Angie Partain is very involved in the Missoula Running Community as both a runner and frequent volunteer despite being a busy mom. You can follow her adventures at @jnapartain. As a RErun Ambassador we asked Angie to compare a few of our available protein bar options and share her thoughts.
This past month, I was asked to review some of the nutrition that’s available for purchase at the Runner’s Edge. Over the last few weeks I’ve been fueling and recovering with RX Bars, Honey Stinger Protein Bars and PICKY Bars. I had never tried any of these before, even though I often turn to a protein bar for quick, balanced fuel. I have a sensitive and often temperamental tummy, so I am cautious about what I eat–especially before running. Over the years, I’ve tried so many different protein bars trying to find THE ONE that will work for me. But ultimately, I tend to keep changing it up due to burn out on flavor and texture. Plus, some bars will just work better than others for different workouts. Here’s a quick summary of my thoughts on Texture, Flavor, a Side-by-Side Nutrition Comparison and their overall Performance.
I’m a texture person, so this matters to me. Honey Stinger is a nice fluffy whipped peanut butter dipped in milk chocolate. RX Bars are dense and moist with pops of almonds and cashews. PICKY BARS are also dense and moist with a snap, crackle and pop throughout. Texture-wise, these would all be easy to quickly consume while running.
I’m also a flavor person. Honey Stinger reminded me of a Reece’s…Totally yummy enough to fool you into feeling guilty. RX Bars are delicious without being overly sweet. I loved the tropical flavors with thin flakes of chocolate in the Coconut Chocolate—and the name Chocolate Sea Salt says it all–dark chocolate with flecks of coarse sea salt on top! PICKY BARS probably tasted the healthiest to me as I could pick up on hints of apricot and raisins, which was delicious paired with the spice blend. Moroccan Your World reminded me of a comforting bowl of oatmeal garnished with dried fruit and fall spices. The Chai and Catch Me was also a comforting, warm blend of maple and spice but also a bit invigorating with punches of ginger and cloves.
If you watch ingredients or have food restrictions, these clean bars may catch your interest. With a mere 8 whole food ingredients, the RX Bars are free of Gluten Soy and Dairy. PICKY BARS are Gluten Free as well and only contain whole food ingredients. Honey Stinger bars are 25% (organic) honey, which an anti-inflammatory—bonus!
These are all great bars, but which one is better for a long run or workout? I would turn to the RX Bar, which lasted me about and hour and a half. The PICKY Bar is a great re-fuel on the trail as well as before your shorter run. What about recovery? I would choose the Honey Stinger every time. Total treat–no guilt!!
Overall, I really enjoyed each of these bars. If I were to rank them by my favorite taste, I would have to say the Honey Stinger Peanut Butta, RX Coconut Chocolate, RX Chocolate Sea Salt, PICKY BARS Moroccan Your World and last but certainly not least PICKY BARS Chai and Catch Me. I’m happy to report that these clean bars all settled well, without tummy issues (YAY!). None made me feel lethargic, and I was out running in minimal time. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers (which are totally my favorite part of Christmas morning!), these are perfect!! They range in price from $2.50-$3 at the Runner’s Edge and you can pick up some gummies or waffle crisps while you’re at it!