RSS

Tag Archives: triathlete

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.”

 
17 Comments

Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Sports Nutrition

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hammer Gel from Hammer Nutrition

If you are heading out on a bike ride of 90 minutes or longer you need to carry some form of carbohydrates with you. I am a distance cyclist and it is very rare for me to go on a ride of under 90 minutes, so I consume one package of commercial carbohydrate gel 15 minutes before I leave home, and then another package every 30 minutes as I am riding. In addition, I normally drink one 20-ounce bottle of a sports mix every hour. My goal is to take in about 300 calories per hour while I am on the bike. There are many great commercially made carbohydrate gels on the market, but recently I have been buying a lot of Hammer Gel. While I am never going to settle on just one brand of carb gel, I think Hammer Gel is something all cyclists, runners or other endurance athletes ought to consider.

Hammer Gel

Hammer Gel

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. Each single-serving package (33g) has 80 to 90 calories, depending on the flavor. These gels also contain sodium and potassium in varying amounts, depending on flavor, and a small amount of Amino Acids (L-Leucine, L-Alanine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine). These gels are gluten-free, vegan friendly, MSG-free, and Kosher Certified (and delicious).

Hammer Gel is available in several flavors, including: Apple-Cinnamon, Banana, Chocolate, Espresso, Montana Huckleberry, Orange, Peanut Butter, Raspberry, Tropical, Vanilla, and Unflavored. My favorite flavor is Montana Huckleberry—it tastes a lot like blueberry (and huckleberries look a lot like blueberries). The Apple-Cinnamon and Raspberry are also great tasting, and the Tropical flavor has a bit of caffeine (25mg per serving), and the Espresso has twice that amount (50mg per serving). The only flavor I did not like was the Chocolate—it wasn’t bad, but it had a slight aftertaste.

Hammer Gel 26-Serving Jug and Flask

Hammer Gel 26-Serving Jug and 5-Ounce Flask

Individual packages of Hammer Gel sell for about $1.50 a your local bike shop, and a bit cheaper if you buy them by the box (12 packages of gel per box). As carbohydrate gels go, Hammer Gel is one of the least expensive gels on the market. However, if you really want to save some money you can skip the individual gel packs and buy a 26-serving jug for $20 (this comes out to just .77¢ per serving). You can use the gel from the jug to fill your own flask—but the Hammer Gel 5-Ounce Flask is your best bet—it is made of high-density polyethylene and has molded finger tip groves.

A few days ago I went for a Century ride (100 miles) with a couple of Hammer Gel flasks (one filled with Huckleberry and the other with Tropical gel). This flask is incredibly easy to use while on the bike—I can get the gel out faster from the flask than I ever could with a single-serving package. In addition, small packages usually spill a few drops of sticky gel into my jerseys, but the flask seals lock-tight and I didn’t spill a drop!

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hüma Chia Energy Gel

Every time I travel out-of-town I try to stop at a bike shop or two just to see what they have in their display room. Most of the time I don’t find anything new, but occasionally I find a few hidden gems. A few weeks ago I stopped at a small bike shop in southern Indiana—they had all the usual items on display that you would expect to see in a small shop. However, just before I walked out the door I noticed that they had a few packages of an energy gel I’d never seen before, so I bought half a dozen packages to try. You probably have never heard of them before, but Hüma Chia Energy Gels are now one of my favorite carbohydrate gels for distance cycling.

Huma Chia Energy Gel

Hüma Chia Energy Gel

There are two things you need to know about Hüma Chia Energy Gels: First, they taste great, and second, they are all-natural. I love carbohydrate gels that have simple ingredients and are easy on the stomach—and Hüma Chia Energy Gels fit the bill perfectly! They start with fruit puree (either apple or strawberry), then add a bit of evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup for a nice glucose/fructose carbohydrate mix, and a bit of filtered water to smooth things out. They also have one ingredient I’ve never seen in an energy gel before—ground chia seeds. The chia seeds add a bit of fiber to the gel (2g per package), but more importantly they provide all nine essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. In addition, Hüma also adds a small amount of sea salt and citric acid to every gel.

One 43-gram package of Strawberry Hüma Chia Energy Gel will give you 100 calories with 110mg of sodium, 30mg of potassium, 1g of protein, and 21g of carbs. The Apples & Cinnamon Hüma Chia Energy Gel will provide you with 100 calories, 100mg of sodium, 20mg of potassium, 1g of protein, and 20g of carbs. In addition, both flavors will give you 895mg of Omega-3 fatty acids.

I already mentioned that these gels have a great taste, but I need to talk about their texture for a moment. Overall, the gel is very smooth. However, because of the ground chia seeds the gel is slightly gritty—about like you would expect if you ate fresh strawberry jam.

