Sponser Sport Food is a Swiss brand of nutrition products, now available in the UK. High Energy bars are mainly carbohydrate, with small proportions of protein, fat and fibre, which together are ideal for helping you through long sportives or training rides.
In a 45g bar, there's 28g of carb and 4.5g of protein. There's also 2.9g of fat and 3.1g of fibre. The carb consists of glucose and fructose which, according to Sponser, give a mix of quick-release and slow-release energy, while the milk-based protein helps delay fatigue. Some nutrition studies also show that protein simply 'helps carb work better', although the ideal carb:protein ratio is still a topic for debate.
Debate or not, in practice these bars were certainly effective. To test their performance, I ate three bars at hourly intervals during a five-hour ride. Combined with two bottles of carbohydrate energy drink, they powered me along very nicely indeed.
These High Energy bars come in two flavours: berry and apricot-vanilla. Neither is sweetened. The berry flavour tastes of, well, berry-flavouring. And the apricot-vanilla flavour tastes of not much at all, to be honest. But that's not a bad thing. When you're halfway through a 100-mile sportive, sticky bars with strong flavours can sometimes be too much to take.
The texture is dry, but not crumbly - ideal for eating on the go when cycling. The lack of sweeteners means a bar slips fairly easily out of the wrapping even when it's been in your back pocket for a few hours.
A single bar costs at £1.25 each from Sponser's on-line shop, and a box of 30 bars is £37.50, which is on a par with similar energy products.
Mild-tasting and highly-effective source of carbohydrate and protein - perfect for sustenance on long rides.
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Make and model: Sponser Sport Food High Energy Bar
Size tested: Berry, Apricot/Vanilla
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?
Sponser Sport Food's UK website says the High Energy bar has: "easily available short, medium and long chain carbohydrates [to] ensure a continuous supply of energy, while Medium Chain Vegetable oils (MCT) take over supplying additional slow release energy when all the carbohydrates have been used up. Betaglucans, with their gel-forming properties ensure a stable blood sugar level, without the rapid rise and equally rapid crash of other products. Sponser High Energy Bar also contains 10% protein to kick start muscle rebuilding and BCAA (branched chain amino acids) to delay fatigue and accelerate recovery."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sponser Sport Food's UK website lists the bar's numerous advantages, including: "High density, balanced energy for long and/or intense endurance events; Multiple carbohydrate types for long lasting energy; 10% protein to prevent muscle breakdown and speed recovery."
Sponser also recommended: "For maximum energy, consume a High Energy bar one hour before exercise. High Energy bars can also be eaten during long or intense exercise sessions for extra energy, or as a snack between meals."
With its proportion of protein, the High Energy bar could also be eaten as part of a recovery diet after a long hard ride, although specific revoery products usually have a higher protein content.
a good mix of ingredients, combined with great taste and texture
On a five-hour test-ride, three of these bars at hourly intervals powered me along very nicely.
A bar is 45g - about average for energy bars.
Not especially cheap, but the price is on a par with other similar energy products.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
This bar is designed to provide sustained energy on long bike rides. It does exactly that.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Mild and non-sweet taste, plus non-crumbly texture.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
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,