Most intermediate cyclists have been using sports drinks. They also know the importance of drinking lots of water. But most of them who want to venture into the professional level will want to consider eating sports bars.
These sports come in rectangle bar shapes most of the time. They are even sold at bicycle stores that are supposed to sell only bicycles! Due to its wide usage, you could always get it at a convenience store or your favorite supermarket. Examples of these sports bars include brand names like “Clif Bars” and “Torque Bars”.
They might come in different colors and tastes, but they all serve one same function, that is to replenish your body’s energy. These snack bars or energy bars often contain a mix of complex and simple carbohydrates that are essential for long cycling rides. These carbohydrates are further digested by our body to produce glycogen for our muscles. Sports drinks also serve this same purpose and contain almost the same ingredients, simple and complex carbohydrates.
What is the use of eating sports or snack bars then? The difference is that sports bars have other nutrients like fat, protein, vitamins, fiber and so on. You will notice that most snack bars have about 200 to 400 calories for each. If you find hard enough, you will even find some of them to contain sodium or potassium. Sodium and potassium can work to prevent lactic acid from building up in your muscles. Lactic acid is bad because it decreases your body’s ability to consume oxygen.
Other similar snack bars include the sports gel. An example of this is the “PowerGel”. Appearance wise, they look like gel, like its name suggests. You can simply squeeze into your mouth to eat it. There is no need to do much chewing work for your mouth, if compared to eating a sports bar. One thing about gel bars is that they usually have one third of the calories of sports bars.
Benefits of sports gels is that they are small and convenient to carry and very easy to consume. But the price of a 100 calories sports gel is similar to the price of a 300 calories sports bar. Therefore, this makes sports gel relatively more expensive.
Of course, you might think of packing a sandwich or banana for your rides. The problem is that space is limited when you are on a bike. What about weight? Weight is also another issue. Therefore, people have been turning to sports and gel bars for their convenience despite their higher prices. They often taste good too.