Multipower may be better known in the world of gyms and bodybuilding, but this brand produces a wide range of products for many sports, including these Fruit Power bars, which are have been promoted by some professional cycling teams in the Tours of France and Italy. With a great taste and easy-to-eat texture, they're very handy source of energy for the rest of us.
As you might expect of a bar called Fruit Power, the main ingredients are - wait for it - fruit. Specifically, according to the Multipower website, this includes apple, pineapple, apricot and mango, albeit in various candied and concentrated juice forms. There's also cane sugar, oat flakes, rice crispies, sugar, maltodextrin and soya oil.
All in all, this creates a very tasty bar, with the mix of grains and fruit giving a moist texture. Despite the high fruit content, the flavour is not too sweet, and the bar's easy to eat on the bike – although on very hot days they can get a bit sticky inside the wrapper.
On the energy front, each bar (40g) provides 589 kJ or 138 kcal, with just under 30g of carb, per bar, plus a couple of grams each of fat and protein. Under test on long bike rides, I found one of these babies easily provides enough energy for about half-an-hour's decent pedalling.
A box of 24 bars costs £35 from the Multipower website, or a few quid less from the usual on-line stores. This works out at around £1.50 each; perhaps because of the high fruit content this is a bit more expensive than similar carb-based energy bars from other manufacturers like SIS, MuleBar and High5 which tend to cost around a pound - although weights and fruit content varies so it's a very rough comparison. On the Multipower website a box of 24 Fruit Power bars is currently reduced to £26.24 – which puts them on par.
Of course, you can buy 'normal' fruit and cereal bars in supermarkets for even less, but these sometimes have high proportions of unrefined sugar or saturated fat, which is not helpful on a long bike ride (because energy is delivered in a 'spike', after which you fall) as well as being less healthy.
Based on my experience, these Multipower Fruit Power bars are well worth trying. As with all energy products, it's best to try them when training, to make sure they agree with you, rather than using them for the first time in a race or important sportive. If they work for you, stick with them. If they don't, try something else.
Fruit and cereal bars with a good supply of carb, ideal for long bike rides; nice texture and taste, but slightly expensive
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Make and model: Multipower Fruit Power
Size tested: Price is for a pack of 24 - 8 sent, 4 tropical and 4 original flavour
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
This is an energy product, designed for use before or during a long ride, race or sportive. The Multipower website says: 'Fruit Power bar is the official bar of the 2014 Giro d'italia cycling race. Fruit Power contains just 1.5 grams of fat per bar and provides you with fast carbohydrates and nutrients to fuel your activity. With its natural fruit content of 48-65% (depending on flavor) this bar has a wonderfully fresh and fruity taste and will provide you with healthy energy during training and competition.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Multipower website goes on to highlight other features, including:
* Optimum carb-matrix for a fast & long lasting energy-supply
* Ideal for training & competition
* Suitable for Vegetarians
Based on my own experience, performance is very good, in that the bar provides plenty of energy, tastes nice and slips down easily, and has no ill-effects on the stomach.
Value isn't brilliant. This bar costs about £1.20 to £1.50 each, whereas roughly similar carb-based energy bars from other manufacturers costs a bit less – but these may have different fruit content, so it's no comparing exactly like for like. For many cyclists, it won't come down to price. Deciding to use this bar, or not, will depend on taste and performance - which in my experience are both good.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The product performed very well, in that the bar provides plenty of energy, tastes nice and slips down easily, and has no ill-effects on the stomach.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Taste, texture, good supply of energy (30g of carb in a 40g bar)
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Overall, this is a very good product in that it provides plenty of energy, tastes nice and slips down easily, and has no ill-effects on the stomach. On that basis it would score 9. However, the price is on the high side, meaning a point docked, giving an overall score of 8.
Age: 53 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Trail riding and rough-stuff (off road on a road bike)