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Beyond Coastal makes an array of sun protection items including sunscreens, lotions, and lip balms. Beyond Coastal gave me the opportunity to test out some of their products over the winter.
Beyond Coastal ReviewBeyond Coastal Active Daily SPF 30 Sunscreen: the Active SPF Sunscreen is a great sunscreen for the outdoor athlete. It's SPF 30 for long and intense UVA/UVB protection. It's water (sweat) resistant which is huge for your forehead. There's no sunscreen running into your eyes when you start sweating. Some sunscreens feel thick when you put them on. Active Sunscreen goes on smooth and easy. It contains aloe, rose hips, Shea butter, green tea, and Yerba mate, all of which are suppose to moisturize and nourish your skin. Overall I really liked the Active Sunscreen. It was enough for at least a couple hours of protection before reapplication was necessary. It was "comfortable" and I didn't feel like I was wearing sunscreen. Beyond Coastal Active Face Stick: I love the concept of the Face Stick sunscreen. It's compact, lightweight, and mess free. You can stash it in your pocket or in your pack and you ar good to go. No worries about the lid popping open filling your pack with sunscreen. Application is easy...just apply like you would deodorant. Go easy though and massage it in with your fingers. It's easy to go overboard. The Face Stick falls into the Active line of sunscreen and shares many of the properties as the sunscreen above. It's water and sweat resistant, provides UVA and UVB protection, and has the same nourishing and moisturizing properties. It does feel a little heavier on the skin than the Active Daily sunscreen above. The Good
- Long-lasting, full protection
- Active Daily is light on the skin
- Nourishing and moisturizing
- Face Stick is compact, easy to use
- Face Stick feels a little heavier on the skin
Bottom Line:Beyond Coastal makes a solid line of sun protection products. Buy Now: Beyond Coastal Active Daily SPF 30 Sunscreen or Beyond Coastal Active Face Stick[gallery]... Read more...
The change in seasons and arrival of the "holiday season" means different things for different people. Some are excited about the possible time off work, some excited about spending time with family and friends, some excited about the change in the weather. Alternatively, if you're a gear geek like me, you know exactly what the change in season means- new toys to play with! As summer fades away and winter arrives, us gear geeks are in heaven, learning about new products, sweet redesigns or innovative ideas. Another thing us gear geeks get excited about with the change in season is the arrival of CLIF Bar Seasonal flavors! Not to be left out of the "oh-my-gosh-I-am-so-excited-about-the-new-(insert new piece of gear here)" frenzy, CLIF takes their tried and true staple, the CLIF Bar, and once a year brings holiday joy in the form of a Spiced Pumpkin Pie Bar, Iced Gingerbread Bar, and, new for this year, Peppermint Stick! Feeling festive? Grab a Spiced Pumpkin Pie bar for your next run, or savor an Iced Gingerbread bar at the top of the next snow covered peak you bag, or celebrate a newly sent route with bite of delicious Peppermint Stick goodness. You'll get the same great snack in a delicious, once a year flavor. My favorite? The Iced Gingerbread. You'll forget that you're eating a mostly organic energy bar and for a fleeting moment, wonder if your grandmother made you cookies and put them in a CLIF bar wrapper. It's that good. Be sure to give them a try while they're available. 'Tis the season for seasonal CLIF bars!
Buy NowCLIF Bar Seasonal Flavors... Read more...
The PROBAR crew has taken on a new challenge the hiking community will be pleasantly surprised with: a backcountry dessert bar. Future trail conversations may include such verbage as "You're having Rocky Road? Not possible dude." or "How are you eating s'mores? Were in the tundra bro." and even "So why didn't you bring some Honey Graham for me punk!?" HALO by PROBAR might be the best addition to your pack this summer, just bring extra to share.
