HALO bars

Remember our last round-up of whole food bars? Well, the folks over at Pro Bar have come out with another zinger. Only these ones won’t cost you that second slice of pizza. HALO, their newest line of slim, natural bars clock in at just 150 calories and 5 grams of fat, making them perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up instead of a meal replacement. With ingredients like organic flax and hemp sees, molasses, rice syrup, peanut butter, you’d never know they weren’t whipped up in a friend’s kitchen. They’re vegan and dairy-free, low in sugar, and a good source of those ever-popular omegas. Oh, and they’re really good dipped in Greek yogurt.

Available online in Rocky Road, Honey Graham, Smore, and Nutty Marshmallow (shown).

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Pacific Health Labs’ 2nd Surge gel and Accel RECOVER bars

And over in the not-so-real food department (but equally as important for us energy-junkie triathletes) comes PHL’s latest offering on the no-bonk scene. Their two newest products are engineered for bonking, or that extreme fatigue that can set in just when you hoped to avoid it. Their new 2nd Surge all-natural gel is specifically formulated to delay the onset of muscle and brain fatigue. It promises to increase the delivery of nutrients where they’re needed, maintain metabolic energy needs, and inhibit the release of fatigue signals in the brain. But wait, is all-natural gel even possible? Take a look at the ingredients: agave syrup, brown rice syrup, pea protein isolate, coffee, green tea extract, goji berry blueberry, chokeberry, cranberry, and blueberry extracts. Available in Chocolate and Double Expresso.

Also new to the PHL menu comes Accel RECOVER, a bar developed by leading exercise physiologists. The goal here was to create a bar in which every nutrition component contributed to muscle recovery. Though it doesn’t seem as natural as the bars where you can actually see the ingredients, the list includes some variations to the usual high-fructose corn syrup: agave nectar, brown rice syrup, cocoa powder, and peanut butter. And for the science geeks? These bars claim to be the first to use medium-chain triglycerides as the primary fat source … which convert into energy, rather than fat.

With chocolate peanut butter on the palate, Accel RECOVER may not be a Reese’s, but as far as sports nutrition goes, this one tastes pretty good.

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Clif‘s new Crunch flavors

The winner of our crunchy granola bar taste-off, Clif’s back with two new flavors to augment their Clif Crunch line. Blueberry Crisp tastes just like grandma used to make it, hold the ice cream. Not overly fruity, this bar offers just a hint of sweet berry to the oatmeal bar base that’s not too sweet. The Chocolate Peanut Butter is a marriage of the company’s two popular flavors (Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter). It’s such a steallar combination, our only complaint is that the Clif kitchen took this long to release it.

Look for the new flavors on store shelves soon.

clif crunch new flavors
GU Roctane Chocolate-Raspberry gel

The newest flavor from GU elicited more excitement from me than the usual delivery of zany tropical tastes. When it comes to ingesting gels, I’m a chocoholic. For some reason, the texture makes more sense to me than pineapple, berry, or orange. I plan on giving these a first-whirl this weekend, but based on how I feel about the company’s Chocolate Outrage and Chocolate Mint varieties, I don’t expect the addition of a tangy berry to do much harm. Visit guenergy.com to purchase.

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And for a post-workout treat…

PopChips

These “chips” are the latest junk food masquerade we’re buying into here at the LAVA headquarters. After one taste, we agreed with Men’s Health magazine, who deemed these babies Best Potato Chip. While we don’t usually go around sampling bagged snack foods, we finished these off pretty quickly when they were not-so-mysteriously dropped off at the office. If you think Sunchips, Stacy’s Simply Naked pita chips, and Terra Kettles chips are healthy, think again. PopChips boast fewer calories and fat per serving than all of these, while delivering the salt and crunch we’re so often craving after a sweaty workout. My only question: why didn’t anyone think of this until now? Air instead of oil? Count us in.

Available online and in stores in Original, Cheddar, Barbeque, Sour Cream & Onion, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Salt & Pepper, and Parmesan Garlic.

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