Thursday, June 28, 2012

Z3 High Octane Bars

Last week I attempted my first Century bike ride with several members from T3. My 100 mile ride was mainly fuel by Hammer Perpetuem, Hammer Heed and Gu Gels. I even had some Shot Bloks with me, but I didn't take any on the ride.  In the middle of my ride, my stomach felt a little bloated and I remembered thinking I would be in trouble if I had to get off my bike and run at this point. 

I am an avid podcast listener, primarily in the fitness and nutrition categories. (Go figure, huh?) Several podcasters including Ben Greenfield and Jon of Garden Variety Triathlon Podcast, discuss fueling concepts which go against the current high carbohydrate, pure glucose protocol. Ben Greenfield promotes a low carbohydrate lifestyle for the endurance athlete. Jon promotes a plant based diet for triathlons.

As a Type II Diabetic, fueling with pure glucose doesn't make sense to me. Sure, I know I need the fuel for my system, but what is it doing to my glucose levels? When the glucose burns off, will I bonk? All of these questions made me wonder about alternative fuels which can incorporate fat, protein and glucose while eliminating preservatives and additives. 

Most of the energy bars I've tried seem to have some type of icing or chocolate covering on them. Has anyone else thought about this? How am I supposed to eat this things without becoming a hot, sticky mess while eating coated energy bar in August in Louisville, KY??? 

I have found a mission. I am going to find the perfect energy bar which I can create (No laughing from those of you who know how little actual cooking or baking I do.) which isn't coating with sugar which will melt all over before I even have a chance to enjoy them.  

Mixing the ingredients
I put a request out on Facebook asking friends if they have any recipes for me to try and I got crickets chirping. So instead I decided it was time to check things out with my friend Google. I found a Z3 High Octane Bar. The recipe is simple, requires no oven (which is fabulous on a hot summer day where the temperature is 102) and contains fiber, fat, protein and carbs. Each bar contains 340 calories, 45g Carbohydrates, 5g of Dietary Fiber, 16g of Fat, and 10g of Protein. 

The ingredient list was simple and straight forward, which of course I need: quick oats, natural peanut butter (I chose Chunky), honey, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, flaxseed and whey protein powder. I also picked up supplies for an additional batch to mix up some bars using dried pineapple and white chocolate chips. Hey, if I'm going to do this,  I might as well have the flavors I really enjoy, right? 

Z3 High Octane Bars
After mixing together the ingredients, all you have to do is press the mixture into an 8x8 pan and refrigerate until ready to serve. I tried a square of the High Octane Bars and they were really quite yummy. I am still concerned about the melting factor considering the bars do have chocolate chips in them, but I thought was a good start to my quest for the perfect energy bar. I am going to package a couple into snack size baggies and try to use them this weekend during my practice ride on the IM-Louisville bike course. 

Do you have a recipe for a energy bar you would like me to test? Send it me! I'm on a mission!

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