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Natural Nutrition For Runners--Olympia Granola: Part I

The first item on our review of Natural Nutrition For Runners gets nothing but high praise. To review, I'm looking for a new hydration & fueling strategy for marathoning that meets the basic criteria of being a good-tasting, non-artificial way to eat in the middle of a 26.2 mile race. How it does during an actual workout is for Part II, but let's dive into the basics first.

Best of all, Olympia Granola meets the toddler test--my son comes running if you open one. We've shared one as a snack several times. These are natural ingredients and nothing you can't pronounce. Rolled oats, almonds, honey, etc.. The coffee flavored bars have espresso powder in them which gives them that real taste that coffee flavored products on the market usually just don't have.

There are 3 basic types...Trail Bars, Coffee House Bars, and the Sunshine Bar. There's a 1/2 bar option and then the full size bars are 3 oz. The basic nutritional breakdown is 190 calories per serving. 80 calories from fat. Around 25g of carbs, you get calcium, iron, and 5g of protein.

The Coffee House Bars are definitely more of a snack/dessert item and watch out for Green Tea Zest--it is a bit spicy. The Sunshine Bar is Lemon Chamomile and quite soothing and pleasant. I would probably stick to the Trail Bars even as a post-run refuel. They'd also make a great pre-race fuel.

We'll see how they do when road tested in the next edition of this series. I will say upfront that most athletes would not find the large, square size of the 3oz bar convenient for pockets or a hydration belt, etc.. The half size may be the way to go. The texture is definitely appealing with a chewy, sticky consistency that keeps it together until you bite or break off pieces. My son does manage to get crumbs all over the carpet though. For those of you with allergy issues, these are wheat and dairy free.

Check the website for locations in your area that may sell these--otherwise you're left to the online store, but they offer samplers and small boxes if you don't want a large commitment to one flavor. The staff was nothing but helpful and many thanks to Jon Walburg for sending me the box to test.

You can learn more at Olympia Granola.