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Fig newtons versus energy bars

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Fig newtons versus energy bars

Old 12-06-10, 08:25 AM
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Fig newtons versus energy bars

I have been searching for an energy bar that has the "right stuff" for long bike rides (50 miles or more). The usual suspects are okay (PerformanceBar, Clif, etc.) but are not particular tasty or filling. I looked at Fig Newtons as an energy source and they have about the same nutritional content as commercial power bars (Calories, carbohydrates, fat, sodium, sugar, etc.). Can Fig Newtons be a reasonable choice for an energy replacement bar?
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Old 12-06-10, 08:38 AM
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peanut-butter & jelly sandwiches are the way to go, IMO
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Old 12-06-10, 09:44 AM
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Carbs are about the same, but a Clif Bar will give you about 5x the protein - a good thing during and after a ride. But Fig Newtons washed down with chocolate milk might be about equal.
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Old 12-06-10, 10:26 AM
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Fig newtons will work just fine. Don't worry about protein while on the bike. It's not going to make a difference. You can get whatever protein you need after.
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Old 12-06-10, 10:44 AM
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I rode with fig newtons for years. Wonderful things. But one thing I found was that if stored in my jersey pocket my body heat on a hot day would essentially toast them. Very odd.
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Old 12-06-10, 10:51 AM
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Fig Newtons won't crack your teeth on a cold day the way a PowerBar (esp. the original version) will. For protein, there's always jerky.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:03 PM
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Fig newtons are my on-bike food of choice. I usually cut them in half ahead of time to make them easier to eat during the ride. Gives me all the energy I need, and it's more cost-effective to buy a package of newtons than to stock up on energy bars.
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Old 12-06-10, 11:21 PM
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My wife uses Fig Newmans. They're organic and taste better. I use Hammer Gel in a flask for that purpose.

The OP says "50 miles or more." That's too broad a range. Hammer Gel or any of the solid foods mentioned are fine for a century. But when I get up into doubles and brevets, I find I need protein and a fair bit of it, at least 15%.
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Old 12-14-10, 08:01 PM
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Fig Newtons are great

I love fig newtowns. I buy the generic alternative at a discount grocery store, are here we have Aldi's and Save A Lot.
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Old 12-14-10, 08:16 PM
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Wow, I found those Fig Newmans were awful.

I'll stick to the whole wheat Fig Newtons (or Fig Neutrons as I call 'em) thank you very much.

But personally I don't eat while riding. Hate inhaling food.
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Old 12-14-10, 09:05 PM
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Old 12-15-10, 07:38 PM
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I used to use whole wheat fig bars, wrapped in foil so they would not dry out on hot days.

But they just don't have that many calories so I switched to power bars, then clif bars.

The trick to eating while riding is to nibble.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:33 AM
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Hammer Perpetum, or if you have to have solid food their bars are some of the tastiest "energy" bars around. hands down. Havent tried the perpetum solids yet, but those also look like a good choice.

use this link when placing your first order and you get 15% off...and i get free swag...win/win... https://www.hammernutrition.com/affiliates/165508

edit: btw, i practice what i preach..i use Hammer stuff exclusively for riding/training/racing...ive search but there isnt a better system out there.

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Old 12-16-10, 01:13 PM
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Can Fig Newtons be a reasonable choice for an energy replacement bar?
Sure, but they are likely to be slightly higher in fat than many of the "premium priced" energy bar products.

Instead of considering a particular food-stuff the "perfect" bar or gel, consider that your particular nutritional needs may change through out a training or racing event. A balanced approached, of using multiple food stuffs may be better than relying on a single snack.
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Old 12-17-10, 09:09 AM
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If you're going on a long ride, the 50 mile ride, its either solo or in a group. With solo, you control the tempo and the stops. Then nutrition is easier. In a group ride, it depends on the group.

Sometimes the group ride takes on a life of its own and it does not necessarily fit into your ebb and flow of energy. Riders who like to be challenged and want to dig deep into their will power and reserves, will go hard. They have no time to open up a can of Ensure. Mostly they go for energy gels like GU.

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Old 12-18-10, 06:13 AM
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Not enough information.

For the sake of argument let's call it 75 miles. Are you leisurely riding? For those I basically stop and eat on the road whatever is on the local market. If I wanted to I could eat a whooper, burp, and go. For a non-stop 75 miles at maximum output my stomach gets picky; a simple dextrose solution (gels) under 300 cal/hr ensures a steady flow of simple carbs that my body can actually assimilate while pushing hard.

If on a 75-mile ride leisure riding is 0 and breaking personal records 100, Fig Newtons would probably fit up to 80. Anything pass that point and your stomach may not be able to digest it fast enough.
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Old 12-23-10, 05:47 AM
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Exactly! The idea behind energy-bars and drinks is they use an optimised carb-mix for quickest digestion and absorption. Using malto-dextrin is a common practice as it's simple glucose molecules weakly tied together like an ammo belt. This reduces osmolarity and lets more calorie/hr get through your stomach into the intestines (gastic emptying rate). If you want to do long rides at TT-speeds, you'll be burning mostly glycogen and need as much carb replenishment as fast as possible. In this case, an energy-drink is the way to go for 250-300 cal/hr.

If you're doing more leisurely pace, the slower rate of digestion & absorption (100-150 cal/hr) of figs will be fine to ward off the bonk. Heck on long +100-mile rides, I'll bring along leftover pizza, PB&J sandwiches and stop off at taco-stands for bean-burritos.
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Old 12-24-10, 11:24 AM
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I think fig newtons would work. Personally I like to mix up some homebrew gel with some honey, little protein powder and a few other odds and ends. This works well for me and keeps the cost down.
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Old 12-24-10, 09:22 PM
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I have been experimenting lately here myself. Anything more than 2 and a half hours or so, and I take Hammer perpetuem, some gel and I usually take a clif bar along just in case I want something solid to go in the tank. I find that a clif bar stays pretty soft when in a jersey pocket and still beneath my outer shell. The hammer products have all been great so far with no stomach issues.
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Old 12-24-10, 09:46 PM
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I hate to think about eating Fig Newtons once or twice a week all the time. The good thing about Cliff Bars, and others, is the variety.
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Old 12-27-10, 10:58 AM
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Fig cookies are awesome. Just don't choke and wreck. That would be a bummer.

PBJ or PB&Honey halves are always a good choice as well.
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Old 12-27-10, 03:31 PM
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Dude the "newton" is so awesome.......why change? they taste great can be had almost any where come prepackaged in a nice two pack design....have the calories needed....and are small
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Old 01-02-11, 04:33 PM
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how about the other 'newton' bars? Trader Joe's has them in longer form, but again, they can get demolished in the packaging easily. when rides aren't arctic, i really like the Clif MOJO bars.

also, as said above, can't beat PB&J...esp. on a bagel w/ everything and washed down with cytomax
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Old 01-02-11, 06:50 PM
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For long rides I eat ...

- salted almond
- salted cashews
- potato chips
- beef jerky
- dried fruit
- cookies of all sorts
- granola bars of all sorts
- bananas

And then I might stop and have ...

- grilled cheese sandwiches
- chicken sandwiches
- french fries
- potato wedges
- dim sims
- ice cream

And on really long rides, I've been known to also eat ...

- pizza
- eggs and bacon on toast
- hamburgers
- french toast
- perogies (I miss perogies here in Australia)
- mashed potatoes with grated cheese on top, and pickles on the side (had that at the PBP and did it ever hit the spot!!)

A whole variety of food!

But rarely any energy bar and rarely any fig newtons. I got over those years ago.
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Old 01-02-11, 07:10 PM
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Chocolate chip cookies FTW!!!!
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