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Ridden & Reviewed: Favorite Sports Nutrition

August 13, 2015

Like the days themselves, rides get long during summer and early Fall months. Even in Central Texas heat, cyclists take advantage of these longer days and more opportunities to ride. Inevitably, those rides turn discussions between riders to things like favorite loops, new gear, and what to eat when going long.

While many of us at the shop are proponents of eating “real food” on rides, the practical reality is that nutrition products today pack a lot of good into easy-to-manage, convenient packages. It’s no wonder that so many of us also mix in a healthy amount of sports nutrition products into our ride diets—on and off the bike.

Skratch Labs

Pre-packaged ride nutrition is a time-saving solution to keeping fueled on rides.

There are a host of products that all purport to do the same things—help keep you fueled when riding, help keep you hydrated with the proper balance of electrolytes, or help you recover. And the shop carries what may be Austin’s widest selection of sport nutrition products. Rather than go into the science of each product and its claimed benefits, we’re going to tell you the ones we like to eat!

One of the newer products in store is the Skratch Labs cookie mix. Yes, cookies. You may already know about Skratch. Between their electrolyte drink mix and the wildly popular Feed Zone Cookbook, they’ve become a household name in a relatively short amount of time. Skratch’s cookie mix is a natural extension of their“real food” school of thought. The recipe is easy, you can make them however you like using your own add-in ingredients and they’re delicious!

Skratch Labs Cookie Mix

Just as good as mom used to make! Skratch Labs new cookie mix is easy and tasty.

Lightly flavored hydration products came on big with Skratch. Osmo Nutrition followed that path with their own active hydration mixes. These are a big hit around here because the subtle flavors and ease of digestion keep us drinking throughout the ride rather than guzzling and getting that water-logged sensation.

Osmo Nutrition

Gently flavored hydration products, like those from Osmo Nutrition, are a staff favorite.

Pulling out the same bar ride after ride can get tiresome quickly. Dedicated riders are accustomed to choking down food knowing they need it, but without enjoying it. Enter Picky Bars. Hill found these on a recent trip and asked the buyers to bring them in. And we’re all better off for it. Seven different flavors in 1.6 ounce, 200 calorie servings that don’t bulge your jersey pocket or your belly.

Picky Bars

Picky Bars are a new addition to our extensive nutrition offerings and are really tasty.

Of course, many of us ride for certain reward foods, be it ice cream or beer, or both! Ride food can be fun and still do the trick of keeping you eating so you can keep pedaling. The ever-popular Jelly Belly Sport Beans, Honey Stinger’s waffles—their take on the European stroopwafle—and Skratch’s new fruit drops, are all great examples of foods that are simply fun to eat and act as a bit of a reward while on the bike.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans

Fun foods like Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans make for good ride rewards.

Because so many sports nutrition products are sweet, it’s easy to get burnt out. Attempt to find something savory and the selections get slimmer, even when presented with the large variety we have in store. The Feedzone cookbook offers a good selection of savory items you can make and eat on the bike. Pro Bar oferings are another favorite. They make great mid-day or mid-afternoon snacks as well as post-ride recovery food.

Pro Bar

Pro Bars are great post-ride or mid-ride snacks.

With so many choices and different flavors to choose from, it can get overwhelming quickly. But follow your gut—pun intended—and try a few different options to see what works for you. The nice thing about these products is that they do come single serving, so trying various offerings is as easy as deciding between what to put in your cookie mix.

Topo Chico

Topo Chico. A mid-ride favorite on hot Texas rides

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