Food is a tough one because so many factors come into play when deciding what, when, and how to balance your nutrition intake vs your caloric output while factoring in what needs to be replenished in your system.
With all that in mind, I am going to tell you about the yummy things I find. If I like the taste and texture I am more likely to eat it. Whereas, if it is dry, slimy, too sweet, hard to chew or resembles horse oats it is likely to never make it from the bike snack drawer to the bike bag.
Things I am loving:
Uber bars in the fruit flavors by Larabar are the bomb – I was introduced to these in 2013 on the Marin Century and have been chasing after them ever since. Unfortunately, I am finding these increasingly difficult to locate in the fruit flavors. Kosher, Non-GMO but not organic
I am a new convert to Probar. I love that they are vegan, organic and non-GMO. On long ride days when I can’t muster the energy to cook some steel oats for my morning breakfast, I down one of the Probar Meals and I am good to go. They are satisfying, filling and lasting without being heavy or bulky.
For a quick hit when I can’t stop or bear to eat anything, my go to is the ClifBar Bloks. They are easy to eat, and convenient to carry. They really do help me to prevent bonking. On long rides I pop one blok in every half hour. Each blok contains 33 calories, granted you are burning more than 66 calories per hour riding but I find it keeps my energy levels up until I consume real food.
I know a lot of people’s goto is the gel but if you are budget minded opt for the bloks over the Gel. For the same price the bloks are 2 servings per package (200 calories); the gel is only 1 serving (110 calories). Extra bonus on the bloks – they have caffeine for us coffee addicts.
Tip on the bloks – cut the package in half before your ride. No fighting with opening the end of the package while you are riding and it makes it easy to dispense right into your mouth without touching them with grubby, sweaty paws.
Since the Uber’s are tough to locate my fall back bar snack is Clif’s Fruit and Nut Mojo. Tasty stuff – chewy, sweet, salty, nutty, fruity. Big yum here.
Mostly organic but doesn’t claim to be organic.
In general, I opt to eat my calories and use my water bottle for hydration; however, there are days when you need to the added caloric intake. When I need to drink calories, Osmo is my go to supplement. Tasty without being too intense and is easier on my stomach than some of the other options. That said, I often mix it at half the intensity recommended. A big thanks goes to Osmo for being so supportive of the Marin County Bike Coalition. They are at all of the events and are supportive of the cycling community. That is reason alone to opt for Osmo.
When I am only looking for electrolytes, I drop ½ of a nuun into each of my waterbottles and toss a second one in my lunchbox for the afternoon. Nuun also has a good logo, I like the packaging and the compressed tablet is nice and compact.
…but we all know all rides in Marin county end at the Gestalt Haus in Fairfax for proper post ride hydration.