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Protein Bars - Energy For Long Hikes.


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Remember back when Power Bars first came out? I think astronaunts had better food than this goop they market as Protein snacks. It took them awhile but they did eventually try to improve the taste and texture of Power Bars. In my opinion it didn't help much. The latest Protein snack is the Cliff and Luna Bar. These weren't half bad at first. Now however, I can't stand the thought of them. And don't get me started on the Protein Gels. I do consume these gels out of necessity when I'm exerting a lot of energy over a long period. However, each time I squirt one of those gel packets in my mouth I instantly want to hurl.

 

Does anyone else have a problem with these "Protein Snacks"? Have you found any that taste good? Why can't they make a Protein product that people can actually consume and not feel like they are sacrificing taste for instant energy?

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If you lurk about the backpacking messageboards, you'll come up with innumerable fast, light, no-cook trail foods.

 

Some viable alternatives that are personal favourites:

 

Bagel and cream cheese (keeps for at least 4 days w/o refrigeration, honest!)

Pita bread and dehydrated hummous (just add water!)

Pita bread and your favourite spread

Clif bars :(

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Does anyone else have a problem with these "Protein Snacks"?  Have you found any that taste good?  Why can't they make a Protein product that people can actually consume and not feel like they are sacrificing taste for instant energy?

Funny, I actually find the newest products from Clif and Power Bar to be quite tastey. I find myself grabbing a Frosted Power Bar Crunch or a Power Bar Triple Threat as an afternoon snack even if I haven't been doing anything physical. Some how I have been lead to believe that it is a better snack for me than say a candybar or chips. But I might be wrong about that.

 

IMO, the "energy bar" has come a long way in the past years. I remember buying a box of MetRx bars a few years back and throwing the whole box away after taking just a few bites. :vomit:

 

Edit: it's "throwing", not "throughing"... you dolt!

Edited by mini cacher
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I've always carried snickers bars. I have looked for good energy bars, but they all seem to be terrible. It ain't just you. I also make my own GORP mix too. Mmmm... peanut M&M's! :(

 

 

(*GORP -- "Good Old Raisins and Peanuts")

(EDIT -- spellin's)

Edited by mtn-man
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Does anyone else have a problem with these "Protein Snacks"?  Have you found any that taste good?  Why can't they make a Protein product that people can actually consume and not feel like they are sacrificing taste for instant energy?

Funny, I actually find the newest products from Clif and Power Bar to be quite tastey. I find myself grabbing a Frosted Power Bar Crunch or a Power Bar Triple Threat as an afternoon snack even if I haven't been doing anything physical. Some how I have been lead to believe that it is a better snack for me than say a candybar or chips. But I might be wrong about that.

 

IMO, the "energy bar" has come a long way in the past years. I remember buying a box of MetRx bars a few years back and throwing the whole box away after taking just a few bites. :vomit:

 

Edit: it's "throwing", not "throughing"... you dolt!

ClifBars are pretty good. I'm not sure if they still make their "Ice" series or not, but it contained coffee beans (and of course caffeine!) :(

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If you think Power Bars are bad, try them when they are frozen. Took a couple skiing, normally I take granola bars, Got late in tha day and was hungry. I spent an hour sucking on that stupid thing, and I am here to tell ya a power bar is nothing like a popcicle. :blink:

 

edit: have to learn to spell someday.

Edited by Polar B's
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If you think Power Bars are bad, try them when they are frozen. Took a couple skiing, normally I take granola bars, Got late in tha day and was hungry. I spent an hour sucking on that stupid thing, and I am here to tell ya a power bar is nothing like a popcicle. :blink:

 

edit: have to learn to spell someday.

:blink::ph34r::huh:

 

You are right. I failed to mention that in my rant. The original style Power Bars are impossible to eat when they are really cold or frozen. The Clif Bars are somewhat easier in this regard however I can't stand the taste of them anymore and would have to be near starvation in order to eat one.

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Power Bars are tough to eat when they're cold, but they're impossible to get out of the package when they're hot. They become sticky, chocolate tar. Still, they are useful as moderately quick energy (not as quick as Gatorade or gel, but more appropriate than jerky).

 

I'll second the bagel-cream cheese suggestion.

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I can't remember the name of it, but I bought one that was awesome from Vons, in Mammoth. It made the claim of being the best tasting energy bar on the market right on the bar and for me it was.

