Power Bars and other exercise aids

  • Question!

    So when I run - if I'm doing an hour + (usually 5 miles or so) I have a power bar before hand. It has the right carbs and protein to keep my energy up through the run, and I can really see how much of a difference it makes. That and propell fitness water are usually what I'm downing when I'm exercising.

    But I've heard both good and bad about the bars.

    Does anyone take anything to help them through their work outs?

    Is this a a good/bad idea? It really seems to help me! My goal isn't so much about loosing weight as it is to tone up. So I don't mind taking the extra calories since I'm just burning about them up. But shouldn't my body have the natural energy anyway to sustain me through my work outs? I just don't know!!!
  • Quote: But shouldn't my body have the natural energy anyway to sustain me through my work outs?
    No, the food we eat provides the energy we need to do things, including running 5 miles. A light, healthy snack before exercising is a good thing, especially if you're running that much. You said that it has the right amount of carbs and and protein, and that you notice a difference when you eat one before you work out. So in my unprofessional opinion (I'm neither a doctor nor a Power Bar consumer, heh) you're fine!

    Since I don't know anything about Power Bars, I don't know how much sugar there is in them. There are good carbs and bad carbs, and refined sugar provides bad carbs. If there's a lot of sugar in those bars, you might try switching to another type of bar that has the carbohydrates you need, but with less sugar.
  • I love power bars. ny workouts were always etter when I ate one
  • Quote: There are good carbs and bad carbs, and refined sugar provides bad carbs. If there's a lot of sugar in those bars, you might try switching to another type of bar that has the carbohydrates you need, but with less sugar.
    The ones I eat have 18g of sugar, and 45g of carbs. Still ok? here's the nutrition label:

    http://caloriecount.about.com/calori...ocolate-i81925
  • Back when I could get up at 7, work out for 2 hours and be in work at 10 - I used to eat powerbars before my workouts. They really helped me through. Now that I typically work out at 5 am or 6 pm, I tend to not eat before hand. My stomach is not awake at 5am, and at 6pm I still have some energy from my afternoon snack.

    If it works for you, go for it.
  • I can tell you one thing I have learned to avoid... the energy gels. I've seen these touted among the running forums I frequent, and even my marathoner friend takes one before her training runs. So I thought, sure, I should try one too! Big difference between these and the bars is that the gel contains caffeine in it. I didn't think it'd be that big of a deal, but my run was noticeably worse, and my heart rate was the highest it had ever been. Plus, they taste like armpit or dead feet...that's the only way I can describe it. Yuck. So, some people swear by these and seem to be fine...but for me, I'm avoiding them!

    I'm interested in the bars, though. Sometimes when I run, it's 4-5 hours after lunchtime and before dinner, so I'm looking for a snack to help me keep my energy up.
  • Technically...
    If you're eating a balanced diet, you shouldn't need supplements unless you're bodybuilding or marathon training.

    That being said, I have never found any of those energy bars to be all that tasty, easy to digest, or even moderately helpful in my workout. I could only see eating one in an extreme emergency when I can't fit in a meal at all during the day until dinner, but that's because I think they taste like old sock and artificial sweetener.

    Personally it would come down to cost for me. I don't see why you would pay $3-something (the cost of one each of a power bar and a propel water) when a banana and 8oz of gatorade poured from the gallon bottle are essentially the same thing but without the massive amount of sugar and unnecessary carbs and cheaper.

    If you like it I can't see what harm it's doing though.
  • If your body responds well to it, it sounds good to me! But I do agree with NishKitten that you could be getting more for your money. Fruit & peanut butter? Homemade granola bars? You can always experiment and see what works.