Jason Winn, the founder of Bonk Breaker Energy Bars, summarizes his inspiration thus: “The idea to create an energy bar came to me while reflecting on the Ironman. I realized the serious need for a GREAT tasting, MOIST energy bar that down right serves the purpose.” He graciously agreed to send me some samples to test out and let everyone know what I think.
Below is what showed up at my house, only doubled. This was ideal in that I could take a bar out with me on my longer runs, yet also have an example of each to do a sampling and subsequent review with my kids. Thanks Jason!
Averaging 249 calories and roughly 8.5 grams of fat, these bars are the perfect size for a quick energy boost mid-workout. The ingredient list is a pleasure to read, with nary a preservative or chemical in sight. Some ingredients you might see: Organic Rolled Oats, Brown rice crisps (brown rice flour, rice malt, salt), B -Breaker TM (Brown rice syrup, Natural crunchy peanut butter [peanuts, salt], honey), Non GMO Brown Rice Protein, Blackberry jam (blackberries, pure cane sugar, fruit pectin, citric acid), flaxseed meal, brown rice flour, evaporated cane juice, sea salt. For those of you on modified diets, all 4 bars are free of gluten, dairy, and soy, but peanuts do show up in 3 of the 4.
I took these out on multiple sub-freezing runs, one a 15 mile jaunt up the Illinois Prairie Path to my in-laws house. On every run, the bars stayed soft and pliable which, if full of preservatives, would be no big deal. However, seeing as how the ingredient list is quite clean, it was a welcome surprise. The first run, the bar was in my pocket, so I thought the pliability could be explained by proximity to body warmth, but moving subsequent bars to unprotected areas resulted in the same results. If you are a cold weather runner or cyclist, these should be your go-to bars, as they stay soft in sub-freezing weather and are the perfect size to fit in a jersey, pant, or hydration belt pocket.
(With kids, you definitely need a guide to help them stay focused and distinguish between items. In this case, I added some prompts for them to think about and take notes on. Read their thoughts (and Laima’s) over on their site, Kids Try Gear.)
Peanut Butter and Banana: Definite peanut putter smell. Not too sweet, which is nice in an energy bar. One thing I would change is to up the banana flavor.
Almond Butter Honey: Very slight almond smell, with a really great almond butter flavor. I didn’t get much of the honey, but increasing that might make it too sweet. Definitely my favorite of all four (very tasty) bars.
Peanut Butter and Jelly: It was extra fun tasting these with my kids knowing this: (Jason, responding to my telling him the kids would taste these and blog about it) “You know, that is exactly how I developed the PB+J (with Kids). I knew what ingredients needed to be in the bars for performance purposes, but needed to get the taste to where kids wanted more. Kids don’t care about nutrition, just taste and they are not afraid to spit it out in your face if they don’t like it. They provide a very honest opinion!” Kind of odd, but there was minimal smell to this bar, maybe because the piece was so small. I really liked the visual of the jelly between the peanut butter “bread.” On my run, I found this bar to be too sweet for my taste, but the single bite tasting portion was great, so maybe smaller portions is the key. If I could change anything about this bar, I would tone down the sweetness of the jelly.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip: Once again, oddly enough, the scent was pretty minimal. In this case, the chocolate somewhat overwhelmed the peanut butter flavor, which normally I would like (love chocolate!), but the bar ended up being too sweet because of it. Maybe a better balance would improve it, though once again, the flavor was very good, I am just being nitpicky to make Jason sweat a little.
There are some minor criticisms I had, but ultimately, these are really tasty bars. Excepting those with peanut allergies, I would highly recommend these for training nutrition. They really worked as a flavorful pick-me-up mid-workout.
One last suggestion I would make is to add a cashew butter and a sunflower seed butter version, though, not being privy to the actual production, these options might not work from a texture standpoint.
And….a chance to win a box of your very own! Super simple entry:
- Head over to the Bonk Breaker Facebook Page and leave this comment: “Peanut Butter & Jelly Time”. Bonk Breaker will pick a winner Friday, February 4th!
Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Bonk Breaker. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give it a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.