Barely Functioning and MuleBar Review

Hey hey hey, I’m back! My holiday in Orlando and Dallas was AWESOME. It was just amazing. I’ll do a full reap when I’m back to normal functioning and get my schizz together…At the moment I’m just about coping with regular life.

We got back on Saturday morning about 7.30am British time (1.30am Dallas time – ouch). I had a pretty terrible flight back. Leading up the flight I felt really ill – like massive stomach cramps going on. So the first hour of the flight was basically Ben holding my hand and me wincing at cramps which felt like my stomach was being torn in two. This meant neither of us could relax. Eventually after standing up and pacing at the back of the plane things calmed down and we could finally just chill. What a trooper Ben is to deal with me! I watched Gone Girl which was really good. Rosamund Pike is amazing!

I’m such a light sleeper that sleeping was really hard (especially as there was a lot of turbulence) so after 2 hours or so I gave up and watched Whiplash instead. Definitely a good move. What a film! I definitely recommend. It is so tense!

Saturday and Sunday are basically as blur of tiredness. I slept for 12 hours on Saturday night but woke up exhausted, dizzy and disorientated. Basically I felt rough. Like awful. Not just tiredness, but a deep exhaustion and confusion. I’m feeling more normal now but still tired. Ahh the joys of long-haul flights!

Anyway before I get back into the swing of things, I have a review. I was kindly sent some MuleBar energy products to review a few weeks ago. The company sounds brilliant. The idea of the products came from these two guys who wanted energy bars that tasted good and didn’t upset their stomachs when they did crazy things like climbing the Andes! They made prototypes in their own kitchens and, in their own words, “peddled them around” races (source) to get people to try them and give feedback. I love that the products were born this way – it just feels so much more “real” that way, you know?

Mule Bar Energy Pack

I was sent a range of different type of bars/gels and different flavours. I was quite intrigued by a curry flavoured one!

Mule Bar Energy Pack 2

ReFuel Protein Bars (find HERE)

This is their answer to protein shakes. They’re basically high protein to help the growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass after exercise (not necessarily climbing Everest or the Andes though!) What’s cool about them is that they’re the only Fairtrade protein bars on the UK market. There’re also no synthetic ingredients, artificial preservatives, colourings, flavourings or palm oil, and are suitable for vegetarians.

Mule Bar Protein Bars

I was sent two flavours: Chocolate Date and Chocolate Banana.

Chocolate Date Nutritional Info:

  • Calories per 65g serving: 240cal
  • Protein: 13.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 31.8g
  • Of which sugars: 27.9g
  • Fat: 6.7g
  • Of which saturates: 1.6g
  • Fibre: 2.5g 
  • Salt: 0.1g

And the ingredients don’t look awful at all (compared to some energy bars!).

Mule Energy Bar Chocolate Banana

Thoughts? I tried the Chocolate Date one and Ben tried the Chocolate and Banana one (I’m not a big banana fan – other than actual bananas strangely enough). We both thought they were really tasty. Very sticky, chewy and sweet and it felt “naughty” eating it, you know? Nice and filling too without any synthetic after taste. This would be a good snack between lunch and dinner, or (and this is how I would use it) straight after a race when you know food might be a while away but you need something. The protein and sugar in it will be perfect for muscle recovery and tide hunger over. Alternatively, when you’re up a mountain and need an easy snack! 😉

Energy Bars (find HERE)

Apparently easy on the stomach and digestion, these are ideal for during exercise for the slow release energy they provide. They’re Fairtrade and organic certified, and contain no synthetic ingredients, artificial preservatives, colours, flavourings or palm oil, and are suitable for vegetarians. And they have a compostable wrapper!! So if you do drop the rubbish accidentally then it’s not going to harm the environment.

Mule Bar Energy BarsI was sent five different flavours: Apple Strudel, Jimmy’s Choc Orange, Eastern Express Savoury, Mango Tango and Summer Pudding.

Mango Tango Nutritional Info:

  • Calories per 56g serving: 201cal
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbohydrate: 36g
  • Of which sugars: 23g
  • Fat: 5g
  • Of which saturates: 0.5g
  • Fibre: 2.g
  • Salt: 0.04g

They all have a similar nutritional profiles, the calories being around 200 calories (some less, some more). Interestingly the savoury Eastern Express bar contains Garam Masala and cayenne pepper so is a more spicy and obviously savoury bar, rather than simply another sweet one.IMG_9693 Really enjoyed the Summer Pudding flavour

Thoughts? I really enjoyed these. Kind of sticky and chewy, and not too sweet. Definitely came in handy when we flew from Orlando to Dallas and arrived quite late in the hotel and were hungry and needed something smallish rather than having a big meal so late in the evening.

I also really like that there’s a savoury bar as sometimes on a long cycle or walk too much sweet stuff can get tiring and taxing. You need something a bit different from time to time. And I loved the curry flavour. It wasn’t hugely overpowering but very nice.

Energy Gels (find HERE)

Similar to the bars, these have been designed to be easy on the stomach and are organic. They contain brown rice, agave syrup and Himalayan crystal salt to keep you going during exercise. They also have a caffeinated gels (one with 50mg and one with 100mg of caffeine). Again no synthetic ingredients, artificial preservatives, colourings, flavourings or palm oil, and suitable for vegetarians, organic and Fairtrade certified. They also have funky quick tear packaging.

Mule Bar Gels

They have five flavours: Apple Strudel, Salted Caramel, Cherry Bomb, Zemon Zinger and Cafe Cortado.

