bonk breaker energy bars

Bonking is never fun. It hurts, and it usually means your ride is over.

Bonk Breaker Energy Bars, on the other hand, will keep you going mile after mile, hopefully preventing any potential bonks along the way.

I never even noticed these bars till this past March, when the apple pie flavor was on the counter at REI (on clearance.) The price? A hefty $1.93 – and remember this is the clearance sale price!! So even on clearance, this bar costs more than a full price Clif Bar!

The regular retail price is $3 each, making these one of the most expensive energy bars I’ve ever seen. (The Skout Organic Trailbar is ever so slightly more expensive on a per-gram basis.)

Fortunately, the Bonk Breakers contain high-quality ingredients, don’t skimp on calories, and have that fresh baked taste that makes you question whether they were produced in a big factory or in your Grandma’s kitchen!

And then when I saw that they just became the official nutrition bar of USA Cycling, I knew it was time to review Bonk Breaker’s lineup.

official bar of usa cycling

Health and Nutrition Info

We’re going to look at the ingredients, but first, let me point out one thing. With these bars, since they actually do a spectacular job of creating a unique bar, each flavor is slightly different. They don’t just change one tiny ingredient – they actually change the bar!

Without further ado…

Peanut Butter & Banana Ingredients: B-Breaker TM (Rice Nectar, Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter [Peanuts, Salt], Honey), Organic Gluten Free Oats, Brown Rice Flour, Rice Crisps (Rice Flour, Rice Nectar, Salt), Non-GMO Brown Rice Protein, Flaxseed Meal, Natural Banana Flavor, Sea Salt.

This is awesome in every way! Rice and oats are my favorite sources of starchy carbs, and this bar is filled with them! And I love crunchy peanut butter!

I don’t know a whole lot about rice nectar, but it has to be better than agave nectar. I assume it’s just a variation on brown rice syrup.

Speaking of brown rice syrup, that’s the #1 ingredient on some of the other flavors. Just about every bar is based on brown rice and oats. The only exception I found was the almond butter flavor, which has almonds as the #1 ingredient (and rice and oats right behind it.)

I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Peanut Butter & Banana Nutrition Facts

Calories 225
Total Fat 8g
Total Carbs 35g
Fiber 2g
Sugars 16g
Protein 8g

At 225 calories, this is one of their lower calorie bars! The BlueBerry Oat flavor (which I thought would be a bit lower) is actually 240 calories. Coconut Cashew (as expected) is higher, at 260 calories and 11g fat.

It’s really cool though because you can adjust flavors depending on if you want a few more or less calories (or fat.) It’s also good to know there are still new-school bars that go over 200 calories. I need them! Too many bars nowadays are only 180-200 calories.

Carbs and protein are sufficient, and around the correct ratio for an endurance athlete. Fat varies from 6-12g, so watch that. (If you don’t do well with fatty foods during exercise, stick with the Blueberry Oat and Apple Pie flavors.) Fiber doesn’t go over 4g in any bar I’ve seen, so you should be fine there.

Bonk Breaker Taste Test

For this test, I sampled seven of Bonk Breaker’s flavors.

apple pie bonk breaker

Apple Pie

This is just like apple pie flavored baked oatmeal. It’s very similar to a homemade type of oat bar I’ve made. You’d think it came from a local bake sale!

It has chia seeds in it (which I first thought were poppy seeds or flax seeds) and you know it when you take a bite of the bar. That’s an interesting touch. The spices are noticeable but not particularly strong; instead, there’s quite a bit of apple flavor.

I feel like I could live on these things!

coconut cashew bonk breaker

Coconut Cashew

The first bite made me think, “this is one of the best bars I’ve ever tasted in my life.” I’m a huge fan of this flavor though. I think it was Larabar where I’ve had it before. This Bonk Breaker is possibly better, but it’s hard to say.

Regardless, combine the fresh-baked taste of a Bonk Breaker bar with cashew pieces and coconut flakes, and you have a winner in my book. This one gives you just the right amount of flavor and just a little sweetness.

I’m impressed by the texture, too. You can feel it all – the oats, the cashews, and the coconut – when you’re eating it.

peanut butter and jelly bonk breaker

Peanut Butter & Jelly

I’ve seen this flavor before, but never like this! This bar looks like an actual PB & J sandwich with the layers! Sure enough, it’s real strawberry jam in there between the two halves! It’s like two peanut butter flavor bars with the jelly in between.

Unbelievably, they recreated the joy of a real PB&J sandwich in this bar!! It’s unreal. It’s a really good tasting bar, but my excitement is mainly from the novelty of it all. Because really, you could just carry a smushed up PB&J sandwich with you while biking.

peanut butter and chocolate chip bonk breaker

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip

Tastes like a sweet peanut butter cookie (or perhaps peanut butter Rice Krispy square.) And it’s almost as soft as peanut butter fudge once you start chewing!

It has chocolate chips in it that are a great complement to the PB flavor. So there’s actually organic dark chocolate in this! (So, so much better than that so-called “chocolate” Skout bar.)