"First you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then, you roast the mallow." - Ham Porter.The mallow may never reach the flaming level but you know this flavor will turn some heads in camp. This is one of my personal favorites in the HALO line. You can literally see the marshmallow swirled in the bar. PROBAR stays true to their reputation of being able to see the ingredients rather than a ground up puree of slop. Honey Graham I can't wait to see the day when someone tries to pack milk and cereal. You know it will happen. What with these iPads and smartphones getting everyone spoiled with extravagant apps and such. Oh...Honey Graham, right... yeah its a great flavor. Sorry about the rant. Rocky Road This is my favorite when my kids are begging for sugar. When they ask for a treat I pass them the Rocky Road. For all they know their getting a granola ice cream bar. But what they don't know and don't need to know is their totally eating a vegan bar ridden with nutrition. I'll have the last laugh Mr. two year old, oh yes, I will. Nutty Marshmallow Like the S'mores, this has a swirling marshmallow texture that doesn't have a high sugar taste. This is simply a sweet alternative for the trail. Probably not my favorite flavor among the dessert quartet but worth trying.
So wait, these are all natural?Yes. Yes they are. Check out the facts.
- Calories 150-160
- Sugars 8-13g
- Trans Fat 0g
- Dairy Free
- Made with Organic Oats
HALO Bottom LineTry out all the flavors to find what works for you. These are 100% vegan dessert bars. If you are skeptical I suggest taking them on your next hike and trying one for dessert after your crappy dehydrated dinner. EAT NOW: HALO bars by PROBAR on gear.com. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgCZbxosuVg[/youtube] [gallery]... Read more...
The snow has stopping falling, resorts have closed and the days of charging steep and deep powder is just a figment of our imagination. Why wait until Fall or the snow to start falling again to get in shape for the ski season. Golden Coast Productions the producers of Surf Stronger -The Surfer's Workout just released their third workout DVD Ski Stronger - The Skier's Workout. Certified trainer, Scott Adams takes you step-by-step through a ski specific training program to help develop the leg strength, core stability, and total body conditioning to make you a better athlete and a better skier. Workout all summer and make your friends jealous when opening day rolls around. About: Golden Coast Productions is the proud maker of Ski Stronger--The Skier’s Workout and the popular Surf Stronger video series. Drawing on research-based principles of exercise science and extensive skiing and surfing experience, these sport-specific workout programs are challenging and effective. It is our belief that the better your fitness for your sport, the better you'll perform and enjoy your sport. Ski Stronger Review Feel the burn. The first time I did the Ski Stronger workout I was so sore. Sore in a good way. Living in Tahoe I thought I was in ski shape, but I guess that wasn't the case. Although I wasn't too sure after the first workout feeling sore I decided to continue. After 3 days a week for a few weeks I started to feel a difference all around. I would like to say my skiing improved, but I'm a boarder. With that said I did start to feel stronger and with my core stability improved powder days became even more enjoyable. Even though the season has now ended I've continued using the Ski Stronger video 2 days a week mixing it up with Surf Stronger, gym workouts, yoga, hiking and my summer favorite mountain biking. What do you do to stay in shape during the summer? MSRP: $34.95 (video), $14.99 (ipod download) 60-Minute Workout Breakdown: 5 Minutes: Pre-ski warm up routine. Focused on building dynamic flexibility. 35 Minutes: The skier’s workout. Building core stability, leg strength, balance and endurance specific to skiing while using movements related to skiing. You might feel like you are skiing in your living room 8 Minutes: The skier’s flexibility routine. A series of stretches and yoga movements geared to enhance and build mobility for your hips, legs and back. 12 Minutes: Express core workout. Focused on back, hip and abdominal muscles for added strength, stability and endurance in your core making you feel stronger on powder days! Pro's:
- Simple, easy to follow
- At home workout
- Feeling Stronger after a few days
- Take it anywhere on your ipod
- Additional purchases may apply: Pair of Dumbbells, Fitness Ball, Yoga Mat (optional)
- Personal motivation to keep going (working out with a partner might be helpful)
For a long time, if you said you were going to grab a CLIF Bar, that had one meaning- the original CLIF bar that Gary Erickson created in his family's kitchen 20+ years ago. These days, CLIF makes a variety of bars, shots, shot bloks and other energy replacing products to fit a variety of activity and taste bud needs. Below is a selection of my favorite CLIF bars and products, divided into "bars" and "non-bars."
