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Jelly Belly Sport Beans

I am a distance cyclist and usually consume 250 to 300 calories per hour while cycling (and burn around 1,100 calories an hour). The food products I take with me on rides have to be compact and taste good. I also like to have a bit of variety in my food and therefore I use products from several different companies. 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. When the product was introduced it contained high fructose corn syrup so I didn’t even try it. However, once Jelly Belly switched to all natural ingredients I tried them out and am glad I did! While Jelly Belly Sport Beans will never be the only carbohydrate product I consume, I now take a package with me on just about every ride.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans

Jelly Belly Sport Beans

If you have never tried Jelly Belly Sport Beans then you are missing a real treat! I rotate through a dozen or so carbohydrate products while cycling (not all at the same time), and I can tell you that Jelly Belly Sport Beans have the most robust flavor of any of the products I use.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans come in six flavors (Orange, Berry, Lemon Lime, Fruit Punch, Watermelon, Cherry). Two of the flavors (Watermelon and Cherry) contain caffeine. Anytime I review nutritional products I like to list the ingredients, and since the Cherry flavor is my favorite I’ll give you the ingredients list for it: Evaporated cane juice, tapioca syrup, and cherry juice from concentrate. It also contains 2% or less of the following ingredients: natural flavor, thiamine hydrochloride (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacinamide (vitamin B3), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, citrus pectin, potassium citrate, sodium citrate, sodium lactate, black carrot (color), black currant (color), grape skin extract (color), apple (color), purple carrot (color), hibiscus (color), beeswax, carnauba wax, confectioner’s glaze, salt, and caffeine.

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. This product is also Certified Kosher (Orthodox Union).

At one time Jelly Belly Sport Beans were made with corn syrup, but that has been replaced with evaporated cane juice. For me this is a big deal—I refuse to buy any product that contains high fructose corn syrup. Jelly Belly has also switched to all natural ingredients for the coloring used in these beans. These beans are coated with beeswax and carnauba wax. You might think these waxes are just for making with beans shine (which they do), but the advantage is that your fingers will not get sticky while eating these beans even on a hot day (due to the high melting point of carnauba wax).

The only thing I do not like about Jelly Belly Sport Beans is the packaging—they are very difficult to open while on the bike. These packages come with a resealable top and to me this is totally unnecessary since they only contain 100 calories per package.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans retail for around $1.25 per package, but you can usually save a lot of money by buying them in bulk (24 packages). If your local bike shop does not give you a discount for buying in quantity then you should shop for them on Amazon.com.

 
 

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Kosher Food For Jewish Athletes

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.”

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Sports Nutrition

 

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Elevate Me! Protein And Fruit Energy Bar

A few weeks ago one of the readers of this blog suggested that I try the Elevate Me! protein and fruit energy bars, so I ordered a variety pack of the bars from the manufacturer, PROsnack Natural Foods, Inc. These bars were invented by a mother who was a “nutritional health food caterer for athletes and sports teams” when she wanted to “create the world’s simplest protein snack.” Well, she succeeded! Elevate Me! bars are easy on the stomach, taste great, and deserve a place in the cupboard of every cyclist.

Elevate Me! Protein And Fruit Energy Bar

Elevate Me! Protein And Fruit Energy Bar

Elevate Me! bars are about the size of a candy bar, but that is about the only thing the two bars have in common. These bars weigh 66 grams each and are made with 24% protein and whole fruits. They are also gluten-free, wheat-free, low-fat, and contain no added sweeteners, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. In addition to 16 grams of protein, each bar has about 33 grams of carbohydrates.

The variety pack I bought contained twelve bars—a mix of the following flavors: Strawberry Apple Pie, Chocolate Acai Berry Brownie, Blueberry Cranberry Gojiberry Boost!, Matcha Green Tea with Cranberries, Espresso Cocoa Crunch, Banana Nut Bread, Cocoa Coconut Cluster, and All-Fruit Original. While I liked all the bars, the Chocolate Acai Berry Brownie was my favorite. The Espresso Cocoa Crunch was OK, but I am not a coffee drinker and don’t usually like anything made with coffee beans.

I won’t take the time to give the ingredients list for each flavor of Elevate Me! bar, but will list the ingredients for the Blueberry Cranberry Gojiberry Boost bar as an example: Whey protein isolate, dates, organic raisins, almonds, apples, cranberries (cranberries, apple juice, sunflower oil), blueberries, and goji berries. These bars may contain traces of peanuts and/or soy. All bars are certified organic.

As a distance cyclist I usually consume carbohydrate products during the first two hours of a ride, and then start adding a bit of protein every hour during the rest of the ride. While I will never be willing to confine myself to just one brand of energy bar, I am really glad to have these bars with me on my longer rides. These bars taste like real food—unlike some bars that taste more like a high school chemistry experiment that went horribly wrong.

Elevate Me! protein and fruit energy bars are a product of Canada and I bought the variety pack from the PROsnack Natural Foods Website for $25, plus postage. At the moment these bars are not available on Amazon.com, but it looks like they will be before long.

 

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