Not my favorite bar of the bunch, since the flavor is so common, but it’s a good one.

almond butter and honey bonk breaker

Almond Butter & Honey

Looking for a nice subdued flavor? This one is for you! It’s not bland, just not sweet. A somewhat similar experience as with the Coconut Cashew. It has some big almond chunks in there, and while the chunks look and taste like walnuts, the ingredients list says they are almonds.

An excellent choice if you don’t want to overwhelm your taste buds on extremely hot days or during intense racing. (Except I’m not a huge fan of the big almond chunks in that situation.)

peanut butter banana bonk breaker

Peanut Butter & Banana

This has always been one of my favorite flavor combos, for anything. I used to do peanut butter banana sandwiches ALL the time. Well, take a bite of this bar, and you can taste real banana. Even more realistic than banana flavor Hammer Gel. And then you taste the peanut butter. Surprisingly, the banana flavor seems to be the more potent of the two flavors.

Though the texture isn’t quite the same, this bar has the taste of a banana coated in natural peanut butter. It’s almost too realistic, and it’s a weird sensation.

Not my favorite bar of the lineup!

blueberry oat bonk breaker

Blueberry Oat

Similar to the apple pie one in that it could be something from a bake sale. The bar part is kind of bland, but the blueberries themselves are strong and potent. The bar could be thought of as blueberry pancakes, as you’re eating it. Really. Once it’s in your mouth, it’s not like you’re eating a “bar.”

Similar to that blueberry Skout bar – very good but doesn’t blow me away.

Overall, I’d have to say that Apple Pie and Coconut Cashew are my favorites. But they are all so good and very interesting, it’s hard to choose just one that stands out.

The Bonk Breaker Experience

Unlike most energy bars, or Power Bars at least, these bars are thick square blocks rather than long, thin rectangles. They’re pretty small but very heavy, packing from 220 up to 280 calories!

This shape is convenient if you like to shove the entire bar in your mouth at once and chew little bites off the edge. (It may sound strange, but it’s not an uncommon technique during mountain bike racing.)

What I don’t like is with this shape, you end up having a lot of excess foil in the wrapper. The bar practically rolls around in there, and if you’re not careful, you could accidentally drop the bar when you open it!

bonk breaker bar fits in my palm

On the plus side, the small size means they don’t take up much space in your jersey pocket.

They seem to hold up well to heat and cold. Personally I think the apple and blueberry bars are best at withstanding heat, likely due to oat content.

Once I realized how good these bars taste, I decided to use them mainly for post-workout recovery bars or convenient snacks when hiking – both situations where I could really savor each bite.

In these situations, the bar was refreshing and perked me up, probably because I thought I was eating dessert! Unfortunately, I didn’t get much satiety from the bar. It could be part mental, where because the bar is so small, it doesn’t satisfy my hunger, despite the high calorie count.

The small size, coupled with amazing flavor, it’s super easy to overeat these things! I went through seven bars in just a couple action-packed days!

And I’ll tell you what – the feeling of having a rock in your stomach came before the satiety did! Post-workout, it wasn’t a big deal, but I’d be scared to carry more than one of these during a workout.

My final verdict is…

These bars are so delicious, and taste so much like real food, that’s it’s dangerous for me to be around them. I just can’t resist eating them! (Unfortunately, at $3.00 each, I can’t afford to do that too often!)

If you can justify the price and resist the temptation to eat too many at once, these rice- and oat-based bars make for a wonderful, tasty source of carbs for fueling your big workouts.

Official website: www.BonkBreaker.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Bonk Breaker
Product: Bonk Breaker Energy Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-05-03
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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Levi Bloom is an experienced endurance athlete who has been training and competing for over 17 years. A former Cat 1 road and mountain bike racer (professional class on the regional circuit), he is now a cycling coach (USA Cycling Level 3 Certified) and sports nutrition coach (Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified).

2 Comments
  1. Is there data on the safety of bonk breaker chews? I took one chew and it really improved my performance. In fact, in spite of a nice 90 minute bike run at 15 MPH, I had trouble sleeping that night…..so they work

    My question is can hyping the body to that degree be dangerous? I liked very much the result, but am a bit concerned about safety

    I know it was not the 50 mg of caffeine as I drink 1-3 cups per day without noticeable effect

    Thanks for any advice

    PS. I am pushing 78, and 6 months post back surgery fusing L3-S1. Working toward some 65 mile charity runs in the fall and a 250 mile 5 day ride in Israel in the fall.

    BOTTOM LINE: I like the effect but wonder if there is data on safety.

    Thank you,
    CGB

    • @CGB

      I’m not that familiar with Bonk Breaker Chews, but I can look into it. There’s probably someone at the company that can share some information.

      What I can say is, sometimes you have something (a supplement) that has a dramatic effect on your body, even if the ingredients list doesn’t seem to support it. I’ve had that happen. It could be anything – perhaps it’s just a different type/source of caffeine than you’re used to.

      There’s always an element of danger with supplements, though.

      P.S. Good luck with those runs and rides! Wow!

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