Friday, September 14, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: PowerBar


Throughout this year I have been extremely lucky to be on Team Rev3 and sponsored by some amazing companies.  I’ve actually received several questions regarding my sponsors over the year.

So, I thought for those of you curious, especially since I know Rev3 2013 team applications will be hitting the street this fall, I’d share my thoughts about being sponsored by doing a sponsor spotlight series. (When applications hit the street, I'll be sure to let you all know in case you're interested in applying.)

Today it’s all about Powerbar!

In the past, I’ve used a variety of different nutrition products, some were powerbar and some were not.  I’ve experimented with different products and have found Powerbar to be a great find.  I’m not a nutritionist so most of this post is going to be based on personal preference.  If you are looking for an in-depth post from a nutritionist about PowerBar products read Tara’s post.

Products.  

With our team sponsorship we are lucky enough to be able to try out a variety of products, I have definitely taken advantage of this! 


Gels.
As I mentioned when I found out about PowerBar, I immediately knew I’d be ordering a LOT of Double Latte Gels.  These are my absolute favorite gel.  


What I didn’t expect was to find another gel that I like equally, if not, even MORE than Double Latte.  Enter Kona Punch! 

Here is what powerbar says about their gels: PowerBar Energy Gel is formulated with PowerBar® C2MAX dual source energy blend, a 2:1 glucose to fructose blend found to deliver 20–50% more energy to muscles than glucose alone and improve endurance performance by 8%.*** PowerBar Energy gels contain 200mg sodium — a key electrolyte lost in sweat that is associated with muscle cramping in some athletes.

Here is what nutritionists say about their blend:  “Powergels use a blend of carbohydrates (maltodextrin [which is essentially chains of glucose] and fructose). Because the source of carbs is mixed your body can absorb more carbohydrates in a given time period. It used to be thought that the ceiling for carbohydrate absorption during exercise was 60g/hr. However, newer research using mixed sources of carbs is now showing it may be as high as 90 g/hr. This is great because we can burn more exogenous carbohydrate for energy rather than using up our precious glycogen stores! Courtesy of Tara Martine, RD

Other gel flavors I've tried this year include: Raspberry Cream, Green Apple and Vanilla.  All have a easy to swallow, more liquid-y than most, consistency which I really like!  Also, there are multiple flavors (7!) and all that I have tried are tasty but not too strong.

Gel Blasts.
These have been my go-to bike fuel. I love these.  The only down side is the packaging, it’s a bit bulky but I found that for the bike, I’ll rip the pack open pre-race, put in my bento with the opening at the top and it’s easy to grab a couple from my bento.  Blasts come in 4 flavors: Cola, Banana-Strawberry, Lemon and Raspberry.  I’ve tried them all except for the Banana-Strawberry (I personally don’t like anything this flavor so I didn’t bother).  My favorite are the Cola’s, they taste just like a coke! YUM!  

Following that would be Raspberry and lastly Lemon.   Nom, nom!

Bars.
Here’s where I was navigating new ground.  I’d never really tried PowerBar—bars, except way back in the day when my dad would eat the original Malt flavored ones on long bike rides.  (I just read in Runner’s World that they discontinued the original flavor.)  Anyway, I went a little nuts on bars. 

I tried a bunch of different ones including:
Recovery in Cookies and Cream
Protein Plus in Dulce de Leche
Harvest Energy in Strawberry Crunch, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Fruit Smoothie  in Creamy Citrus
Triple Threat Energy in S’mores, Caramel Peanut Fusion, Chocolate Toffee Almond, Chocolate Caramel Fusion
Pure & Simple Roasted Peanut



Out of all of these my absolute favorite bar for snacking and indoor training is Triple Threat Energy in Caramel Peanut Fusion---this bar tastes like snickers!  I say for “indoor training” b/c it is chocolate covered which means I would imagine a messy unveiling if used for outdoor training in any sort of heat.


My favorite bar for OUTDOOR training, is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Harvest bar.  This bar has chocolate in it but is not chocolate coated making it perfectly usable for outdoor training.  I don’t eat bars while running but my husband, the ultramarathoner, does.  These bars are heavy duty, at 240 calories a pop, which means you don’t have to eat as much to get the same caloric intake.  This usually works well for me.  Much better than say, 3 gels for the same caloric amount.  I also like that they contain protein which I think helps keep me fuller longer.

Other things I like about PowerBar products.  They are easily accessible.  You don’t have to go to an obscure store or only shop online.  In fact, you can usually find their products at places like Target and sometimes even at your local Safeway.

As I said, I’m not a nutritionist so these opinions are those of just a regular ole athlete but for me, these products work and work well.

*Disclaimer: As part of my sponsorship I am given products at no cost.  However, I was not paid to write this post and my opinions are truly my own.