hammer nutrition energy bar

For years, I was a PowerBar, Clif Bar, and GU gel user. I never really bothered with the Hammer Nutrition stuff, but after hearing so many good things about it, I figured I’d try to go exclusively Hammer for a while.

And I figured an 8-hour solo mountain bike race would be a great time to try it! Along with the gels and drinks, the Hammer Bar functioned as my go-to energy bar.

In general, the Hammer bar is a well-balanced, natural energy bar that fits in with Hammer’s philosophy. Unlike most energy bars, this one is based on almond butter, giving it a more balanced fat/carbohydrate/protein profile. It’s pretty cool, but different, so let’s review it…

Ingredients and Nutrition

Let’s start by listing the Almond Raisin ingredients:

Certified Organic Ingredients: Organic Almond Butter, Organic Date Paste, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Organic Bio Sprouts™ – Flax, Organic Raisins, Organic Bio Sprouts™ – Quinoa, Organic Sesame Seeds.

As you can see, there is a good combination of nutrients from natural, organic ingredients. Rather than a bunch of corn syrup, Hammer uses date paste and agave nectar. That is then mixed with almond butter and rice protein to create a well-balanced bar.

Nutritionally, it looks perfect for endurance events.

As with the LaraBar, these are very natural and would be good for the health-conscious athlete. What sets the Hammer bar apart from even the Larabar is the balance of fat and protein with the typical carbohydrate content.

Taste Test

First, I have to mention the texture, as it’s unique. This bar is based on almond butter, which makes it really wet and oily, almost like a paste, rather than a solid bar. Good news – it goes down very easily!

I guess it’s most comparable to a Dr Will Bar as far as texture. It’s similar to the Larabar, but slightly more oily.

hammer nutrition bar

Chocolate Chip: Has a moderately strong dark chocolate taste. It’s much closer to cocoa than to a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar, but it’s not actually bitter. I tasted a few chocolate chips in there, too.

The taste is alright if you like chocolate, but I don’t plan to have this flavor again.

hammer nutrition bar

Cashew Coconut Chocolate Chip: Chocolate and coconut combo really reminds me of a Mounds bar. Coconut is noticeable in the texture and adds a sweet flavor. There is some cashew taste in there, but if that wasn’t part of the name, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it. And while chocolate is prevalent, I only noticed one true chocolate chip in there.

A pretty good flavor overall. It’s sweeter and much better tasting than the plain chocolate chip.

hammer nutrition bar

Almond Raisin: Good taste, like a not-too-sweet oatmeal cookie. Contains whole raisins, which really stand out, since the rest of the bar is so soft and smooth.

My favorite Hammer bar!

Hammer Bar, In Use

My first Hammer bar was during an endurance race at a pitstop. The bar was so soft I ate the whole thing really quick. Bad idea! It hit my stomach like a rock. It bothered me for a while, but I was fine later. No upset stomach or anything, I just ate it too fast.

On future rides I paced myself and took smaller bites. That worked much, much better!

The Hammer worked fine throughout my tests – it tasted good, went down easy, gave me some energy, and didn’t upset my stomach.

The downfall was that it was not filling at all. It’s a 220 calorie bar, but it’s very small, so it seems like you’re not eating much. I tried having two in an hour, and I just kept getting hungrier.

It’s small in size because it’s calorie-dense (full of fat from the almond butter.) But I just didn’t get as much satiety as I expected.

What’s also holding me back in using Hammer bars is the price. Be warned – they’re about $2.50 each. For that price (and since there’s nowhere to get them at a discount,) I’d consider just buying a jar of almond butter and eating that with a spoon during pit stops!

My final verdict is…

These are about as healthy as you get for an energy bar, and they taste good, too. The only problem I had with them was the lack of satiety when used during moderately paced endurance events (the more intense the exercise, the less I had this issue.)

If you’re looking for a healthier, more natural energy bar, definitely try the Hammer Bar and see if it works for you.

Official website: www.HammerNutrition.com

Buy online: www.REI.com

Product Review Details
Company: Hammer Nutrition
Product: Hammer Nutrition Energy Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Date last updated: 2010-08-26
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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