As a follow on to a prior post called "Things that make you go aaaahhhh..." I thought I would put together a quick review of some great fueling options out there that not only give you the energy you need, they also taste darn good! As you know, I also try to seek out fuel sources that are gluten free, and that are as close to whole foods as possible, which can be tricky when you are talking about gels/bars/chews etc..
That being said, here is a recap of some great products I've tried including Nouri Bars, Bearded Bros, Pro Bar, Huma Chia, and Sunrype.
Nouri Bars was a new brand to me, and they caught my attention in two ways... first, they produce some super clean energy bars that are gluten-free, vegan, and organic/non-GMO. Second, for every bar purchased, Nouri funds a a hot meal for a child at school, world-wide via their partners. Now that is a powerful bar! Such a cool idea that a healthy and delicious bar can do more than just fuel you.. check out the video below.
Nouri Bar // Trailer from Meg Kelly on Vimeo.
I tried all 3 flavors from Nouri, which include Super Delicious Apple Cinnamon Spice, By Far the Best Chocolate and Creamy Cashew Bar, and the Yes this is a Peanut Butter and Wild Cherry Bar.
This was by far my favorite! Curious about the ingredients and nutrition info? 180 Cal per 45G bar, with 80 Cal from fat. Ingredients: Organic Dates, Organic Peanut Butter, Cherries, Peanuts, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Hemp Protein, Organic Vanilla Extract, and Sea Salt.. that's it!
These bars are delicious and easy to carry on a trail run. However, they are very much a "raw" type bar, and kind of chunky/a little dry, and I know some people aren't crazy about that. Not overly sweet, but sweet enough. They can sit a little heavy at times, but they do provide a nice boost of energy/fuel during a long run. Certainly worth a try, and even if you try just one, you've fed one child at school :-) Check them out at http://www.nouribar.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NouriBar
Next up... Bearded Bros! I think I came across Bearded Bros when I saw this t-shirt somewhere on Facebook...
Cracked me up... and of course I had to investigate. What I found was another great company started by two brothers with a passion for being active and eating healthy. Much like Nouri Bars, the Bearded Bros bars are a raw type of bar made with clean, whole ingredients... nice and simple.
I tried several flavors, and they are all terrific! My wife really enjoyed the Radical Raspberry Lemon Energy Bar. 188 Cals, 59 Cals from fat. Ingredients: Organic Figs, Organic Dates, Organic Sun Butter (Roasted Organic Sunflower Seed)*, Organic Shelled Hemp Seeds, Organic Raspberries, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Cold Pressed Lemon Extract, Sea Salt
These bars are hearty and delicious, and a bit more smoother and moister than the Nouri Bars, but not as soft as a Lara Bar. I found that these sat better in my stomach, and the flavors are awesome. Easy to pack/carry and a great boost on a long run. Check them out at http://www.beardedbros.com/
Next in the lineup is Probar. I was familiar with Probar as I had reviewed their Bolt Energy Chews HERE.
This go around I tried out the CORE Protein Bar, as well as the FUEL Energy bars.
The CORE bars are a chocolate covered protein bar (mmm...chocolate). I primarily used these as a recovery treat after long runs. The bars are gluten-free, and contain some good ingredients, however they do have Soy Protein Isolate as the protein source. I try to avoid Soy whenever I can, as so much of it is GMO, however I figured this was still better than a Snickers bar as a recovery treat! Besides the PB Chocolate above, the Mint Chocolate is truly sublime with a cup of coffee. The bars run around 280 cals per 70g bar, and 80 calories from fat.
The FUEL bars are a little better in terms of ingredients, with no soy, and fewer ingredients. The primary sweetener in these is organic dates and organic brown rice syrup. My favorite? Cherry for sure. 160 cals per 48g bar, with 25 cals from fat. The bars are kind of sticky, and are best eaten out of the package to avoid sticky (and from that point forward, dusty) fingers. They are very sweet.. probably the sweetest of any energy bars I've tried. If super sweet is tough on your stomach on a long run, might not be the best first choice, but I like these if I'm also running with salty Electro-Bites to offset them. Check them out at http://theprobar.com/#1
Ok, so if you've been following for a while, you'll remember that I reviewed Huma Chia Energy Gels last year when they launched a Kickstarter campaign. You can see that review HERE
So, what's new with Huma Chia? New flavors including Blueberry, which is the bomb! I love Huma Chia gels for their super simple, clean ingredients that really perform! In addition to Blueberry, you can now get Mango, as well as the original apple cinnamon and strawberry flavors. Check them out here.. http://www.humagel.com/
Last, but certainly not least, are some terrific products from SunRype. I was fortunate enough to get a bunch of samples of SunRype products from my friend Rob Sanchez, who happens to be a SunRype Ambassador.
SunRype makes a variety of 100% fruit snacks, and we tried the Fruit Strips and Fruit Source bars. I say "we" because Rob dropped a bunch off just as we were headed out for a 2 week summer road trip. The bars came in handy as easy, wholesome snacks during the long car rides, and our boys really enjoyed them (as we did as well).
I've also carried the Fruit Source bars with me on a few runs, and I really like the true fruit flavors. My wife says these bars are just like eating fresh fruit, without the risk of getting a sour/nasty berry :-) They are a little sticky, but not too bad. My favorite so far have been the Mango Mangosteen, and the Blueberry Pomegranate. 120 Cal per 37g bar, with 0 fat cals. Ingredients: Apple puree concentrate, apple and pear and grape and elderberry and pomegranate and blueberry and lemon juice concentrates, citrus pectin, natural flavor, apple fiber
So, the ingredients aren't all organic etc, but at least they can all be pronounced and recognized! And they taste great... anyway, check them out here http://www.sunrypeusa.com/
So.. there you go... hope some of these sound good and that you give them a try. If you do, let me know what you think!
Hope everyone is having a fantastic summer!