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Power Your Next Race With Bonk Breaker Energy Bars — The Official Bar Of IRONMAN & USA Cycling [Giveaway]

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*Disclosure: Bonk Breaker graciously sent us a sampler pack to test out. This review is otherwise unsponsored and only reflects the opinions of Lean It UP.

Avoid hitting the wall, permanently.

Whether you’re maniacally taking on a Tough Mudder, IRONMAN, or half-marathon; dominating an intense pick-up basketball game; crushing a round of 18; or slogging through our newest WOTM, portable fuel becomes paramount. Especially the variety that’s clean and HQ, energizing, uber-delicious, and won’t turn your stomach inside out.

Enter Bonk Breaker Bars — the official energy bar of USA Cycling and IRONMAN. Oh, and Wes Welker.

Bonk Breakers are a line of non-GMO, gluten + dairy-free energy bars that are concocted to provide a shot of clean, sustainable energy during the peri-workout period. That means before, during, or after an intense bout of physical activity; aka pre-, post-, or intra-workout if you’re isolated to gymspeak.

For any long-duration endurance event that demands optimal performance at uber-high intensities — think extreme sports, marathon races, athletics, and extended workouts — on-the-go nutrition can literally power the gap between a valiant finish and a stumbling defeat. It’s effectively a shot of rocket fuel that shields against the moment when your body starts to stall, breakdown, and quit — what you know as “hitting the wall,” or as they call it, bonking.

Physiologically, it’s the point when your body churns through and depletes its stored carbs and most efficient form of energy: glycogen. Your body’s fuel tanks are literally running on empty. We won’t go into detail here, but your body can revert to fat for energy production; it’s just far less efficient, can’t support high intensity activity, and produces a ton of lactic acid (what causes the burning sensation in muscles). Burning off fat is magical when fat-loss and looking awesome naked are your goals, but at mile 23 when you’re on the verge of collapsing, that’s probably not what’s top of mind.

And that’s where Bonk Breakers come in. They’re a quick way to shuttle much-needed carbs, glucose, and protein mid-exercise, and proactively re-up fuel storehouses when it’s needed most. Beyond racing and other hellacious gauntlets, they make a pretty damn lean (and natural) snack, too.


Bonk Breaker Bars — Nutrition, Ingredients, & Taste

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Admittedly, I plowed through a box and I’m swooning just a little bit over Bonk Breakers. Magically, they’ve concocted a bar that manages to be A) au naturel, B) clean as hell, C) energizing, and D) moist, decadent, and explosively flavorful.

Each Bonk Breaker checks in at a manageable 220-280 calories, with 3+ grams of fiber, healthy fats, and a solid 8+ grams of protein. Their high protein line bumps that number up to 13-15g with the addition of rice protein isolate, which is ideal if protein is a priority (and it 100% should be). Juxtapose that against the fact that each bar has a slender 13-18g of sugar and is completely devoid of artificial sweeteners, and it becomes an impressively lean option — especially if you’re looking for a snack, and not just a performance bar.

And it gets better. All varieties are made with 10-12 REAL, pronounceable ingredients; as they opted to avoid all of the chemicals, preservatives, additives, and other crap that’s shoved into nearly every other protein bar. Between flax, chia, brown rice, gluten-free oats, coconut oil, whole fruit, cinnamon, almond butter, coffee beans, and others, they’re stuffed with an artillery of pure uberfoods.

Tastewise, Bonk Breakers are moist, wholesome, and explosively flavorful. Because they don’t use preservatives — bars are baked fresh every week — they’re consistently on point; legitimately as if they were home-baked, fresh out of the oven. There’s no lingering chemical residue, piercingly sweet fake sugar, or nauseating chocolate coatings. And it’s glorious.

Bonk Breakers currently come in 10 creative flavors:

  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip [High Protein]
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly [High Protein]
  • Almond Cherry Chunk [High Protein]
  • Coconut Cashew
  • Almond Butter & Honey
  • Blueberry Oat
  • Apple Pie
  • Espresso Chip
  • Peanut Butter & Banana
  • Fig


Overall, Bonk Breakers are an effective option to shoot yourself up with fuel pre-workout or during an event, or to help galvanize the recovery process after an intense workout session. Unlike most energy bars, their respectable protein:sugar ratio — and collection of uberfoods — makes them viable as a lean snack option. If you’re buying them as a standalone lifestyle bar, go with any of the High Protein flavors. Or you could just supplement each bar with an additional dose of protein.

The Verdict: Thumbs way up. While they’re a little bit pricey at $30/12-pack ($2.50 per bar), the quality makes them well worth stocking up on. Or you could just enter our fancy giveaway below. We’re giving away 5 Protein Sampler Packs exclusively to Lean It UP readers. GET SOME.


The Bonk Breaker Giveaway

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We fully encourage you to share the giveaway and enter as many times as possible. More actions = more entries and a greater shot at winning a box.

  • Prizes: Five (5) Bonk Breaker Protein Sampler Packs.
  • End date: The giveaway closes on June 13th, 2014. We’ll announce the winners during the following week.
  • Eligibility: Entries are open to anyone in the US, UK, Canada, and Mexico. Prizes are limited to one (1) box per person.

Get Them: If you’re not one of the lucky five, Bonk Breakers are available on Amazon — $30 per 12 pack.


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Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Owner & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
Bryan DiSanto is the Owner & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a culinary student at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, an ACE-CPT & CSN, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness/nutrition nutjob.

He also contributes to Men's Health Magazine.

When he’s not working on his (or somebody else’s) abs, whipping up Eggocados, or running a Tough Mudder, he’s probably off yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.
Bryan DiSanto
Follow Lean It UP on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for real-time fitness/nutrition tips, advice, info and updates.

  • Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy |

    What do you think of these bars compared to Vega?

    • Bryan DiSanto

      I can’t comment on taste, but they’re very comparable nutrition-wise (and both great options).

      If you’re running a race or focused on performance, I’d go with Bonk Breakers. If it’s for a snack, breakfast, etc., the Vegas are a little bit more holistic (I like the veggie blend + added probiotics).

      Also, if your stomach is sensitive, the Vega bars might cause a few issues. Just something to watch out for.

  • Liz Stark

    LOVE Bonk Breaker bars, especially the PBJ High Protein and Fig flavors.

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