I have tried every so-called "energy bar" nutritional supplement on the market, and find them all to be distasteful, too crunchy or excessively mushy. They lack any energy giving powers for my runs. If you were to create the ultimate energy bar, which ingredients would you choose and why? - Energy Bar Blue
Letters for the "Run the Planet Mailbag" are received by yours truly through a mail chute built into the ceiling of my dark and humid office, deep below the sub-basement of the Run The Planet Corporate Enterprise Building. As the mailroom is located on the 62nd floor, the increasing velocity that the descending letters reach due to gravitational acceleration means that they strike my desk (and often the back of my head) at a force equal to that of a small meteorite falling from space. The injuries sustained from these literary strikes are often to my chagrin, but every once in a while I receive a letter from a reader that makes the pain all worthwhile. Yours, I assure you, is such a treat.
I have also contemplated the inadequacies of the popular brand name "energy bars" and have suffered the choking disappointment of many of them.
I have experimented with these, dissolving some in laboratory stomach acid to speed up digestion (gel packs, I am told, are designed with the same predigested philosophy in mind), yet they continue to fail in the area of palatability.
I have even gone so far as to apply the techniques of "freeze-drying" (I once carried an entire four course Turkey dinner with me on a 20 mile training run, complete with freeze dried mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie!). All of my efforts have failed.
I have come to the conclusion (you will be happy to note) that the "ultimate energy bar" would have to be something incredibly lightweight and compact (like a capsule or pill) loaded with simple sugars and low glycemic carbohydrates, and would taste like candy with the texture and consistency of light cream.
Thus it was that, during my first marathon (the "Cape Cod Marathon" in Falmouth, Massachusetts) I found the perfect energy treat. It was at mile 20 of that very hilly course where a spectator offered this passing runner a handful of a tri-colored snack that has been the favorite of children since the institution of Halloween. The answer is, of course: candy corn.
Yes, that delicious little triangular syrup treat that has delighted the taste buds of New Englanders for the past hundred years is actually the very best energy snack you can possibly carry with you on your long runs and marathons. It is lightweight, easy to chew, packed full of flavor and that corn syrupy sugar laden burst of sweetness that makes your blood say "Why, thank you very much!".
In this commercial world of protein-based soy-centric wonder bars, it is refreshing to know that there exists an alternative energy source for runners, that has both the positive attributes of candy, and the wholesome goodness of corn.
Just don’t forget to brush your teeth!
Run long and taper.