We love real, whole foods, and we eat them as often as we can. But as athletes, and people living typically busy lives we know that fresh meals aren't always available. When we eat something from a package, we're particular about exactly WHAT is going in our bodies. If there's an ingredients list we say the shorter the better. When a product like Bearded Brothers comes along, we take notice. Organic, Raw, Vegan, and very few ingredients, we're all about it. Their original bars are fruit-based, utilizing figs, dates, nuts, and other dried sweet fruits like peaches and coconut. They are nutritious and the flavors are on point. Raspberry lemonade? Totally unique, and the prefect blend of sweet and citrus. This past month, Bearded Brothers debuted their newest line of bars, called Bearded Brothers BOLD. They have the same focus on great ingredients and nutrients, but the flavor profile is on the savory side. The sports nutrition and health food market is saturated with sweet bars right now, and people are clamoring for a change. Sometimes your stomach can't handle another chocolate chip peanut butter bar, or the classically vague "berry" flavor makes you want to gag. When your body is under stress food is hard to consume, so when you feel a salty or savory craving, you want to honor your body and fuel it with what it needs. The BOLD energy bars only use about 7 ingredients. A variety of nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and several different organic spices.
These bars are great for those looking for a change in flavor profile, but also for those who are looking to fuel their workouts with fats and proteins instead of sugars. Training your body to utilize fat as energy gives you greater endurance, as you have much more fat reserves in your body than glycogen. Increasing your fat intake while decreasing your carbohydrates will help you make this shift. Each bar has about 15 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, only 5 grams of sugar and 220-ish calories. You can see the pieces of nuts and seeds, so you know just what you're eating. Nuts and seeds are nutritional power-houses, and can give you great long-term energy. They are all held together with a tapioca syrup so the texture is a mix between soft and crunchy.
Texas BBQ: Being based in Austin, Texas, Chris and Caleb (the eponymous Bearded Brothers) have definitely had their fair share of high-quality barbecue. They've learned from the best, and have perfectly captured that classic BBQ taste in a bar. Like any good BBQ, these bars are a mix between slightly sweet, salty, and smoky. You won't be overwhelmed by any flavor, they are all subtle. I can't even tell you what a welcome relief this bar is during a long ride.
The Greek: The Greek bar will hit you up front with the sweetness of the cashew, and linger with the savory rosemary and oregano. Despite Mediterranean food being my absolute favorite cuisine (hello salty olives, pita bread, dolmas, and Feta cheese!) it was my least favorite of the 3 flavors. Please don't misunderstand, it's a good bar, but the herbs and spices are especially pronounced. If you want to ease into the savory bar category maybe don't start here.
Coconut Curry: In a shocking twist, the curry was my favorite flavor. I didn't even think I liked curry, so I approached this bar with trepidation. However, the flavor is on point. In general, the smell of curry is aggressive. Ever tried to cook it? Yeah, you'll be smelling it in your kitchen for about a month. However, the curry flavor in this bar is pronounced but not overwhelming. The turmeric has tons of nutritional benefits, and the coconut and seeds are loaded with the BEST kinds of fat to satisfy and energize.
Although a savory bar is different than what you have previously known, I really think you'll enjoy these. Your body will realize that you're able to satisfy its craving with these bars, and I don't think you'll be able to go back! Sure you still love the old classics, and might need to indulge in the sweet, but these newcomers are definitely here to stay.