Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sponge Bob & Sports Nutrition??

Sports nutrition products are very effective. Since I started using powerbars for training and racing back in the late 1980's, I've always tried the latest and greatest to see how they work.

Now there are chews, gels, fizzy tablets, powders... you name it, creative and entrepreneurial minds have invented a way to package it, make it taste 'good' and get into your cycling jersey pocket for a mid-ride snack.

My favorite product lately has been 'chews', or 'chomps' or 'bites', depending on which manufacturer you prefer. Unlike a gel, they aren't messy and deliver a similar wallop of carbohydrate and electrolytes. I also like the sensation of chewing something more than I do 'drinking/eating' a gel.

So yesterday I was headed out on a ride and discovered I was out of my favorite 'chew' product. It was time to get creative, like MacGyver.

My daughters love fruit snacks and we have a couple boxes of them in the house for snack attacks. Dora and Sponge Bob rule our family entertainment time, so of course, we have Dora and Sponge Bob fruit snacks. I like them too actually... pretty tasty, and according to the box, not horribly bad for you. I mean, beeswax and 'red 40' color are listed in the ingredients along with some other chemical compounds I can't pronounce, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed these are safe and won't make my kids turn into the shape of their fruit snacks.

Upon further investigation, I find that each pouch has 90 calories, 21 gr of carbohydrate and 40 mg of sodium, not to mention 20% USRDA of Vitamin C and is gluten free. Bingo! A convenient substitute for my normal sports performance chews and probably better for me than twizzlers or tootsie rolls. I took a few packages and had one per hour during my 3-hour ride (along with water), and felt fine. As a bonus, they tasted good too.

I'm not recommending that you give up your favorite training nutrition and replacing it with Sponge Bob (oohhh... who lives in a pineapple under the sea....) fruit snacks... but if needed, they'll do in a pinch!

Train smart,
Coach Troy


  1. Hey, you stole my secret! I buy fruit snacks for my kids all the time and have always laughed at how similar they are to the fancy-schmancy sports nutrition products (and I'm a sports dietitian!). I don't see anything wrong with them at all and they're a heck of a lot cheaper than the "real ones"!

    I will say, however, they are a bit low on carbs for adults. The latest recommendation on carbs for endurance exercise are 30-60 grams/hr (with some experts calling for 1 gram/kg) so 21 grams is not enough for an'd need to eat a handful to get what Powerbar gels or gu's have in them (or Hammer gel, etc). But still, they work fine in a pinch and are way more fun than gu or gel!

  2. Wow. People have the misconception that in order to get in shape you have to go hungry all the time.

    sports nutrition