CLIF OriginalCLIF still makes the original CLIF bar that started the whole company, although now it comes in several flavors. My personal favorites include Mint Chocolate Chip and Maple Nut. New for this year is a Coconut Chocolate Chip, which I've yet to try, mainly because I hate coconut. Someone else will have to report back on that one! Each original CLIF bar is made of 70% organic ingredients and comes with 23 vitamins and minerals. Buy Now: CLIF Bars
CLIF CrunchThe CLIF crunch is a granola bar. Crunchier than the original energy bar and the Mojo, a trail mix bar, the Crunch completes the texture variety triumvirate. CLIF now has the energy bar, with the chewiest texture, the Mojo, with pretzels and nuts adding a little crunch, and now the CLIF Crunch, a granola bar that packs a punch and requires a solid munch. The CLIF Crunch is intended to be a lighter snack. Not quite as heavy and protein laden as an energy bar, but still "not your ordinary snack," as CLIF would say. The Crunch is available in 6 flavors, 2 of which have a low glycemic index, so you're bound to find something that suits your fancy. Buy Now: CLIF Crunch
CLIF MojoThe CLIF Mojo bar is an all natural trail mix bar. Full of nuts and pretzel chunks, the Mojo offers some great texture for an energy bar. It's also free of high fructose corn syrup, and has no artificial sweeteners, which is something you don't find in your average trail mix bar. A CLIF Mojo makes a tasty snack and still provides 8-9 grams of protein in each bar. A nice addition to the CLIF bar line that offers a different texture than your standard bar. This year, the Mojo is available in 3 new flavors- Chocolate Almond Coconut, which I have not tried (see earlier coconut comments), White Chocolate Macadamia and Dipped S'mores. In addition to the original flavors, this makes 8 different choices for your trail mix bar enjoyment. Buy Now: CLIF Mojo
CLIF ShotsMy discovery of the CLIF shot forever changed how I eat while I recreate. With a condition that makes my blood sugar fluctuate more than the stock market, I was constantly battling to keep my body happy while exercising for long periods of time. I felt like I was stopping to pull out a sandwich, a bar or another snack every 30 seconds. Then, I discovered CLIF shots, a tiny little dose of energy in gel form. No more stopping to eat- 5 seconds to suck down a shot and I was good to go. I am a huge fan of all the flavors, but this year CLIF outdid themselves. The CLIF shot is now available in a Chocolate Cherry flavor, which comes with 100mg of caffeine. Ever eaten a chocolate covered cherry? This is what the Chocolate Cherry shot tastes like. I'd eat one of these suckers for dessert. Not wanting to buzz yourself? Here's the caffeine breakdown: No Caffeine (Chocolate, Vanilla and Razz flavors), 25 mg caffeine (Strawberry and citrus), 50 mg caffeine (Mocha) and the mother of all caffeine filled shots, the 100mg, which you can get in either Chocolate Cherry or Double Espresso. Added bonus of the CLIF shot- the top rips off, but doesn't fly away thanks to the Litter Leash. Toss the whole thing in one go, and never have to worry about the microtrash you might be leaving behind. Buy Now: CLIF Shots
CLIF Shot BloksWhat, you may ask, is a shot blok? Looking at the packaging, you might assume you've grabbed your kids lunch instead of your snack when you headed out the door. At first glance, shot bloks look much like fruit snacks. Small, chewy and fruit flavored, shot bloks are like fruit snacks for active adults! Hate the texture of CLIF shots? Here's your solution. When CLIF originally released the Shot Blok, I was interested, but they didn't become an immediate weekly running staple. However, when they redesigned the packaging to make it a tube that allowed for hands free consumption, I was sold (read my original review here). The FastPak fits in running shorts or a bike jersey, and can easily be opened and consumed with one hand. With 8 flavor choices, you're bound to find one you love. My personal favorites? Margarita, which comes with 3x the sodium, or Black Cherry, which comes with 25 mg caffeine. Also available are orange and tropical punch (with caffeine), lemon lime, mountain berry, cran-razz and strawberry. Buy Now: CLIF Shot Bloks
Bottom LineI'll be packing CLIF bars, CLIF Mojos, CLIF Crunch bars, and a myriad of Shots and Shot Bloks for my bike trip this summer. I know they'll provide me with the energy I need in the saddle.... Read more...
