It seems like I every time I wander down the energy bar aisle, there are five new brands begging to be sampled. Gogi berries, chia, cashews, and maca powder, oh my! Thank goodness most of my rides take me out into territory where my biggest problem is having to decide between Snickers or potato chips.
When I came across Enduro Bites at my local hipster bike shop, however, they jumped out at me. Their unique packaging makes them stand out in the crowd. Upon further investigation, however, I learned that these bites are as natural as you can get, like something I’d make in my own kitchen.
The story behind them is as familiar as the ingredients: An endurance athlete starts tinkering around in the kitchen to find his or her own magical DIY ride fuel. In this case however, we’re looking at an old pro. Enduro Bites founder Brian Maslach took his years of experience in the sports supplement industry into the kitchen with him. “I wanted a gluten-free, plant-based performance food that would give real-world results for world-class endurance athletes,” he says. Maslach begun to test his creations on fellow-minded friends, and these 100-calorie bites made of figs, dark chocolate, and espresso were the genius result.
While I continue to experiment with my own Ironman fueling, you’ll only see reviews here of what I deem “hippie-approved” bars. I’ve tried these bites on three of my Saturday long rides and brick runs now, as well as 30 minutes before a few of my tougher mid-week run workouts. Though I often combined them with electrolyte beverages and other, somewhat more old-school snacks (like pie and ice cream), they work well for this tummy.
When I’m jamming these into my mouth miles from the nearest convenience store (let alone slice of Julian Pie co.’s Mountain Berry) I can trust their pedigree. “Each ingredient in EnduroBites is carefully chosen for a specific purpose,” Maslach says. “We left out the fillers, the added sugars, and all the stuff that separates the candy and junk from proven ingredients that help sustain and improve performance,” he adds. For long-distance triathlons, Enduro Bites are easy to eat and easy to digest, without the blood sugar spikes.
All this is obvious from the first bite of a bar whose taste defines simplicity. A few weeks ago after purchasing a carrot cake Clif bar on a ride (sorry Clif, I like your wine…), I wished I’d just had a full-on candy bar instead. It was so sweet and gummy I could barely stomach it. Enduro Bites make a lot of the other supposedly healthy options seem like Halloween candy.
So if you’re hankering for subtle but effective ride fuel, reach for one of these morsels. Unless you’ve been out drinking or have a massive sweet tooth, you won’t be disappointed.
In closing, get to know Brian, the brains (and muscle) behind these perfect little squares.
Founder, Enduro Bites Real Race Food
Childhood ambition: Ride and race my bike!
Perfect day: Wake up early, get in a good ride, and make significant progress on whichever project I’m working on at the moment.
Hidden talent: Struggling to find non-hidden talents as it is!
First job: Bike shop mechanic during freshman year high school.
Biggest challenge: Getting focused every morning! My brain tends to sleep in even when I’m up early.
Proudest moment: Releasing Enduro Bites Real Race Food after overcoming more obstacles than I care to remember.
Athletic crush: Too many to list.
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