Well, my least favorite seems to be those new Snickers Marathon bars. How this is an easy to eat energy bar is beyond me, it feels like an overly sticky Snicker bar that's squished down to its flat & rectangular shape.
As far as my favorites go, Balance's lineup tastes great to me.
Rick Karboviak, CSCS
I agree with the Snickers marathon bars. My dad fed me snickers when I was little during swim meets, so its great now with these! I also like the Tri Berry GU. STAY AWAY FROM ANYTHING COLA FLAVORED (ie ClifShots)...nasty.
Frugal lass that I am, I'm always looking for ways to save money. I've found that General Mills Milk & Cereal bars have similar potassium, protein, sodium, carb and calorie values as Power Bars, and that dried apricots have similar values to gels. They are both easy to chew and to digest, for me anyway, and are a fraction of the cost. I've used 'em on my 20-milers.
Me again: Frugal Lass. I like debates. I started endurance running a year ago, after 20 years of "recreational" running (15 miles/week), and I've noticed what a powerful Bar/Gel culture there is among us amateur athletes. I've read a lot of runner's posts, from beginners, or those not training for a long event, and yet they're asking which bar or gel they should buy! But I've always questioned their worth. Most or all of these products offer electrolyte replacement, protein, quick-burn fuel, a multivitamin, and a swipe at your wallet. Call those a, b, c, d and e. For -a-, a sports drink does the same thing and you don't need even that unless you work out over an hour or it's very hot; for -b-, get that in a balanced diet, especially the right ratio after a workout; for -c-, you can get that 30-60 grams of readily-available carb recommended during an hour or longer workout from the sports drink--(I don't feel like I need food unless I go over 2 hours); for -d-, balanced meals and/or a daily vitamin; for -e-, put those extra dollars towards your next pair of shoes. In my opinion these products are, for the most part, a waste of money for the non-pro. (But, then, I run in salt-and paint-stained, 8-year old shorts, too!)
Mine are the regular Clif Bars: cheap at Trader Joe's, taste great (favourites are Chocolate Chip and Almond Fudge) and have lots of good carbs. No point in eating expensive bars that taste like cardboard!
i buy tiny zip-locking bags sold at craft stores and put about a teaspoon of pure honey in them ....and carry 4-5 with me on long runs....every 4-5 miles i bite off a tiny snip of a corner and suck out the honey - just like energy-gel packs.
My favorite are Cliff bars. Any flavor will do. I have never tried any gels, but I don't run more then 10 miles. I generally don't digest things very well during my workouts, so I just wait couple of hours, and then eat a Cliff bar.
Been running for some time now. Have gone thru phases, for a while it was GU(as in Gu-k'naid)-as an eletrolyte\sports drinks to consume during runs. What I like about Gu is 1)I mix it, 2)I mix it on the weak side . I definitely don't enjoy the heavy sweet of a gatoraid from the bottle. I usually buy gatoraid mix and mix it (weak) in a sports bottle. Or I'll dilute the store bought with half water. I used a lot of power gels and liked the tangerine. What I'll do a lot is eat a few fig newtons, apricots, or gummy bears. I've found that the post exercise activities are important. I've been having good results with a large glass of 2% milk post workout. Also I've been trying/experimenting with animal based dietary glycogen. Liver is a good source for this animal based carbohydrate. I'm not sure if it is the vitamin A, or the iron but liver has helped me post workout with recovery.
I like Crank and ClifShots. I do one around 7, 14 and 21 mile marks. I also do gatorade endurance or amino vital if I can get it. I chase all of these with water and sip something about every 3/4 mile. I am a slow marathoner and have had heat stroke so am very careful and constantly monitor my body thermostat (which is hard to do because one of the symptoms of heat stress is disorientation so my motto is 'when in doubt,slow down.')