Loving the BITE: Coconutz Fuel Review and Giveaway

16
Aug
2012

As if you didn’t already know, I tend to love all things coconut…especially organic coconut oil.  I use it for fuel, especially in recovery, for Daily Nutrition, for my kids’ nutrition, and in various ways around the house.  And recently, Casey Zaugg the owner of Coconutz Fuel, contacted me after reading one of my posts on Coconut Milk Ice-Cream.  He simply asked if I’d like to sample Coconutz Fuel Energy Balls as an athlete and sports nutritionist.  He didn’t ask for a post or even a mention on my blog or Loving the Bike.  So this week, instead of heading to the kitchen and making our own Loving the Bite Fuel, let’s take this opportunity to sample a product that’s already out there.

In his email, Casey described his fuel option as a “raw, all-natural energy ball with a fruit-based shell (dates, various other dried fruits) and a savory internal nut butter to be eaten during exercise. Most importantly, though, is the use of coconut oil infused throughout the product, providing quick energy for athletes as well as the host of other benefits found in coconut products.”  Although this sounded great to me as a sports nutritionist, the athlete is me was a little weary – I’d tried organic coconut oil in both pre-training and during-training nutrition, and came away both times with an “unsettled stomach”(eating it straight or mixed with peanut butter has always worked great for me in recovery).  But, I’m always up for new (and free) fuel, so I thought I’d give it a shot as I headed to Crested Butte, CO for a weekend of mountain biking.

I used the Coconutz Fuel Energy Balls on the Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman Gulch Trail, riding from Crested Butte South.  With a name like that, you know it’s got to be good, and long.  And it is.  Three challenging climbs, and even more importantly, three fantastic descents culminating in 32 fun switchbacks down to the parking lot before riding back on Cement Creek Road (~34 mile lollipop loop from CB South, ~3500 ft. elevation gain, ~4.5 hours total).  And, although I wouldn’t consider it “race-pace,” we rode it steady and never allowed extra time for foods to digest…the perfect challenge for a new fuel option.

Product: Coconutz Fuel Energy Balls

Pros:

  • Ingredients promote long-lasting energy – dried fruits, agave, oats, chia seeds, organic coconut oil, nut butters…yet, still not hard on the stomach.
  • High-quality ingredients: All natural, all pronounceable, non-GMO.  That’s nice.
  • Vegan and gluten-free.  I don’t require this within my diet personally, but I coach many clients who do.
  • Taste & Texture: Great!  Not too sweet.  Not sticky.  Easy to get down and really appetizing during the ride.
  • Packaging: I appreciate the reusable tube packaging and refills.  Cuts down on waste and keeps your fuel from getting smashed in your pack.
  • Organic coconut oil: Has the advantage of easy digestion, quick energy, and steady blood sugars.  And, unlike straight coconut oil, no stomach upset for me!

Cons (or more accurately, my personal and professional preferences/critique):

  • I would like to see more sodium.  I know, in an age of anti-salt, it’s weird to say or hear from a dietitian.  But, when sweating buckets on a summer ride, athletes need upwards of 400-700 mg sodium per hour.  Some can come from a good electrolyte drink.  But, most athletes depend on their food sources as well, and Coconutz only provides ~50 mg (at most) per entire package.
  • I think agave is a good choice for a sweetener, but with its natural enzymes, antioxidants, and steady energy provisions, my first choice would be organic honey (has provided steady energy similar to maltodextrin in research).  Although, it’s not vegan; and, may be why it was excluded.

Overall, I felt great on the ride and feel that Coconutz definitely contributed to good, steady energy throughout it.  I encourage any reader to give these a try!  They definitely have my stamp of approval and I look forward to using them in the future.  I’d love to see how they perform in sub-freezing temps…since they are bite-size, they may be perfect for cold-winter sports (winter bikers, ice-climbers and back country/Nordic skiers deal with frozen, inedible fuel too often).

