Best Ergogenic Brownie for Runners & Cyclists — 2015

There are times when an aging athlete just wants to pull out the stops and go Screaming-Mimi down the trail.

Those times call for special fuels. Your standard Mr. Milquetoast gels and powders really won’t do.

On those hot-footing, hell-for-leather days, it’s time to bring out the Heavy Artillery.

When my feet start dancin’ and I feel a Need for Speed, I resort to two products that tower so far above the rest of the sports nutrition field, it makes my neck hurt.

This is how you’ll feel after partaking of these ergogenic aids. (Mariner with rocket-assisted takeoff
This is how you’ll feel after partaking of these ergogenic aids. (Mariner with jet-assisted takeoff, South Pacific, WWII.)

The first is Clif Bar’s amazing Kit’s Organic Lemon Vanilla Chia Bar. (I’ve talked about chia before; and before.)

The second super-fuel for the Athlete in a Really Big Hurry is The Big Yummy Double Chocolate Brownie from Wholesome Chow (

Be careful with these fuels. For runners, cyclists, and other jocks, they’re like nitro to a top-fuel dragster.

They’ll light a fire under your posterior and send you tear-assing down the highway.

WholesomeChow.BigYummyBrownie. These thermonuclear ergogenics will not make you a nice person. They won’t actually grow excess body hair, but they’ll make you impatient. They are not Prozac. Think street-legal crank, with a smoother edge. They’re for Performance, not Mellow Yellow Feeling Groovy Georgy Girl tripping on an easy training day.

Don’t take them before you sleep, study, or attend your daughter’s wedding. You’ll find yourself tearing around the church with a cockamamie grin. Embarrassing.

These fuels are for days when your inner athlete wants to expand dynamically, as in the full, expanded sense of the word dynamite. They’re best taken when your body is rested and can take advantage of their power. My advice: wait for your planned hard days to strap these fuels on.

Here’s what works for me. (Your body may vary.)

An hour to ninety minutes before a hard run or ride, I’ll eat a third of a Kit’s chia bar. Later, maybe thirty minutes before I set out, I’ll ingest another winsome chaw of Kit’s, mixed with a middling chomp of Big Yummy. I like to drink some water with these bars. Chia seeds expand in the presence of fluids, perhaps making them easier to digest.

lemonvanillachiaClif Bar co-owner Kit Crawford says, “I’m constantly amazed by the power of seeds. They’re surprisingly nutrient dense.”

You got it, Kit. Your bars put the tiger in this old guy’s tank. I’m grateful.

Sources: To find Big Yummy Brownies, check Wholesome Chow’s Find a Store page. Kit’s Bars are sold at Whole Foods and other health food outlets.

Addendum for cyclists. An hour or two before a bike ride, I like to put a handful of almonds in the Vitamix (a turbocharged blender) with unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze, a squirt of Stevia, a spoonful of frozen pineapple juice, a shake of cinnamon, and half a Kit’s bar. As I drink, I’ll eat a few dates to top-up the carbs. Note: this is NOT a good prep drink for running – almonds take 3-4 hours to digest. But I find it works well for cycling.

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