Staving off hunger and energy dips on a long ride essentially comes down to packing as much carbohydrate into as small and light a package as possible, but with enough protein content to allow the body to maximize use of the carbs.
Each 48g bar contains 190 calories, of which 27g is carbohydrate and 9g protein, with 6g of fat. Fibre content is 3g per bar. The bars are mainly based around oats, soy flour and soya protein, with added nuts, vitamins and flavour ingredients.
What makes the Luna bar, from makers of natural snack bars Clif, a bit different from other energy bars is that it’s been designed for women’s bodies. Cynics may, ahem, scoff that this is referring to the chocolate content of the flavours, but it’s actually referring to the balance of various female friendly nutrients contained in the bars. In addition to the usual vitamins and minerals found in good nutrition bars, the Luna bar is crammed full of calcium and folic acid, making it well suited to the needs of the active woman.
Most importantly though, the Luna bar tastes great. More like a teatime treat than an energy bar. The texture is easy to cope with, even when cold (not overly chewy) and doesn’t require gallons of water to help it down, although as with most energy bars, drinking does optimize its use. The ingredients are 70% organically sourced and are touted as being wholly natural, with no artificial colourings or flavours, no hydrogenated oils and not genetically engineered. In the UK the bar is available in Caramel Nut Brownie (as tested) or Nutz Over Chocolate so you’ve got to be a fan of nuts and, erm, chocolate, but the full range (in the US) includes such tempting options as Peanut Butter Cookie, S’mores, LemonZest, Dulce de Leche and Chai Tea.
The impact on performance is slow burn rather than an immediate effect. This is a bar best used to keep you ticking over on a long training ride or touring day, where its enjoyment factor will make a big difference to morale. It’s also a bar that really active women will appreciate as a healthy snack in their day to day life, or as a post-exercise treat. On the bike, the top of the bar can get a little sticky in transport, making eating it a bit on the messy side.
I should say men can eat these too, without any ill effects, but judging by the eager reaction of the male contingent of the road.cc office, that would just mean they’d disappear much more quickly.
A single Luna bar costs £1.29, but most retailers sell them by the box of 15 for somewhere between £17 and £22.
Genuinely enjoyable to eat, with pleasant texture and gives a good slow burn energy boost.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Luna bar
Size tested: Caramel Nut Brownie
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes. But only ones who like chocolate and nuts.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.