I’m on the look out for the perfect running snack to sustain me through the long runs. I know that the sugar laden syrupy shots are very popular, but they make me gag and besides, refined carbs play havoc with my weight.
As a runner with a weight problem I struggle with the concept of sports drinks and nutrition, it absolutely galls me to replace all the calories that I’ve just struggled to sweat off with a sweet sports drink or jelly bean. If I attempt to run on water alone though I crash terribly after 10k.
I’m having a little bit of success with my weight loss at the moment by monitoring intake and expenditure with the ki-fit body monitoring gadget and dabbling with a slow carb diet. This basically means I’m restricting refined white carbs such as bread, rice, pasta and increasing the proportion of protein in my diet.
Don’t worry – I didn’t eat all these at once!
They aren’t particularly easy to get hold of and like anything that comes out of a health food shop they are shockingly expensive. The protein flapjack bar was an astounding £1.99
The Trek energy bars and Clif bar are my favourites. They have a very satisfying texture. Solid and chewy but not too difficult to manage between short gasps while on the run. They hold together pretty well too, and remain in one piece despite being crammed into a waistpack or rucksac and you can just break off pieces as you go. They work pretty well as emergency sustenance at work too, the protein content seems to extend the duration of satisfaction so you don’t get the high and slump associated with highly sugared snacks.
In the Great North run goodie bag there was a pack of Powerbar Ride Shots. They look pretty disgusting on the pack and remained in my drawer for months. Following my new protein craze though, I’ve been encouraged to retrieve them and I’ve used them on my last two running commutes and have found them to be ideal. They have a firm jelly consistency with a citrus centre. They stay in the mouth just a little too long for heavy breathing comfort but because they aren’t too sweet they can sit in your cheek to be savoured slowly.
I was sent some Nature Valley Granola bars to try out the other week. These aren’t protein enriched, having about 3g of protein per bar compared to approx 9g in the Clif and Trek bars, but I wanted to try them out as a possible running fuel.
Granola is very popular with ultra runners so it ought to be perfect for my more modest yet time consuming runs.
They are delicious but I find them just a little too crumbly for running with. When you start to break them up they fall to pieces and you end up trying to snaffle up individual oat flakes. They are best served at home, with a cup of tea and preferably with your feet up.