New Hi Protein Performance Snack Bar for your New Year Training – with guest expert Jenna Obeid

Expert Examiner, Food Flash — By on December 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm

So Christmas day has been and gone and it’s time to get back on the health track.  Now is the week to make those New Year goals. If you’re planning that triathlon, midlife half marathon like me or off on the Kokoda Trail, you’ll need to factor in fuelling your fitness. There’s no better person to guide us than our December Sub of the Month, Jenna.  She’s hardly taken a break as she’s in hard-core training mode with her team and has found a brand new high performance snack bar to road test and review, just for us.

About our expert:

Jenna Obeid is a Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition student at Deakin University in Melbourne and our December Sub of the Month.  She is a gymnast and competitive cheerleader and represents Australia in the World Cheer leading Championships. Her team picked up a silver medal in the USA in 2011. Check out her full bio and connect with her on Twitter @JennaObeid.

Go Natural’s Hi Protein Performance Snack bars are designed for sportspeople needing to keep their protein and carbohydrate levels up to maximise performance in endurance-based events.

As I train regularly and at quite an intense level for an extended period of time (up to 5 hours per session), I always like to refuel during the session and replenish my body with protein and carbs post-training for optimal recovery.

It is well documented that carbohydrate ingestion during endurance exercise enhances performance (Temesi et al, 2011).  However according to leading Sports Dietitian and spokesperson for Go Natural, Susie Burrell, “For events of longer duration, research supports that a mix of a small amount of protein, coupled with larger proportions of carbohydrates is needed.  This not only optimises the fuelling of the muscle during activity but the protein load helps to preserve muscle mass and control insulin release, resulting in more stable blood glucose levels over time. This is of particular relevance to endurance activities and sports including triathlons and cycling events in which training and competition can go for many hours.”

Bar breakdown

Available in two flavours – Almond & Apricot and Choc Berry – the 80g bars contain 12.5g of high quality, whey protein, 28g of carbohydrates and are fortified with calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin E and B1. “The formulation has ensured that the bars are ‘low bulk’, soft and easy to chew which is crucial for any athlete attempting to refuel on the go,” says Susie.

How does it differ from a typical muesli or sports bar?

Per serve

Go Natural – Hi Protein

Typical carb sports bar

Typical Muesli Bar

kJ

1330

924

400

Protein (g)

13.0

8.0

2.0

Carbohydrate (g)

42.6

40.0

20.0

Sugar (g)

22.1

22.2

10.0

Fibre (g)

3.3

2.0

2.0

Sodium (mg)

42

230

50

The bars are quite high in overall energy/kilojoules for an 80g serve and you can see that the Go Natural bar is an excellent source of protein and carbs, far greater than a typical muesli bar.   While munching on my bar, I noted the smooth texture and wondered how much fat was in it. But when comparing nutrition panels of the Hi Protein bar and the usual protein bar I consume, it has less saturated fat (2.8g per bar), which was a pleasant surprise.

But best of all Go Natural Hi Protein bars taste delicious.  The choc berry kind of resembles a chocolate crackle – nom, nom, nom.

Go for it?

If you’re a very active person that’s looking for a balanced fuel to enhance performance during endurance events or training, something that tastes yummy and is easy to eat, then go for Go Natural Hi Protein Bars. Susie suggests that a portion of the bar is consumed every 40-60 minutes during a longer event (2-3hrs) or training session.  For individualised advice see a Sports Dietitian, in Australia a member of Sports Dietitians Australia.

But if you are a recreational exerciser, especially one watching their weight, be careful.  These bars are high in kilojoules and as a general rule you shouldn’t need to refuel during a gym session or fitness class.  It’s a good idea to keep a check on your recovery fuel.  Read more in the Scoop post on Proactive recovery nutrition for runners – with guest Nutritionist Kate Freeman.

Where can I try them?

If you’re in Australia pick up a bar in Coles supermarkets, 7 Eleven stores or online at www.gonatural.com.au at $3.95 RRP.

Editor’s comment:

Thanks Jenna. It’s been fantastic having you on board during December. We look forward to watching your nutrition career evolve and can’t wait to have you back soon on Scoop.  How about you lovely readers? What training challenges are you planning in 2012? I’m down for a half marathon, Mr Surfer Dude wants to do the Great Ocean Road full marathon and our friend Rusty Berther is just back from the Ice Marathon in Antartica.  Are you stretching yourself? I never thought I could run.  And I still can’t.  But after training and improved fitness I can now jog my way around 21kms and even enjoy it (some of the time). We’d love to hear your ideas and share in the comments below.

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  • Jenna

    Thanks for a great month and for all your help Emma!
    I’ve learnt lots and really enjoyed putting this post together.

    Have a great new year!
    - Jenna.

  • Kate Cody

    I can see that refuelling on the go in a longer exercise session would make these bars convenient. I don’t usually exercise for sessions longer than 2 hours so prefer to time regular meals for after an exercise session. Useful to be given the yardstick of eating one bar broken into smaller portions during a 2 to 3 hour session given so many people mistakenly think they need to fuel up after a regular 60 minute session in the gym.

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