Well, there I was after 145 miles, and I had completely “bonked” – the cyclists term when you can’t peddle another stroke, it’s like hitting the wall for a marathon runner. In marathoning it generally comes after the 17 mile and for the super trained runner about the 20-mile marker or so. Anyway there I was with 60-miles to go to get to the next city. A long-distance cyclist’s worst nightmare, perhaps besides getting clipped by a truck and ending up in a ditch alongside the road with a broken collar bone that is.
What kept me going that day, while I rode against the wind was simple, I pulled off under a tree and broke out some protein power bars, and rested, I was too sore to get back onto the bike, and I felt as if I was dead, my motivation drained, I was peddling on guts, nothing else for the previous twenty to thirty miles – it was just a blur. Unfortunately, I was so tired I forgot to eat, and I’d burned up all the calories from the stellar pasta dinner the night before. After I recouped and those power protein bars hit my system, I was able to continue my ride.
Why the story? Well, because it was one of those days that challenges the will, and strength of character of even the most dedicated of men, and on that day it was me, and there I was. Now then, the other day someone was discussing this issue of protein power bars with me, and we got to discussing the reality of their nutritional value. Okay so, here is my comment; they are not all created equally, some have lots of sugar, which is probably not a good idea for an endurance style athlete.
And really I am not so sure such a high-sugary power protein type bar is really what one needs to get through the day or to supplement their diet. Do snacks such as protein bars really provide a powerful punch? They can, but it depends more on who makes it, and what’s in it. I guarantee the power protein bars that the top cyclists in the world eat, are much different than what I had in my little pouch on that day, even though it was a quality product.
My advice to you is simple, and here it is; look at the ingredients and only consume the best protein bars, as there is a world of difference. Indeed, I hope you will consider my warnings and real world experience in this regard. Please make a note on it, and think on this.
1.-“Encyclopedia of Sports and Fitness Nutrition – The Ultimate Guide for Peak Performance,” by Elizabeth Ann Applegate, Three Rivers Press, CA, 2002, 432 pages, ISBN: 0-76151-378-7.
Lance Winslow loves chocolate! And this article was sponsored by MXI Corp’s Xocai Healthy Chocolate; http://www.adampaulgreen.com specializing in High Antioxidant Dark Chocolate products. http://www.MarketingChocolateInternational.com
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