Energy Food that Tastes Good

This article is an excerpt from Stephen Regenold’s story on covering “Five Gear Innovations” from the past five years.

Remember the energy bars of yore? Or were those hunks of cardboard disguised as an edible square of outdoors-oriented food? As a category, energy food — including bars, gels, “blocks,” and other on-the-go options — have become substantially more palatable in recent years. Not only are there now more choices, but most companies, including Clif, PowerBar, GU, Hammer, and others, all put out products that you do not have to force down.

Clif SHOT Bloks

Standouts include Clif Mojo bars (granola-type bars that are more salty than sweet); Clif SHOT Bloks (gummy fruit-flavor bites); Probars (hefty, nutty, “whole food” bars); and new gel flavors from GU and Hammer (which make this category more edible than ever). I can now count on wanting to eat energy food in the outdoors. Calories are easier than ever to get down, and I can go longer and race, climb, or hike faster as a result.

Caveat: On multiday trips, I still rely mainly on “normal” food, including nuts, dry fruit, jerky, cookies, and old-school energy foods like Snickers bars.

—Stephen Regenold

“Five Gear Innovations”

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief 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 nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.