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17-05-2024 | Frank Jansen

Kalkman Energy Bites review

Entering the crowded sports nutrition market takes courage, but Kalkman did just that. I had the opportunity to test Kalkman's bars, or "Bites" as they call them, and here's my review.

Only natural ingredients

Every avid gran fondo rider knows the discomfort: consuming sports food often leads to stomach pains. Sometimes it's only when consuming large amounts, while other times, sensitivity to certain brands can trigger issues. According to Kalkman, this stomach ache is primarily due to the presence of maltodextrin in almost all sports nutrition. This substance is not something our bodies are accustomed to, and artificial flavors and binders can also irritate the intestines. Kalkman aims to change this by using exclusively natural ingredients in their sports nutrition.

Kalkman sports nutrition

Energy Bites

I tested Kalkman's Energy Bites. In addition to these bars, Kalkman also offers refillable gels and syrups for making sports drinks, though these were not part of this review.

The first noticeable feature is the small packaging: a bite-sized cube, unlike other brands that opt for larger sizes. The idea is that consuming small bites regularly is better than larger quantities. The bites are just slightly smaller than a matchbox, making them very easy to eat. Depending on the flavor, each bite contains 12 or 13 grams of carbohydrates. For those who prefer larger bars, a duopack is available containing two bites.

The bites are designed for consumption during exertion, hence they contain minimal protein and fat, as these are unnecessary during cycling. Each bite has only 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of protein, which is quite low compared to many other brands. The glucose/fructose ratio varies between 1.05:1 and 1.09:1, less than the standard 2:1 ratio.

Kalkman Energy Bites in various flavors

Various flavors

The bars come in four different flavors:

  • Apple Cinnamon
  • Ginger Turmeric
  • Fennel Apricot
  • Cacao Coffee

Taste is subjective, but I was pleasantly surprised by most of these somewhat unusual combinations. Apple-cinnamon and cacao coffee were my favorites, while fennel-apricot felt a bit unconventional. The bars have a fine texture, soft and creamy rather than "grainy" or "gritty," making them easy to bite and chew. They also don't taste overly sweet.

The price is €28 for 30 bites, or €2.14 per two. Duopacks are €34 for 16 packs (32 pieces), or €2.13 per pack. These prices are quite average compared to the competition.

Conclusion

I was very pleased with Kalkman. I tested the bars on longer rides and experienced no negative effects. The packages are easy to open, which can be a struggle with other brands. I enjoyed most of the flavors, though personal preferences will vary. The only drawback is the glucose/fructose ratio, making the bars less suitable for races or extreme efforts. However, they are perfect for most rides!

Interested in trying Kalkman's products? You can find them in our SHOP.

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