Honey Stinger products include various energy bars and gels, but today at road.cc we're testing Honey Stinger protein bars.
Honey Stinger is a popular brand of energy food in the good ole US of A, and the bars are available in a lot of shops in Scotland, but they're relatively unknown in other parts of Blighty. That means you might be missing out, as these are some of the most delicious bars we've ever tasted, and all it's all thanks to a key ingredient: each bar is 30% pure organic honey. Yes, the clue's in the name.
Honey has long been recognised as a great natural source of energy - it contains glucose and fructose - and to create these protein bars the honey is mixed with chocolate and other ingredients to create tempting flavours such as dark chocolate cherry almond and chocolate almond mint. The protein itself largely comes from whey.
The bars come in two varieties: small (42g) and large (81g). For the stats, each 42g protein bar provides 190 calories, and consists of 10g of protein, 18-19g of carb (depending on flavour), and 8-10g of fat (3-4g of which is saturated). The 81g bar is double this.
Whatever size you go for, the protein:carb:fat breakdown is roughly 25:50:20%. The bars also contain a good range of vitamins and minerals.
The protein:carb ratio of 1:2 would be regarded by most sports nutritionists as unsuitable as a source of energy during a long ride or sportive, but they are ideal for recovery afterwards - when the protein helps rebuild tired and damaged muscle.
When it comes to cost, the 81g bars retail for between £2 and £2.30 in bike shops and sports shops. This isn't cheap, but it's on a par with prices for other brands, where 50g protein bars usually cost somewhere around £1.50. Searching on-line you can get a box of 12 for around £22.
The 42g bars retail for around £1.75 each, or £24.50 for a box of 15 from the Honey Stinger site.
As well as a post-ride protein replacement, these bars are also ideal as snack at any time, and much better for you than an ordinary chocolate bar, as there's a much lower proportion of saturated fat and refined sugar. Here at road.cc we find they go really well with a cup of coffee to fire up the creative juices of a morning.
Our recommendation comes with the usual caveat: As with all energy and recovery products, only trial and error will help you find what works best for you, but we think Honey Stinger Protein Bars could be a good product to consider adding to your armoury.
You might also be persuaded to try them by the endorsements of one of Honey Stinger's owners - a certain Mr Lance Armstrong. But there again, from the tone of some messages on our forum, you might not.
A very tasty and healthy source of protein - ideal for post-ride recovery, and good for snacks too.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Honey Stinger Protein bar
Size tested: Various
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Honey Stingers UK website says: 'Not your ordinary protein bar! ... Honey Stinger™ protein bars are gluten free and contain no trans fats. Our protein bar is truly unique as we include over 30% USDA certified organic honey, 20 grams of whey protein - 20% of the daily recommended allowance, 23 vitamins and minerals, calcium and antioxidants.'
As they say, it's not your ordinary protein bar. It's tasty, tasty, very very tasty...
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
About the tester
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,