Many times on this blog, I have mentioned that as a C Grade Cyclist I am all about value-for-money, bang-for-buck, and cheap-but-effective. As such I don't normally buy 'energy bars', and usually buy up bulk quantities of my favourite muesli bar ("Carman's Muesli Bars") whenever they come on special at the local supermarket.
A few weeks ago though, as I browsed through the aisles looking for marked-down goodness, I came across a box of Winners Energy Bars (Choc-Berry flavour) that had been knocked down to half-price as it was getting close to expiry. always one to snap up a bargain, I grabbed them with both hands and hoped that I wouldn't have buyer's remorse later...
For those who care about the important figures - these bars have 183 calories, 5.2g of protein, 4.6g of fat, 27.7g of carbs (of which 9.1g is sugar) and 21mg of sodium.
As a rule, I don't eat prior to training rides less than 90min long (in the morning, pre-breakfast that is). And so I normally would only wolf down a muesli bar before setting off on longer bunch rides. This is where I used these bars - usually before setting off on my 2-3hr Planet Cycles shop rides on a Saturday morning.
Do they work?
Yes, of course they do - they provide energy. I wouldn't say any more or less than my normal muesli bar hit, although I got the feeling they lasted a bit longer energy-wise... That's not measurable in any way though, and could have been just placebo.
More importantly - the taste!
Taste is always subjective - but I really liked these. The texture was terrific, chewy and a little moist, and very easy to eat. I felt like I was eating something 'substantial' which is what I prefer for pre-ride food.
The actual flavour made me think of a cross between a Carman's muesli bar and a Cherry Ripe chocolate bar - in a good way!! Just enough chocolate to flavour the bar, and a nice berry taste without being sweet. Thumbs up from me.
Would I buy these again?
Yes, I would - with the caveat that I would only buy them on special.
I honestly believe that most 'energy bars' are massively over-priced for what they are. I got these for around $1.50/bar, which I thought was very fair. But I wouldn't pay more than $2/bar for them (or any other bar).
If you are the sort of person that likes buying products in this category though, then put these on your list. Great taste and texture, ticks off the energy needs, fits easily into a rear jersey pocket.