Honey Stinger has always done things their own way. As the biggest producer of honey-based energy bars and goo, they attract a loyal crowd and I personally really like their products. With Lance Armstrong onboard as part-owner, his penchant for European waffles has led to their latest creation: Honey Stinger Waffles. I love honey and I also love waffles, so what could be better than a honey waffle? So long as it tastes nothing like an Eggo waffle, I think people will be stoked on these. Check out the details below:
Honey Stinger, the leading manufacturer of honey-based nutritional products, introduces a completely new energy product to the US market – Stinger Waffles. Suggested by Honey Stinger co-owner Lance Armstrong, the new Stinger Waffle provides 160 calories of great-tasting, organic energy. “The Stinger Waffle is an early example of the positive impact Lance has made in new product development,” states Bill Gamber, Honey Stinger co-founder. “He’s a big fan of the stroopwafels he’s eaten while racing in Europe and suggested that we try making some with honey. As it turns out, they’re delicious.” The traditional stroopwafel, which originated in the Netherlands over 200 years ago, is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked batter with syrup filling. In the Netherlands and Belgium, stroopwafels are sold in the streets and are popular with European cyclists looking for a quick boost of energy. Rather than syrup, the Stinger Waffle use organic honey and other organic ingredients, making Stinger Waffles a certified USDA Organic product. Each waffle is wrapped individually for easy transport and retails for $1.39. Stinger Waffles will be available at specialty sporting goods retailers and natural food grocers nationwide on October 15. About Honey Stinger Located in Steamboat Springs, Colo., Honey Stinger makes convenient, nutritious and great tasting honey-based foods including energy bars, gels and organic chews. Honey Stinger fuels some of the county's top cyclists, runners, triathletes and teams. In early 2010, the company welcomed Lance Armstrong to its ownership team. Honey Stinger products are available at specialty sporting goods retailers, natural food grocers and www.honeystinger.com.More Info: Visit HoneyStinger.com... Read more...
For a year now I have been on the PROBAR train and it's time to relay my knowledge to the readers of gear.com. The shelves at REI seem to be more full of random energy and protein bars than past years. Before you lose the 'bar lottery' again walking away with a gross option, here is what PROBAR has to offer.
PROBAR vs. fruitionThe quick and dirty difference between PROBAR and fruition is texture and calories. Most PROBAR bars are above 350 calories whereas fruition have 160. When I hand people a PROBAR I tell them that right away, "This is a meal replacement. Use it wisely." The texture of fruition is very soft and looks like the ingredients have been mashed up and ground together. You can identify just about every nut and fruit in a PROBAR. Not bad, just different.
My Favorite FlavorFor the last 6 months hands down it has been Nutty Banana Boom. I'm a sucker for banana nut bread so I've leaned towards that one. I suggest if your going to dive into the PROBAR world, try to find a couple favorite flavors so you don't wear yourself out on one. Recently Superfood has really impressed me and more often a Koka Moka is in my briefcase on the way to work. Koka Moka is the ultimate coffee lovers bar. Big chunks of chocolate. Subtle coffee taste. A perfect mate for your hot bean in a cup. The PROBAR team really has a flawless quiver of flavors so if you don't like one, try the one next to it. Cocoa Pistachio doesn't really impress me but I was surprised to like Kettle Corn. Kettle Corn sort of fills that creepy interest I have in buttered popcorn Jelly Belly's. The real question is, how does PROBAR come up with this stuff? I really like strawberry fruition. The best part of fruition is it's easy to chew for my vegan two yr old. Yes, I just stated my two yr old is vegan. fruition has been a lifesaver since his eating options are limited. I like not having to go on a treasure hunt in his car seat to find broken pieces of bar. He usually hangs on to fruition rather than chuck it across the car like other food we give him.
Quality and QuantityWith past bars I always felt a sacrifice had to be made with my bar choice. Here are the three things to look at when buying a bar:
- What is it going to do for me?
- How crappy does it taste?
- How much?
The DealioPROBAR made a bar that you can share with your kid that they will actually eat. It doesn't get more simple than that. Make sure to pace yourself when you first try a bar. These aren't energy bars. They are meal replacement bars that provide energy. Hit the team up on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with new flavors and health scuttle. BUY NOW:PROBAR and fruition right here on Gear.com.... Read more...
