Do you know what a “Bonk” is? When speaking about endurance sports, according to Wikipedia, “hitting the wall,” or the “bonk” describes a “condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles which manifests itself by precipitous fatigue and loss of energy.” You know it…you’re in your zone, and all of a sudden, you’re huffing and puffing and can’t catch your breath. You bend over and just pray for it to end. Once you have “bonked,” you never want to go there again! So I introduce to you…Bonk Breaker. Owned and operated by elite level athletes Jason Winn and Chris Frank, the bars were first “cooked up” in Jason’s apartment kitchen along with his mom in 2005. In hopes of creating the “World’s Greatest Energy Bars,” they combined great flavors by using simple, fresh ingredients.
Their bars are Certified Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Soy-Free, and each bar contains less than 10 ingredients. Bonk Breakers are all-natural with no preservatives or artificial flavors (yay!) They currently have 11 flavors; PB & J and Almond Cherry Chunk are considered “High Protein,” with 15 grams of protein per bar. The “regular” energy bars come in several flavors; PB & J, PB & Chocolate Chip, Almond Butter & Honey, Blueberry Oat, Apple Pie, Espresso Chip, PB & Banana, Fig and their newest flavor (and my favorite!), Coconut Cashew. They are priced between $2 to $3 a bar; a little steep, but you can find lots of discounts online and worth the price for high quality ingredients, including organic gluten-free oats, brown rice flour and natural almond butter.
I’ve tried a few of their bars about an hour and a half before my workouts. They are pretty big, sometimes I only need half. They are chewy and tasty, sort of like a cookie bar, and like I said, I LOVE the new coconut cashew bar! They certainly helped fuel my workouts (and I’ll be the first to disclaim I am NO “elite athlete,” we’re talking about a boot camp class or a workout DVD in the garage). They are convenient and easy to have on hand. I have spoken before about getting our nutrients from whole foods, but this is a great bar for those times when you need something on the run. Just make sure you drink plenty of fluids with it!
As far as young athletes go, I love these bars because the regular energy bars have a carbohydrate:protein ratio of 4:1, which works great for young athletes needing a snack prior to exercise, and ideal during the “golden window” immediately following exercise. They can also be a great option for those long days of tournament play when there’s only an hour and a half between games, not enough time for a full meal. We have discussed high protein diets for young athletes, http://doctorjacq.com/high-protein-diets-young-athletes-yes/, and as much as I don’t think kids need to consume high quantities of protein, this may be a reasonable answer for those of you who have asked me about good protein sources for your child who refuses to eat meat, dairy or nuts. Some of you have asked me about high calorie supplements for your child who is underweight; this bar, at around 250 calories per bar, may just do the trick.
Overall, Bonk Breaker is a good, wholesome energy bar that will fuel workouts, provide energy for long games or training sessions, and contains the right nutrition for young athletes for pre and post exercise recovery. Check out their website http://www.bonkbreaker.com/ and don’t ever “Bonk” again!