Endurance races such as marathons, triathlons, ironmans have been around a while now. With things like Ultra-marathons gaining popularity, as well as adventure racing and obstacle racing, it only makes sense that more and more products hit the market as well. You’ve got this start-up business coming up with their own gels, protein and energy bars, chews or whatever else they think is the “cool” thing to do.
Having been around since 2002, it seems to me Honey Stinger might have been ahead of the curve a little bit. Their product line is refined and not clogged up with unnecessary items. Well, I’m not sure what the deal is with the Waffle’s, but that’ll be for another day when I try them out! They have been around long enough, and know how to do things the right way. Their product is labeled 90-95% organic ingredients, which oddly enough, seems to be straightforward and darned honest to boot. As the name entails, the main ingredient that they have built around is… wait for it…. HONEY! Who’d have guessed right? I love this because it means no other sweeteners or excess sugar was added. The ingredients are all pronounceable, it seems they are preservative free as well. Most of their products are also gluten free.
Now onto what I tasted…
Dark Chocolate Mocha Cherry Protein Bars – These were my favorite out of the three things that I sampled. Not only do they have 10g of whey protein, but they are stacked with 30gs of caffeine!! I devoured one before a run and had one mid way through a shift at work. My job is pretty physical, seeing as I have to lump around an 85lb ladder most of the time, so this bar gave me a definite pep in my step. The flavor was fantastic, nearly amazing is the fact the bar is good for you and gluten free to boot.
Blueberry Buzz Energy Bar – Just cause I liked the Mocha Cherry bars doesn’t mean these were bad, far from it. They had a great flavor, and were a nice filling snack throughout the day. Per the Honey Stinger site “All Honey Stinger energy bars are made with over 30% honey, 20% of the daily recommended allowance of protein, 22 vitamins and minerals, calcium, antioxidants, natural flavors and all the benefits of our energy gel.” The flavor was clean, and did not taste like most “blueberry flavored” bars out there, as these actually had blueberries in them. The yogurt dip on the bottom added a nice touch to an already perfect energy bar.
Cherry Cola Energy Gels – I was sent two sample packs of these, so I used them for to separate runs. I ran 6 miles on Sunday, and 7+ on Monday. Normally, I have never taken anything with me, except water in my hydration pack, but it’s become clear that after 3 miles my body starts screaming for nourishment so these were perfect to try out and see what they did. As usual, right around mile 3 the pissing and moaning began. First it was my calves, “but, but we hurt…” Then it was my hamstrings, “you need to rest, we can’t handle anymore…” I had heard enough! In mid stride I opened my pack, fished around in it with my arm twisted behind my back which must have looked awkward to other runners on the trail, hell it looked and felt awkward to me. I popped about 3-4 of them in my mouth and felt like I was transported back to being a kid. It was very reminiscent of the texture of a gummy bear, but a heck of a lot less sticky. These chews did not stick to my teeth, were not overly sweet and had a pleasant taste to them. About 5-10 minutes later the chatter from my legs was dying down, they were working. Thank you Honey Stinger, my iPod was getting awfully jealous that I wasn’t listening to it, and it was conspiring malicious things against my legs for taking all the attention away!
The gist of this review is, Honey Stinger products are exactly what you have been missing. Good for your taste buds and good for your body. I love the packaging too, listing activities such as climbing, splitting wood, running as the optimal “sports” for these products. Highly recommended, I am a huge Honey Stinger fan!!