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.
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.
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.”
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 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.”
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.”