(DISCLAIMER: I buy these bars with my own good money and I have no incentive other than to support these companies so I can keep on buying them.)
If you've been following this blog you'll have read about what supplements I am taking on a daily basis as well as what I take immediately prior to a competition and during. I've also talked about calorie counting and the kind of foods I try to eat / avoid. But I haven't said a great deal about what I eat and drink during my training sessions.
I try to do all of the early morning workouts (bar the long ride on a Sunday) on an empty stomach. Even though I wake up slightly hungry, just like anyone else, the fact is that the glycogen stores in the muscles have had some time to replenish during the night. I completely avoid all so-called "sports drinks" and energy gels except in competition. Other than water, the only refueling I allow for is any training session that lasts over 2 hours and in that case, I reach for
There are three things that set the Mule bars aside from the competition in my opinion. Firstly, they are made with "natural" ingredients (of course anything can be called "natural" - I mean, unprocessed and therefore high in nutritional value). Secondly, they are calorifically quite dense, packing about 350kcal per bar. And thirdly, they are absolutely delicious. It takes some self control not to eat them outside the strict training window (when it is better to eat slower release, low glycemic index foods) but, when I am starting to get hungry on the bike, I notice an almost alcoholic warmth as the ingredients start to simmer in my stomach. So far my favourite flavours are Apple Strüdel and Licourice Allsports. I will be using these in the Ironman to complement the sickly gels that I will be flushing down.
My God, these are delicious. So far I have tried the chocolate cookie and the chocolate orange flavours - what's great about them is the slightly chewy texture. The best thing is that they give the highest ratio of protein per calorie that I have seen in a bar (25g grams for 181kcal). The protein powders are much more effective in this respect but I just can't get into the practice of mixing them with milk (even though I have a mini fridge at work) and cleaning the beaker afterwards. This second point is particularly important because whey protein starts smelling (literally) of rotten eggs by the next day. I'm not sure that these bars are the most natural, holistic or even healthy way to boost your protein but when they taste this good I just don't want to know.