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Energy Bars.... What do you like and what do you like about it?

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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Energy Bars.... What do you like and what do you like about it?

Old 12-15-19, 01:51 PM
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Mogens
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Energy Bars.... What do you like and what do you like about it?

I was interested in knowing whether you guys use energy bars in long distance riding and if so, what are the qualities that you look for? Lots of carbs? Protein? Electro-lytes? Flavor? There are just so many of these things on the market and they all seem to claim similar things.
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Old 12-15-19, 02:31 PM
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Depends on the temperature. I like Clif bars but they get too hard to chew below 50 degrees. The Clif blocks have a bit more temperature range but can be very chewy below freezing. I also like to stash an almond butter sandwich in my bag for something not sweet. I also carry pretzels and crackers just to have something different.

I'll never forget my first experience with PowerBars. They had the consistency of road tar.
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Old 12-15-19, 04:28 PM
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Mars bars and bananas get me a long way. Only disadvantage of the Mars bars is that they don't handle heat well. Apart from that, they contain plenty of calories and are not overpriced like the "sports" nutrition.
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Old 12-15-19, 06:27 PM
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I like the Clif builder bars but the chocolate melts in the heat so they te dto get consumed when found. They give me a bit of gut rot occasionally but nothing too serious. I much prefer a veggie burger but they aren't sold in every gas station. The protein seems to help recovery and is appreciated before a nap on a 600. I like the regular Clif bars because they last better in the heat. I used to eat a lot of breakfast bars but found they have too much fibre.
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Old 12-15-19, 08:17 PM
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Cliff bars and cliff shot blocks for me. However as @GadgetGirlIL pointed out, in the cold weather they can be a tad hard on the teeth. For the shot blocks, I'll sometimes keep them in my riding gloves/mitts for a couple minutes before eating them. Sometimes they soften up, sometimes not.
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Old 12-15-19, 08:42 PM
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Not a fan because where I come from, they melt in the heat. I have experimented with cereal bars before, those handle the heat better, but for my style of riding is troublesome to carry enough of it (i.e. needs bag space, which I don't have much of).
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Old 12-15-19, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
Not a fan because where I come from, they melt in the heat.
Clif Chocolate Chunk with Sea Salt is awesome in a warmed up and gooey state.

Iíll take a mix of Clif bars and snack pack sized Fig Newtons (cheaper to buy the box of 8, 10? individually wrapped at Walmart than the traditional package and put in baggies) on 100mi+ rides but try to use them only to bridge the gap between brevet controls and may end the ride with the first still half eaten.

I get most of my calories with gas station big gulps/rest stop cans of soda, which probably isnít ideal, but it has always worked well for me.
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Old 12-15-19, 10:47 PM
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I just eat regular food on randonneuring rides. Bananas when available, the triangle-deli sandwiches, crackers, cookies, the occasional corn dog or Reeses cups.
For energy bar in the heat, just try Payday bars.
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Old 12-16-19, 03:51 AM
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At the supermarket 2 days before the ride everything looks delicious. Usually I'll chow down on a few at the start of a ride while hanging with the pack, but after 100km I just want a sandwich or a pie.
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Old 12-16-19, 04:28 AM
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These ...



And whatever else catches my fancy. I've been known to munch salted almonds and pastries out of my bento bag, and cheezies, doritoes or oatmeal raisin cookies out of my handlebar bag.
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Old 12-16-19, 01:50 PM
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I can only eat 3 or 4 Clif bars on a ride before I get completely sick of them. Once that happens, I switch to my high-tech nutrition system of Skittles and Chex Mix. Tropical Skittles and "Bold" flavor Chex Mix, ideally.

When I'm craving something sweet, Skittles; salty, Chex Mix. So I never get sick of it. Good mix of quick calories and longer-lasting carbs, too.
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Old 12-16-19, 02:35 PM
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I'm a Cliff-ster too...all good except when it's cold or I have something like "Gatorade" to drink. If so, I skip the bars as there is a strange reaction between "Gatorade" and bars that prevents digestion.
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Old 12-16-19, 05:38 PM
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+1 on fig newtons & bananas (and gummy worms)
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Old 12-16-19, 05:51 PM
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I don't normally eat energy bars, but when I do I prefer wild berry powerbars. Good mix of sugar and salt with a little protein and they last for years in the bottom of my bag in case of an emergency.
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Old 12-17-19, 09:51 AM
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Someone gave me a Lara bar (cherry, I think) on a ride several years ago and I thought it was pretty good so I bought a box of them. By the time I finished them, I had got really tired of them. That has been my experience with bars in general.
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Old 12-17-19, 10:02 AM
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I try to avoid high fructose corn syrup or other corn sweeteners. And gels mess with my blood sugar so I do not use them.

As noted above, hot weather and chocolate do not go well together. I had some other energy bars that had some form of a frosting or coating that got really soft in the heat and created a mess.

And of course the stuff in the photo is excellent on a warm day, but it has a very limited life span and does not store well.

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Old 12-17-19, 10:39 AM
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Ice cream's awesome! For me, I'm down on things that are too sweet (except for ice cream). I'm kind of over things that feel like candy bars. Thanks for all the responses!
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Old 12-17-19, 11:19 AM
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If you're looking beyond energy bars, I've done a lot of long rides on nothing but bike food* and half-strength gatorade powder.

*bike food - maltodextrin and ON gold protein powder 7:1 by weight
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Old 12-17-19, 03:55 PM
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I get sick of everything sooner or later. Can't even think about eating Clif bars now. Even Reese's cups and chocolate milk fail to appeal some of the time
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Old 12-17-19, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by hilltowner View Post
+1 on fig newtons & bananas (and gummy worms)
+1 Fig newtons for me. If space, I'll take some cereal bars like Rice krispy treats or any of the other cereal marshmallow bars. I can eat anything and try to eat regular meals or even fast food if possible when stopped.

Last edited by u235; 12-17-19 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 12-17-19, 10:51 PM
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Please, Fig Newmans only. Much tastier.
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Old 12-18-19, 11:27 AM
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Fig bars work okay for me. The sheetz bars are edible. When I search for Fig Newmans, it raises questions.
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Old 12-18-19, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Even Reese's cups and chocolate milk fail to appeal some of the time
Chocolate milk I can see, I had some on a too-hot day and it didn't settle well.

Reese's cups, obviously I need to eat more of them. I can hardly imagine a Reese's failing to appeal. Maybe I should get a couple of those monster half-pound oversized peanut butter "cups."
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Old 12-18-19, 01:51 PM
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I used to eat reeses a lot. I think there was one 1200k where the majority of my calories came from reeses. The problem I have with them nowadays is they don't seem to have much salt. That's true of most energy bars and chocolate. That was why I drank chocolate milk, it usually has a lot of sodium in it. Lots of riders drink chocolate milk for that reason, or maybe it's because everybody else does. If a decent sized brevet stops at a small convenience store, the chocolate milk is often sold out before I get there.
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Old 12-18-19, 02:17 PM
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One thing I notice about Reese's after a couple is the slightly waxy nature of the chocolate and peanut butter filling. Seems to be an American thing, Hershey bars are especially bad about this, Euro chocolate is creamier.
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