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Honey Stinger Energy Bars

Honey Stinger nutritional products have been a part of every single bike ride I’ve taken in the past few years. Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels are the only carbohydrate gels I ever buy, and the highly addictive Honey Stinger Waffles go with me on every ride. After a bike ride I always need some protein, and the Honey Stinger Protein Bar is the only protein bar I ever buy (the Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond is simply awesome).

Honey Stinger Energy Bars

Honey Stinger Energy Bars

The folks at Honey Stinger recently sent me a box of one of their newest products to review, the Honey Stinger Energy Bars. While these bars are not strictly either carbohydrate or protein bars, if you enjoy natural food products I think you will find a place for them in your pantry. These bars are made with over 30% honey and offer 10g of protein, along with 22 vitamins and minerals, calcium, and antioxidants. These energy bars average about 180 calories per bar, and 30 to 50 of those calories are from fat. All Honey Stinger energy bars are Kosher certified (OU-D).

I sampled each of the four original Honey Stinger Energy Bar flavors (Peanut Butter’n Honey, Berry Banana Buzz, Apple Cinnamon and Rocket Chocolate). While I liked all of them, the Berry Banana Buzz was my favorite. Honey Stinger has recently introduced a new flavor, Blueberry Buzz, but I have not tried that flavor yet.

I mainly use these bars as a between-meal snack—they are also great to take to the movies with you! While you might also use them during exercise, I need to mention one thing that might impact cyclists in particular. Both the Peanut Butter’n Honey and the Rocket Chocolate have a chocolate coating on the bottom of them, while the Berry Banana and the Blueberry Buzz have a yogurt coated bottom. These coatings have a fairly low melting point and if your store the bars in one of your back jersey pockets (like most of us do) then this coating is going to melt. Therefore, it would be best to keep these bars in a seat bag or top tube bag while cycling.

Anytime I review food products I like to give the ingredients list. I am not going to give the list for each flavor, but I will give it for my favorite, the Berry Banana Buzz Energy Bar. Ingredients: Honeystinger (Honey, Sea Salt, Water); Honeystinger Fruitsmoothie Blend (Apple, Banana, Cranberry, Strawberry Bits & Honey); Almonds; Soy Nuggets (Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Malt, Salt); Coating (Sugar, Palm Kernel Oil, Yogurt Powder {Cultured Whey Protein In Concentrate, Cultured Skim Milk and Yogurt Culture} Non-fat Dry Milk Solids, Soya Lecithin {an emulsifier} and Natural Flavor); Soy Protein Isolate; Vitamins and Minerals.

Honey Stinger Energy Bars retail for $25 for a box of 15. Because retail shelf space is always limited, I doubt if you find this product at your local bike shop. However, it is available from Amazon.com and from the Honey Stinger Online Store.

 
 

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Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels

Cyclists burn a lot of carbohydrates during a long ride and if you want to finish under your own power you need to replace some of those carbs during the ride. Honey is my favorite source of carbohydrates since it offers a perfect blend of both simple and complex carbs which prevents the energy “spike, crash and burn” that you get from most “energy gels.”

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels

The folks at Honey Stinger recently sent me a few packages of their new Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels. I am not a tofu-eating vegetarian. However, when given a choice, I will choose organic food every time. This is especially true when it comes to the food I eat while cycling. I’ve found that natural ingredients are easily digested and quickly absorbed into the body. Energy gels that contain a lot of chemicals make me feel uncomfortable while cycling.

The new Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels are available in three flavors (Vanilla, Fruit Smoothie, and Acai & Pomegranate). The Fruit Smoothie has a mild strawberry flavor. The Vanilla gel has a strong, but not overpowering, vanilla flavor, and the Acai & Pomegranate tastes like fresh Acai berries, but I couldn’t really taste the Pomegranate. However, the Acai & Pomegranate is my favorite flavor and after eating just one package of it I ordered an entire box of these gels.

The ingredients list for the Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels is about as simple as you can get: Organic tapioca syrup, organic honey, water, potassium citrate, natural flavor, citric acid, and sodium chloride. Each one-ounce (32g) package provides 100 calories with 23g of carbohydrates. Each serving also has 50mg of sodium and 50mg of potassium—the essential electrolytes that cyclists need during a ride. This product is made with 95% USDA-certified organic ingredients and they are also gluten-free.

Honey Stinger has offered Energy Gels for several years and the original flavors of those gels are still available and are now referred to as their Classic Energy Gels. The classic flavors (Gold, Ginsting, Banana, Chocolate and Strawberry) are made with pure honey, along with sodium, potassium, B complex vitamins and all-natural flavors. The Strawberry and Ginsting flavors contain natural caffeine. I like all the original flavors and usually order them in a box of 24 assorted flavor gels.

