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#132207 - 04/17/10 02:50 AM best energy/power bar?
countr21 Offline
member

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 48
Loc: Denver, Colorado
When I backpack, I do take freeze dried meals for dinner, but during the day I consume a lot of ready-foods like trail mix, string cheese and crackers, and granola bars. But this year I want to look into taking some energy/protein bars. What are some recommendations? Price is not a huge concern but I don't want to pay up to $5 for a bar though. How about bars that have the most amount of calories vs. weight. Taste is not a huge concern, but good nutrition is.

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#132208 - 04/17/10 03:39 AM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: countr21]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I tend to avoid energy bars in favor of nuts, which are high in protein and healthy (monounsaturated) fat and which keep me satisfied when nibbled throughout the day, plus dried fruit. Of course I have this little problem of sensitivity to iodine, which many of these energy bars contain thanks to the desire to fortify them with every vitamin and mineral known to science. My main objection, though, is that most energy bars (and I've looked at a lot of them) contain far too much sugar. The result will be a sugar high for a short time followed by a rush of insulin because your body objects to all that sugar in your bloodstream. Often your insulin glands overdo it and your blood sugar becomes too low, causing you to "hit the wall." I have personally seen this happen to hikers who rely mostly on sugary foods! Many medical folk believe these ups and downs are a major cause of Type 2 diabetes.

If you can find an energy bar that is mostly complex carbs (whole grains), protein and monounsaturated fats, rather than sugars and "bad" fats, please let me know! I've been looking for them!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#132211 - 04/17/10 05:18 AM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: OregonMouse]
countr21 Offline
member

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 48
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Yeah, you basically seconded what I was thinking. All of the bars I've found are loaded with sugar. Last year, I packed a general trail mix (lots of cashews, almonds, raisins, and M&M's) and I loaded it up with tons more raisins and dried cranberries. It was very good and kept my energy level high, but I felt it had too much sugar.

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#132213 - 04/17/10 08:26 AM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: countr21]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
What you might want are Tanka Bars, buffalo meat with cranberries. They are essentially pemmican, and fairly high on protein. I find them very tasty and a nice mix with Clif bars, which I can consume without any issues.

They have a fairly tough packaging (like Clif bars) so they can inhabit the recesses of your pack until needed.

They are produced by a Native American outfit on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. Their product seems to be catching on and is now carried by REI. Buy in a minimum of twenty to get a price discount. If you want to "Buy American" you can't do better than these.

I have no commercial connection - just a satisfied user. They are the perfect energy boost when digging fossils.

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#132218 - 04/17/10 10:04 AM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: oldranger]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
After trying just about every bar, we've settle on our homemade GORP as the best solution. It has more calories per weight, easier to eat just as much as you want...packs better....doesn't get gooey or sticky...and it's cheaper too.

What's not to like?
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#132238 - 04/17/10 09:35 PM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: OregonMouse]
Doorknob Offline


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Hawaii
Have you looked into ProBars, or do these have too much "sugar" for you. http://theprobar.com/

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#132245 - 04/18/10 12:09 AM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: Doorknob]
scottyb Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Originally Posted By Doorknob
Have you looked into ProBars, or do these have too much "sugar" for you. http://theprobar.com/


+1 for the Probars. 370 calories 3 oz. I use them for meal replacements 2 - 3 times / week.
_________________________
Just because you don't take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.... Pericles (430 B.C)

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#132247 - 04/18/10 12:13 AM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: countr21]
Doorknob Offline


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Hawaii

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#132326 - 04/19/10 02:11 PM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: countr21]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Our family has been loving the Zone Perfect bars. We get them at Samís club for about 77Ę each (in bulk).
I love dark chocolate with almonds http://zoneperfect.com/products/ZonePerfect-Dark-Chocolate-Almond
They are loaded w/ vitamins and minerals and pretty low on sodium; though I wish it had more sodium. They sit at about 120 cal/oz.
Serving Size: 1 Bar (45g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 190
Cholesterol: <5mg
<2%
Sodium: 200mg
8%
Potassium: 170mg
5%
Total Carbohydrate: 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber: 2g
8%
Sugars: 13g

Protein: 12g
24%
See all the vit/min at their website.

