Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
I've consumed a lot of energy bars in my day (training for marathons etc). In my experience the most important thing about eating energy bars is variety. If you have to consume any significant quantity of one type of bar your enjoyment of the trip is going to go down. I can eat one cliff bar or one power bar a day, not more. And if I have to be eating them again tomorrow then I want to switch both flavors and brands. Why brands? Because all bars from the same brand have pretty much the same texture and that gets tiresome.
The latest new thing is probar. I tried one the other day and they taste good and have every indication of being more nutritious because they are not baked. They are essentially fruits and nuts pressed together into a bar. Since they are less processed I would guess that they are better for me. But they are not cheap and at the end of the day you have to ask yourself, "gee, why don't I just pack the dried fruits and nuts myself?".
Here's another thing to consider. Different energy bars are designed for different purposes. Power bars, for instance, are aimed at distance runners who are running out of energy during a long race. As a result they are mostly carbs, not the simplest carbs (pure sugar) but a slightly more complex carb made from rice. Other bars like the probar have lots of nuts which means fats and proteins. Now you need all three to hike: carbs, fats, and proteins. But they digest differently. If you need to fuel up quick you need a high carb bar. So I might eat a power bar when I begin to feel shaky because that will get sugars to my muscles quickly. If I eat a bar with more fats like a probar then I will need some time for it to digest.
Loc: Puget Sound, Washington
Ender beat me to it. I was going to menation that this topic has been covered before and someone pointed out that when you match up the nutrients and sorted other things in all of the power bars and meal-replacement bars, Snickers came out near the top just the same.
My wife and oldest daughter found me something called "golean"bars.Like an energy bar dipped in chopped nuts.12g of protein 6g fiber all natural.Taste good, and very filling.Lot of vitamins added.Not quite as filling as a cliff, but maybe a bit better taste.
I like Pemmican bars; they're big & brownie-like, very filling, but not too sweet. They have lots of calories and fiber, but like many other energy bars they can get heavy if you pack too many per day. I eat them more often for lunch than for dessert.
Clif bars were the first I found that I liked, though I prefer the ones without chocolate. It just never seems to taste right. Oatmeal Raisin Walnut and Black Cherry Almond are my two personal favorites of the ones I have tried.
I also like the Balance Bar Bares and most other Balance Bars.
Loc: Portland, OR
I mostly eat food rather than bars, but I usually pack some Nature Valley granola bars. I have tried Clif bars and like 'em well enough - but they seem mighty pricey to me at a buck a throw.
On a long hike I often put in one or two Bear Valley Pemmican bars as my backup emergency rations. These are a bit dry with a slightly grainy texture, but they are incredibly filling and very nutritious, and one bar equals about half a full meal.
Lara Bars 100% organic, Jocalat which have one non organic ingredient, Pemmican bars, Lifeboat ration bars, mostly coconut <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> the rest freeze and taste like old tires to me, after trying the above Cliff bars taste way too sweet to me <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!
I agree with Earthling here. One of the tastiest energy bars I've eaten recently is the Cherry Pie Lara Bar. Absolutely Delicious!! You've all got to try it.
I also like ProBar, especially the SuperFood. It has a full days supply of vegetables along with about 60 other ingredients, uses whole food (no processing), uses 100% raw ingredience, is 95% organic, and is 100% vegan. It tastes like Rasberry/Chocolate, has 17 grams of good fats, is almost 4 oz (twice the size of Clif but also costs twice as much), and is the most complete bar I've eaten. Tasteeee <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Edited by jasonlivy (04/26/0812:47 AM)
Believe, then you will Understand...
Loc: California (southern)
I generally prefer Clif bars, but I try not to make them a regular habit, and I save them for strenuous times. One good point is the stout packaging. Their wrappers live forever in the bottom of my pack, etc. without abrading and wearing tlhrough. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
One trick I've learned for melted Snickers bars... when you fill up your water bottle with cool water, throw the Snickers bar in there, wrapper and all. After a few minutes in the cool water, the chocolate cools down enough and becomes hard again. Then you can open the Snickers without fear of getting a chocolate moustache <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
I was just thinking the same thing BarryP, wow, great minds do think alike, even if one of them still wears boots <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
I think Mars makes them with their Tropical Chocolate formula which has mor wax in it to keep the chocolate from melting in the heat, like the old Heresey's bars in US Army rations <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!
I like Tigers milk bars and clif. But I can't eat any of them too often. I also sometimes make my own with rolled oats, a little whole wheat flour, brown rice syrup and either choc. chips or dried blueberries. Pretty good but don't keep very long.
I use them for meals when I'm doing the intercontinental flight thing, and they are my preferred energy bar for hiking and climbing. I think they taste great, except for the Cran Lemon Twister which is too tart for me, and they don't screw with my plumbing the way Clif bars tend to these days...
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
I was wondering when someone was going to mention these. I ordered some one time based on reading about them over at BPL. They are really good, and they are huge. Kinda like a small brick. You could actually probably eat one for lunch and get full.
Are you guys paying 3.29 for one of those Superfood Bars? I think I would have to make my own at that price.
I eat Clif Bars and Snickers. For some reason the combination of a a Clif Bar and a bite sized Snickers seems to work very good for me as a snack. I started doing this to get rid of halloween snickers that were left over and after the snickers were gone I went back to the old Clif by itself. But I noticed that it just did not seem to have the same 'punch for lunch'. Not sure why this combo and my metabolism seem to function so well toghether.
I vote for snickers for quick energy. Some people consider sugar "the white death", but what a way to go. BTW add some granola and dark chocolat for balance. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
Loc: California (southern)
I get mine at Trader Joe's - 99c for the standard Cliff bar. A lot of people recommend fig newtons as a cheaper equivalent to an energy bar - just not as durable. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
My compulsive nature took over and I tried a Big Sur bar. Very good, big, tasty, more like a dessert, it is that good. The bar is 5 oz. 660 calories and very filling. If you live in So Cal, Mothers Market carries the Big Sur and the Pro Bar.
I also vote with Jason for the Lara Bar, again with the Cherry one the most addicting. When you buy them in bulk at Costco, you get stuck with the other two flavors that aren't nearly as good -- make sure your trailmate gets those. On my last trip to Costco I couldn't find Lara Bars, and they had something called a Trio -- a vegan bar that looked like a Lara -- in its place.
They come to about 70Ę each in bulk at Samís club.
They are so good. They taste like a nice good soft candy bar but with all the fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals loaded. I did not get sick of them on multiday trips. I could easily eat 2 bars for a snack/meal.
They do melt a bit more than my marathon snicker bars but this was not a problem as I just licked the wrapper clean.
Do any of the 'energy' bars provide an energy boost? The ones I've checked out didn't seem very calorie dense although some were more balanced than a candy bar. Do any of them beat the calorie content of, e.g., mixed nuts (~160-170c/oz)?
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution
IMO, most of 'em do because they contain some sugar and carbs. sugar gets into you the fastest, so if you want an energy boost quick, that's what you want. Nuts and sausage have a higher calorie content per unit weight because they contain lots of fat - in the context of having energy this isn't a bad thing - but while the fat in these will eventually give you energy, it won't do it as quickly as a good old fashioned sugar rush. Hence my reason for carrying high sugar energy bar snacks (Hey, a mars bar even says "energy bar" on it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> along with nuts and sausage and dried fruit. I find I do well with small snackings on those nuts and the like with the occasional sugar boost of a candy bar.