Can you really tell the difference between the Classic Energy Gels and the new Organic Energy Gels? Yes, but the difference in taste has nothing to do with the organic ingredients—the tapioca syrup in the new gels make for a much smoother product. As much as I like the Honey Stinger gels, they are never going to be my only source of food while on a long ride. However, I do take them with me on every ride. These gels are absorbed quickly into the body and just a few minutes after ingestion it feels like someone kicked on the afterburners.

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels retail for $1.35 per package, or $32.40 for a box of 24. If your local bike does not carry these gels yet they would be glad to order them for you. I’ve found that most local bike shops are willing to give you a decent discount if you buy three boxes of nutritional products at the same time—and you won’t have to pay for shipping! These gels are also available from R.E.I. and from the Honey Stinger Website.

 

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Honey Stinger Protein Bar

My kind and gracious wife allowed me to take over one of her kitchen cabinets so I can store my nutritional products. The cabinet is 42″ wide and has three shelves. The top shelf is used to store two CamelBak hydration packs and over a dozen water bottles (some are insulated and others have special lids for different types of cycling). The bottom two shelves are used to store 20 to 30 boxes of the different carbohydrate products I eat while cycling (I buy my favorite products in bulk). While I use several different brands of carbohydrate products during a ride, I only keep one brand of protein bar in the cabinet for after a ride—the Honey Stinger Protein Bar.

Honey Stinger Protein Bar 10g

Honey Stinger Protein Bar

Let’s make this easy—the Honey Stinger Protein Bar is absolutely the best tasting protein bar I’ve ever tried! These bars come in two sizes (10g or 20g of protein). These bars are made with over 30% USDA certified organic honey, either 10g or 20g of high quality whey protein isolate, 22 vitamins and minerals, calcium and antioxidants.

Cyclists usually eat protein bars immediately after a ride to aid in muscle recovery. The problem is that most protein bars are simply dreadful! However, the 10g Honey Stinger Protein Bars are so delicious you will find yourself craving them. When I am running late in the morning I eat these bars for breakfast, and they are my favorite snack at the movies (I can’t watch a movie without one). One warning: the chocolate layer on the outside of these bars has a low melting point, so don’t leave them in a hot car or the chocolate will melt (it will still taste good though).

In the past year I’ve bought over a dozen boxes of these bars—all in the Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond flavor. I knew Honey Stinger made other flavors, but this one is so good I never even thought about buying any other flavor. A few weeks ago the good folks at Honey Stinger sent me samples of the other flavors for review purposes, and while I liked all of them, the Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond is in a class all by itself—it is simply awesome! You can actually see (and taste) bits of dried sour cherries in the bar.

The 10g Honey Stinger Protein Bars are available in four flavors: Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond, Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond, Dark Chocolate Mint, and Chocolate Coated Peanut Butta. The 20g bars are only available in Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond and Chocolate Coated Peanut Butta.

The ingredients for each of these bars varies slightly, so I will just give the ingredients list for the Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond: Semisweet Dark Chocolate [Evaporated Cane Juice, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Milk Fat, Soya Lecithin, and Vanilla]; Organic Honey; Whey Protein Isolate; Almond Butter; Dried Sour Cherries (Cherries, Apple Juice, Sunflower Oil); Almonds; Vitamins & Minerals [Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Oxide, Ascorbic Acid (Vit C), Alpha-tocopherol Acetate (Vit E), Biotin, Zinc Oxide, Niacin, Ferrous Fumarate (Iron), Molybdenum Glycinate, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper, Manganese, Beta Carotene (Vit A), Selenium, Pyridoxine (B6), Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Chromium, Cyanocobolamin (B12), Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide]; and Natural Flavor.

Honey Stinger Protein Bars are made with 25% organic ingredients. The are also made with gluten-free ingredients and contain no soy products. These bars are available at many local bike shops, REI stores, Amazon.com and from the Honey Stinger Website. The 10g Honey Stinger Protein Bars retail for $2.20 each, or in a box of 15 for under $33.

 

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Honey Stinger Organic Chocolate Waffle

Chocolate lovers of the world have great reason to rejoice! Honey Stinger has just introduced their new Chocolate Organic Stinger Waffle and you need to try one immediately! While I take a variety of energy bars with me on long rides, my absolute favorite source of carbohydrates has to be Honey Stinger Waffles. Several months ago Honey Stinger announced that they were about to introduce the chocolate waffle and when they went on sale just before Mother’s Day I ordered three boxes.

Honey Stinger Chocolate Waffle, Certified Kosher and Organic

Honey Stinger Organic Chocolate Waffle

If you have ever been to Amsterdam you might have had a stroopwafel at the airport or a coffee shop, and the Honey Stinger Waffles will bring back fond memories of that delightful treat. In addition to the new chocolate waffles, Honey Stinger also has three other flavors available: Honey, Strawberry, and Vanilla.

