Friday, November 1, 2013


Food is fuel for endurance athletes---chances are if it doesn't add to achieving a PR - crossing the finish line faster (or at all)…it won't get passed those sun screened out lips.

Baked goods that lack any nutritional value are a delicious indulgence-for one day….but as a gift, those who really workout would appreciate more nutritious offerings that they could actually use while training, on the go- or for recovery purposes after a serious workout.

And it doesn't have to be less than festive.

WE can't think of a better food basket that we would like to receive-than one stuffed with  Clif Bar's seasonal offerings…including their holiday themed Iced Gingerbread, Pecan Pie, or Spiced Pumpkin Pie Original Bars.

Typical pre-during-post training food/nutrition…nothing lasts very long in our possession---why we order by the case
Delicious…and addicting.

We had one of each that we were really loathe to share on a recent hike-though we managed, barely---each were satisfyingly crunchy (organic rolled oats, soy rice crisps), satisfyingly sweet but not cloyingly so (organic brown rice, organic cane sugar)---and amazingly-for a 'snack' food - is mostly made up of organic goodies. One can actually taste/smell the pumpkin or crystallized ginger (yummy), for example-because real life ingredients are really in the bars…not some chemical derivatives.

23 vitamins and minerals are in the mix-making these tasty treats ideal fodder after a long workout too…with whole grain fibers and protein-(8 grams-roasted soybeans)…AND no trans fat.

What else-an endurance athlete would really appreciate-are gels and recovery drink powders-stacks of them. Not mistletoe worthy-maybe if wrapped up festively-def. appreciated.

We can't think of one endurance athlete we have ever met that does not rely on some form of the aforementioned products.

We rely on Clif Double Espresso Energy gel shots,  Body Glove Surge Energy Gels- and GU Jet Black berry gels when we compete in lengthy triathlons/marathons---and train for them too.

Few supplements are tolerated by our GI that taste decent-not too salty -when we are really on the go…that provides a quick caffeine kick (Clif Double Espresso -Body Glove Surge- Energy Gels both deliver)... and instant energy (all three) that doesn't drop off.

Clif Energy gels are made up of 85% organic ingredients. When we compete-that's not a priority-but it's nice to know. It's swallowing factor is no problem-esp. for a thickish gel, tastes good and is easily chased down by a sip of water. (100 calories)

Body Glove Surge Energy gels (two flavors-both 80 calories- chocolate and double espresso -our pick)- has a high caffeine kick too-and is a liquid-so no immediate water needed by us. At a recent marathon we inhaled 2 of these-one at the (slow) start and then at mile 9.

BUT we dropped a third (didn't break our pace to pick up)…and got a tad weepy-as the Gatorade on the course does not do it for us. Taste wise-Body Glove Surge Energy gels are kinda sticky sweet…

On the bike in training/triathlons and pre-race by about an hour-we like to have Clif Shot Bloks. Reminding us of oversized gummy bears…our fav is the Chocolate Cherry flavor. With some caffeine and sustained  energy that does not cause us to crash/burn these easy to chew blocs with sweet (organic tapioca syrup, organic dry cane syrup, organic cocoa powder) and hint of sea salt- constitute pre race breakfast for us as our stomachs cannot handle anything else…even the go to racer's staple- oatmeal--even hours before the start.

As with the gels-we buy the Clif Bloks by the case-that's how many we need per every other month. SO imo-great gifts for the endurance athlete.


Recovery drinks besides lowfat chocolate milk-are VERY valued too---and Clif Shot has two new Protein Recovery Drink Mixes (160 calories)-with 10 grams of whey and casein protein for building and preventing muscle breakdown---and organic glycogen (carbs) and sodium to replenish what's burned up and sweated out.

We tried both flavors-the chocolate and orange mango. And we were desperate-as we lacked the energy to even stretch after long training runs.

Therefore-we appreciated-immensly so- how easy both powders blended with water…a lot easier than any other recovery drinks we have tried-maybe because there are less grams of protein in the mix (usual amount ranges from 15-21 grams).

Which was fine with us. The chocolate flavor tasted like Nestle's Quik® a good thing-as we like that stuff. But Clif's take is of course better nutrition wise---and like its other products-mostly organic ingredients are in the mix.

The orange mango was decent tasting and had a hint of vanilla flavor. Unlike other brands with orange in them---Clif's version did not remind us of Tang-a good thing- as we don't like that stuff.

We have yet to try the Hydration Drink mix as we rarely tolerate those---but when the hot, sweat-inducing weather comes back-we'll give it a try on a hike.

FYI: Widely available online...