Looking for that quick picker-upper, but don't want to commit to a full-size energy bar? Check out the new mini-sized Clif Bars in a compact and pocket-sized form-factor. When out on a long adventure (like climbing and skiing Lone Peak, Utah), the full-sized Clif Bars are perfect, but for around-town adventure or for stuffing into your back pocket, I've found the Clif Mini's to be perfect. At only 100 calories, they are a great mid-afternoon snack instead of hitting the 7-Eleven or the dreaded vending machine. Available in an assorted box of Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chip and Crunchy Peanut Butter ($13 @REI) and now in Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Blueberry Crisp and Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch -- you can now have that perfect 100-calorie snack in Clif Bar form. See, kapow in your pocket! Buy Now: Clif Mini's at REI.com...Read more...
While I personally loathe Jelly Belly jelly beans because you never know what flavor you're gonna get (buttered popcorn!... eww), their Sport Beans have been wildly successful and are the perfect bite-sized energy-packed beans. At Interbike 2009, Jelly Belly introduced all-new formulas to provide longer-lasting energy and better taste for endurance athletes. Here's the skinny from Sport Beans:
Sport Beans® jelly beans, introduced by Jelly Belly Candy Company and the world's first sports performance jelly beans, are now made with all natural formula. Sport Beans are flavored with natural flavors from fruit juices, use colors derived from natural sources and are naturally sweetened with evaporated cane juice and are free of corn syrup. The popularity of the Sport Beans jelly beans among cyclists, triathletes, marathon runners and fitness buffs prompted the company to update the Sport Beans jelly beans line with new flavor and color profiles, plus new carb sources. Sport Beans are now made with tapioca syrup and evaporated cane juice replacing corn syrup and sugar. The four refreshing flavors of Lemon Lime, Orange, Berry and Fruit Punch - formulated to energize the body during exercise - are made with lemon, lime, orange, raspberry, apple and grape juices. Extreme Sport Beans, a caffeinated variety, available in watermelon and cherry flavors, made with real watermelon and cherry juices. In addition the company is introducing a new easy-open bag with a resealable zipper. The improved bag makes it easier to dispense the Sport Beans while running, biking, hiking and climbing. Scientifically formulated for sports performance, Sport Beans jelly beans provides carbohydrates for energy, electrolytes to maintain fluid balance and vitamins to help burn carbs and fat and protect muscles against oxidative damage. Each of the six flavors of Sport Beans is packaged in 100-calorie single serving packets for portable power before, during and after exercise. The variety provided by six flavors allows athletes to select a favorite or to enjoy the range, escaping taste monotony. Visit www.sportbeans.com.Buy Now: Search for Sport Beans... Read more...
I think I am at the point in my life where I could consider myself an energy shot/bar/block connoisseur. I've tried tons. Mountaineering, climbing, running, cycling, all of these sports leave me starving and needing food on the go. However, new to me were the Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews, and I'm definitely glad I tried them! Know that odd aftertaste that seems to come with Cliff Shot Bloks? Don't get me wrong, I love it. My mind knows that odd aftertaste means calories and energy are shortly on their way. However, I realize that the aftertaste might be a bit of a turnoff for most normal people... The Honey Stinger Energy Chews, in both flavors, completely lack the aftertaste!
Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews- The good and the bad
- 2 delicious flavors: Fruit Smoothie and Cherry Blossom. No joke, these things taste just like the fruit snacks you ate as a kid.
- To create that delicious taste, the Honey Stinger Chews contain more sugar that competitors, which can be a good thing (more calories) or a bad thing (more sugar) depending on how you look at it.
- Serving size is 1 bag, which contains 10 chews, with a total of 160 calories. This chew to calorie ratio is a bit lower than other brands, meaning you're going to have to eat more for the same amount of calories. However, with this product, eating more is not a problem! They're yummy!
- Only one serious disadvantage- the Cliff Shot Bloks come in that great new FastPak, so you can rip the top off, and squeeze them out with gloves on. Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews come in a baggy, similar to the older Cliff Shot Bloks.
