Sunday, September 13, 2015

Extended Nutrition-A Review

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Extended Nutrition to try some of their products and report on my findings.  I was given a case of bars and asked to discuss how they worked with my ultra-running training.  Here we go...

What is Extended Nutrition bars?  They were developed for diabetics to keep blood sugar levels stable. Not being a diabetic, I was curious if there could be a benefit for an endurance athlete.  Blood sugar spikes are the enemy of an endurance athlete, both in training and racing.  I thought there might be something to these bars.  The low carbs and no sugar fit well into my current diet goals of higher fat low carbs.  See previous post.

When:  I tried to eat the bars at all different times throughout the week/day.  This included:
1. First thing in morning/prior to workout
2. Lunch
3. After lunch snack/prior to workout
4. During long run

I really liked taking in the bars during long runs.  I usually stick exclusively to Tailwind on long runs, but often find myself (especially in races) wanting something solid to eat late in the run.  Extended Nutrition seemed to work well for this.  Actually complimenting the Tailwind quite well.  The other times were fine...on morning when I needed something solid before my workout and didn't
want to eat an avocado...the bars fit in well with my low carb goal.

Taste:  I received a case with most of the chocolate varieties.  Overall, I was please with taste and texture.  As I said above, they went down easy late in a long run, which is not always a given.  I especially appreciated the chocolate dipped bars and the chocolate carmel bars.

Effectiveness:  The company claims the bars maintain blood sugar levels for 6-9 hours.  While this might be should not confuse this with FUELING for 6-9 hours.  No surprise.  But don't think you are going to pop a bar and be good for a 50 miler.  As long as you know what to expect, the product does what it sets out to do.  From company website: With most types of exercise and strenuous physical activity, the body’s rate of using blood sugar (energy) increases both during the activity and for several hours after. And it’s not uncommon for a person to hit a point when their energy level suddenly drops and they experience symptoms of low blood sugar (headaches, feeling light-headed, weak, shaky, or inability to focus).

Because Extend Nutrition products convert to blood sugar over 9 hours – more slowly than any other product – they can supply the energy you need for even the most physically demanding activity. And Extend Nutrition products continue providing energy for several hours after, while your body works to adjust its blood sugar needs back to a normal level.

Long story short....this is a product I could get behind.  While I've gotten away form energy bars for the most part, the simple fact that this bar is low carb and no sugar makes it enticing to an endurance athlete like myself.