Clif Bar Shot Bloks Energy Chews - Organic Energy Chews.
CLIF SHOT Bloks Chews-The Latest Energy Food Option for Endurance Athletes
Variety is the spice of life-we couldn't agree more. Clif understands ('cause we've been there) that after numerous hours of training and racing, the body needs to mix it up a little in terms of what goes in the tank. That's why they set out to create another energy food option that would complement our bars and gels. The result is CLIF SHOT Bloks chews. They're simple-to-handle, easy-to-chew, and provide similar nutrition to SHOT gel, so they'll fit seamlessly into your training and racing nutrition program.
Nutrition - Carbohydrates and Electrolytes
SHOT Bloks chews offer very similar nutrition to SHOT Energy Gel. The primary ingredient for both is brown rice syrup which provides easily assimilated carbohydrates for working muscles. Both products also provide the mineral salts known as electrolytes. These electrolytes allow electrical impulses to travel properly throughout your body, permitting normal bodily function. When you sweat, you start to deplete your electrolyte stores and experience potential performance decline, so it's best to help replenish them through food and fluid intake. One of their newest flavors, Margarita w/Salt, provides 210 mg of sodium which is 3 times the amount in other flavors. Sodium is the key electrolyte lost in sweat. Lose too much and performance declines dramatically, including a higher likelihood of muscle cramping. For hot days or for those that perspire excessively Margarita w/Salt is the way to go.
Form and Function
Clif Bar created SHOT Bloks chews, each in a 10g size, so that 3 chews provide 100 calories. That makes it easy to track caloric intake during long outings. There are 6 chews to a double-serve package, so one package provides 200 calories.
CLIF SHOT BLOKS chews are the first product in the SHOT line to be USDA certified organic, which means that each flavor contains a minimum of 95% Organic ingredients. We strive to use the most sustainable ingredients possible in our products. The environmental benefits of buying organic ingredients for our products have a direct positive impact on the air and water quality on this planet. CLIF SHOT BLOKS chews are USDA certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI).
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup Solids, Pectin, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Coconut Oil, Carnauba Wax.
The Skinny on Muscle Cramping and Sodium Needs of the Athlete
All too often endurance athletes experience muscle cramps, especially in the major muscle groups of the legs such as the quadriceps and hamstrings. The severity of the cramps can range from being a painful annoyance all the way to complete debilitation, ultimately causing the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish). Since no athlete wants this to happen he/she should understand how and why cramps happen in order to best prevent them.
There are 3 scientifically-validated causes of muscle cramping while training or racing. Clif Bar has provided 3 easy ways to counteract these causes:
1. Sodium Depletion via sweat leads to muscle nerve transmission problems which then leads to spontaneous muscle contraction (a.k.a. cramping)
- Solution: Counteract the sodium depletion by taking in additional sodium (from all sources) including energy products such as Margarita SHOT BLOKS.
2. Dehydration leads to changes in electrolyte concentrations in the blood which also leads to spontaneous muscle contraction (a.k.a. cramping)
- Solution: Continually hydrate with an electrolyte replacement drink such as CLIF SHOT Electrolyte. You'll not only take in needed fluid, but additional sodium as well.
3. Insufficient Training/Fatigue-If you ask your muscles to do more than they are trained to do, they can cramp.
- Solution: Sodium supplementation or rehydration won't help you here. Your best bet is to match your race pace and distance with the appropriate training program, then stick with that pace on race day.
It's worth noting that environmental factors play a decisive role in how quickly sodium depletion and dehydration set in. Racing in hot, humid and no-wind conditions will place greater demands on the body than if you're racing in cool temps with a light breeze.
If you're out there in harsh conditions, then you'll likely need to increase your overall electrolyte (including sodium) and fluid intake. As always try to train in the conditions that you'll race in, and experiment with your nutrition along the way to see what keeps you moving forward cramp-free.