A couple of weeks ago I agreed to try some energy bars and report back on my findings. We here at Salty Running were interested in these bars, because like the GenUCan products, these bars claim to provide a stable release of carbs that won’t cause a sugar crash. If nothing else, it’s always good to know what products are out there besides the ones that seem to be best at in-your-face marketing.
My box of eight Extend Nutrition Bars arrived promptly. I have two of each flavor: mixed berry; chocolate and caramel; cookies and cream; and the newest flavor, yogurt and berry. I am a bit skeptical of the the mixed berry and the yogurt berry ones because I hate raspberry. But I guess a tiny bite won’t kill me.
Before I get into the actual taste, let’s talk about the bars, themselves. They were originally formulated for diabetics, since they purportedly control blood sugar for up to 9 hours. Great news, but I am not diabetic! However, as an athlete who runs a lot having something that stabilizes my blood sugar provides a steady source of energy during physical activity, that may prevent me from “crashing” or “hitting the wall” sounded very appealing to me. And that’s what Extend is counting on and why they are marketing these to athletes too.
Besides preventing the dreaded bonk, I found out that stable blood sugar can help improve memory, keep energy levels up, prevent weight gain, enhance mood, improve digestion, limit fat storage due to the insulin hormone, improve diabetes management, enhance carbohydrate utilization during exercise and improve muscle recovery. That appealed to me as well. So diabetic or not I was intrigued by the bar.
Before I took a bit, I checked out the Extend Bar website. After reading about the nutritional contents I wondered how my body would react to these if I ate them right before a run because they have 5 grams of fiber. Fiber before runs scares me. But that is what training runs are for, right? I guess I could risk over-fibering myself before a run once. Eek.