Three Unique, Healthy Energy Bars For Athletes (& Hungry People, nom nom!)
If you’re anything like me, you get sick of your bars after a couple seasons. Chomp on the same flavors long enough and you’ll be looking for something new to get you through your next workout or snack session. Here are three bars you may not have heard of; each offers something unique in the world of on-the-go nutrition.
The motto from NamasBar is, “Together we can make the world a healthier and happier place.” Started by Kristina Vukajlovic, a yogini who wanted a nutritious way to make it through a yoga teacher training, NamasBar goes a step beyond most competitors.
Not only are NamasBars made with 100% organic and ayurvedic ingredients, the company donates a meal for children in Zambia for every bar purchased. If your first thought is “What about kids in this country?” Well they’ve got that covered too; through their NamasKids Foundation, yoga is brought to youth through schools across America.
The Chai Chia really does taste like chai! Ingredients include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and a hint of black pepper, plus superfoods like pea protein, maca powder, coconut oil and flax seed meal making it relatively high in iron and vitamin C. NamasBars are entirely sweetened with dates and figs and have zero rice syrup, agave nectar or other added sugars. Whole pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and pea protein mix in a little crunch.
Right now there is only one flavor available, but a second, almond chocolate (yay chocolate!), is set to be released very soon.
- Ayurvedic ingredients like amla and moringa
- 100% organic, vegan, gluten free and non-GMO
- No added sugar
- Unique flavor, delicious if you like chai
- Socially conscious business practices
- Flavor is strong and unique and may turn off those with a sensitive palate
- Fig flavor isn’t overwhelming but is noticeable; you must like figs!
- $27 for a case of 12
If you love chia seeds then this is the company for you. The first ingredient in every bar Health Warrior makes is chia seeds, and as they write on their website, “Ounce-for-ounce chia has more omega-3 than salmon, more fiber than oatmeal, and more protein than tofu.” There’s a reason for the chia craze! The protein bars are super clean, made with a proprietary blend of superplants: chia, oats, quinoa, and peas.
Health Warrior makes two different bars: the Chia Protein Bar and the aptly named smaller sibling, the Chia Bar Super Snacks. I’m admittedly a huge dark chocolate lover, but surprisingly prefer the fruit flavors and think this is where Health Warrior really shines. They’re not perfumey, or kind-of-like-fruit —they actually taste like fruit!
I love the texture the chia adds to these bars. They are not crunchy, like a nut bar would be, but are chewy and moist. The flavors taste clean and slightly sweet and go down easy without being dry.
- Lemon Goldenberry Protein
- Peanut Cacao Protein
- Mango Snack
- Açai Berry Snack
- Soy, dairy and gluten free
- Vegan and non-GMO
- 10g plant protein (only in the protein bars)
- Chia seeds get stuck in your teeth —kind of worth it for the health benefits though.
- $23.99 for a case of 12
Head on over to the Picky Bar website and you’ll immediately see that these folks like to work hard, but play even harder. Their fun vibe is found in everything from the names of their bars (Cookie Doughpness, anyone?) to the graphics describing the science behind their recipes.
The science is the 4:1 carbs to protein ratio that endurance athletes have known about for years. Best of all, Picky Bars advertise that they go down easy—even while training or in the middle of an endurance sufferfest—and they do. They don’t even make you cringe with cottonmouth and grab for water.
Texture of the Picky Bars is moist and mostly smooth. Most bars’ first ingredient is dates and the second is some sort of seed, nut or nut butter, so think of the texture of a Lara Bar and you’ll be on track. Since the first two to three ingredients are the same many of the bars taste similar. However, every flavor goes down easy without the need for a whole bunch of water or leaving you feeling nauseous afterwards.
- Cookie Doughpness – it’s cinnamon raisin, so don’t get your hopes up for chocolate chip
- Smooth Caffeinator – hands down the best coffee flavored bar I’ve ever had, tastes like you’re sipping espresso
- Need For Seed – great if you have a nut allergy
- 4:1 carbs to protein ratio
- Easy to eat and digest
- Roughly 80% organic ingredients
- Expensive for 200 calories
- Many flavors taste similar
$27.50 for case of 10