Salted Caramel Nutritional Info:

  • Calories per 37g serving: 108cal
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbohydrate: 25g
  • Of which sugars: 19.5g
  • Fat: 0.17g
  • Of which saturates: 0.1g
  • Fibre: 0.5g
  • Salt: 0.1g

Thought? I haven’t tried the gels yet purely because I haven’t been on any long runs or cycles to use them. However I LOVE the sound of them. I love that they’re fairly ‘clean’ with no nasties in there (though sadly not vegan for any vegan runners). The salted caramel one sounds made for me. Check out the ingredients:

image Pretty good right? I’m very excited to give these gels a blast on my next longer run or cycle. I think these might be a game changer for me. And I really like the Lemon Zinger flavour has 50mg of caffeine, which I’m always a fan of.

I really like this company and the products. I’d be more inclined to have the gels but I can definitely see myself picking up the protein or energy bars occasionally for when I’ve got a race coming or am going for a long walk with Ben.

What’s your favourite flavour energy bar or gel?

What is your snack of choice if you’re on a long walk/hike?

How do you cope with jet lag?

15 Replies to “Barely Functioning and MuleBar Review”

  1. Welcome back! I hope you feel better soon: jet lag seems to knock people for six for a good few days, so as long as you ease yourself back into your routine gradually I’m sure things will be fine 🙂

    Mule bars always look intriguing to me, but I think none of them are vegan (maybe one flavour?) It’s a shame, but luckily there are lots of nice vegan bars out there too (Trek, Nakd, Pulsin, Organic Food Bar). I must say that I never get tired of sweet things! I must be in the minority though…I’m not sure I could muster up the courage to try a savory/curry-tasting bar!
    Jess recently posted…Posts That Piqued My Interest #4My Profile

    1. It just knocks everything out of sync…ah well it was worth it!
      I think during the marathons my last gel was always the worst one. I didn’t want it and I felt a bit sick (or at least “not right”) so I wonder if something savoury and salty would have worked? Who knows!

  2. Welcome back- looking forward to reading more about your trip.
    Feeling ill on a plane is just so rubbish- I am glad you feel better now. I am bad with jet lag, but I have an eye mask now for sleeping generally, so I take that on the plane, and listen to podcasts to help me drift off.
    I think I tried some Mule bars years ago- I didn’t realise they were still around. I much prefer natural bars like that, and it’s great that they have more unusual flavours too.
    We always used to take clif bars on holiday, but then I got a bit scared by the US customs people banning food imports, so we tended to go to a shop and buy snacks when we first arrive.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Starting FebulousMy Profile

    1. I have an eye mask too for sleeping – even at home, as I’m such a light sleeper. It’s a lover soft one was the Brookstore (bought years ago when we went to the US). But it’s just the noise and movement of a plane that gets to me. Such a pain.
      I was quite impressed to see so many different protein bars and snack bars in regular supermarkets in America. Lots of Clif bars! Far better than the UK.

  3. Welcome back – it sounds like you had a fabulously amazing time…. #jealous 🙂

    I was really interested to read the Mule Bar review. I’m only just starting to play with these sorts of foods during and post workout and it’s interesting to find some that aren’t packed full of artificial stuff.. The irony of such processed products being pushed at a health conscious market is not lost!

    I’ve been sent a box of Bounce protein balls to try (and review at a later date) so I’ll let you know my thoughts on them… I’ve only had two so far. The cacao mint (as a snack at work!) and the peanut during Sunday’s headache inducing ride… Both tasty but as someone who gets exhausted eating granola, they take a fair amount of determination to get through! The Mule Bars sound a bit easier to eat. I’m not convinced by the curry one though!

    I’ll look forward to your thoughts on the gels – for reasons utterly unknown, gels terrify me! Maybe they signify a level of serious athleticism that I can only dream of – who knows!

    I hope you recover from the jet lag soon. It’s been so long since I had it I can’t even remember what it feels like. Could that be a benefit of small people curtailing our travels??

    Liz recently posted…Bubble, bubble, streeeetchMy Profile

    1. Ahh I’ve tried to Bounce balls – quite nice and very filling for their size! Hope you enjoy them.
      Gels are a necessary evil in my eyes. Well not evil but not pleasant. It seems like such a waste of a decent 100-150 calories, you know? I could be eating something far more exciting. But I can’t chew anything running as I get a stitch so just drinking something like this works well for me (drinking in the sense that you’re drinking something with the consistency of yogurt). Not scary at all, just not a party in your mouth!

  4. Glad you had a lovely holiday- look forward to hearing more about it!
    That sucks that you’ve been feeling ill. I also seem to get ill after being on a flight, I think it’s breathing in all the germs in a small confined space.
    The bars sound good, I don’t think I’ve tried those before.

  5. Glad you had a fab holiday! 🙂
    I’m usually a really light sleeper as well but on planes I’ll sleep through anything! When we went on honeymoon last Summer I didn’t even see the plane take off!
    The Mule bars look tasty. Almost like a chocolate brownie consistency in those photos. I like the sound of the chocolate date protein bar. I’m not a fan of bananas either raw or in foods, although loved them when I was younger.
    Mary recently posted…A South Devon EnduranceLife adventureMy Profile

    1. They were very brownie-like – they felt very naughty to eat 😉
      Wow I’m jealous. I wish I could sleep easily on plane. It’s an ideal opportunity to catch up on some sleep!

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