Running is a strenuous activity, this is not new, however one of the main questions we get at Alexandra Sports is are energy bars good for running? With the massive amount of nutritional options and forms, this is not an unexpected question either.
Running, in the long term, will help increase your overall energy levels, however, most runners need short term boosts to help them cross the finish line and beat their goals.
First things first, there is no miraculous energy booster, with that being said, energy bars can supply a quick and convenient delivery of carbohydrates and calories that most runners crave while running. Along with a boost of carbohydrates and fuel, most running energy bars also provide a hit of high quality protein which help aid your body in injury repair.
So which energy bar should you choose? Nutritional information is key here, every runner has different needs. If you are a long distance runner, you will be looking for an energy bar that contains a good amount of carbohydrates and protein that have a slow burn and lasts long, whereas a sprinter will be looking for something with a high amount of sugar for a massive boost of short-term energy.
Energy bars are not all the same, even though many brands have similar packaging and flavours, most are created with a specific nutritional goal in mind, take Tribe for example, their infinity bars contain a high amount of natural long lasting carbohydrates, whereas their protein bars contain a high amount of quality protein and calories. So when choosing your energy bar, make sure to know what you are looking for.
When should you eat an energy bar?
Is usually the question to follow.
- Pre workout – High carbohydrates is your ally here. When eaten within an hour before a workout or race, your body helps store glycogen, which is what your muscles burn for energy during a run.
- Mid-Run – Look for a balance of carbs, protein and fats. This is when you need those precious calories.
- Post Workout Recovery – Look for an energy bar with a good amount of protein. Protein is crucial for muscle recovery. We recommend to consume within an hour after your workout.
So, what should you be looking for:
- Mid to long-distance runners – look for at least 25g+ of carbohydrates
- Check the packaging and make sure they are using high-quality ingredients
- Check the label for the recommended usage (Pre/During/Post workout)
Remember, energy bars should never replace a full, well balanced meal and should be used as an aid to your run.
Why not read our article on Do Energy Gels Work?