-Barry

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#132341 - 04/19/10 06:40 PM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: BarryP]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Just looked at the ingredients. Did you know that palm oil in its various forms is a saturated fat? And too much sugar for my liking. I guess I'm just too fussy!

The ProBars look a lot better but they're even sweeter. They also contain sea salt, which I can't have due to my iodine sensitivity.

What I need is a good recipe that I can adjust to my liking but that will keep for several weeks at room (or car) temperatures after baking! I suspect I'd better stick with the nuts!


Edited by OregonMouse (04/19/10 06:44 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#132450 - 04/20/10 11:42 PM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: balzaccom]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Originally Posted By balzaccom


What's not to like?


Not much, not much at all. My favorite gorp is All Fruit trail mix (from Trader Joes), mixed at the point of consumption with pecans and/or walnuts.

The thing that energy bars have going for them is a durable, tough packaging, so they can lie around for years in the bottom of your pack until needed.

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#132501 - 04/22/10 10:13 AM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: countr21]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
As seen in other posts up and down this thread, the calorie density (calories vs. weight) of so-called energy bars is not particularly high. While many contain healthy ingredients and vitamin/mineral additives, the concept of "energy" bars has always come across as misleading marketing to me...there simply isn't an "energy" boost (calories) that is greater than most other trail snacks and/or junk food.

Like others who posted here, I believe a gorp mix based on mixed nuts and dried fruits is your best bet. I think it tastes better and I know it's way cheaper. Another alternative is home-made Logan bread bars incorporating the same ingredients as the gorp. But my own barely topped 130c/oz, not much above the calorie density of the commercial energy bars. That may or may not be worth the effort depending what you are looking for... I use the Logan bars for breakfast, the gorp for trail snacks and lunch.

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#132504 - 04/22/10 11:47 AM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: Fiddleback]
Texico Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 2
Loc: Georgia
I usually use a mix of Tanka Bars, proBars, and Clif Bars which I snack on throughout the day. By constantly snacking, as opposed to eating a whole bar every once in a while, I manage to keep fairly constant levels of blood sugar and calorie intake. I also love being able to mix up the flavors each day with the different clif bars as my main energy supply during the day.

I can't do GORP or other forms of trail mix because I get sick of it within the first day out. I just can't stand most commercial dried fruits (I don't have the funds for my own dehydrator yet); they taste too much like plastic. As for the nuts part, they pretty much all taste the same to me and I get sick of them quickly too. I can eat GORP maybe once a month max. Any more and I get sick to my stomach.

For the record, I eat proBars for breakfast, clifBars as snacks during the day, and tanka bars as a quick protien boost around mid-day. I have a full rehydrated hot meal for dinner.

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#132547 - 04/22/10 07:05 PM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: Texico]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Welcome aboard on your first post goodjob
And it sounds like you have a good plan.

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#132552 - 04/22/10 08:47 PM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: BarryP]
CJC Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 738
Loc: Southern Nevada
I have tried them all and I keep going back to the Grand daddy of them all - Snickers

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#132575 - 04/23/10 10:24 AM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: Texico]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Welcome aboard! And don't sweat the dehydrator...cookie sheets/jelly roll pans in an oven work just fine...

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#132591 - 04/23/10 07:37 PM Re: best energy/power bar? [Re: Texico]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Consider home-dried fruits or organic dried fruit, which omits the sulfury gunk used as a preservative. I absolutely cannot stand commercial dried fruit, which is why I hit the bulk food bins at the local health food store. (Actually, it's a big standard supermarket with a fairly large organic food section.) If the browned appearance of fruit dried without preservatives bothers you, you can dry your own and dip the slices into a citric acid solution (you can find the powder at the drugstore or health food market; don't get the "Fruit Fresh" stuff which is mostly sugar).

You can also get freeze-dried fruit--tastes great and weighs less--but it's far more expensive. I use it for trips over 7 days to save weight, but on shorter trips it's back to those bulk bins!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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