Energy from Chocolate


Chocolate has long been held in high regard by some athletes and active people. Beyond taste, it contains caffeine and carbohydrates — both have the ability to provide a quick boost in energy levels.

With its new salted chocolate bar, Salazon Chocolate Co. of Eldersburg, Md., goes a step further and touts its bars as an energy food, not a candy. The bars come in three flavors, including dark chocolate with sea salt, one made with organic cane sugar, and the sea salt bar with organic cracked black pepper.

Salazon chocolate bars

My favorite was the one sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper. A neat design on the bar makes it difficult to break off a chunk at first. But once you taste the pleasant and well-balanced blend — a mildly bitter dark chocolate with salt and pepper bursts — you are thankful for the lack of regulated piece sizes. There is something rewarding about dark chocolate that has allowed it to find itself as a staple in the packs of adventurers around the world.

While it is difficult to describe the mellow energy you gain from the Salazon chocolate, it is definitely palpable. While the boost is not of energy-drink magnitude, it is of the sort that helps you decompress from the tasks of the day outdoors — as well as accomplish the remaining tasks like setting up camp. . . or getting back to the pub for a rewarding pint. $3.49/bar,

—Steve Hitchcock is a Colorado-based writer, teacher, organic farmer, and outdoors guide. He blogs at

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.