Sunday, August 2, 2009

Climber Food: Larabars

Apparently, these have been around for a few years now, but they've definitely spiked in popularity fairly recently. They've become more widely available at major grocery stores, and in a greater variety of flavors. And it's for a good reason: they're about as natural a snack bar as you can get. They're pretty high in sugar, so they're not something you want to be snacking on while you're chilling out at home or at work, but for a paleo-friendly source of energy while you're hiking, biking, paddling, or doing something else amazing, they're hard to beat.

The Pros:
- Totally paleo. No soy, no dairy, no gluten, no crap.
- Taste. If you eat them at home, they're kind of "meh," but they taste great on the side of the mountain.
- Size. They're small and lightweight -- they'll easily fit in the pocket of your hiking shorts for easy access.
- Variety. There's a ton of different flavors, so even the pickiest of paleo hikers will probably be able to find something they like. Also, you don't have to eat the same thing day after day if you're on a longer trip.

The Cons:
- Fructose. Dates, the primary ingredient, have one of the highest fructose contents of any type of fruit. Not something you want to be eating in large quantities.

The Verdict:
Larabars are a good option for eating clean/natural foods while hiking or doing some other physically rigorous activity, but due to their high sugar (natural fructose is still fructose) content, I would only eat them as pre-workout/during-workout food.

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