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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 01-15-06, 02:34 PM   #1
Biker 1235
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Hey guys and girls i have a question about the kind of "bars" u eat before heading to the trails or out for a bike?

Do u recommend a protein bar or a bar with more carbs, like PowerBar? What arent you looking for in it?

Any recommendations? Whats the cheapest place i can get these bars?


Thanks alot

BIker

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Old 01-15-06, 02:42 PM   #2
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BEFORE I head to the trails (or road in my case), I don't eat any energy bars ... I eat real food.


While I am out riding, however, I will take energy bars with me ... not because they are any better than real food, but rather because they are more convenient to carry in my jersey pocket or bento bag than many real foods.

As for kinds, I just went to the store and bought one of each ... then I tried them to see what I liked in terms of flavor and texture. If it tastes horrible (and some did), I'm not going to want to eat them, which defeats the purpose of bringing them with me when I ride.

As for where to get them, go to your local grocery store, department store, or pharmacy. That's where I've found the cheapest ones.
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Old 01-15-06, 02:49 PM   #3
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The thing that I found personally with bars and gels is that they did not seem to boost my performance, but after when I get off the bike I seem to recover much faster.

The only bars I have used are power bars and power gels, I do not know how they compare to the others because those are the only ones I have tried.
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Old 01-15-06, 02:49 PM   #4
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So what bars do u recommend from experience?
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Old 01-15-06, 03:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker 1235
So what bars do u recommend from experience?

My favorites are Peak Bars: http://www.peakbar.com/ I have to order those in, my local pharmacies, grocery stores, etc. don't carry them.

As for the rest, you might just have to try them to see what YOU like. For example, I strongly dislike Clif bars. I can't imagine anyone actually wanting to eat one ... to me they are digusting. And yet there are many cyclists who like them!

For me, I can live with most of the Powerbar products, and some of the generic store brands that Superstore and Shopper's Drug Mart carry aren't bad.


You might also browse around this site:
http://www.e-caps.com/
http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=PR...0047&AMI=10103

I use the Hammergel, and I have tried the Sustained Energy. The Sustained Energy is good up to about the 300 km point of a ride for me, then it sort of goes off, but that's OK for most of my brevets and 24-hour events. I have some Perpetuem which I'll try this coming season, and I've just purchased some HEED which tasted way better to me than Gatorade or any of those, so I'll give it a try this coming season too.
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Old 01-15-06, 03:11 PM   #6
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Go out and get some Nature Valley granola bars. They supply the carbs that you need and you can get six of them for the price of one Powerbar.
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Old 01-15-06, 03:13 PM   #7
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Cliff bar
Luna bar
Cheapest that I actually like are Oatmeal brand chocolate chip.

I only use bars for mid ride or post ride. As Machka said, before I use real food.
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Old 01-15-06, 03:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarery
Cheapest that I actually like are Oatmeal brand chocolate chip.

Which reminds me, I like those "Oatmeal to Go" bars found in the cereal section of the grocery store. And sone of my favorite "energy bars" are simply oatmeal raisin cookies!! Mmmmmm!!!


Biker 1235 --

If you are doing rides of less than 2 hours, all you need to do is to eat some real food before you head out, take a bottle of water and a bottle of your sports drink of choice, tuck one energy bar into your jersey (just in case you exert more energy than you planned, or ride longer than you planned) ... and you'll be all set.

If you are doing rides over 2 hours, bring a variety of energy bars. I've found that as soon as I finish one type of energy bar (sometimes even before I'm finished it), I'm sick of it and don't want to see it again for quite a while. What works for me is bringing one of each kind I like with me, depending on the length of my ride. Variety works better for me.
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Old 01-15-06, 04:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
For example, I strongly dislike Clif bars. I can't imagine anyone actually wanting to eat one ... to me they are digusting. And yet there are many cyclists who like them!
I happen to prefer Cliff bars to any others I like them because they are all organic, taste pretty good, and keep me from bonking. Power bars also keep me from bonking, but don't taste good and are impossible to open and take forever to eat.
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Old 01-15-06, 05:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker 1235
So what bars do u recommend from experience?
Fig Newmans are not technically bars, but they are really yummy, and they are also available in a dairy/gluten free version, for those with food intolerances.

The Larabar bars are also quite good, but a little hard to find.

If you have access to a Costco, look for Aussie Bites, two of the bite sized "cookies" have the nutritional equivalent of an energy bar (and very similar ingredients), for less than half of the price.

You can also make your own, I think that if you search here on BF, you will find some old threads on making energy bars.
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Old 01-15-06, 05:42 PM   #11
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Home made cookies. Feel free to put in a little extra salt, or perhaps some no-salt (which contains potassium). Or home made trail mix, with salted nuts, raisins, M&Ms and maybe almonds, dried cranberries and apricots.

