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Some of our favorites from the latest nutrition offerings we sampled at Interbike. Look out for these products released this fall and into 2014!
Bonk Breaker Coconut Cashew
As one of the few nutrition bars I actually still look forward to eating after a season of long bike rides, I was excited to sample Bonk Breakers 11th flavor, Coconut Cashew. They really nailed it, with just enough crunch from the cashew butter combined with just enough subtle sweetness from the coconut. Like their other bars, it’s baked, and gluten-, dairy- and soy-free. Coconut Cashew is now available at major retailers.
PowerBar Energy Wafer Bars
PowerBar doesn’t often release new products, but thankfully they are in 2014 with a response to the “waffle” category—the Energy Wafer Bar in Berry Yogurt and Chocolate Peanut Butter (the latter being one of my favorites from Interbike). They’re packaged in a jersey-friendly square and taste just like the crispy sweet treats we grew up with, yet use PowerBar’s 2:1 glucose to fructose blend with performance in mind. Look out for them in March 2014.
Clif Shot Electrolyte Hydration Drink
Clif reformulated its electrolyte hydration mix to a reduced concentration of 4 percent carbohydrates—compared to the former version with 8 percent—taking on the mindset of “fluid in the bottle, fuel in your pocket” that has recently become a hot nutrition topic. The two flavors, Cranberry Razz and Lemon Lime-Ade, contain less sugar and fewer carbs than previous editions, with the intention of decreasing GI distress and increasing rehydration. Both are clean, crisp and refreshing (as pictured, the Cranberry Razz is naturally colored with beet juice but translucent). The mix comes in one big package or single-serving packets (made for 16-oz bottles) with 80 calories, 250mg sodium, 50mg potassium and 20g of carbs. The drink is made with 90 percent organic ingredients.
Clif Shot Protein Recovery Drink
With a combination of milk, whey and casein protein, Clif’s two recovery drinks (in Chocolate and Orange Mango) address an athlete’s carbohydrate and protein needs within the 30-minute recovery window post-workout—the 10g of protein not only assists in muscle rebuilding immediately after training, but the slower-to-digest casein keeps the process going long after. The Chocolate flavor is sweet and decadent (one of the drink creators used to work in ice cream!), and the Orange Mango is reminiscent of a thirst-quenching tropical juice.
Gu Salted Caramel
When Gu announced they would debut a new savory flavor at this year’s Interbike, we spent some time joking about what it could possibly be—Pepperoni Pizza? Chicken and Waffles? Ahi Tuna Roll? Thankfully it turned out to be salted caramel, one of their best flavors yet. There’s no easier way to describe it than to say it tastes like…well, salted caramel. If you put it on ice cream, it would probably taste pretty good. Whether or not we could stomach that flavor for really long workouts is yet to be tested, but it’s a welcome addition to the gel family.
Honey Stinger Cherry Cola Energy Chews
The Cherry Cola chews are the latest from Honey Stinger, and their second flavor that includes caffeine from white tea. The cherry is more dominating than the cola, but with the same honey sweetness we love. Like the other flavors, the chews are made from 95 percent organic ingredients.
Gu Roctane Electrolyte Capsules
We haven’t tested Gu’s new electrolyte tabs in a workout yet, but we’re excited that they’ll be on the market in January 2014. They have 140mg of sodium, with the added ingredients of Vitamin B6 and ginger root to help keep your stomach calm. The 125-capsule bottle will retail for around $20.
OSMO Active Hydration and Acute Recovery for Women
After noticing that most of the data in hydration/training studies has been collected from men, Dr. Stacy Sims set out to figure out the different needs for a woman’s physiology. Her years of research led her to create a new line catered to women, who she believes have different nutrition needs, including a smaller recovery window and predisposition to overtraining due to doing too much intensity at various times during the menstrual cycle.
Her new line of products, aimed to “improve power output and endurance, avoid premenstrual performance decline and optimize training adaptations” give options for before, during and after exercise. We tested the Active Hydration in Mango and Acute Recovery in Honey Spice and loved both.
Maybe it’s because I’ve choked down too many lemon-lime and orange sports drinks in my day, but the mango hydration flavor tastes different than anything I’ve had before, and the subtle (read: not overpowering or unnatural) fruitiness is a welcome change. The recovery drink is reminiscent of an iced chai tea latte, and I’m looking forward to trying the “Honey Mocha” recipe suggestion on the back of the container—mix 50 percent rice milk with 50 percent water, add a shot of chilled espresso and top with cocoa. Active Hydration is $19.99 for 40 servings, Acute Recovery is $34.99 for 16 servings and both products are now available.