You probably won’t find Hüma Chia Energy Gels at your local bike shop (yet), but you can order them from the Hüma online store. A box of 24 gels retails for $54, plus $3 shipping for one box, or free shipping when you order two boxes or more. I realize that at $2.25 per package these gels are more expensive than most of the other gels on the market—I think this is a case of getting what you pay for. After I went through the six packs I bought in Indiana I bought a box of 24 and am certain I will be ordering more in the future as well.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Bonk Breaker High Protein Energy Bars

On short bike rides (anything under two hours) you are probably just fine with carbohydrate gels and/or energy drinks. However, after two hours of exercise your body needs some protein. It is very rare for me to go on a bike ride that lasts less than two hours and by the time I’ve been riding for three hours I want something that tastes and feels like real food—and Bonk Breaker High Protein Energy Bars fit the bill perfectly. These bars are soft, full of flavor, and taste great. Bonk Breaker High Protein Energy Bars are an all-natural energy and protein bar that are made without dairy, gluten or soy products. These bars are designed for endurance athletes (cyclists, runners, mountain climbers, etc.).

Bonk Breaker High Protein Energy Bars

Bonk Breaker High Protein Energy Bars

Because I am a distance cyclist I sometimes have to consume over 2,500 calories on a ride—and because I like variety I never confine myself to using just one brand of energy product. However, Bonk Breaker High Protein Energy Bars are one of the few “must have” foods I take with me on long rides.

Bonk Breaker High Protein Energy Bars

Bonk Breaker High Protein Energy Bars

Bonk Breaker has two high protein bars (Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Almond Cherry Chunk). Since the Almond Cherry Chunk is my favorite I’ll give you the ingredients list for it. Ingredients: Rice Nectar (Brown Rice, Water), Almond Butter (Almonds, Sea Salt), Organic Gluten Free Oats, Honey, Non-GMO Brown Rice Protein, Bing Cherries, Dark Chocolate Chips (Cocoa, Cocoa Butter, Cane Sugar), Flaxseed Meal, Sea Salt, and Almaretto Flavor.

One 2.2-ounce Almond Cherry Chunk Bonk Breaker High Protein Bar has 245 calories (90 from fat) and has 15 grams of protein. Each bar also contains 140mg of sodium, 100mg of potassium, 24g of carbohydrates and 4g of fiber.

Bonk Breaker High Protein Energy Bars retail for $33 for a box of 12 and if your local bike shop does not have them in stock I am sure they can order them for you. You can also order these bars from the Bonk Breaker Online Store and other online retailers, such as Amazon.com, REI, and Colorado Cyclist. By the way, Bonk Breaker is the official energy, protein and nutritional bar of USA Cycling and the USA Cycling Team.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Wired Waffles For Caffeine Powered Athletes

I used to be addicted to caffeine. I don’t mean that I simply liked a bit of caffeine in the morning before work—I mean that caffeine was a major part of my life right up till the time my doctor told me I had to cut way back on the stuff. Apparently no one has a 12-step program for caffeine addicts (but they ought to). Now the only caffeine I consume is when I am cycling because that wonderful drug improves endurance and I need every bit of help I can get on a long ride! Last week I reviewed BikeLoot, a subscription service that sends a box of five to seven cycling related products to your home every month. In the July box of “loot” there was a sample of Wired Waffles, a delicious caffeine-infused food product that makes for a great pre-ride snack.

Wired Waffles Energy Supplement

Wired Waffles Energy Supplement

Wired Waffles are 3.5 inches (7.6cm) in diameter, one-inch (2.5cm) thick and they weight 2.5 ounces (71 grams). Each waffle serves up 200 calories and includes 200mg of caffeine. The list of ingredients includes: Flour, Sugar, Eggs, Trans Fat Free Margarine, Water, Butter, Pearl Sugar, Bakers Yeast, Cinnamon, Potassium Sorbate, Baking Powder, Salt, Citric Acid, and Enzymes.

Wired Waffles Energy Supplement

Wired Waffles Energy Supplement

Wired Waffles come in several flavors, including Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip, Sweet Sugar and Bacon Maple. The sample that was included in the BikeLoot box was Bacon Maple and to be very honest I did not like the flavor. However, the waffle was moist and had a great texture so I decided to take a chance and order a box of the cinnamon waffles from Amazon.com. The cinnamon waffles were wonderful! These waffles are best if heated up, so I just popped the waffle in the microwave for 20 seconds and it was perfect. These waffles are not intended to have butter and syrup poured over them—just pick them up and eat one on your way to your bicycle!

