I Tried Philly’s New Vegan Energy Bar Before a Run — And My Stomach Was Fine

Photograph courtesy Trishmoves.

When it comes to eating before running, my personal motto is: just don’t. It doesn’t matter if I’m running three miles or thirteen — I’ve learned the hard way that eating something before hitting the pavement is a straight shot to stomach-cramp town.

I’ll probably never forgive myself for the flavored Greek yogurt I once ate before a ten-mile race. (Yeah, I know. It was bad. Oof.)

But now, a Philadelphia ultra marathon runner, Bob Mitchell, has decided to create the perfect pre-run fuel. Called Trishmoves — named for his mom, Trish (awww) — Mitchell designed a bar that’s vegan, gluten-free, and specifically designed just for runners.

Photograph courtesy Trishmoves.

What exactly does that mean? Well, after consulting with dietitians, Mitchell decided the bar needed more carbs than protein (a 4:1 ratio, to be exact), and he wanted to keep it low in sugar and fiber to make it easy to digest. The result? A bar that’s 200 calories (he wanted a round number make it easier on people who are tracking calories), with 20 grams of carbohydrates, five grams of protein, 11 grams of all-natural sugar, and 3 grams of fiber.

Oh, and they’re totally delicious. So far the brand has only released a Salted Dark Chocolate Cherry flavor, and inside, there’s organic almond and cashew butter, organic dates, cherries, 100-percent cacao chocolate chips, chia seeds, sunflower lecithin, Himalayan pink sea salt, and organic ginger. Thanks to the cacao, dates, and cherries, the bar is naturally sweet — without any taste of overpowering sugariness you’ll sometimes get in artificially sweetened products.

On Saturday morning, I decided to take the bars for a (literal) test run. I downed a bar (warning: the chocolate makes them a little messy — you’ll want a napkin handy) about 30 minutes before heading out into the morning heat for a three-plus-mile run.

The result? I felt totally fine. Better than fine — no weird cramps, no heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach, no panicked search for a bathroom. Instead, I just felt slightly more energetic than I normally do running on an empty stomach — which is saying something, considering it was HOT out there this weekend.

Of course, you don’t need an energy bar before every three-mile run, and I wound’t necessarily recommend you make that your routine. But if you’re headed out to log some serious miles (who here is training for the Philadelphia Marathon?), a little extra energy — the kind that’s designed to not mess with your stomach — is a win.

Trishmoves bars are now available at their website or via Amazon Prime. Right now, they’re selling 12 of the Salted Dark Chocolate Cherry bars for $35.99 — but from the looks of it, there’s a Vanilla Peanut Butter Banana flavor in the works, too.

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