In the supermarket the other other day I spotted a PowerBar ride bar, retails at around £1 per bar. I then later saw a 6 pack of nature valley Chewy Trail Mix bars for £2.39 so I did a little compare of the nutritional info that I consider must be the most crucial DURING a ride.
Per 100g, the nature valley has 7 more calories, 22.3g more Carbs, and 1.3g more Carb of which sugars.
The Ride bar has more than twice as much protein which I always understood was more vital for recovery.

My question is: Is there a sound nutritional reason to buy the expensive, purpose-designed sports bar over the lunch-box filler which seems to have all the right figures. Are there differing types of Cargbohydrate, with the PowerBar being full of the right stuff?
Should I be looking at other figures, Fat, Fibre etc? I'm really only concerned with something to eat during long rides to keep my legs moving til the end.

Anyone out there with knowledge on this subject, I'd love to hear from you.



JonMack [169 posts] 5 years ago

According to some quick research I did, while carbohydrate is the most important thing to be taking in while exercising (something like 1g/kg of body weight/hr), muscle is actively being broken down as you ride. By consuming protein you help to delay that from happening because the body prefers to use dietary protein rather than existing protein in the body. So while carb content is the most important value to look at, protein is also an important factor.

dave atkinson [6330 posts] 5 years ago

personally, although i do like gels for a quick energy hit i've pretty much given up on cycling-specific bars. I prefer to make my own. it's easy!

all you need is some oats, a bunch of other stuff (seeds, nuts, dried fruit) and a tin of condensed milk. Mix it all up and bake it in the oven for half an hour. job done and they're ludicrously tasty; i have to hide them or they're all gone by the time i go out to ride  1

generally speaking carbs are better for shorter rides and the longer you go the more fat and protein you want. just change the mix of fruit/nuts/seeds depending on your preference.

nom nom