Nuun was a new word for a while. Now it seems to be the hydration mainstay for many top athletes. I first discovered Nuun while supporting ultra marathon runner Karl Meltzer on his world record attempt of the Appalachian Trail last year. He drank Nuun all day, everyday while running the 2,147 mile trail. I came across it again, and again, and finally again, at the Yoga Journal and Rock Climbing Conference in Estes Park, Colorado. I may not run 2,147 mile trails, but I definitely sweat and need to replace fluid and restore electrolyte balance after a yoga practice or a day at the crag. Jason Magness, of the PrAna Yoga Slackers had given me a few tubes to sample. The Yoga Slackers take it on tour with them around the world. I took his advice and tried Nuun U Natural Hydration. I am not one for fads or gimmicks, when I evaluate a piece of gear, or supplement, I am putting its repeated performance to the grindstone. I am loving Nuun. It is a no nonsense product. Nuun contains the four essential electrolytes: potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium without added sugars or calories. There are twelve tablets to a tube, cutting down huge on plastic bottle waste. The tube itself is waterproof, basically bombproof, and recyclable. The tube snugly fits the tablets, making breakage of the tablets nearly impossible. There is the standard Nuun line, Nuun Active Hydration or Nuun U Natural Hydration. Both lines are awesome, but I prefer the flavors of the U Natural. Karl digs the Active Hydration line. The goji berry green tea is my favorite. It is outrageously refreshing when it is really cold. I drink the lemon chai slightly warm like a tea on long morning hikes, or for a breakfast drink before a long day on a glacier. I enjoy the tangerine ginger as well, but really drink it just for the variety. There is a flavor for everybody. The Nuun Active Hydration line includes lemon-lime, citrus fruit, orange-ginger, triberry, and even kona cola if you are feeling like a bit of caffeine. Check it out and buy now at REI....Read more...
OK, so it's lotion. I know, I know... but it's not the girlie-smelling lotion that mixes multiple unknown fruits, nuts and weeds to make a fragrant, "smell-it-from-a-mile-away" type lotion. When a sample of the Vaseline Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy (yup, a mouthful) lotion showed up at my door, I was interested to see how well it would work with my typically-cracked and bleeding Winter-time knuckles. Like many people who live and play in the high mountain desert, my hands and feet suffer year-round, but especially during the winter months. I don't know how many pairs of ski gloves I've put my hands into only to bleed at the knuckle in them all day long. Sometimes it gets to the point where it's literally painful to grab my ski poles or grab the handlebars of my bike. Cracking and bleeding knuckles have just been a part of my Winter routine... until now.
Vaseline Clinical Therapy Lotion ReviewI decided to put it to the test and use this lotion on a regular basis, as suggested. I've put it on my hands and feet nightly and after getting out of the shower. I really like that it has no fragrance and that it's non-greasy. It goes on smooth and leaves my hands refreshed and moist, but not slick-feeling. The formulation is touted as prescription-strength without a prescription and while I've never once had a prescription for lotion, I don't think I would ever need one so long as I'm using this product. I've also had my wife using it on her feet and we've also used it on my daughter's dry, Winter cheeks. We've noticed dramatic improvements in all instances! The bottom line... yes, it's lotion, but the stuff works extremely well! I can't believe the difference I've seen this winter. My hands and especially my knuckles have been moist and uncracked since regularly using this lotion. More Info: Visit PrescribeTheNation.com... Read more...
I love Clif shots and Clif bars. On climbs, I live off of these things! For my car to car escapades, I often only eat shots and bars! However, recently, Clif came out with a product that is my new favorite snack- Clif Shot Bloks! They're gummy snacks like you'd eat in the second grade, but instead with extra carbs and that energy boost you need. Ok, so the Shot Bloks have been on the market for a while now. Why am I just now stoked on these things? Because Clif redesigned the packaging! Old shot bloks came in a little baggy which required ripping open, and then fumbling around (especially if you're in gloves!) trying to grab a hold of these small gummy squares. The FastPak is designed like a tube, where you rip off the top, and then can squeeze from the bottom (in a very "tube of toothpaste" sort of way) and the shots come popping out, one at a time. No mess, no digging for the shot bloks, just quick carbs that taste better than pounding a regular Clif Shot. FastPak is totally manageable with one hand, so it's great for running. No need to stop! Clif Shot Blok FastPaks come in the same great flavors that the regular Clif Shot Bloks come in, though my two personal favorites are Black Cherry and Margarita (which tastes NOTHING like a margarita, but definitely satisfies my salt cravings). Each cube contains 33 calories, and there are 6 cubes in a pack, so if you're a calorie counter, its easy to figure out what you've consumed on a run. Bottom line- quick calories that are easy to eat. You don't even have to stop to re-fuel! Buy Now! Clif Shot Bloks...Read more...
