Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Picky Bars, Freakin' Science...

It's Freakin' Science, Dude!

"Do you like those Gu's?"

I looked at the pile of energy gels on the counter. "I guess, they work and they're easy to eat. I like beer better, but it's a bit bulky for a trail run", I replied to the woman behind the register at Auburn Running Company.

"I just got these new Picky Bars in, and people really like them. They're made by Lauren Fleshman." 

I held the ziplock bag in my hand. The bar was cut from a pan, about a quarter of an inch thick. Dates were the first ingredient. I like dates. The label touted the 4:1 carb/protein ratio in each bar. I bought one of each flavor: Lauren's Mega-nuts, All-in-almond, and the Nutless Wonder (soon to be renamed the Need for Seed). The founders were bad asses from the track and triathlon circuits who happened to have some GI issues and dietary needs that encouraged them to formulate their own energy bars. It was a plan hatched during injury rest, which funneled all of the anxiety of being laid up into a nutrition bar start-up. Up until last summer, they were still making them in Lauren's kitchen! And those bars, they were damn good.

The whole 4:1 carb/protein ratio thing was something I had just discovered, and I was looking for products that fit the bill. Picky Bars are all 4:1, and less than 200 calories. Their website made it easy to buy direct, so I began buying cases through the mail. Soon, they initiated a monthly club, of which I was fortunate enough to become a charter member. They ship me 18 bars every month. Like a lifetime supply. They even throw in swag.

Before a run, after a run, an afternoon snack, breakfast supplement, lunch replacement. I could eat these bars all day! My favorite flavors are the Meganuts and the newest flavor: Smooth Caffeinator (hazelnuts and coffee). The ingredients list is full of recognizable food from organic sources! The recipies are all geared towards exercise  recovery and healthy eating, outlined on their nutritional principles page.

Picky Bars have been a staple of my training food plan, and now that I've been using them for over a year, I'm confident that they will continue to be my go to energy bar. If you cannot find them in your area, let your local running store know you want them! Or, do what I did and join the Picky Club. Lauren, Steph and Jesse have put together an awesome shop, they're in business for all the right reasons, and they are truly excited to bring a quality product to athletes everywhere. I have really enjoyed being a part of their growth from a small homemade start-up to the full fledged energy food player they are bound to become.

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