A Dude Abikes Likes: Some Nutrition Bars
Much has and will be written about sports nutrition. Your mileage with various sports bars may quite literally vary based on which tyipe and how many you stuff down your grocery face hole, age, weight, hydration, genes, favorite color, etc. Point is, this is a just one dude’s blog post with a few tips, not an exhaustive scientific review. Hopefully they will be of some use to you. If you have other experiences or ideas, please share them in the comment section.
What you should eat for exercising is hotly debated by scientists, trainers, coaches, athletes, et al., but mostly by people who want you to buy their snack instead of the other guy’s. The glycogen-carbohydrate, sugar v. protein, natural v. synthetic etc. debates will rage on. But for me, when I’m out riding my bike, I just like to have a snack about every hour. That’s enough to keep me from getting ravenous, or having a belly ache, or runing out of energy. But a large consideration is to preserve muscle from burning up. Of course hydration is a must and I’ve previously touched on one product I like for that.
A rule of thumb about all this is carbs before, and proteins after. But there is no hard and fast rule. (Except don’t change what you eat or do on race day.) YOU have to figure out what works for YOU. When I tried a vegan juice fast and diet for the first week of the year, I lost a lot of weight. But it also made me anemic, so it backfired on me big time. You don’t want to start eating chia seeds to find out they give you the runs. Experiment on days where you aren’t going to be away from a bathroom for 6 hours.
4 Nutrition Bars I Like + 1 That’s Not a Bar
1. Clif Bars have been around a while. They are known for having some healthy ingredients but also alot of added sugar. The first thing in the package pictured is brown rice syrup, and there are three other kinds of sugar too. There are also several processed soy ingredients, as well as peanut butter, dates, etc. There are many flavors and varieties. A newer Protein version has whey and only 5g of sugar. Fairly cheap. I used to go for those but kinda got tired of the taste and now that I’m aiming for whole grains, it’s off the list. I would of course eat one if that was all I had available.
2. thinkThin bars have 20g of protein that is soy, but no added sugar. Instead they use a sugar alcohol, maltitol, which in large quantities can have an er, “laxative effect.” There is also kind of bitter taste. To me they are more like a candy bar, but don’t really satisfy hunger. They do provide nutrition, however, but please freeze them if you go on a bike ride. The chocolate covering melts easily in your bike jersey. Cheaper now they’re available in more stores.
3. RX Bars have fewer ingredients and put the words “No B.S.” right on the label. It’s catchy, but some versions have a few unclear ingredients. Like “natural flavors” which must be some blueberry juice. (Natural isn’t always healthy. Nuclear waste is natural, if you think about it.) But overall a very tasty, if very chewy, bar. Not vegan due to the eggs, but no added sugar, either. Just dates, nuts and whatever flavoring. The protein is a plus, too. A little more costly but the natural is worth it.
4. Thunderbird Real Food Bar is the new kid on the block which I really like. It’s made in Austin, has no grains (which they get around by having buckwheat which is a grass or rhubarb or something), and no added sugar. But it also has little protein. It’s not the cheapest but on sale is comparable. Hopefully they’ll make a protein version.
5. Fruit is not a bar but deserves to be on this list, but I think in the end is probably the best thing for you. I like dates, but dried mango, a real banana or banana chips, or just about any other natural, real fruit is almost always going to be superior to a bar. Maybe not as portable, but try an orange after a hard charge up and down a bunch of Hill Country tar and seal road, and compare that to one of the bars. It’s really no contest.
And the winner is….not a bar, it’s FRUIT!!! Fooled ya’!
Wet Weather in the Holler Means Time on the Trainer
Today I did another 17-mile trainer, 1-hour ride; the link takes you to the GPS app Strava. Because skinny tires and wet roads are not a good match. It gave me the opportunity to have a chat with a friend and also pick up watching the last of the three Grand Tours, La Vuelta a Espana, from last fall. It helped motivate me to see the pros out there doing it. Until I have a windfall and get the online game Zwift, a new bike, and a very expensive Tour de France trainer called the Peloton, this is how I roll. Literally.
I actually found today’s ride fairly easy. I didn’t push it quite as hard as last time and wasn’t on the third chain rings as much. So my top speed didn’t hit 30, only 21. Just a steady, consistent cadence did work up a good sweat though. Like talking with riding buddies on the road, doing so on the phone made the time pass faster, which was nice.
- Speaking of Buddy’s, he didn’t like me doing it but kept checking to see if I was OK, which was sweet of him. I try to get him to go to the next room but he just likes to be wherever I am. Right now cuddled up on the bed as I finish this. Renting a dog is not like a car. Though I guess you could miss a car too, cars don’t play fetch, or join you on the futon for a nap, sit on the yoga mat when you’re in the middle of using it, or give you the soul eye when he wants to be fed, or play growls with a stick or toy. He’s alot of fun.
- We took our walks today and they were wet and cold. He doesn’t seem to mind, bounding after rabbits or just into the woods to smell stuff, or chasing a stick or toy with wild abandon. I could and may just write a whole post about the joys of dogdom.
- Today was my weekly job search support group. It was a good meeting. One person got a second interview. Another has started going to events that pertain to her field. A Dude talked about this blog as a possible long-term income source but is realistic about the odds of that are quite low. Still, A Dude can dream. (Hopefully not about electric sheep. They’re weird.) Isn’t anyone a Phillip K. Dick fan? How about Blade Runner? I loved the long-awaited sequel Blade Runner 2049 that came out last year.
- Looks like I’ll be out here another week, give or take. So more stories from the country, yay!
- Buddy says hello!
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