Honey Stinger Chocolate Waffles are certified organic, absolutely delicious, and easy on your stomach. Each one-ounce waffle has 160 calories and provides 16 grams of carbohydrates with one gram of protein. The ingredients list is as follows: Organic wheat flour, organic palm fruit oil, organic rice syrup, organic cane sugar, organic whole wheat flour, organic cocoa, organic soy flour, organic honey, natural flavor, sea salt, organic soy lecithin, and baking soda. All Honey Stinger protein and energy bars are Kosher certified. Three of these waffles will take about the same amount of room in your bike jersey as one Cliff Bar.

As the outside temperature drops Honey Stinger Waffles become very brittle (but they still taste great). The best way to keep these waffles soft in the winter is to put them in a jersey pocket under your cycling jacket. When the temperature drops to below 20 degrees (which is most of the time in the winter) I put these waffles in my jacket pocket along with a chemical hand warmer. When you are riding on a snowy day and pull a warm Honey Stinger Waffle out of your jacket pocket you are in for a real treat!

Honey Stinger Waffles are retail for about $22 for a box of 16 individually wrapped waffles.

 

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Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews

As an avid cyclist I am used to a bit of suffering. I suffer in the winter on rides when the wind chill factor hits 20 degrees below zero. I suffer through summer rides when the heat index passes 105 degrees. Some cyclists suffer by their food choices (you PowerBar users know who you are). Here is where I draw the line—I don’t mind a bit of suffering when I don’t have a choice, but when it comes to carbohydrate products cyclists do have a choice! If you want to stop your self-imposed suffering then pick up a package of great tasting Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews.

Honey Stinger Organic Carbohydrate Energy Chews

Honey Stinger Organic Carbohydrate Energy Chews

When I started cycling I bought PowerBar Energy Gels because that was the only brand of carbohydrate gels the bike shop I used carried. Eating PowerBar products reminded me a bit of high school. I thought PowerBar Protein Bars had the taste and texture of the sawdust from my shop class, and PowerBar Energy Gels tasted like chemicals from a high school chemistry project! Folks, there is a better way to replenish your energy stores and Honey Stinger has provided the way!

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are fairly small (about the size of a stack of three nickles). These chews are 95% organic and each package has ten chews (two servings). Every 160 calorie serving contains 39 grams of carbohydrates, 100% of the RDA of vitamin C, and a dose of electrolytes. These chews are gluten-free, dairy free and contain no trans-fats or partially hydrogenated oils. Honey Stinger sells these energy chews in several flavors, including Cherry Blossom (my favorite), Orange Blossom, Fruit Smoothie, and Pomegranate Passion Fruit. They have also recently introduced a caffeinated Lime-Ade flavor, but I’ve not been able to find them in the store yet.

I am not a tofu-eating vegetarian environmentalist. However, when I have a choice I will choose organic food every time. This is especially true when it comes to the food I eat while cycling. I’ve found that natural ingredients are easily digested and quickly absorbed into the body. Energy gels that contain a lot of chemicals just make me feel uncomfortable while cycling. If the two cycling computers I use can be trusted, I burn around 1050 calories an hour when I ride. I like to replace around a third of these calories every hour, so I consume one whole package of Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews an hour (three pieces every 20 minutes).

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are available in many sporting good stores, such as R.E.I., Dick’s Sporting Goods and The Sports Authority. I’ve also purchased them at several grocery stores, but they often do not carry all the flavors. Each two-serving package costs around $2. Bon appetit.

 

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Honey Stinger Organic Stinger Waffles

Last year I increased my mileage on the bike from my usual 3,000 per year to over 4,650 miles. Increasing mileage also means increasing the amount of carbohydrate gels and protein bars you have to eat. Last September Honey Stinger introduced an exciting new product, the Stinger Waffle. If you have not tasted a Stinger Waffle your life is sad and lacking. Without the slightest bit of exaggeration, these are the best tasting items you will ever consume on a bike!

Honey Stinger Waffles

Honey Stinger Waffles

If you have ever been to Amsterdam you might have had a stroopwafel at the airport or coffee shop, and the Stinger Waffles will bring back fond memories of that delightful treat. On several occasions I’ve gone for a bike ride just so I could have a Stinger Waffle with a clean conscience (I wouldn’t need extra carbs otherwise).

Aside from the fact they taste awesome, you probably need to know the following: Each waffle has 160 calories, offers up 21 grams of carbohydrates, are all organic and certified Kosher. Two packages of waffles take up about the same amount of room in your jersey pocket as a single Clif Bar. I have purchased 8 boxes of Stinger Waffles (so far) from Amazon.com and the price is around $25.00 for a box of 16.

If you ride in below freezing temperatures the Stinger Waffles do get a bit brittle. My solution all winter was to put a disposable chemical hand warmer in my jacket pocket and put the Stinger Waffles next to it. This will not only keep the waffles from getting brittle, but it will also warm up the honey a bit and make the flavor even more delightful (it that is even possible).

 

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