By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
In the past, I have considered myself someone who is extremely skeptical of energy bars and sports drinks. Most of the time, when I tried one I felt that my reaction resembled more of a placebo effect rather than a true, positive physical one. Recently, I tried a Picky Bar and was quite surprised with the results.
I first learned about Picky Bars a little over a year ago, when a marathon runner and fellow foodie friend of mine mentioned how much she loved them. I hadn’t given the bars much thought at the time, though, because I’m not a marathoner. I consider myself just a notch above the casual gym goer, but there are times that I feel a bit fatigued and in need of more than just a post-workout protein shake. Picky Bars certainly do the trick and come in five flavors: Lauren’s Mega Nuts, The Need for Seed, All-In Almond, Smooth Caffeinator, and Runner’s High.
The bars were created by decorated long-distance runner, Lauren Fleshman, for her three-sport athlete husband, Jesse Thomas. Fleshman had help from her husband and her friend, Steph Rothstein, who is a pro-marathoner with Celiac Disease. You can read more about their story here and here, but the basis for the bars’ creation came because Lauren knew athletes needed a bar that would be comprised of the right kinds of healthy foods.
Picky Bars have a special 4:1 carbohydrates-to-protein ratio, which makes them both perfect for a pre-workout meal and post-workout as they provide the right kinds of energy needed for endurance and the right amount of protein and sodium needed for recovery. It’s important to note that the Runner’s High bar has just a bit more sodium than the other four bars, making it especially perfect for runners.
I have tried all five Picky Bars and have also used them before a sprinting workout, before a long-distance workout, and before a lifting workout. Each time, I felt perfectly full and definitely a bit more energized for an extended period of time than when I don’t use a Picky Bar. Since using the Picky Bars, I’ve even cut a minute off of my mile time, but that could just be a coincidence (or not!).
The bars accomplish exactly what Lauren, Jesse, and Steph set out to accomplish. Each bar contains real food and tastes truly great. The bars are small enough that I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to eat them and, in fact, they taste so much better than their competitors that I’m actually a bit sad when I finish one.
If you are committed to your body’s health, exercise on a regular basis, and/or have a gluten-free diet, Picky Bars are definitely the perfect choice. I’m hooked just like so many athletes far more talented than myself.