Energy & recovery bars
After a long race, sportive or training ride, you can help muscle recovery by taking on some protein. One way to do this is munch on a Multipower Fit Protein Flapjack – and it's a very tasty option indeed.
Each 70g bar contains 18g of protein, along with 33g of carbohydrate and 7.7g of fat - of which 1.4 is saturated. The main ingredients include oats, milk protein, glucose syrup and vegetable oils, and there are two topping varieties: Chocolate or Yoghurt. The Yoghurt Topping bar also contains cranberry.
For cyclists needing to eat during long races or other endurance events, energy food usually means a gel or a bar. These Sponser Red Power Gums fall into a different bracket that can only be described as chewy sweets. They're tasty, easy to eat and deliver a good supply of carbohydrate for energy - plus a dash of caffeine for an extra little boost.
Nuun hydration tablets have been around for a few years (in fact, they're the original electrolyte-only tab) and recently some new flavours have been added to the range. Dropping a Nuun tab in a bottle of water creates a refreshing drink with added minerals to help keep you hydrated and avoid cramp when cycling.
PowerBar is well known for its range of heavily performance-slanted sports bars, drinks and gels, so this new 'all natural' fruit and nut Natural Energy bar may be an unexpected addition to the range. But PowerBar is part of the Nestle empire, so it's not too surprising to see a product that's more like confectionary than a performance enhancer. Without doubt it's tasty and healthy snack, but as a source of energy for most performance-orientated cyclists there are better options out there.
Sponser Sport Food is a Swiss brand of nutrition products, now available in the UK. High Energy bars are mainly carbohydrate, with small proportions of protein, fat and fibre, which together are ideal for helping you through long sportives or training rides.
Multipower is well-known in gyms and weight-rooms for range of body-building powders and potions, but several endurance products are also available - including the Multicarbo Hi-Energy Bar.
The Multipower brand is perhaps better known in the world of body-building than among speed and endurance sports, but alongside the jars of muscle-enhancing powder, various carb-based energy products are on offer, including this Multicarbo Hi-Energy Jelly.
As the name implies, it's a jelly, not a gel, and if you dislike the liquidy nature of most energy gels, you might prefer chewing on this stuff. It has a firm consistency - like the gelatine blocks you make kids' party jelly from.
Go-bars from SIS have been around for years, and have a good reputation as a high-performing energy bar for cyclists. You'll see them plucked from jersey back pockets everywhere from major pro races to your local sportive - as well as in other sports. While popular, some riders found the original 65g Go-bar simply too big to carry, or to eat in one, er, go, so a range of smaller ('mini') 40g bars are now available.
The Mutlipower Multicarbo Energy+Fruit bar differs from the vast majority of energy bars in that it's based on fruit instead of oats. Each 50g bar contains 34g of carbs, mainly derived from dextrose and maltodextrin, as well as 7g of protein. Studies have shown that ingesting protein as well as carbs during exercise improves performance for longer, endurance efforts. As such, the Energy+Fruit could be your best friend in a sportive.
Honey Stinger is an American brand making various bars and gels, as well as these energy chews. Even though the look and taste like wine gums, they really are made of honey - along with cane juice and tapioca syrup and grape juice - which means they're more healthy than real wine gums. They're also gluten free, dairy free and 90% organic.