Review: Whole Earth Power Balls (a natural solution to gels etc)

Last week I ran Man V Horse in Llanwrtyd Wells (Mid Wales) which is organised by Green Events. For those who haven’t heard about this race before, it is literally a 22/23 mile race over the local mountainous terrain against horses (with riders). The race can be undertaken as a solo run or in a 3 person relay. The event has been going since…….. and is one of a series of crazy events organised by the local people, including the world bog snorkelling championships.

One of the event’s main sponsors over the last few years is Whole Earth, who are known for their peanut butter using ‘wholesome natural ingredients’. At this year’s event, Whole Earth were giving away their relatively new Power Balls snacks, which I have since found out are endorsed by the British Triathlon Federation. The Power Balls have been created to “energise and fuel consumers through a busy day or active workout” (Whole Earth).

The Power Balls are available in four flavours:

  • classic peanut butter
  • coconut
  • pumpkin chia & flax seed
  • goji & red berries

The Power Balls are protein snacks based around the brand’s peanut butter and contain natural ingredients including peanut butter, gluten-free oats, roasted peanuts and dried fruit, and nothing at all artificial. The Power Balls come in a re-sealable pack with five balls in each, and recommended to be sold at £1.99.

Nutritional Information (per ball) – 38 kcal / 1.3g fat (0.2g saturates) / 5.0g carbs (sugars 4.5g) / Protein 1.4g

 

I did find the Power Balls quite dry when trying them, so it would be advisable to ensure you consume with water or some other drink. Yes, beer counts as well. Once you get past the dryness, they are quite tasty. However I only tested the pumpkin, chia & flax seed and the goji & red berries variants, where the seeds and freeze dried fruit probably contributed to the dry texture.

The only issue I see with the Power Balls is what you actually use them for. Is it for energy during training/races? f so, the carb content (25g per pack) against cost is lower compared to other products on the market (Clif Shots are 48g carb per pack). If it is for recovery after training, the protein content is pretty low compared (7g per pack) to other products on the market or other more natural products.

However, I do believe there is a place for these Power Balls in a triathlete’s diet and fuelling strategy, especially if you are concerned about eating as clean as possible.

Verdict

Normally I am a huge fan of making my own snacks including protein rich oat balls, but for those who don’t have the time or the inclination to make their own, these Power Balls would be an option for recovery and as part of a fuelling strategy. I like to use a number of different products when on long bike rides/runs, and will definitely look to use these on the bike, especially since they come in a sealable pouch.

I would suggest trying these at least once, they are a handy little pack if you want a quick energy fix, and are concerned if your ingredients are natural.

Whole Earth Power Balls can be purchased from Amazon

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