Energy bars promise to improve your performance, delivering a power boost far greater than is found in a humble banana. But do they actually work? And why do they always taste so awful? Emma Townshend investigates the new sugar rush.
Sunday November 25, 2007
Observer Sport Monthly
The boxing gym in Hercules Road is crammed into railway arches behind Waterloo station and the rumble of trains going overhead every minute or so sounds like the hunger pangs of an underfed giant sleeping in the room next door. Boxers are notoriously picky about food in a sport where weight is such an issue, and Tom Freije, former British Universities middleweight champion, is no exception. Here for a Saturday-morning workout, Freije is summing up fellow students’ attitudes to sports snacks: ‘On the rowing squad, in the rugby team, amongst the boxers, there are PhD biochemists, there are physiologists, there are people doing neurology doctorates. These guys are really knowledgable about food and nutrition, they do a lot of research on the internet. And, yes, they do use energy bars for a boost before a workout.’
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