After packing 40+ pounds of gear that may or may not get used this trip you stroll into camp finally done with your day. After about 20 minutes of setting up camp you start to boil water for dinner to actually nourish your tired body. Whats worse then eating slop that tastes like nasty left overs in the outdoors? Worry no more and let Alpine Aire spend a little time in the kitchen on your next trip. It's always a gamble when your food shopping for a trip. Energy bars, drink mixes, and of course the dinners. I took a leap with Alpine Aire on my last Rainier trip and was very pleased. It seems to me that the food is prepared in such a way that it cooks quick and has a very eatable texture. The pouch is a ziploc style to really lock in the heat to cook the food quick. And hey a ziploc in the backcountry even acts as a storage pouch for left over food. Genius. I had the Chicken Gumbo one night and with a little Chalua it turned into a great meal. Alone the Gumbo is spicy enough for any regular person but I'm a fan of hot hot food. They also have an array of desserts and other cool sides to keep your tummy happy while your feet might not be. The price on the food also doesn't leave you like a poor church mouse. BUY NOW: Alpine Aire Food at Campsaver.com. ...Read more...
I was reading on the local news about a John's Hopkins study on the affects of energy drinks and the high amounts of caffeine they contain. The findings were truly alarming and got me thinking more about these "energy in a can" drinks. Do they help? Are they dangerous if consumed in excess? What about all the young kids drinking them? My personal belief is that you should not be addicted to any substance--whether that be nicotine, caffeine, drugs or chocolate for that matter. Addictions come in many forms, but the increased addiction to caffeine because of energy drinks is, in my mind, alarming--especially since 1/3 of all energy drink consumption is from teenagers.
Energy Drinks Aren't RegulatedWith hundreds of energy drinks on the market, there's no regulation on the caffeine content, which can vary between 50-505 mg. The problem is that the caffeine is the point of the drink. That alone contributes to the "buzz" and extra "energy" you receive from its consumption. For comparison, you can expect about 160 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. of Starbucks drip coffee--still quite a bit. As a result of all this energy drink consumption, many teenagers are becoming increasingly-addicted to these highly-caffeinated beverages, which can lead to alcohol or drug abuse. Yes, that whole much-debated gateway drug effect that applies to cigarettes and marijuana as well.
Natural Energy is BetterI stated above that I don't believe anyone should be addicted to any chemical or substance. The human body performs best when its well taken care of. Natural, whole foods and healthy drinks (ahem... water) should be the staple of any athlete's diet, not caffeine-packed "energy drinks". I've made that choice for myself and truly believe that to be the optimal energy drink for my body. Having been addicted to caffeine previously, it's a hard habit to break and the withdrawals are awful. That alone makes me never want to consume caffeine again--especially in high quantities like those found in Redline, Spike Shooter and the like. While mountain biking, skiing and participating in other outdoor sports, I prefer to keep myself naturally hydrated with vitamins and minerals (I use nuun tablets) and then supplement that with high-energy natural foods and energy bars that don't have caffeine. Does anyone else see energy drink consumption a potential problem, or am I the only one? Chime in below... Check out www.EnergyFiend.com for details on the caffeine content of many popular drinks. Story from KSL.com: Energy Drinks Part 1 - Energy Drinks Part 2 Photo courtesy KSL.com... Read more...
At every Outdoor Retailer Show there are a number of bar and energy food companies that are somehow strategically located throughout the show such that when you need a pick-me-up lo and behold a food booth magically appears. The question then becomes, how hungry are you really? If by any stroke of luck I'm at or near the LARABAR booth I saddle up to the booth like a ski bum to the watering hole following an epic powder day. There are a couple of bar companies that I don't miss visiting each show and LARABAR is always on my radar. This past show I was able to come away with a couple of samples from the 4 new LARABAR flavors and Peanut Butter Cookie is one of them. It sounded so good that I by the time I had gotten to the car after a long
Review of the LARABAR Peanut Butter CookieAs it's name would lead you to conclude that this LARABAR has some chocolate, wheat and other cookie type elements, I think I did a triple take when looking at the ingredient list. The list is three, yes three items long. I looked around the package to be sure there wasn't another ingredient list. Yep, just three.