 

Power Bars really work, but I can only stand the chocolate ones and they taste what I'd imagine a turd tasts like if it were wrapped in gold foil.

 

Think bars are pretty good too. Haven't seen 'em around in ages.

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Yeah, the classic Power Bar just doesn't do it for me. But I'm pretty sure I picked up some newer style of Power Bar over the summer that was surprisingly good. For Clif Bars, my favorite is chocolate chip, and I'll also do cookies'n'cream. The various frosted Clif bars haven't appealed as much - I can eat 'em, but I'd buy something else given the choice. Chocolate Tiger's Milk bars - yummmmm - but they're a bad choice for hot weather. Chocolate, brownie, and rocky road Balance bars are on my "like list", but can also suffer during high temperatures. Occasionally the double-chocolate or chocolate-peanut-butter MetRx bar, although I find them extremely dry. Genisoy - I thought the original was revolting, but I've found I liked the later chocolate mint and rocky road ones, so long as I only eat one per trip. (More than one, I start noticing an unpleasant aftertaste - but a single one is good.)

 

Gels - great thing about them is that they're sort of already melted, so they're handy for hot weather. I could pretty much live on chocolate Gu, with an occasional berry. (I usually keep 2-3 chocolate Gu packets in my caching bag for times when a 'quick trip' turns into an all-day wanderfest. :blink:) Orange and vanilla Gu have been turnoffs for my tastebuds. Tried chocolate Clif Shots, wasn't thrilled, but could eat one in an emergency.

 

I'm sure there's plenty of others that I'm forgetting about. My climbing partner and I will usually stop and pick up random energy bars when we're heading out. Gives us a chance to find new brands/flavors that we might like. Or if we come across something particularly revolting, it gives us a basis for making bets about who can choke down more of their bar...although it's not always clear whether it's worth being the winner of these contests. :blink:

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What I want to know is why can't someone come up with "People Chow?" They've got Dog Chow, Cat Chow, even Monkey Chow. Why not People Chow?

 

Too big of a hurry to fix something? Count out 15 pellets, pop one in your mouth, put the rest in your pocket for later, and never slow down. On a diet? Cut your rations to 13 or even 12 pellets.

 

Are you an older people? Then you need the "Advanced Years People Chow formula!" Don't forget "Kiddie Chow" for the young'uns and "Couch Potato People Chow" for the sedentary people.

 

Yum!

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Any extended distance, I try to have something in my bag.

 

Generally, it's one of the following things:

- Snickers

- Powerbar Peanut Butter Flavor

- Power Gel Chocolate Flavor (tastes just like eating chocolate syrup.)

- Powerbar triple threat

- or the ever trusty-homemade gorp.

 

 

You are supposed to wash down powergel with a big gulp of water. Maybe that's why it makes you want to hurl?

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Why not People Chow?

Soylent Green is.... POWER BARS!

Ewwwww!

 

Much better....

 

Soylent Green: A) Another patented Snoogans beverage consisting of:

 

3 Parts Sauza Hornitos Tequila

2 Part Midori Melon Liqueur

4 Parts O.J. (medium pulp)

 

Shaken like a poloroid picture and served over cocktail ice.

 

B ) Snoogans' eviler twin.

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I have'nt been to thrilled with Power Bars becuase of the aftertaste and they don't do to well if its to hot or cold. Cliff has a flavor, cool mint choclate, which is pretty good.

 

I've found great dried fuit at Trader Joes, pineapple is one of my favorite pick me ups when I'm on the trail.

Edited by magellan315
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I haven't even tried most brands of energy bars, but I really like chocolate brownie and carrot cake Clif bars. They're easy to throw in the pack in a hurry. I do not like Key Lime flavored Luna bars (still not sure what made me try that) - it about made me puke. Regular trail mix (nuts, raisins and M&Ms) is great too. This time of year, apples are really yummy, too.

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I hit up the local discount food store and make my own with what's on sale.

peanuts

mixed nuts

coated chocolates ( N&N's)

chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch baking chips (in cooler weather)

raisins

dried whatever in the baking aisle

cereal rings, granola, whatever

whatever else.

 

I can sometimes find a few treats like dates, apricots, banana chips, dried pineapple.

 

I prefer a variety and will eat around the stuff I don't like.

