It is a joy to finally find an energy bar I can actually eat and not feel like I have eaten a bag of jelly beans! These bars are good!
I am not a fan of chocolate. I do not like candy as a rule. My idea of a great midnight snack is half a head of lettuce drenched in wine vinegar. No oil, just vinegar. Now many people credit this penchant as being partially contributory to my winning ways and personable disposition. Others credit it to irascibility and old age, but....
As a result I do not like most energy bars. My favorite energy comes in a peel not a wrapper. It's called a banana. Maybe some trail mix (the salt kills the ubiquitous chocolate bits), and some extra raisins. But... when Dan came home from Interbike (he stayed an extra day) he arrived with a supply of PureFit nutrition bars for us to try. I was singularly un-enthused, but since testing this stuff goes with the territory I took four and said OK.
Our Halloween In Gotham ride was scheduled so we could test out much of the gear from Interbike and the PowerBars were on the sched. So when we pitted about half way around the Isle of Manhattan it seemed a logical place to fuel up and try out the bars. I opted for the Almond Crunch!
Bottom Line? Not bad at all! Ok I'd rather still eat natural foods in their natural state, but this bar really comes close and damn they are more convenient (ever smash a banana in your handle bar bag and have to eat it warm that afternoon? I have. It is not pretty!).
The booth dude at Interbike had promised Dan that the bars were not sticky. They were not!
He promised that they were acceptable to the pallet. They were.
He said that they would sustain you. They did.
But much of their claims really revolve around what they don't have, namely:
No Hydrogenated Oils
No Animal Products - Vegan
No Cholesterol, or trans-fatty acids
No Wheat or Gluten
No Artificial Sweeteners
Now I do eat energy bars, very occasionally when I am on a multi-day charity ride for instance. I hit a pit stop, tank up on the Gatorade, and very occasionally I'll wash down an offered energy bar, but I do this simply to pack on the energy. I do not like them! I find the combination of the sweet "'ades" and the sweetened bar yield a sugar high that wanes rapidly unless balanced with a few bananas, and some nuts.
This experience was different! The bar was not too sweet, it was tasty. There was only a slight hint of almond from the almond oil it contained. The texture was not objectionable, dense, but with a "whole wheat-esque" tooth that was actually pleasant. The bar had good mouth feel and washed down with some Elete Hyrdation Product, or plain water, the bar was actually good and fulfilling. No cloying sweetness, or vile aftertaste.
After we had eaten the bars and drunk the water we rode off feeling refreshed and satisfied. There was just enough chewability and just enough bulk to leave me satisfied, not bloated! We finished the ride, another 18 or so miles, and headed for Penn Station and the train home. I was once again hungry (which I should have been, this is not a fault of the bar, it was a result of no breakfast) and I reached in and grabbed a Peanut Butter version of the same product. This incidentally has an additional 20 calories over the Almond Crunch, since it actually has peanuts in it. Sitting there on the train on the way home with nothing to do but chew the bar, frankly, I found nothing wrong with it! It was a satisfying, wholesome snack. My hands were fine, no stickiness. My tummy was full enough to be satisfied, and the stuff they make the bar from is wholesome and healthy. (Mostly Soy protein). So, where is the down side? I can't find it.
There is actually a benefit to the endurance athlete who chooses to derive their energy from protein instead of carbs, but it is too technical to go into here. But this is what the bar will help you do, take my word for it. It will help replace your carbo loading for energy with a balanced protein/carb/fat mix to allow your metabolism to derive energy from all three sources. These bars are quite simply good to eat and actually good for you! They are a winner!
On one of our review rides, we found an extra added bonus feature to this high quality product. On our ride in Connecticut we met up with a triathlete friend of our's and wanted to remember our ride with her. So, of course we wanted to shoot a picture of all of us together. Being out in the wilds of CT, we didn't have a tripod available so we'd have to improvise. We would be using an automatic shot from the camera so that we all could be in the photo. The Purefit Energy Bar's easily moldable texture lent itself perfectly to the idea. Thanks for your help Purefit!