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Found: Tasty energy and recovery treats from Picky Bars, Ascent, BeetElite & SmashPack

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Picky Bars are among our favorites thanks to their whole food ingredients and awesome flavors. At Sea Otter’s smorgasbord of new energy foods, this one wasn’t quite ready, but we did get to sample it’s unique take on a bar flavor. Blending a little bit of savory and spicy in with the usual sweet, the Picky Bar Moroccan Your World mixes turmeric with cardamom, ginger and pistachios to give it a Moroccan inspired flavor. Other main ingredients are dates, almond butter, sprouted rice protein, agave nectar, honey, brown rice crisps and sunflower butter. Most are organic, all are gluten, dairy, soy and GMO free.

Check out more good eats below…



SmashPack is a whey protein and fruit squeeze that provides 180 calories of real food. The ingredients couldn’t be better, just whey protein isolate (the quickest absorbing, purest form of whey), fruit, vitamin C, pectin, citric acid and natural flavor. Three flavors are offered – Tropical Fruit, Orange Peach and Mixed Berry. We’ve got a few samples on the way for review, but it’s available now at Target and on Amazon for about $3 per 5oz pouch.

Ascent Protein


If you prefer to mix your protein with your own fruits (or whatever), Ascent Native Fuel is looking like it could be the best source out there. They claim to process the whey directly from the milk in their own facility, which is different than the industry norm of filtering the whey off of cheese making processes and then buying it from mass production suppliers to relabel as your own.

Besides being less processed, they say it ends up with a higher Leucine content, which helps improve muscle repair and rebuilding. I’ve sampled the whey protein in both chocolate and vanilla and it’s good. I found it better to mix it with just 4oz of water or else the flavor profile is a bit weak, but that’s likely because there’s less flavor and other stuff added to it…which is a win in my book. They’re sweetened with the increasingly common blend of Monkfruit Extract and Stevia, which does have its own unique sweetness flavor but is a much better alternative than artificial sweeteners. Retail is $34.99 for a 27-30 serving bag (2lb, serving count depends on flavor, with unflavored getting the most).



Beet juice has been a staple of some pros’ pre-race regimen for its nitric oxide boosting powers, which helps open up blood flow for better oxygen delivery to working muscles. But, liquid is heavy, the TSA doesn’t like it, and it’s not always easy to transport multiple servings on big trips. So, there’s BeetElite, a powdered (dried crystals, technically) beet juice that makes it easy to bring with you to the races and big rides. It’s concentrated and tested for nitrate levels, claiming to deliver the same NO boosting power as almost 34oz of beet juice, except that you can mix the 10g packet into just a few ounces of water and slam it half an hour before the ride.

It’s available in regular and black cherry flavor, each slightly sweetened with Stevia. Retail is $30 for 10 single serving packs or $40 for a 20-serving canister.

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