Energy Bar Review of Larabar

Gluten-Free Natural Energy Bars

Cashew cookie Larabar sitting on cashews

 Photo from Amazon

The Larabar is a tasty raw food energy bar with an ingredient list so short you won't believe it. Each bar is just fruit, nuts, and a spice or two. The Larabar brand often has a booth at marathon event expos where they give away samples of the bars, which are popular with endurance runners and walkers.

Larabars also work well as energy snacks, especially the mini-sized bars.

Ingredients and Varieties

The Larabar has a short ingredient list: fruit, nuts, and spices for flavor in some bars. You won't see any added sweeteners or preservatives. The brand proudly touts that Larabars have no dairy, gluten, soy, or GMOs.

The flavor choices are a dessert smorgasbord, including:

  • Apple Pie
  • Cashew Cookie
  • Cherry Pie
  • Chocolate Coconut
  • Cinnamon Roll
  • Ginger Snap
  • Lemon Bar
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Pecan Pie

Larabar also produces Larabar Nut & Seed, a crunchy bar made with sprouted chia seeds, and Larabar Fruits + Greens, which packs 1/4 cup of greens with the fruit in each bar.

Larabar Organic With Superfoods bars include ingredients like kale, hemp seeds, and turmeric. Larabars are also available in a 100-calorie mini size, which are easy to take on a walk or run.

The consistency of the energy bar is excellent. It has no coatings to melt, breaks in half easily, doesn't crumble, and is easy to chew. Larabar is perfect for munching while walking. The taste is fantastic (no weird flavors from additives).

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Raw, natural ingredients

  • Satisfying and tastes good

  • No preservatives, added sugars, gluten, dairy, or soy

  • Vegan, kosher, non-GMO

  • Easy to chew but not messy

Cons
  • Not a meal replacement; lacks vitamins

  • Can stick to teeth

  • Not safe for those with nut allergies

  • May have a laxative effect if eaten in excess

Review

Energy bars tend to be highly-processed products. For people who prefer whole and natural food, finding a natural energy bar that tastes great, has the right qualities for carrying on a walk or run, and is 100% natural, vegan, and preservative-free can be a challenge.

Nutrition Facts

The Larabar should be used as an energy bar. It is high in sugar and fat, and low in protein. If you use it as a meal replacement or recovery bar, supplement the bar with a protein and vitamin source.

Here are the nutrition basics for the original Larabars (not UBER, ALT, or Renola).

  • Calories: 190 to 230 per full-size bar (100 calories for the mini-size bars)
  • Carbohydrates: 23 to 24 grams total carbohydrate, 4 to 6 grams fiber (all from natural fruit and nuts)
  • Protein: 4 to 6 grams per bar
  • Fat: 9 to 14 grams (all from nuts, which also provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids).
  • Vitamin content varies by flavor

Larabar as an Energy Bar for Athletes

Larabar is high-carb, so it will provide endurance energy (especially for distance walkers and hikers). As they are made with natural fruit and nuts (which can have a laxative effect in some people), walkers should test the bars out for tolerance before using them in a competitive event.

Larabars are not ideal for runners because they require chewing (which can be a choking hazard when you are breathing hard). That said, the bars could work as a snack when you're taking a break during a long run.

A Larabar can be well-suited to gym workouts if a quick energy snack is needed during a long session—just be sure to have water on hand to wash it down.

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Article Sources
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  1. USDA. Larabar. Updated February 27, 2020.