VOOM Pocket Rocket energy bars are an alternative to gels, giving you an easily digestible energy boost to fuel your training and racing.
Energy gels are an efficient way of taking in sufficient carbohydrate to fuel your long training runs and races, but they have a downside – you are left with a sticky packet that seeps its remaining contents into your pocket or pack – yuk!
Wouldn’t it be good if you could have a quick energy hit without the mess. VOOM Nutrition offer an alternative in the form of their Pocket Rocket energy bars.
There are three different bars in the Pocket Rocket range with each 42g bar containing around 40g of carbohydrate (twice that of a standard gel). In addition to carbohydrate each bar is formulated with slightly different ingredients to target specific use. The orange zest flavour Beta Blast bar contains caffeine and beta-alanine for high intensity exercise, the lemon and lime Electro Energy bar contains electrolytes to replace those lost in sweat whilst the berry flavoured Caffeine Kick bar contains 175mg of caffeine and 100mg of taurine to stave off fatigue later in a race or run.
The bars are made in a way that they can easily be broken into four bite sized cubes making it easy to work out how much carbohydrate you are consuming. Two cubes are the equivalent of one gel which would typically contain around 22g of carbohydrate, so effectively one bar is equivalent to two gels. As well as the advantage of not having to deal with a sticky gel wrapper you can eat the bar in small doses if you want to take a “little and often” approach to refueling. You certainly wouldn’t want to put a half empty gel wrapper back into your pocket!
In addition to the Pocket Rocket bars there is a 50g Protein Recovery Fudge bar containing 32g of carbohydrate and 10g of protein (the 3:1 ratio is accepted as being the optimal balance). The Pocket Rocket bars are gluten free and suitable for vegans, the protein bar is gluten free but contains milk. All of the bars are batch tested to ensure they don’t contain any substances on the World Anti Doping Agency banned list. This gives peace of mind to athletes competing in events with drug testing.
Individual Pocket Rocket bars cost £1.50 (bear in mind 1 bar = 2 gels) with the Recovery Fudge costing £2.50.
I expected the bars to be chewy and was quite surprised to find that they aren’t! They are more like a mildly fruity Kendal Mint Cake in texture. This makes them very easy to swallow as they dissolve quickly in your mouth and don’t require much chewing. This is important for when you are exercising hard and breathing rapidly and is one reason why gels are commonly used – you are unlikely to choke on them!
Personally I don’t have a sweet tooth and found the Pocket Rocket bars to be a bit too “sugary” for my liking. However this is the case with gels too (and most sports nutrition products), they serve a purpose, we don’t eat them because we like the taste! If I was to pick a favourite it would be the berry flavoured Caffeine Kick although I’d be wary of just using that bar on a long race due to the high caffeine content. Friends have commented that they like the product too although there isn’t a consensus on which one tastes best.
VOOM Nutrition are based in Lancashire, close to both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District and their products are made in Britain. The staff are themselves experienced athletes from a range of sports and the products are created based on scientific research. Often nutritional products make claims that they will “improve your performance” without providing any evidence to say how or why! VOOM are much more open about their products and the VOOM website is very informative giving explanations of why the various ingredients have been used and with links to scientific research which validates their use. For example explaining how beta-alanine (used in the Beta Blast bar) can reduce muscle acidosis during high intensity exercise https://www.voomnutrition.co.uk/blogs/news/what-is-beta-alanine
The products are available from a number of outdoor shops or directly from the VOOM website
So if you are looking for an alternative to energy gels take a look at VOOM Nutrition’s Pocket Rocket bars. Easy to eat carbohydrates without the sticky mess!