We've all done it. Grabbed a [insert name]ade drink at the store before or after a ride. With the myriad of flavors and colors, it's got to be good for your body, right? Well, that's up for debate, but the fact of the matter is that most of those sports drinks contain oodles and oodles of sugar. Sugar is good--sometimes. It gives you that quick burst of energy, but if that's your liquid of choice on a long ride, it gets heavy and hard to swallow when all you need is water and electrolytes to maintain the proper hydration balance. Plus, you're mixing energy with hydration which isn't always the best thing to do. Enter Nuun active hydration tablets, which are a portable and effective solution to provide just the right amounts of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium. magnesium, vitamin C and B2) every time. And, all you need is a quick-dissolving tablet and regular water. Who needs another sports drink? Nuun is a sports drink, but not in the same sense as all the others. Without any sugars and still offering a range of flavors that taste great, nuun changes the hydration game. Not only is it better for you not to have to swallow all that sugar, it's also better for your water bottles and hydration bladders. In fact, nuun is truly the first hydration pack-friendly sports drink. Drop a couple of tablets, wait a minute and you're golden. With the regular sports drinks, they leave a sugary goo that's hard to rinse clean. But, with nuun, it's sugar-free formula is not only easy to drink, it's easy to clean--nice! I've been using the Lemon+Lime flavor for the past month on morning road rides. I love the taste and I do seem to drink more water than previously (nuun states that flavored waters have shown to increase consumption by 40%), which is a good thing. We all know that by the time you're showing signs of dehydration, you're too late to stave off some of the side effects. The blend of vitamins and minerals in nuun speeds up hydration and essentially splits hydration from caloric intake. If you need to consume calories, they can be targeted calories, like a PROBar, ClifBAR, etc. There's no calories piggybacking on top of your liquid hydration. Nuun Active Hydration Tablet Details:
- Flavors: Lemon+Lime, Tri-berry, Citrus Fruit, Kona Cola and Orange Ginger (NEW)
- Quantity: Each tube contains 12 tablets
- Size: Standard Tablet (1 tab for 16 oz) or Bigger (1 tab for 32 oz)
- Price: $6.50 per tube or $22 for a 4-pack (Standard Tablets)
- Nutrition Facts: serving size = 1 tablet (4.6g); recommended dissolution volume: 16 oz water; amount per serving: calories 7, total fat 0, total carbohydrates <1g, sodium 360mg (15%), potassium 100mg (3%), magnesium 25mg (6%), calcium 13 mg (2%), vitamin c 37mg (63%), riboflavin .5mg (30%). *percent daily values (dv) based on a 2,000 calorie diet. not a significant source of other nutrients
- Read nuun FAQ's
Because my typical "lunch hour" consists of a 45-minute mountain bike ride on the awesome trails nearby my office here in Draper, Utah, my body will burn through the calories that I eat for my actual lunch by about 3:30 pm. At that point, I'm usually reaching for that box of cereal on my shelf and eating dry Total flakes, or I just down more water. Yesterday, I actually peered through the glass of the vending machines in the break room--hoping to find something that seemed healthy. "Hmmm... Cheetos... Doritos... Fritos and other greasy snacks--nah, that won't do. Odwalla Bar? How did that sneak into the coffin of death snacks?" I had never actually seen an Odwalla bar, but I've partaken of the forbidden Odwalla juice (forbidden because it tastes so good, but costs so much). A quick card swipe and I had in my hands an Odwalla Bar. I've been downing ProBar's lately and really like them because you can see what you're eating, they taste good and they fill you up. Odwalla Chocolate Chip Peanut Bar So, how does it taste? Well, it's not like a fat-laden and chocolatey-tasting Snickers Bar, but I think it tastes really good. It is soft and chewy (something ProBars aren't) and has a good consistency. With 8 grams of protein and a mix of organic ingredients, everything seems to jive as far as a healthy snack. Looks like there are four total flavors:
- Banana Nut Bar
- Berries GoMega Bar
- Choco-walla Bar
- Chocolate Chip Peanut Bar