I want to make clear from the outset I am an amateur cyclist. I am not going to be talking you through scientific facts here, this review will cover how I felt the product worked for me. I think it’s important you take time to figure out your own personal nutrition habits whilst on the bike, but if you want to hear my strategy then read my article What To Eat for a 100 Mile Ride…. And Make It Your Best Ever!
Price: £29.95 for 18 Bars
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup Solids, Pectin, Citric Acid, Green Tea Extract, Natural Flavor, Coloured With Black Carrot Juice Concentrate And Turmeric, Organic Sunflower Oil, Carauba Wax
Special Features: Organic, Contains 50ml of Caffeine, Natural Ingredients
Flavours: Black Cherry, Citrus, Cran-Razz, Margarita, Tropical Punch, Strawberry, Orange, Mountain Berry
What Are They?
Cliff Bloks are described as “the latest nutrition option for endurance athletes. Bloks come in chewable, 33 calorie cubes, making it easy to customise and track caloric and electrolyte intake during long outings and races.” They come in small packs similar in size and shape to an energy gel or chocolate bar. Each pack contains 6 bloks.
The main advantage to the Shot Bloks vs a normal gel is they are bite size and solid, making it easy to monitor your intake whilst on the move without getting sticky hands. I would describe them having the consistency of a warm wine gum. They’re not completely hard, but equally not too soft! This makes them easy to get out of the packet and easy to eat.
You need to be a bit careful with the range as there are four variants and it’s not just the flavour that changes
-> Tropical Punch – Contains 25mg of caffeine per serving
-> Black Cherry – Contains 50mg of caffeine per serving.
Why Would You Buy Them?
If you’re tired of the stickiness of gels and the solid nature of bars then these are perfect for you. They make it easy to monitor your carb intake whilst being really tasty. They don’t take as much chewing as a bar, but are far less effort to take in than a gel. Personally I mix up all three on a really long ride for a bit of variety, but even then about 60-80% of my nutrition will be shot bloks because they’re just so damn easy!
What Am I Getting?
- 100 calories
- 24g of carbs
- 50mg of sodium
- 20mg of potassium
- 12g of sugars
So some carbs to keep you going, sodium and potassium to replace the electrolytes lost through sweat. 24g is a big hit of carbs. Most energy gels contain similar levels, (SIS at 22g, High5 at 23g) but remember this is for an entire gel, whereas you are going to get this in only 3 shot bloks! Less fiddling, less packaging and much easier to consume (plus no sticky wrapper to carry around with you).
N.B. these figures are per serving. Each serving is 3 bloks, so half a pack.
Do They Work?
Absolutely! As I said at the start I’m not here to talk science, but I can tell you these little beauties have got me through many a tough ride. The high carb content is perfect for on the bike with the added bonus of a caffeine hit when you’re really feeling the pace.
I have used these for anything from 3 hour rides where I needed a quick boost up to epic 24hr adventures across the channel and they’ve never let me down. I wouldn’t rely on them solely as anything gets boring after a while, but if I was forced to pick one nutritional option these would be it!
- I would suggest snipping the tops off the packets before you head out. This makes them much easier to eat when on the move, as you can slide them up the pack into your mouth.
- Mix them up a bit. On a long ride I will take out a couple of packs with no caffeine (Strawberry & Mountain Berry) and then a pack of Black Cherry. I start off with the non caffeine ones, and then mix in the black cherry every so often. Towards the end of the ride or when I’m approaching a tough part such as a long hill I eat more caffeine bloks to get me going
Finding Clif Bar Shot Bloks was a revelation for me. I had been struggling with fuel on my long rides, often crashing at the end. These make it really easy to monitor how much you are putting into your system while being enjoyable to eat. They are now my go-to source of energy on rides as they are so much easier to take in than a gel whilst containing a higher carb content.