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Kosher Food For Jewish Athletes

04 Oct

When I review carbohydrate gels, protein bars or other energy products for athletes I try to give as much information as possible about the food sensitivities of various groups. While I would make a horrible vegan, I still mention whether a food product is “vegan-friendly” or not. Recently I started following the Paleo Diet, but even when I didn’t I mentioned when foods were “gluten-free.” Even though I am not Jewish I try to point out what foods are Kosher. I am a frequent traveler to the Middle East and the only country where I ever feel safe eating the food is Israel because kosher foods are sanitary. However, for Jewish people kosher food is more than just sanitary—for them it is food that conforms to the dietary laws as described in the Torah. Recently a visitor to this website said that he thought there were only two companies that made Kosher energy products. However, I’ve written a lot of product reviews for energy products over the past few years and was certain there were other kosher energy products on the market. Therefore, I decided to put together a quick list of kosher energy products for the benefit of Jewish athletes.

Honey Stinger Energy Bars

Honey Stinger Energy Bars

My favorite manufacturer of energy products is Honey Stinger. According to their website, all Honey Stinger “protein and energy bars are Kosher certified” (OU-D). This includes the Honey Stinger Waffle (this stuff is great!) and the Honey Stinger Energy Bars.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans

Jelly Belly Sport Beans

A few years ago Jelly Belly, the world-famous manufacturer of jelly beans, came out with Jelly Belly Sport Beans, a nutritional product for athletes. Each one-ounce package of Jelly Belly Sport Beans has 100 calories. Every serving also provides 25 grams of carbohydrates, 80mg of sodium, 40mg of potassium, along with a small dose of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C. Their website says, “Both regular Sport Beans and Extreme Sport Beans® have received the respected certification of the Orthodox Union. Look for the OU Kosher symbol on our Sport Beans bags.”

Clif Bar Seasonal Flavors

Clif Bar Seasonal Flavors

I have been an avid consumer of Clif Bars for over ten years. Clif Bars are made with 70% organic ingredients, but without high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or artificial flavors, sweeteners and preservatives. I don’t know if all of their products are kosher, but their website has Pick & Choose ‘Em page where you can see a complete list of their kosher products (and it is a long list).

Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix

Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix

Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix was developed by Allen Lim, PhD, a sport scientist and coach for a professional cycling team. He created this product “from scratch” because he thought he could improve on the usual pre-packaged hydration products that were already on the market. A 16-ounce serving of this mix has 80 calories and provides 20 grams of carbohydrates, along with 60mg of calcium, 45mg of magnesium, 310mg of sodium and 40mg of potassium. According to their website, “The food plant in which Skratch is processed is Kosher approved by The Scroll K—Vaad Hakashurs of Denver.”

Hammer Gel

Hammer Gel

As carbohydrate gels go, Hammer Gel is one of the least expensive gels on the market. The primary ingredient in Hammer Gel is maltodextrin, a long-chain complex carbohydrate—this provides for a steady release of carbs without the “sugar rush” found in some gels. According to their website, the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) has kosher-certified the following Hammer Nutrition products: Hammer Gel, HEED Perpetuem, Hammer Soy, and Sustained Energy. In addition, two of their products are Kosher Dairy Certified: Recoverite Hammer, and Whey Protein.

Pacific Health Laboratories has a complete line of sports drinks, energy gels and recovery products. According to their website the following products have OUD kosher certification: Accelerade, Accelearde Hydro and Endurox R4. However, Accel Gel, Endurox Excel, 2nd Surge, and Accel Recover are not kosher.

I’ve not written a review for this product yet, but Picky Bars are a wonderful new product for athletes! These energy bars are gluten-free and dairy-free. They have a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio and are great on long bike rides! According to their website, these bars are “made in a facility that is dedicated gluten and dairy free—plus Kosher certified.”

 
12 Comments

Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Sports Nutrition

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

12 responses to “Kosher Food For Jewish Athletes

  1. EmmaNutrition

    October 5, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    Great summary, kosher supplements aren’t too easy to find!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 6, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      I had never thought much about it until someone asked me about it — I actually found more companies with kosher products that I thought I would.

       
      • EmmaNutrition

        October 11, 2013 at 1:37 AM

        More than I thought too if I’m honest!!

         
  2. thehomeschoolingdoctor

    October 5, 2013 at 6:41 AM

    This ought to be really helpful for somebody!

     
  3. DummyDiva

    October 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Do you take your bike on your travels? If so, how about a review on bike travel cases?

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 6, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      Sorry, but I don’t take my bikes with me overseas — there is no room left after my camera equipment! I am usually photographing archeological ruins from dawn to dusk. However, I have rented bikes overseas a few times.

      One time I was in Izmir, Turkey (ancient Smyrna) and was staying at a hotel on one of the hilltops around town (near the place where Alexander the Great stood 2,300 years ago when he ordered that the city be rebuilt). Anyway, we got done early one day so I decided to rent a bike at the hotel and ride around town. Unfortunately, I failed to inspect the bike before heading down the hill. About 500 feet down the hill I tapped the brake levers only to discover that they were not connected to ANYTHING — I was heading downhill at probably 30 MPH and the only thing between me and the Gulf of Izmir was a bunch of cars and trucks — I felt like I was in the middle of a game of dodgeball. I finally got the bike stopped without incident, then had to walk it back up the hill to the hotel.

       
      • DummyDiva

        October 6, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        Wow! Glad you’re still with us.

         
  4. Jason Pearlman

    October 6, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    This is a great post; thanks for putting this together. I can definitely expand the range of energy products in my “service course” now. Being a kosher cyclist, I’ve always had interesting situations, like when the group ride stops at a traffic light or a regrouping point, and one rider is sharing energy blocks, and I ask to look at the packaging for a kosher symbol (almost always, none). Thankfully, plenty of the swag bags in Mid-Atlantic cyclocross offers Hammer Gels and other products which have had kosher certification. Also, the folks at CERA sport offer energy drinks with OU symbols.

    Thanks again for the great and informative post. There’s actually a few hardcore riders and some racers in our local orthodox community, so I’m going to share this with them.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      October 6, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      Jason, your comments on another post is what got me thinking about this in the first place. While I don’t need kosher food myself, curiosity got the best of me so I starting looking to see if I could find other kosher energy products for athletes — and after I spent a couple hours looking I decided to write a quick article about it. There are more kosher energy products than I thought I would find, so there must be a market for them.

       
  5. Ian MacGregor

    October 7, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Thanks for this great post, and of course, for including Skratch Labs. If you’re interested in attached our Kosher certificate you can find it here – http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0121/9362/files/LOC_Skratch_Labs.pdf?2560

     

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