Is the energy bar necessary or not?

Prior to training, during or after training, the myriad energy bars and chewy bars can quickly become a confusion of choices for us sporty types. Are these products essential or on the contrary, totally futile? Let’s demystify pre-training needs in order to make a reasonable  choice!

Before the sport activity

Before training, your body needs sufficient energy and particularly from carbohydrates - and yes, sugar! Sugar from basic foods that are not highly processed, or home cooked such as fruit, bread, homemade muffins. If a meal is consumed 3 hours prior to your activity, a snack will not be necessary.  However, if you ate at noon and plan to head to the gym at 5 p.m., a chewy bar or energy bar would be   ideal choices.

 During the sport activity

During the sport activity, most people will not need to eat.  However, if it’s a prolonged activity, such as a hike, 2 hours of spinning or an entire morning at the gym, your body will need extra carbohydrates.

 After the sport activity

To ensure that your muscles recover and to re-establish your energy level, it’s recommended that you eat high -protein foods such as dairy products, nuts, and soya as well as foods high in carbohydrates , ideally 30 minutes after the activity. If you plan on eating a meal in the next hour, you could skip this snack, knowing that the meal will provide everything you need.

 Are store-bought energy bars essential?

If the energy bar market leads us to believe that energy bars are  absolute must-haves,  it's time to set the record  straight.  Are they essential? No. Are they practical? Yes. First and foremost,  energy  bars  can be replaced by  less processed homemade snacks. And, we have just the right recipe for you!

 Help is on the way!

In certain situations, energy bars can be a ‘ life-saver’.  While cycling, the possibilities are  limited  and  energy  bars are  oh so practical!     Energy bars can also be just what you need on busy days.  And for those of us  with  a very busy  lifestyle,  energy bars can  meet  our needs on a regular basis... provided we make the  right  choices, of course.

 Simplicity for top performance

The choice of energy bar makes all the difference.  The list of ingredients is sometimes excessively long and  we certainly don’t want to  eat  overly processed food before  working out.  The rule of thumb:  a short  list of ingredients,  and  above all, easy to understand.

Recipe: No-bake energy bars (taste like cherry pie)

Our homemade energy bar recipe is ideal for sport, as it contains basic foods that are naturally sweet.  Our energy bars are easy to carry in a bag or have on hand just in case at the gym or on a hike. They are made of only 4 ingredients, require no baking and have no preservatives.

Annie is a nutritionist, Doctor of  Pharmacy and founder of ScienceFourchette.com. Energetic, creative and passionate, she has a unique way of increasing your knowledge of nutrition and of simplifying your diet (in a big way).
 
Preparation Time: 15 minutes   
 
 Refrigeration time: 24 hours    
 
 Yield (Number of portions):  Makes 10 to 12 bars    
 
Ingredients:   
 
250 g (2 cups) of dried cherries (or cranberries or a  dried fruit mix )

115 g (1/2 cup) dates, pitted (about 5 to 6 Medjool type dates)

375 ml (1 1/2 cup)   hot water

280 g (2 cups) slivered almonds or soya nuts (if allergic to nuts)

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

Preparation: 

Line a square 20 cm (8 in) pan or an energy bar pan with plastic wrap.

 In a large bowl, mix the cherries, dates and hot water. Let it sit for 10 minutes Drain and dry with a paper towel or an absorbent cloth. Add the almonds to the food processor bowl and chop until the mixture has a granular texture. Add the fruit and vanilla.  Start the food processor again and mix until the consistency is sticky. Pour the mixture into the pan and press firmly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Cut the bars into the desired size. Keeps 1 week in the refrigerator.

Tips & Tricks | Advice | Additional notes | Suggestions:

When is the ideal time to eat these delicious homemade energy bars? To be sure to not lose energy during your workout, it’s recommended that you have a snack containing 30 g of carbohydrates, 30 to 60 minutes before you begin.  And this is exactly what one of our homemade energy bars provides.

An energy bar and a large glass of soya milk in the 30 minutes following your workout is a great   example of a good post-training snack.