In case you were wondering, 200mg of caffeine is the equivalent of two 16-ounce cups of McDonald’s coffee or a little less than one 2-ounce 5-Hour Energy shot. Since I now only consume caffeine while I am cycling I’ve noticed that it seems to have a greater impact on my alertness and endurance that it did before.

Wired Waffles sell for $30 for a 12-pack and come with free shipping in the United States if you order from the Wired Waffles website (and they will ship overseas for an additional fee). They also sell a variety 12-pack that has three waffles in each of the four flavors.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Road ID iPhone App For Cyclists And Runners

As I was watching the Tour de France last week I saw an interview with Edward Wimmer, one of the co-owners of Road ID (the most essential piece of cycling gear I own). During the interview Wimmer mentioned that Road ID had recently introduced a free iPhone app that would allow your friends or family to track you while you are out on a ride or going for a run. I downloaded the app this past Monday and it has quickly become one of the most important apps on my iPhone!

Road ID iPhone App For Cyclists And Runners

Road ID iPhone App

The Road ID iPhone app is very simple to set up and even easier to use. Once you download the app from the iTunes Store you input your basic information (name, address and email address), then you can select up to five of your contacts who will receive either an email or a text message when you are ready to go ride or run. The contacts you selected with get a brief message telling them that you are going out—and in the message there is a link they can click that will allow them to see exactly where you are at any given moment while you are out (Road ID calls this an eCrumb—an electronic breadcrumb). They can watch you on any smart phone or web browser.

Road ID iPhone App For Cyclists And Runners

Road ID iPhone App Stationary Alert

The Road ID iPhone app also allows you to turn on a stationary alert—if you don’t move for five minutes the app will send an email or text message to your selected contacts warning them that you are not moving. The message does not necessarily mean that you are lying face-down in a ditch somewhere—it just means that you have not moved more than 15 feet or so in the past five minutes. However, one minute before the text message or email goes out the app will sound a loud alarm to warn you so you can cancel the message (the alarm reminds me of a klaxon horn from a WWII battleship). At the moment this stationary alert cannot be adjusted to any other time-frame—it is either set at five minutes or it is turned off entirely. I wish this app offered the ability to change the amount of time before sending the stationary alert because five minutes is not a lot of time if you get stuck behind a few customers buying lottery tickets at the convenience store (personally, I think the lottery is just a tax on people who are really bad at math).

One of the biggest concerns most people are going to have about this app is the impact on the battery life of your iPhone. There is no question that it will drain your battery a bit, but for most people this is not going to be an issue. I’ve gone out for three rides of three hours each (including “standing around” time at stop lights, etc.) and each time I started with a battery that was 100% full. When I got home after three hours the battery had only gone down by 20%—but I was running another app, Abvio Cyclemeter, at the same time! One note: I always turn off the Wi-Fi on my iPhone when heading out for a ride to prolong battery life.

One other feature  the Road ID iPhone app offers is that it allows you to make a personalized Lock Screen—even if your phone is locked emergency responders can see any pertinent information they need and a list of people they can call in case of an emergency.

The Road ID iPhone app just hit the iTunes store on June 13, 2013 and it is still in version 1.0 as of this writing. According to the description on the iTunes store, this app is “compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), and iPad. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.”

As I said earlier, this is one of my favorite apps—I wish it had been available with my sons were teenagers (what parent wouldn’t want to be able to track their kids?).

 
77 Comments

Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Product Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Serfas RX Short Finger Cycling Gloves

I always suggest that cyclists buy their gloves one size larger than what feels comfortable when they are trying them on at the bike shop. In the winter you need a larger glove because the extra air space in a full-finger glove provides a micro-climate of warm air that will keep your hands warm (tight gloves in winter will also reduce the circulation in your hands and make them very cold). On hot and humid days you need larger gloves because after a few hours on the bike your hands will swell and the fabric in the gloves will be soaked with sweat and the gloves will be very difficult to get off your hands. Fortunately, Serfas has the RX Short Finger Gloves that are not only easy to remove (even when totally saturated with sweat), but also provide a very comfortable grip! While I’ve bought at least six pairs of these gloves in the past five or six years, the folks at Serfas were kind enough to send me a new pair for review (I needed a new pair for the photographs—no one wants to see my well-worn gloves).

Serfas RX Short Finger Cycling Gloves

Serfas RX Short Finger Cycling Gloves

Serfas RX Short Finger Gloves were designed by physicians to reduce the pressure on the nerves and arteries in the hands and they succeeded in their goal! As far as I am concerned the gel padding in these gloves is perfect. I know a few cyclists who prefer gloves with little or no padding, but I ride over a lot of rough roads and without gel padding my hands will start to cramp after a few hours on the bike.

