our partner nutritionist compared six bars on their long rides. Read on to find out the test results…
If you prefer solid foods over liquid options on your long rides, energy bars are the most popular option.
There are many choices available, all having advantages and disadvantages, depending on your individual needs. Energy bars provide you with fast-acting carbohydrates to facilitate ultra quick energy delivery which you need constantly during a long session.
The next pages will show you six products, tested by our athlete team and our nutritionist partner. Based on your very own nutrition plan and requirements, you can use this test to find the best product for you. Stay tuned for the testing of energy gels in the next issue.
HOW WE TESTED
The energy bar suppliers provided their products to 10 age-group athletes. Over several weeks, they used and tested them on rides ranging from 60km to 130km. The athletes, aged 29-47, gave feedback by scoring and answering questions on taste, texture, stomach-friendliness and ease of use. We also asked them to summarise their overall product experience and how the bar fitted in with their individual needs. Our nutritionist, Rebecca Hay, looked at the energy bars from a professional point of view. She reviewed the composition of the product and its suitability for longer rides.
NUTRITIONIST’S GENERAL ADVICE
“On a long training ride, any of the bars can be used.”
There are some excellent energy bar options here for fuelling your long ride. In a race situation the lower fat, lower protein choices are more suitable. On a long training ride, any of the bars presented can be used. What individuals choose to eat will depend on several factors:
Do you like eating solids? Not everyone enjoys solid foods while they are riding. How intense is the ride? Very intense riding can make it difficult to coordinate eating, breathing and riding at the same time. How long is the ride? Some rides may require solid foods to satisfy appetite should you be out riding for several hours. Taste and the consistency of the product are obviously important factors and often come first for many athletes.
There are the practical aspects to consider too, like how easy is it to open the packaging and how the bar fits into your jersey or bike bag and of course how easy it is to find and get the product locally or online.
If you are planning to use any new product, especially while racing, test them on a long, intense ride first. You might want to test the product’s suitability in different conditions too, such as warm and cold weather. Lastly, please be sure to take in fluid along with the bars.