What powers us through a long trade show, a long run or just a plain long, busy day? If you said snacks, you’re right.
Because the SNEWS team loves to snack. We will snack on a plane, we will snack on a train; we will snack on a ride, we will snack while poolside; we will snack on a run, we will snack in the sun. You get the point.
So we’ve brought you a list of the top 10 snacks that get us through just about any life situation and just like we did with socks, we’ll give you, dear readers, the opportunity to vote on your favorite snack bars and chews on our Facebook page. “Like” our Facebook page and then click here to take part in our "Great SNEWS Snack Poll" on Facebook.
1. Honey Stinger Waffles and Energy Chews
We haven’t met a Honey Stinger Waffle we haven’t loved. In fact, when we’re covering fitness trade shows and there simply isn’t time for lunch, we are so grateful Honey Stinger is an exhibitor — there’s always time for a mad dine and dash between appointments. While the waffles (especially the Honey flavor) are our top favorite in terms of taste and energy-boosting abilities, a close second were the Energy Chews, especially the Fruit Smoothie flavor. We’re stoked to try the new Cherry Cola flavor of Energy Chews. Honey Stinger Waffles were our No. 1 choice to keep us powered during the 2012 TransRockies Run.
2. Luna Bars
Luna Bars will always have a special place in our hearts and our palettes. When we were training for our first-ever marathon, and it seemed like an 18-mile run was just the toughest feat in the world, we got through those first nine miles knowing that there was a delicious, chocolaty treat waiting for us in our pack — a Caramel Nut Brownie Luna Bar. We are fans of both regular Luna Bars and the Luna Protein Bars, especially the Chocolate Mint, which is probably the greatest flavor in the world in both ice cream and bar snacks. Since the Luna Bars are intended for women, its brother Clif Bars have corresponding, tasty flavors for the men in your lives.
3. Kind Bars
We love the fact that Kind Bars don’t have nearly as much sugar as other popular bar snacks. We’ve been impulse-buying Kind Bars at the Starbucks counter for years, and more recently started snacking on them for breakfast, after runs and just for a afternoon pick-me-up. Our favorite flavors are Blueberry Vanilla and Cashew and Almond and Apricot.
4. Mazama Bars
We got samples of these last summer while in the midst of training for the TransRockies Run. We threw them in our snack bin in the cupboard and kept them for the particularly rough, long runs as they have more than 400 calories per bar. One grueling trail 20-miler left us in desperate need of those calories to replenish our energy and we reached into our CamelBak stash pocket for the Chocolate Banana bar, which quickly became our favorite, to power us through. This remains a staple in our bin, though we only pull it out for the extra-tough runs.
5. Kate’s Real Food Bars
We know that these hearty meal bars are intended for long days in the backcountry when there isn’t the capacity to make a high-calorie meal, but we simply can’t help but stuff ourselves full of the Grizzly and Tram Bars (also around 300 calories per bar) while pounding out creative masterpieces for the Outdoor Retailer Daily issues.
We are not exactly fans of gels and such, but one Gu makes one that we’re partial to: Peanut Butter Gu. We definitely eat peanut butter on everything from bananas to apples to celery to regular old spoons, and were quite pleased to find the Peanut Butter Gu actually tasted like peanut butter, with a texture that made it go down the hatch a little easier.
7. Erin Baker’s Cookies
Since Erin Baker’s was a sponsor at last year’s TransRockies Run, these cookies were nicely cut up into little squares at every aid station. Sometimes the best snacks in those situations are things you wouldn’t even think to eat during a run, like Erin Baker’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies. Coupled with our Honey Stinger Waffles, Red Vines and Coca Cola, we were able to get through every brutal day.
8. Now Bar
We’ve tried a few of the soft-baked Manuka Newton flavors from Now Bar (which stands for No Opportunity Wasted), and have to say we liked what we ate. They gave us some pep in our step without all the calories of some of the other bars (they come in at around 150 calories per bar), and didn’t feel too heavy. We’re a fan of fruity fillings, so we liked the Strawberry flavor best.
There was one particularly brutal training run last summer season. We’d run out of our own snacks. We were in the wilderness. We’d torn our new, expensive shoes. Cramps crept up into our muscles and our stomach started to hurt. Luckily for us, our running buddy had a Power Bar Protein Plus with yogurt in his CamelBack’s stash pocket. He split it in half, handed it to us and we gladly ate it. The snack left us with the energy we needed to run back into town. This story earned the PowerBar Protien Plus bar a permanent spot in our snack bin in the cupboard.
Fruit is a classic flavor that many of us have loved since childhood fruit leather snacks. That’s the nostalgic feeling we get when we bite into a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar, which has all kinds of delicious ingredients like pineapple, orange, cashews and coconuts. Other favorite flavors include Carrot Cake, Banana Bread and Apple Pie (can you tell we like desserts?).
HONORABLE MENTION: ProBar andOskri
That same fruity texture and flavor we like in the Larabar Tropical Fruit Tart bar made us really enjoyed the Fuel Blueberry bar by ProBar and the Dates Walnuts Bar by Oskri. We loved the chewiness that didn't stay stuck to our teeth. The flavors were delicious and there were just enough bits of the nutty deliciousness to give it a little crunch here and there.