I've posted numerous times on the importance of fueling your runs and refueling after a workout. Your body needs quality energy to support your training, especially on those tough long runs or those speed workouts. And it's just as important to refuel to help support and ensure fast muscle recovery.
There are a ton of sports nutrition foods on the market. Like most anything, there's quality and then there's junk. Some sports bars are mainly glorified candy bars (full of fat and sugar), while others may be healthy but taste like cardboard. If you're like me and been running for any length of time (over 25 years, man I'm feeling old), then I'm sure you've tried them all. And if you're a connoisseur of sports nutrition, you've probably honed in one or two brands of that you prefer. If you're like me, once you've found something that you like and that works for you, you're hard-up to change.
The other day, I was contacted by Erin DeMarines. Erin is a competitive triathlete, certified nutritional consultant, certified sports nutritional consultant, certified personal trainer, and fitness model. Erin's also the founder of E-Fit Foods, Inc. and the creator of 3BAR. 3BAR has grown to become a leading energy bar of triathletes and people seeking a "clean, natural, low sugar, wheat and gluten free, and vegan energy bar.
Okay, I can hear the wheels screeching to a halt. I know, I know.....you heard all those "healthy" terms—clean, natural, vegan—and you're thinking two things....flower child and cardboard. I know, I know. But there's one thing I learned in my 45 years—most anything is worth trying once. You miss out on a lot of good eating, fun, and life if you're not open to trying new things. So, when Erin asked if I would like to test out 3BAR, I said, "Why sure!"
I received three different flavors of bars to try—Blueberry Blast, Tropical Tri, and Cocoa Crunch. The flavors sounded good. First thing I do when I try out a new energy bar is read the label. First thing I read was "vegan, kosher, wheat free, dairy free, gluten free, trans-fat free, cholesterol-free, GMO free , all natural....... my initial response to that was, "Healthy." My second response was, "Ut oh....cardboard nightmare!" But the last descriptor said, "Great Taste!" So, I held out some hope.
Before digging into a bar, I decided to read a little more about how the bars came to be. Come to find out Erin based the recipe off of a cookie recipe from her grandmother. She tweaked and refined it while making it for her personal training clients. The demand from clients grew until eventually 3BAR was born. Well, anything that begins with a grandma, has to be good. Right?
I received 6 bars (2 of each flavor—Blueberry Blast, Tropical Tri, and Cocoa Crunch). I'm currently in training for the Marine Corps Marathon as well as running with my groups I'm coaching, so nutrition and fueling is really important. Plus the North Carolina heat and humidity is really zapping me of my energy. Three times I ate a bar before a long run and three times I used the bars for refueling after an intense workout.
I'm happy to report the bars worked well in both situations. Before the run, it gave me what I needed for the long-haul without making me feel too full nor did it give me stomach issues on the run. When I ate them afterwards, they were easily and quickly digested and really seemed to help in my post run recovery.
The best thing is that even though the bars are free of just about everything, they are pretty dang tasty. My favorite flavors are the Tropical Tri and the Cocoa Crunch. Nothing wrong with the Blueberry Blast either, I'm just more of a chocolate and nut guy. The Cocoa Crunch has chocolate and peanut butter and the Tropical Tri has almond butter, chocolate and coconut.
So, can a bar that's vegan, kosher, wheat free, dairy free, gluten free, trans-fat free, cholesterol-free, GMO free , and all natural taste good? Hell yeah! Give it a try. Check out the website. Also check out this video clip where Erin talks about 3BAR herself.
Note: While I was contacted by Erin DeMarines to test and review samples of 3BAR, I was in no way compensated for the review nor was I encouraged to write a positive review. The review is based soley on my personal experience using the product.