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Best tasting cycling energy foods

Cyclist magazine
26 Mar 2021

If you've got a sweet tooth, cram your pockets with a handful of these cycling snacks to fuel your next ride.

Although it’s likely to bring a tear to the eye of the average sports nutritionist, at Cyclist we often can’t resist the temptation to jam our jersey pockets with food for our ride based on how nice it tastes rather than whether it’s delivering the perfect nutritional balance.

We’re sure we’re not alone in this so we gathered together a selection of sporty treats that all do a pretty good impression of something you might actually like to snack on while still managing to deliver enough energy for you to keep turning the pedals.

We then ate them and rated them on how much they made us go ‘yum’ – the universally recognised scientific method for rating how good stuff tastes.

Science in Sport Go Energy Bar

Buy now from £1.50 per bar from Science in Sport

Coming in a mini 40 gram serving, Science in Sport’s bars save you from having half an uneaten bar gumming up your jersey pocket when you don’t have either the time or the inclination to scoff a whole one.

Packed with 139 calories, this is derived from concentrated fruit juices, while the majority of the bar is made up of dried fruits and cereal.

With a useful 4.5 grams of protein but only 2 grams of fat, they’re good for general purpose grazing during moderate to high-intensity exercise. Moderately sweet, they’re pretty noshable too.

Buy now from £1.50 per bar from Science in Sport

Clif Bar

I must have pilfered at least my body weight in these things during the years I worked in bike shops. Available in a huge range of flavours – including Choc Chip, Blueberry Crisp and Peanut Butter – these flapjacks retain a home-made flavour and texture thanks to the use of only natural ingredients, including organic oats.

We particularly like the raisin and walnut ones as those including choc chips can be a bit sickly if eaten in large quantities. Suitable for vegans.

Nakd Bars

These slightly worthy bars are good if you don’t have a massively sweet tooth. Dairy, wheat and gluten-free, they’re perfect if you’re vegan, and even manage to be kosher.

Pretty soft and chewy, they contain only raw fruits and nuts, which probably also makes them a lot healthier than more processed alternatives.

Of course, that’s all well and good, but with each 35 gram bar packs in significantly fewer calories than an equivalently sized Snickers, you might find yourself calculating between nutritional value and calorific content.

OTE Duo Bar

Like a Rice Krispies cake for your riding, each bar contains 40g of carbohydrate and 9g of protein. Split into equal-sized pieces, they’re far less dense than a regular bar despite containing a similar amount of carbohydrate.

They’re a lot less effort to eat than some chewy energy bars, too, which is good when your head knows you need to take on food but your stomach is less willing. Suitable for vegetarians.

Honey Stinger Organic Caramel Waffle

Extra Euro Classics points go to Honey Stinger for managing to weaponise the Stroopwafel, the syrup-infused waffle that powers the majority of the world’s Dutch speakers.

In the office, we sometimes eat these gluten-free snacks with our coffee, which may not be wise considering each packs in 160 calories. And we drink a lot of coffee.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans

Who doesn’t love Jelly Beans? These sporty versions pack extra vitamins B and C along with a small dose of carbohydrate into their gooey bellies.

A jittery, caffeine-charged version is also available. With added electrolytes, they’re vaguely, but not unpleasantly, salty tasting. Gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free and suitable for vegetarians.

Honey Stinger Chews

These are some of the nicest tasting cycling sweets. Small and easy to swallow, they derive their energy from organic tapioca syrup and honey and they’re also gluten-free.

Not too chewy, they're easy to get down even when you’re feeling the onset of ‘the bonk’ and should get to work quickly thanks to their multiple carbohydrate sources. Suitable for vegetarians.

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