Nutrition brands are utilizing resealable pouches to deliver natural, quick energy to athletes before or during workouts.
CLIF Organic Energy Food
A collaboration between CLIF and ultrarunner Scott Jurek produced this organic, gluten-free product, designed to provide quick energy and be digested easily. It comes in four flavors—the two fruit flavors (banana beet with ginger and banana mango with coconut) come in 3.17-ounce packages and are a way to quickly consume 100–110 calories and 17–23 grams of carbs plus sodium and potassium. The two savory flavors (pizza Margherita and sweet potato with sea salt), which come in 4.23-ounce pouches, are best for longer workouts (such as ultraruns or long rides) to fight flavor fatigue, when you’re sick of sweet and are craving something salty. Of the two savory flavors, the pizza was the taste-test winner, with its simple ingredient list that includes tomato purée, quinoa, oregano and basil. Each pizza pouch contains 160 calories, 17 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein, 600 milligrams of sodium and 890 milligrams of potassium, plus vitamin A.
$2.29 (fruit flavors), $2.99 (savory flavors), Clifbar.com
Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze
Available in three tasty flavors (apple quinoa cinnamon, blueberry acai flax and raspberry coconut), these non-GMO squeeze packs were lauded by testers for the slightly heartier texture, thanks to the gluten-free oatmeal and other whole grains. The tester favorite was the apple flavor, which tasted just like apple pie filling. Though these packs aren’t specifically designed for workouts (fewer electrolytes than the other two products in this roundup), they do make a great one-handed breakfast on race morning or on the way to an early-morning ride. In each 4.2-ounce BPA-free pouch of the apple flavor are 80 calories, 17 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, 75 milligrams of potassium and 360 milligrams of omega-3s.
PowerBar Performance Energy Blends
Testers enjoyed the flavors of these fruit-based packs, which are on the more natural side of the PowerBar product spectrum. Available in four options (the collective favorite was apple mango strawberry), they’re designed to be eaten before or during workouts. The apple flavor, which tastes a lot like applesauce, is easy to swallow, thanks to its thinner consistency. With 21 grams of carbs, it would hit the spot on a long ride as a more natural alternative to energy gel, though at 3.17 ounces, it has a higher volume for its 80 calories. The apple mango flavor also contains 60 milligrams of potassium and a large dose of vitamin C.