The market for sports energy and protein bars has been growing continuously for years. There has been a strong transformation from ultra-processed products to much healthier products. Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding about the quality of their daily diet, so they are also demanding about their sports nutrition. Let’s see which is the best sports energy bar ?
What is an sports energy bar ?
Composed of cereals, dried fruits, seeds, spices and different types of carbohydrates… An energy bar or exercise bar, more commonly known as a “cereal bar”, is rich in carbohydrates, fats and proteins to provide calories, and therefore energy, during exercise or for those with a very active lifestyle. The packaging makes it easy to carry around for consumption on the go or in action.
The energy bar has a good reputation, as it is consumed by professional or amateur sportsmen and women to optimise their performance, but also by people who wish to eat healthily to fill a small hunger. It is even recommended as a snack for children rather than giving them an industrial chocolate bar full of sugar and fat.
In short, the energy bar is a good student of foods classified in the “sweet grocery” category, provided that its components are carefully chosen (100% natural), well proportioned, without too many refined sugars (sucrose, fructose) and lipids and above all without preservatives, colourings and other synthetic flavours.
When to use a sports energy bar ?
Food allows the human body to build up glycogen stores to provide energy for the organs and muscles. The more intense the activity, the more the body will consume these stocks, burning calories. This is why it is strongly recommended to consume adapted nutrition products, such as energy bars, during or after training or competition.
The human body does not like imbalances and deficiencies – the so-called ‘hunger pangs’ – which is why a moderate and regular intake is recommended during exercise. A bite every 15 to 20 minutes during a trail run, for example, or one bar per hour, is a good frequency. Don’t forget to drink a little water immediately afterwards to remove the sweet taste in the mouth and facilitate digestion.
Never wait until you are hungry or thirsty, and even less until your legs are stiff, to eat. That is too late! Too much energy at a time when the body is in shortage can even cause a reactionary hypoglycaemia. This is also known as the “yo-yo” effect.
It usually occurs after too much sugar intake, leading to a sudden rise in blood sugar levels. In response to this hyperglycaemia, the body triggers an excessive spike in insulin (a hypoglycaemic hormone that allows glucose to be stored in the cells), which causes the blood sugar level to fall, sometimes too far.
What sports are concerned ?
There are of course some sports where eating an energy bar makes sense. These are the endurance sports where it is necessary to eat because the practice lasts for hours or even days. This is the case for trail running and ultra trail running with races such as the UTMB, the TOR des géants or the “Grand raid in Reunion island where you need energy that is released over time. We could also mention cycling, mountain biking, hiking, golf, tennis… All these sports where it is possible to chew.
It is much less practical on fast running races such as half-marathons and marathons because it is very complicated to chew and swallow while running. These practices favour energy gels and energy purees, which are liquid and therefore easy to swallow with a little water.
How long does it take to feel the effect of a sports energy bar ?
While an energy gel or an energy puree, which are very fluid, pass into the bloodstream within 5 minutes of ingestion, it takes a good twenty minutes minimum for a solid food such as a cereal bar to take effect and give you a boost of energy.
Mulebar bars contain on average 140kcal for a weight of 40g. You don’t have to wait until you’re hungry to eat one.
What is the best sports energy bar ?
The Mulebar brand, created in 2008, offers a range of 11 vegan energy bars (6 of which are also labeled organic) that have revolutionized a market dominated by pharmaceutical laboratories offering products that are certainly effective (it’s not the most complicated) but not always natural and especially without any flavor or noble ingredients.
The DNA of the Mulebar brand is to offer 100% natural products, with premium ingredients, a soft texture, easy to chew and very original flavours. How many sportsmen and women tell us at trade fairs or on social networks that a Mulebar bar is a comfort during the effort, a reward for each objective reached. Having fun is the most important thing in a race because when the body gives up, it’s the mind that takes over to get to the finish line.
A unique production process !
Mulebar is one of the few brands that makes its bars by hand and bakes them, whereas the vast majority of bar brands make raw bars by extrusion. It is of course much cheaper ! The cooking process brings an unbeatable softness because the ingredients melt and mix with each other. The bar is not brittle at all. How many times have you found a bag of crumbs at the bottom of your bag?
This is also why Mulebar bars are still made in the UK, the home of energy bars. When I bought the brand in 2015 after having distributed it in France for 6 years, I looked for a French factory with my partner Denis Gargaud-Chanut. Unfortunately, none of them was or is equipped with a cooking tunnel. The investment of more than 100,000 euros was not justified given our small production volumes. We therefore preferred to keep our real difference, our competitive advantage, rather than give in to the sirens of locavore. The English factory is only 600 km from Paris when many brands come from the United States by boat or plane.
Against Ultra processing !
When choosing a food, the easiest way is to look at the list of ingredients. If there are any strange terms then run away!
Some brands add vitamins on top of the natural ingredients when the vitamins are already present in the food. This is an interesting marketing ploy that appeals to some nutritionists who only look at the labels. Many of these vitamins need to be taken as a course of treatment to have a beneficial effect on our bodies, it is not in a bar of a few dozen grams taken at certain times of the year that this will change anything.
The little number of ingredients in our recipes and the absence of preservatives, colourings and other synthetic flavours mean that our bars are easy to digest even for the most sensitive people. Of course, it’s 100% natural and that’s what we pride ourselves on! Each product sheet on our website details the composition of each bar (brown rice syrup, fruit, proteins, cereals, almonds, oats, vitamins, rapeseed oil…).
Discover our 11 original recipes ?
Mulebar was a forerunner in the bar market by inventing original recipes and unique combinations of fruits and seeds in a market dominated by simple vanilla, chocolate and banana bars.
Since then, we have been copied, which is the price of success, which means that already in 2008, the idea and the positioning were good!
Here are ou 11 bars recepies:
- Apricot Nut Bar – organic and vegan
- Mango Cashew Bar – organic and vegan
- Chocolate orange bar – organic and vegan
- Apple Cinnamon Grape Bar – organic and vegan
- Fennel Seed Coconut Liquorice Bar – organic and vegan
- Lemon Ginger Bar – organic and vegan
- Pineapple coconut goji berry bar – vegan
- Raspberry blackcurrant cranberry bar – vegan
- Peanut Raspberry Bar – vegan
- Salted Tomato Rosemary Bar – vegan
- Strawberry Almond Protein Bar – vegan
- Chocolate Protein Bar – vegan
If all this has not convinced you, I invite you to consult the reviews on the forums, social networks or on our website where you will see, from the mouths of our customers, how our bars are by far the best on the market.
If you are a competitor, you must discover our energy gels and our Mulebar energy compotes, they are also the best in the world of course!