 

Just bag it up and go.

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It's Zone for me, when I have a chance, but Take Fives have replaced Snickers in my candy category. In either case, they melt before I can actually get to them in the spring through about now. The Zone PB/Choc is like those rice krispie treats your friend's mom always brought to school on his birthday, with the peanut butter inside and the thick chocolate icing. The Fudge Graham are pretty good, too. I've been staying away from anything that is supposed to taste healthy.

 

But SmartWater is what really gives me a boost.

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Much better....

 

Soylent Green: A) Another patented Snoogans beverage consisting of:

 

3 Parts Sauza Hornitos Tequila

2 Part Midori Melon Liqueur

4 Parts O.J. (medium pulp)

 

Shaken like a poloroid picture and served over cocktail ice.

Shake it, shake, shake it, shake it (OHH OH)

Shake it, shake it, shake, shake it, shake it, shake it (OHH OH)

Shake it, shake it like a Polaroid Picture, (Hey Ya!) shake it, shake it

Shh you got to, shake it, shh shake it, shake it, got to shake it

(Shake it Suga') shake it like a Poloroid Picture

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Candy, breads, or any other processed carbs are only a quick fix and then you come down hard. Want energy from carbs eat natural unprocessed foods. They stay with you longer and are good for you. As for proteins while I’m in the woods, Venison jerky. No fat all meat.

 

NEVER had a protien bar that I wanted to have again. :D

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O.k. Something a bit more on-topic from me:

 

I waffle on what I will take. If the weather is good, I'll take much less with me than if the weather is poor.

 

Last summer I was hiking with a plain bagel, some triscuits, a Cliff Bar (peanut butter chocolate chip, thankyouverymuch), and beef jerky. And 100 oz of water.

 

This summer there was nothing strenuous enough to warrant serious snackage so I would take the 100 oz. and a Cliff Bar. The 100 oz was far more important than the food.

 

Just came back from a rather strenuous climb. We weren't sure if we'd make it back in one day so we had bivy gear and food. I had soups to put over rice for a quick and hot snack, Chicken with Gravy over Stuffing (for two) and a Tastybite of some variation also to put over a mess of rice (also for two). I think we ended up leaving the coffee back at the car. Mistake.

 

Plans were to make our turn-around point, eat a real meal and hike out... but what did we end up eating instead? I had one Cliff Bar (the seasonal Gingerbread [whatever] flavor) and one packet of that Lemon Lime Power Gel.

 

a) don't let anyone tell you Lemon Lime Power Gel is the best flavor out there.

 

:D

 

As far as the Cliff Bars go, the least offensive for me is the peanut butter chocolate chip and usually take them with me when I hike or bike ride... or eat them _after_ working out. A nice complement to my vitamins and a bottle of water. (Really, I just have to eat SOMETHING to take the vites, and that's easiest.) Sometimes I'll shake things up and have a Lemon Poppyseed flavored bar, but they're actually too sweet so I tend to stay away from them.

 

Cliff has the new protein bars with 20g of protein in them. I've tried all three, and prefer the Peanut Butter.

 

And no, I'm not a big peanut butter fan.

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On my canoe expeditions, we usually eat a decent breakfast in the morning (pancakes, sausage if it's early in the trip, whathaveyou) Lunch is the same, a sanwich size bag of GORP, blend we used was peanuts, rasins, M&M's, licorice nibs, and cheerios. Each boat had a supply of homemade beef jerky (muscle jerky, not ground/formed) Usually came out of the bag slightly tough, so we'd chew it long enough to make it pliable and tuck it into our gums like chewin' tobacco and suck the juices out of it until it lost it's flavor-and then we'd start over again.

 

I recently tried out a recipe for granola bars I found that was really good, I'll have to look it up again. Had corn syrup, granola, quick oats, wheat germ, chocolate chips, and something else in it. A few of those in your pack would power you through a good hard day I'm betting.

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My understanding is that during exercise (hiking) what you need is carbs not protein which is metabolized differently. The easiest carbs to assimilate are simple sugars. They're also the tinder that starts the fat burning process. In short, carry some high sugar low fat candy. Cheap effective, simple.

You need both. If you just take in simple sugars then you probable end up in hypoglycemic rebound which is not fun, LOL. So a good mix is better. Besides I like power bars for what they are.

cheers

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