Try Coconutz Fuel For Yourself:

The CocoNutz Fuel contest is now closed.  Congratulations to The Group Ride, who wins a starter kit.  Thanks to all of you who left comments.

 

After reading all of this, would you too like to try Coconutz Fuel?  Well, you may be in luck because Casey’s giving a Starter Pack away to one lucky Loving the Bike reader.

All you have to do is enter a comment below, on why you’d like to try them, or on what you already think about them (if you’ve already tried them).  I’ll choose a commenter at random for the prize at noon on Friday August 17th, mountain time (so get your comments in soon!).

Post-Script:  Since writing this review, Casey has provided this feedback:

  • Agave was chosen as the sweetener due to the desire to have a vegan product (as you assumed)
  • Regarding how the CocoNutz Fuel balls work in sub-freezing temperatures, they work great! We sponsored a frozen bike race and the balls performed wonderfully in 16 degree (Fahrenheit) temps. Additionally, we had an ice climber review the product and she loved them (http://www.examiner.com/review/coconutz-fuel-bite-size-superfood-energy-balls-review). They worked great for her in the cold temps as well.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Enjoy Your Ride
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21 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: Coconutz Fuel Review and Giveaway ”

  1. Emily C on August 18, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Went Paleo in March and this seems like a great source of energy for long-distance tri-training!

  2. Kimstrong on August 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Love coconut and would love to sample the coconutz~

  3. Kelli Jennings on August 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Just 35 more minutes…anyone else want in on this Coconutz Fuel give-away???

  4. Dan on August 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I love coconut and I would like to try these

  5. Sean Willson on August 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I’d love to give them a shot on my next big ride, Sub-5 hour century. I’m always looking for tasty and portable energy in the bike.

  6. Marjolein Schat on August 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Sounds like a great product. I’ll have to look for it at my local stores, or suggest it if they don’t carry this product. I like the idea of something solid.

  7. Kelli Jennings on August 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    The texture was a nice change from gooey-ness and stickiness of many other sports foods. They worked well for me in addition to my homebrew carbs + lytes drink – so I was able to get in all the lytes, carbs, and fluids needed.

  8. Brandon Eason on August 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I love coconut and like the ball-shaped bite size bits. The look also reminds me of malted milk balls. :)

  9. Anthony Lussier on August 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I love coconut oil. I use it for everyday cooking all the time. I try to use it in my post ride shakes as well. This would be a welcomed opportunity to try something with the benefits of coconut out on the bike too!

  10. Rebecca on August 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I am so new to cycling and fueling that I would love a chance to get started on the right foot! And I’m a huge fan of all things coconut.

  11. Kelli Jennings on August 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Awesome! Thanks for the comments so far. I was really excited to share this post as I really think it’s a great product that will work well for many cyclists. And, I just added that I’ll choose the prize winner at noon (mtn time) tomorrow, so keep the comments coming!

  12. Eric Storms on August 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I am training for a century and have some long rides coming. I’d love to give these a try and see how they compare to my current fueling strategies.

  13. Sarah on August 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I’m up for anything that gives me more energy. I am gluten free so this looks like it will work well for me.

  14. matt mccluskey on August 16, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I’d like to try them. I love coconut.

  15. Tom Bike on August 16, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I would like to give it a try. Can you send it to Brazil?

  16. Bill on August 16, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I would like to try this. That coconut milk ice cream also sounds tasty as well.

  17. Jeremy on August 16, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I have learnt to trust the advice of Kelli so I would like to try this product out. I’m always interested in trying out new fueling options.

  18. The Group Ride on August 16, 2012 at 7:18 am

    This sounds like a nice alternative to the usual energy fuels out there. I would love to try it out.

  19. Lisa on August 16, 2012 at 7:10 am

    I love coconut as well! I’m willing to try anything that tastes good and is easy on the stomach.

  20. Scott in DFW on August 16, 2012 at 6:52 am

    I’m lacking in my on bike nutrition and have been looking for a tasty yet effective product all summer And I like coconut.

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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.

Answer:

Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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