Serfas RX Short Finger Cycling Gloves

“Easy Off Loops” on the Serfas RX Gloves

One of the coolest things about these gloves is the “Easy Off Loop” that allows you to slide the gloves off easily, even when they are soaking wet from a long ride in the rain. The Serfas RX Short Finger Gloves are machine washable and I have been able to get nearly 2,000 miles of use with every pair. These gloves also have two pieces of reflective piping on the fingers—if you are riding at night and use hand signals for your turns the headlights of cars behind you will reflect off of this piping and make it easier for motorists to see you.

Serfas RX Short Finger Cycling Gloves

Note The Reflective Piping On The Fingers

I’ve gone riding with these gloves when the temperature was over 100 degrees (with a heat index of over 115 degrees Fahrenheit) and these gloves never made me feel like they were heating up my hands. In fact, my hands are cooler with these gloves than just about any other glove I’ve tried. I use these gloves with both road and mountain bikes, and in sunny weather or rain.

Serfas Men’s RX Short Finger Gloves are available in five sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL) and come in four colors (Black, White, Blue or Red). Serfas Women’s RX Short Finger Gloves are available in four sizes (S, M, L, XS) and come in either Black or White. These gloves retail for $29 and I buy mine from the local bike shop, but they are also available from the Serfas website and from Amazon.com.

One last thought: If you live in an area with high humidity you really need at least two pairs of cycling gloves so you can wear one pair while the other is drying out.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
TDuncan

My view, my style

Israel's Good Name

Voyages and Experiences in Israel

The Seeds 4 Life

Seeds of Inspiration, Wisdom, and Positivity

The Shameful Sheep

shit storms, shame, and stories that make you cringe

Grow With Me, Child.

My Journey of Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom

Les Posen's Presentation Magic

It's time for a paradigm shift in how presentations are performed. One presenter's blog on how to present as if all your audience members had a brain.

Mommyfriend

...finding perfection in imperfection daily.

road|THEORY

Just ride...

Bike Like Crazy

whatever the weather

Ferrell's Travel Blog

Commenting on biblical studies, archaeology, travel and photography

ἐκλεκτικός

Steve Wolfgang's view of the world from suburban Chicago -- or wherever he may be on any given day

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

And a 10K and a 200 Mile Bike Ride and an Obstacle Race and Anything Else We Find!

SmirkPretty

Eyes ten degrees above the horizon

BikeHikeSafari

Bicycle Touring around the world and thru hiking the worlds best hiking trail

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.

Cyclerist

Cycling and weightlifting, mostly

Long Distance Cycling Cleveland

We host a series of long distance preparation rides each weekend from January - June in the Cleveland, Ohio area

Jasmine's Vision

Expanding Consciousness Through Travel, Meditation and Sacred Sex

Kerrie Is Running*

*trying to run

Intentional Twenties

Fitness. Food. Finance.

foodbod

healthy tasty food that I love to make and eat and share

grayfeathersblog

Diabetes, Cancer Survivor, Cycling, Photographer, Exercise, College Parent, Twins, Boy Scout Leader, Life

Travel Tales of Life

Travelers. Adventurers. Storytellers.

Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Fatbike Brigade

Exploring the world on fatbikes

A Sierra Fatty

A Dyslexic Journalism journal about downhill, fatbike, cyclocross, dual slalom, snowbike, adventure, bikepacking, xc, dh, enduro, ridebikeswithfriends, paddleboard, snowboard, ski, cross-country ski

PaleoHikerMD

REAL FOOD, REAL HEALTH, REAL ADVENTURE, REAL FAMILY

The HSD

What happens when a medical doctor becomes a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom

The Jordan Project

Teach. Cook. Explore.

FueledByLOLZ

Running and Laughing through the Garden State

tinkerbelladventures.wordpress.com/

Inspiring Your Outdoor Adventures

Worship, Workouts & Wandering

Putting The Hero Back In Action

Fat Girl to Ironman

My five year journey to awesomeness...

MPLS MAMA BEAR

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Christov_Tenn

Always Thinking, Reading About, and Up To Something

30,000 Miles of Experiences, Adventures and Thoughts

Thoughts, views and opinions of a northwest cyclist and adventurer

Midlife Moments

Leaning in to a Magical, Mystical and Miraculous Time

Sports Bras And Sippy Cups

This Mama Lifts More Than Just Babies!

A Promise to Dad

"You don't have anything if you don't have your health"

Triathlon Obsession

Triathlon, Sport and Healthy Living

XPLORE

Out and About

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

The Chatter Blog

Living: All Day Every Day: Then Chattering About It

chasingmailboxes.wordpress.com/

ride your heart out. washington d.c.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Chatter Gets Fit

From Couch Potato to Triathlete to Ultrarunner... My Journey

%d bloggers like this: