Recently, I’ve been taking more protein bars for during, and at the end of a training ride. When I first started cycling, I thought it was all about carbohydrates, but protein is just as important.
I’ve been taking more protein bars because:
- I like taking food which isn’t all high sugar. This is important for training for long distance riding, improving fat burning energy capacity and not relying on the simple sugars. Then in the race situation, I will take the max Carbohydrate intake, but also will (hopefully) have good capacity to gain energy from the other fat burning source. (Even I have some fat)
- Many studies show that a good 20grams of protein after hard exercise aids recovery of the muscles. Tde optimum delivery time is said to be within 30 minutes of the end of the exercise. Therefore, for a long session, it seems to make sense to take some during exercise as well as close to the end.
- Also, as a vegetarian it is good to take supplementary protein, in case you don’t get enough from normal diet.
Best Protein bar
Power bar Protein Plus – Low sugar
These were surprisingly tasty and pleasant to eat (due to sweeteners I found out writing this post); they only having 0.8grams of carb which sugars per bar. They have a light fluffy not sweet texture, which are quite enjoyable and easy to eat mid ride. The protein comes from milk and whey protein.
Per 35 gram bar
- Kcal – 108 gram
- Protein – 10.5 g
- Carb – 8.3 g
- fibre – 6.7g
- Carb which sugars 0.9g
Proteins: Milk, Whey Protein (14%) soya 2.5%)
Mixed Berry: Bulking Agent (Polydextrose), Humectant (Sorbitol Syrup), Milk Chocolate Couverture with Sweetener (18%) (Sweetener (Maltitol), Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier ( Soya Lecithin), Flavouring), Calcium Caseinate (from Milk ) (14%), Whey Protein (14%), Soya protein (2,5%), Rapeseed Oil, Dried Raspberry Pieces (1,5%), Inulin, Citric Acid, Flavouring, Emulsifier ( Soya Lecithin).
- Power bar Protein Plus at Chain Reaction Cycles
Eat Natural Protein bar
This a protein bar based on nuts, and some soya. It is enjoyably chewy and crunchy and the strong taste of chocolate makes it pretty tasty. It makes a good snack because it is tasty, whilst also being reasonably healthy.
It is only 10 gram of protein compared to the more typical 20 gram of other bars. But, I like to take it as an alternative to whey
- Per 45 gram bar
- Kcal – 215
- Fat – 13.3g
- Carb – 13.9g
- Carb which sugars – 9.8 g
- Protein – 10 gram
You can buy 3 in Tesco for £1.99.
- Eat Natural Protein – 12 packs at Amazon.co.uk
Trek Protein bars
These are quite a healthy protein bar made of dried fruit and soya protein, with some oats and cashews. They taste pretty good. They also contain no artificial sweeteners.
Cocoa Chaos Made with Dates (33%), Soya Protein Crunchies (Soya Protein, Tapiocha Starch, Salt) (15%), Fruit Juice Concentrates (Apple, Grape, Pear) (13%), Raisins (12%), Gluten Free Oats (8%), Cashews (8%), Cocoa Powder (4%), Soya Flour, Natural Flavourings & Rice Starch
Per 55g bar
- Kcal – 186
- Carb – 28 g
- Carb which sugars – 22.8g
- Fibre – 3.6g
- Protein – 10g
- Trek Protein bars at Wiggle
Cliff Builders Bar
I’ve got through a lot of these bars because I’ve bought quite a few 24 boxes. I’m not over-keen perhaps because I’ve got tired of them. They contain a surprisingly large amount of sugars (brown rice syrup, cane juice) and calories per bar, so are good for fuelling long rides, but not good, if you want to limit these immediate sugars. They are also quite hard work to eat, they require considerable chewing and feel quite dense.
Soya – fruit juice concentrates (Beetroot)
Ingredients: Soy Protein Isolate, Beet Juice Concentrate, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Palm Kernel Oil, Organic Rolled Oats, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa, Organic Soy Protein Concentrate, Vegetable Glycerin, Natural Flavors, Organic Dry Roasted Almonds, Rice Starch, Cocoa Butter, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic Sunflower Oil, Soy Lecithin, Salt
Per 68g bar
- Energy 273 Kcal
- Fat – 9 grams
- Carbohydrate – 27 grams
- of which sugars – 21 g
- Fibre 2g
- Protein – 20g
- Clif builders bar at Wiggle 12 bars at £21.98
Paleo Protein bar
I found this in my local Pound Shop £1 for 35 gram of protein.
- Protein – 34g
- Carbs – 12g
- Fats – 4g
- Fibre – 4.5g
- Sodium – 0.1g
- Energy – 224 Kcal / 937 kj
They tasted OK, but it left a slightly disconcerting feeling. I’m not sure whether this is just the psychology of not trusting a Pound shop, but it seems a strange mixture of egg white sweetened with honey and Isoglucose. I was always struggling to finish it. But, I did go back and buy some more because they seem quite cheap for a lot of protein. Not convinced, but does give an alternative.
It was interesting to write this post because it forced me to check out all the ingredients. I can know understand why the Powerbar low sugar tastes so sweet – sweetener. I never realised until I checked ingredients, though it’s obvious really. I don’t know whether sweeteners are bad for you or not. But, like anything, I’d like to keep in moderation. I’m a big fan of the Natural Foods Protein bars because they are really quite crunchy and tasty.
Overall, I like to have a mixture of whey protein and soy / nut protein, so don’t stick to one particular bar, but have a mixture. Per long ride, I may have a whey based protein and also a nut / natural based protein bar.