Nathaniel Mah is a Nordic Combined athlete and represents Canada on the world cup circuit.
This review will focus on 3 main points that I believe people look for when trying to find a bar for that suits all their training needs: taste, effect, and portability.
First off let me start by saying that this bar truly tastes like beets, not fake beets, but real, authentic beets. I personally love beets, I eat them a lot partly because I love the taste but also because being a high performance endurance athlete I know the benefits of eating beets. Now realistically if you’re going for a run, or bike, or anything where you’re not carrying a backpack, bringing beets may be difficult. Technically you could shove a few zip-locked beets into your jersey pocket but good luck eating them while on the bike, have you had a beet before, it goes everywhere! But with Xact Nutrition’s Fruit3 E-Beet bar this suddenly becomes possible. I’ve now been using and testing the bar for the past few months as I travel and Compete around the world as a Nordic Combined Athlete.
1. How does E-Beet taste?
Now let’s start with taste, this is probably the most important aspect of an energy bar. Lots of bars taste good, like a snickers bar for example, it tastes super good, but eating a couple of those during a training session may not make you feel so good. Like I said before the E Beet bar truly tastes like beets, so if you absolutely can’t stand beets, then maybe another flavour of bar offered by Xact Nutrition is what you’re looking for. The nice thing about the E Beet bar is it also has a surrounding layer of sugar on the outside of the bar, this gives the bar a nice candy like taste when you first put it in your mouth, that slowly turns to beet flavour. I think that having a sugary taste is super important when it comes to an energy bar. It’s right when I hit that 90 minute mark into a workout that I start to feel a little sloppy and slow, having a tasty snack I find mentally and physically recharges me and helps me get through the rest of the workout. If I’m being honest, I have a hard time not eating these bars while I’m just sitting around not training. I find that a lot of bars seem to compromise on the taste vs effect debate. Lots of companies are able to make great tasting bars, for example a vector bar or clif bar tastes great, but you’re mostly eating empty calories and a small amount of protein that may work as something to fill your belly, but doesn’t actually give you any electrolytes which is what your body needs during a workout. The E Beet bar doesn’t compromise taste, or effect, which leads us to the next area of critique for this bar.
2. Effect of E-Beet during training
I personally use this bar for 2 type of workouts, high intensity, or long zone 1
endurance sessions. Let me make something clear, this bar was created for before, or during exercise, it is not a protein or recovery bar so eating it after your training session may taste great and make you happy, but will have little effect on your performance. Xact does make a bar for post workouts called the PROKRUNCH, but the FRUIT3 E-Beet bar is a performance energy bar.
I use the E-Beet bar about 10 minutes before an interval session, or a race. It’s small, about the length of a pinky so it won’t make my stomach feel full or sick during the session. During a long endurance session I’ll use it about 60 minutes in if I’m doing a 120 minute workout, and if anything longer than 180 minutes i usually have 2 spread out through the session. As we all know eating and drinking during a long training session is super important.
The Dreaded Bonk
You may have heard the term “bonking” before, bonking is what happens when you don’t eat or drink during a long training session and i’ll tell you from first hand experience, it is not fun! The crazy thing about these little bars is I truly do feel a difference about 10 minutes after eating one. It could be totally mental, it could be the sodium, potassium, iron and magnesium having an impact, or it could just be that i’m rewarding my efforts with a treat and that gets me pumped up! I have no idea, but the fact is I feel re-energized and ready to crush out the rest of the session. The cool thing about the E-Beet bar is your not just putting sugar in your body like a lot of other energy bars. A really popular energy food that I used to use and plenty of people still use is the clif bar blocks, and the honey stinger chews. Now I’m not trying to put down these products as they do work for lots of people, but if you’re going to put something in your body it may as well have other nutritional benefits in it besides just sugar. The Clif bar blocks and Honey Stinger Chew’s do contain a small amount of potassium and sodium but about half as much as 1 single E-Beet bar. And they’re both about 2-3 times the size. Besides having more sodium and potassium, the E-Beet bar also contains 6.5 mg of Iron, 32 mg of Magnesium, and 50 mg of antioxidants. Plus once again, it tastes like beets!
3. Practicality – how portable is it?
Now finally let’s talk about portability, for me this is huge. Usually when I go out for a training session I like to carry as little
as possible and be as light as possible. If i’m going for a roller ski or cross country ski I carry my water belt, if I wanted I could f
it around 20 E-Beet bars in it so as far as storage in my water belt goes, with 1 E Beet bar there is plenty of room for other things such as my phone, car keys, camera, etc! But if you don’t use a water belt when you train and you’re more of a pocket person then this bar is really perfect for you. Like I said earlier it’s about the size of your pinky, so in a pocket it’s small enough that you may not even know it’s there. I actually know that for a fact as every once in a while I find one of these bars in a pocket to one of my
jackets or pants that I must have trained in and forgotten it was there. These bars are small enough that they fit in the waistband pocket of my 2XU ¾ length tights, so if i’m running with just a t shirt and tights on I can still carry one with me. If you’re travelling like I do they don’t take up lots of room in your bag either, I started my 3 months of living out of a bag with about 100 various Xact Nutrition bars, they all fit in a small ziplock and go everywhere I do with ease! What i’m trying to get at is these things are small but don’t compromise on the nutrients inside them. Compared to any other bar their size, they double or sometimes even triple the nutrients inside without any artificial or fake ingredients.
So all in all, I’m in love with this bar! I’ve been a Nordic Combined athlete since I was 6 years old and have had plenty of experience with energy bars, GU’s, Protein bars, you name it! None of them match the taste, portability, effect or nutritional content of Xact Nutrition’s FRUIT3 E-Beet bar! If you don’t believe me, I say try it for yourself!
Check out Nathaniel Mah’s athlete site