This spring, PowerBar introduced a new product that I have flat out fallen in love with: PowerBar Performance Energy Blends.
What are these, you might ask? Well, I could say, “They’re pint-sized goodness” and be done, but I’ll go into a little more detail about the product and why I like it.
First: As triathletes, we eat more than our fair share of fuel on-the-go. We pack gels into our pockets or flasks, load up on bars for long rides, and knock back gallons of electrolyte and/or recovery drinks. I can’t tell you how much product I go through in a year, and the amount of training and racing I do pales in comparison to lots of folks. But let’s face it…no matter how much we love a particular product or flavor (my personal gel favorite is Kona Punch by PowerBar), after consuming too many of one type of product, our palates are left desiring for a different texture or flavor. Enter Performance Energy Blends.
Essentially, these blends have a mouthfeel very similar to apple sauce. Or baby food. Or apple butter. Actually, I think the texture is more similar to baby food than the others….and boy did I ever eat a lot of baby food when my kids were young. “One bite for you….two bites for daddy…one bite for you…” (Did I really just use the word mouthfeel?). They are smooth, not chunky, and very, very swallowable. In fact, I’d say that the consistency is similar to, but perhaps a little thicker, than some gels. Still don’t get the idea? Go down the apple sauce aisle at any grocer and you’ll see similar looking pouches of apple sauce or pear sauce.
In all honesty, Performance Energy Blends really do resemble those kid-friendly fruit packs. The packaging is similarly shaped, all the way down to the yellow plastic screw-off top. Your kids’ Motts these are not, however. The biggest difference comes in two main areas (1) caloric content (2) flavors.
PowerBar’s Peformance Energy Blends carry 80 calories, and deliver 21 grams of Carbs (19g sugars). According to PowerBar’s website, Energy Blends are made with their proprietary C2max, a 2:1 glucose to fructose blend. You can tell from the nutrition facts label below that there are really no ingredients other than fruit. There is a little Vitamin C and E added, but that’s it.
The absolute best thing in my opinion about these new Performance Energy Blends is the flavoring. Let’s be honest – we’re not going to eat anything that doesn’t taste good. And these taste GREAT! There are two flavors: Blueberry-Banana and Apple-Mango-Strawberry. At this point, it’s really hard for me to decide which I like the best. I ordered two boxes each of both flavors just two short weeks ago, and I am literally down to my last two pouches.
My first tasting was the blueberry-banana. These have a pretty solid blueberry flavor, with a nice banana finish. (I sound like I’m describing a fine wine…..well, I suppose these could be considered the fine wine of the endurance fueling sector). Neither flavor is overpowering, but I’m not going to kid you…you need to like this flavor combination. I do, hence I really liked this combo. You can eat these cold or hot – I’ve only had them room temperature, but others have told me that they are even better when cold.
After eating like six of the blueberry-banana flavors, I finally tried the apple-mango-strawberry….and Oh. My. Gosh! This flavor is so, so, so good! I’ve even been tempted to put it over ice cream (that brings the whole concept of endurance fueling to a new level, huh?!). Apple is the most pronounced flavor, but the mango and strawberry compliment each other to add a level of sweetness that is just perfect.
How would you use PowerBar’s Performance Energy Blends? That’s a great question! According to their website, PowerBar recommends that these would be good for pre-exercise as well as during-exercise fueling. I have not yet taken these out on a bike ride or run; I’ve only consumed them prior to starting a work-out. Just like most gels, I have not had any GI problems….not even cramping while doing a big swim set literally minutes after eating one of these Blends. Once the weather gets a little nicer and I put my bike on the road (instead of my trainer), I plan on taking one with me for a trial run. I suspect that my experience while on the bike will be no different than pre-workout.
So….at the end of the day, I REALLY like PowerBar Performance Energy Blends. They taste amazing. They are convenient to hold and carry, and really super easy to eat. And did I say they taste amazing!
Where can you buy them? I suppose you can buy them at major retailers that carry PowerBar products. You can, of course, purchase them online directly from PowerBar (that’s what I did). They retail for $2.99 per 90g packet (or $32.38 for a 12-pack box).
DISCLAIMER: You need to know that PowerBar sponsors Team Rev3 Tri – which I am a part of. As part of our sponsorship agreement we receive free and/or discounted products from PowerBar. I received the PowerBar Performance Energy Blends as part of that sponsorship arrangement, but the opinions expressed herein are mine and were not influenced by PowerBar.