But that's only when I am feeling particularly energetic. Otherwise it's Clif bars, Lara bars (delish, but horribly expensive) or just some over the counter oatmeal thingummies.
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Old 01-15-06, 05:43 PM   #12
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Mmmm. Writing this post reminded me that I have some gooey dried bananas just waiting to be eaten, so I went and grabbed one. Most people hate dried bananas, which is just fine by me, because it leaves all the more for me.
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Old 01-15-06, 06:23 PM   #13
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Skip the bars. Eat real food 1-3 hours before the ride. I'd drink water if I were you. A good sports drink like Accelerade about 30 minutes prior to your ride, then sipping during it, is the best idea, at least if you believe all the sports medicine folks.
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Old 01-15-06, 07:06 PM   #14
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In general, would u prefer a bar with more protein, like GROW! bars (now Metabolic Fuel i think) or would u prefer a bar with more carbs, like a PowerBar?
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Old 01-15-06, 07:13 PM   #15
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Def. eat real food before riding, but doing nothing but sip sports drink during a long ride is just asking for trouble. Even if I have a small something before my ride, (I don't like to eat a lot, else I feel sick) I still need something after about 40 miles or so otherwise I'll bonk. I found out my limit the hard way and almost passed out on the bike and crashed at 20 mph

Sports drinks are for re-hydration and don't really provide enough calories for long rides.
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Old 01-15-06, 07:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker 1235
In general, would u prefer a bar with more protein, like GROW! bars (now Metabolic Fuel i think) or would u prefer a bar with more carbs, like a PowerBar?

When I look for an energy bar flavor and palatability are the first things I consider. If it doesn't taste good, I won't eat it. The second thing I look for is the calorie count. It has to be high in calories. The third thing I check is to make sure there is some protein, because I'm a long distance cyclist and I need to consume protein while I ride. Other than that, I don't care what the percentages of protein and carbs are, and I will usually alternate bars anyway.

If I find a good tasting protein bar (most of them are not good tasting, unfortunately), I'll eat it. Then I might eat a couple that are higher in carbs. Then maybe one that has a slightly higher protein content. Rarely, unless the ride is very long, will I eat the same type of energy bar twice in one ride.
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Old 01-15-06, 11:02 PM   #17
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Fig Newtons, trial mix, dried fruit, bananas. You get a lot more for your money than you do with those overpriced bars. And most of them taste like crap.

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Old 01-16-06, 02:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akarius
The thing that I found personally with bars and gels is that they did not seem to boost my performance, but after when I get off the bike I seem to recover much faster.

The only bars I have used are power bars and power gels, I do not know how they compare to the others because those are the only ones I have tried.
It's a common misconception that bars somehow "boost" or "improve" your performance. Nope, they just prevent your performance from degrading due to fatigue, exhaustion and lack of energy (carbs). So if your VO2-max, LT, weight, power-output, gearing, aerodynamics is a certain combination, you'll have a certain speed, say... 25mph @ LT on the flats. There are absolutely ZERO bars/gels on the market that will help you go faster than that. This is your physiological limit at this time. However, if you DO NOT eat and replenish your energy stores on the ride, after 2-3 hours, you'll start slowing down to 20mph... 15mph... 10mph.. as you desperately scan the ground for scraps of discarded candy and carbs to eat. In this case, yes, eating some bars/gels WILL improve your performance. But... it can only restore it back to your top-level before you bonked.

Also recovery is definitely faster with eating right after a ride. It doesn't have to be a bar/gel, just anything to get some carbs and small amounts of protein into your bloodstream. This prevents your body from disassembling good muscle to convert to glycogen to restore your energy reserves.

Personally, I like real food on rides. I'll usually have some oatmeal beforehand, or some eggs & rice, or fruit-cocktail. On the ride, I'll bring along a couple PB&Js, dried fruit, bananas, figs, potatoes, etc. Afterwards, I'll have a couple PB&Js or an American enchilada. Or some rice & beans, etc.
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Old 01-16-06, 08:46 AM   #19
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On the bike (>2 hours) or on long runs (>1 hour), I nibble on a power bar (oatmeal raisin). They sell them at the Whole Foods grocery for $11.88/box of 12.

On bike rides, I eat about half a power bar per hour starting after the first hour. This keeps me going for a long time. I eat less when running. After the workout, I recover with anything but another power bar.

YMMV.

The point of eating carbs during aerobic activity is to keep your fat-burning metabolism primed and steady. It does not give you energy, it keeps you from bonking.
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Old 01-16-06, 02:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manual_overide
... but doing nothing but sip sports drink during a long ride is just asking for trouble...
I always wondered about Gatorade. It's great for rehydration (putting fluids and chemicals back in) but what about muscle fuel? How does Gatorade get away with using "refuels" in their ads or on their bottles? I guess it does to some extent but on a long ride, I need more fuel than what Gatorade provides.

Good Luck,
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Old 01-18-06, 12:52 PM   #21
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Gatorade is mainly designed for replacing fluids and a small amount of electrolytes rather than a large amount of carbohydrates. I guess that they expect you to eat something with some carbos at the same time. They do now make a more concentrated form with more carbos but I have never tried it yet.
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Old 01-20-06, 01:00 AM   #22
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How about a handful of raisins? Lotsa "good" carbs, and low cost...tastier, too! Or go to recipezaar.com and search on "Energy Bars."

Ed
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Old 01-20-06, 04:55 AM   #23
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Odwalla Cranberry C Monster bars are by far my favorite. I actually *like* the way they taste. I'm not sure they are available nationally though. I buy them by the case at either REI or the grocery store when they are on sale for a case of 12 for $12 or less.
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Old 01-20-06, 09:57 AM   #24
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If your going for taste.
Try Snickers Marathon

Not necassarily made from the best ingredients, but has lots of good tase im sure. Oh and like 100% rda of about 10 or so nutrients. I've never tried, but hey might be good
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Old 01-20-06, 09:58 AM   #25
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How about a handful of raisins? Lotsa "good" carbs, and low cost...tastier, too! Or go to recipezaar.com and search on "Energy Bars."

Ed
And lotsa potassium too.
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