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Article: A better banana?

Kalkman bananen sportvoeding natuurlijk wielrennen gel bar reep

A better banana?

It's easy to compare one of our bars to a synthetic alternative and see why its a good choice but how about some tougher competition? Bananas often come top in surveys of favorite food for cyclists on the go, let’s examine why.

Cyclists that are ride long and hard need to find ways to take on carbohydrates on the way. An average banana contains around 15g of carbohydrate along with a useful amount of micronutrients, especially potassium which is a useful electrolyte. So far the banana is making sense. Most people also enjoy eating bananas, so they tick this box as well. So how could a banana be improved upon?

Well, bananas don’t stay in peak condition for long so you need luck or great planning to find a perfect specimen when you stop at the kitchen on your way to your bike. Then, once you’ve got to your bike, you need to work out a safe place to stash the banana. One banana isn’t enough for a longer or tougher ride so ideally you’ll bring a couple so that you don’t need to stop for food. Hmm, two bananas and your jersey pocket is getting a bit full, three is really getting awkward.

So, you’ve made it onto the road and are ready to start eating. Here is where another shortcoming of the banana emerges, it really needs two hands to peel and even Mick Jagger couldn’t manage the whole thing in one go. Do you try to eat half and bundle the rest back into your jersey? So your tempo is interrupted. Then there is the skin, sure it’s technically biodegradable but, unless you live somewhere tropical, doesn’t belong at the side of the road. It looks as though it's coming home with you.

Kalkman Energy Bites are a great upgrade on the banana. They are very compact, having a similar amount of carbohydrates to a banana in a single 20g serving. Energy Bites also contain a similar amount of potassium to a banana but go one better by balancing the potassium with sodium, which is important for an athlete. As a bonus the Energy Bites also contain a mix of other nutrient dense, natural ingredients from nuts to spices. Bananas only come in one flavor while Energy Bites are available in four natural varieties. And the energy bites will stay fresh for months so when the sun comes out you can just grab a few and get on your bike. 

It’s not all perfect; we haven’t completely solved the wrapping problem with Energy Bites. It takes a knack to open them with one hand (tip: bite the wrapper in the middle at the top as close to the seam as possible then tear downwards so that you don’t lose a sliver of the foil). Biodegradeable wrappers could help but unfortunately shorten the shelf life of Energy Bites too much. We’ll keep working on a better answer, let us know if you have any ideas.