by Mary Kay Spellman
My first inclination as I picked up the product from Rogue and read the label was to say, “hey, yeah, no thanks,” when I saw the calorie and sugar counts (200 calories per bar, 40 calories from fat, and 20 grams of Sugars.) One of the biggest reasons I got into running was to aid in losing some unwanted weight, but as someone who is fairly new to running I figured I could use any edge I could get. Waking up with a sore core (yes, thank you, Coach Robyn, who I affectionately refer to as “the Punisher”) and then treacherous 100 degree runs, I welcomed the thought of a “muscle recovery” bar.
I decided to try my first bar after a grueling quality workout. Left the bar in my cubby at Rogue and hit the road. Got back and decided I would eat it before heading to the house (a good 15-20 minute drive away). The first thing I noticed was how hard it was to pull the wrapper away from the bar; it was a bit on the sticky side. I am not sure how much of this was bar versus heat related, but I’ll move on…The bar itself has a…ahem, an interesting brown color and texture. Smelled ok, so what the heck? Took my first bite and much to my delight, it was good! I am not sure that I would call the advertised flavor “peanut butter chocolate,” as it tasted like a Tootsie Roll! The consistency wasn’t as “solid” as one, and you could pull and tug on the bar like a Tootsie, but it didn’t have the same “give.” Now I see where the high sugar count comes into play. It tasted really good, and it was hard to believe I was eating something that professed it would be good for me.
Woke up the morning after my first bar, and nothing, zip, nada, zilch. I didn’t feel different, and the aches I had been feeling from a core workout two days earlier, and a hard run the night before still lingered. I wasn’t sure if this was due to overworking my body, hoping it could quickly recover, or the lack of product claims.
Ate my second bar after a midweek run with one of my Rogue compadres. After the run I felt so great I decided to do a few miles on the stationary bike. Hey, the Olympics had been on all week, and I was feeling motivated! The bar this time seemed a little more solid; I guess the heat had played a role in my having the first bar earlier in the week and this bar came from the box happily stationed in my kitchen. Woke up the next day feeling great! My legs didn’t ache, no nagging soreness at all.
But here is where the trouble began….
The following day….so, here I follow Rogue rules and take a day off, then I had my Saturday long run. HORRIFIC run! My legs had absolutely nothing in them. I felt as though I was lugging around 2 cement pipes instead of human flesh. I hadn’t had a run that bad since I took up running months before. Did the bar give me false hopes? Did I only feel relief because I wasn’t actively exercising on that in-between day?
So, horrible run or not (and yes, I know there will be good days and bad days) I tore into my next bar right after my long run. Still delicious and still giving me that chocolate fix I crave. I would recommend consuming bar with a large glass of water. It leaves you a bit thirsty. The Accel Recover Bar could easily be labeled as a meal replacement bar. I ended up going hours before I was hungry again, only consuming water and a couple of cups of coffee.
Ate a bar after my quality workout (hills- ick!) and a jaunt on the stationary bike. Can you say jaunt when you don’t go anywhere? But I digress…. Woke up the following morning with a few aches, but nothing intolerable.
In all, I would say I am 50/50, i.e. have mixed feelings, on whether the bars truly work as advertised. As my body has adapted to new things and grown stronger, perhaps the recovery time has just decreased because of the adaptation, not some miracle cure. I wouldn’t say they don’t work at all and not very well worth trying; if anything, you have a nice chocolatey snack or lite meal.
Keep on keeping on!