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Review: PowerBar Chocolate Gel

On long bike rides, when I pass the hour mark I need a little something to help to power up the next big hill and something I can quickly eat. There are a wide variety of sports gels out there, so I am in my experimental phase — trying them all out. Over the weekend, I placed a Chocolate PowerBar Gel in the back pocket of my biking jersey before I headed out the door. This particular flavor was labeled as having 1x caffeine and contained 25 milligrams caffeine, about one-third the amount found in a single shot of espresso. Since I was riding early in the morning, and hadn't finished my daily cup of joe, I was looking forward to putting a little more caffeine in my system. Just before the third serious climb of the day, I powered down my PowerBar gel.

To see how it tasted, and if it helped sustain my energy


First off, the flavor was surprisingly palatable. It didn't taste metallic or yucky, more like brownie batter than sports gel. This might sound gross, but after 90 minutes of riding it was wonderful and really easy to eat. I think the bit of caffeine perked me up and improved my attitude so rather than being daunted by the hill ahead of me, I was ready to attack. The gel sustained me for at least an hour, and the carbs and electrolytes prevented me from bonking. Here's the nutritional information:

Serving size 41 grams (one packet)
Calories 120
Fat 1.5 g
Sodium 200 mg
Carb 28 g
Potassium 40 mg
Sugar 10 g
Chloride 70 mg
Protein 0 g
Ingredients: PowerBar C2 max carbohydrate blend (maltodextrin, fructose), filtered water, chocolate (contains milk), glycerin, PowerBar electrolyte blend (sodium chloride, sodium citrate, potassium chloride), phosphoric acid, natural flavor (contains soy lecithin), PowerBar booster blend (caffeine, ginseng, kola nut extract), sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to retard spoilage). contains milk and soy.

Do you have a favorite sports gel? Share your flavor and brand in the comments section below.

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