I apologize in advance for the lack of photos in this article. I had ordered a shitload of Huda Energy Bars, but everything disappeared into various mouths long before I could click something.
I met Huda Masood during MTM 2015, where she discussed in detail the science of riding nutrition. The whole point of her presentation was that riding a motorcycle is a strenuous activity, especially long distance/off-road/track, and you need the right amount of stuff to keep going without flying straight over the handlebars and spazzing involuntarily in the middle of the highway.
Bikers are generally considered to be uncivilized, raw, a bit mental, which is why most riders that I know of, including myself, often pride ourselves on how little we ate during our travels, thus saving millions of dollars in food and time. This is of course stupid, and her talk has certainly changed the way I approach my trips now.
Apart from being a rider, and a nutritionist, Huda also manufactures her own energy bars called The Huda Bar in Bangalore. She gave us all a sample after her talk at MTM, and I quite liked it. Ordered a bunch when I got home, and ate about half of them, with the other half going to friends and family.
Here’s my review of The Huda Bar after eating too many of them in too little a time.
The Huda Bar review: Taste and flavors
They taste awesome! You have 4 different flavors currently available, and I ordered the mixed batch that contains them all:
- Original Classic
- Peanut Butter
- Extra Honey
- Chocolate Covered
The basic ingredients include
- Whole bran oats
- Sunflower & flax seeds
- Malted ragi
- Organic honey
- Organic jaggery
The Peanut Butter bars has home-made peanut butter incorporated into the bars, while Extra Honey provides extra instant energy for those hard riding days. The Chocolate Covered is what I liked the most, thanks to the little 6-year-old girl inside of me.
The bars have a very “home-made” feel to them, which I guess is obvious since they are literally home-made. They also have a very textured feel to them, like those Chikkis you find in Lonavala. They are, however, not as dry as the Chikkis, so it’s much easier to chew and swallow them without that urge to stick your head under a lake.
All in all, it feels like something your mom made for you to eat during school recess, and you end up finishing the whole thing off before the second period.
I am a rather thin guy, always have been, so I have no idea whatsoever about what all of those Calorie measurements and shit mean. All I can tell you is how you feel on the inside after eating one of these energy bars.
I didn’t get to ride much with the bars, but I did travel via flights, trains, cars and electric tricycles, and once you eat one of these things, you are good for the next hour or so. They don’t feel like Snickers, feel much lighter on your stomach, but I’d say the amount of energy you get is more or less the same.
On a typical riding day, my guess is that 4 of these divided between breakfast, lunch and dinner would be optimal. Even though these bars do contain almost everything that your body needs during the day, I don’t think they are a substitute for food.
What they are though, is the perfect source of optimal nutrition, with a brilliant taste and a light feel, plus no side-effects of food induced sleep and crashes.
Longevity and ease of use
My biggest problem with carrying stuff to eat during a ride is that it gets all smushed up and uneatable. I once carried a few bananas, a packet and biscuit, and some chips in my bag from Mumbai to Bangalore, and everything was destroyed beyond recognition even before I got to Pune, like it’d been though a black hole or something.
The Huda Bars are a bit brittle, which makes them easy to consume, but they are strong enough to retain shape even under the Sun. I generally carried them around in a plastic box though, just to be sure that when I need them I don’t have to scoop them out with a spoon.
As far as the lifetime of each bar goes, I believe it depends on the ingredients, but the lowest type lives for about a month, and the longest type lives for about 3 months, with higher life-expectancy if refrigerated. I don’t mind that at all, planning ahead of a trip and buying them in advance is a minuscule inconvenience for a preservative-free experience.
Value for money
A 50 gm bar of Snickers costs some 40 bucks. A 50 gm Huda Bar costs roughly 40 bucks. Some types, like the chocolate covered, cost a bit more, but it’s nothing too dramatic. I don’t expect a small-scale company to be able to match prices with a giant MNC, but Huda Bars are pretty cheap for what you get.
Over the years, I’ve always appreciated the people who don’t just whine, but actually try to solve problems. It’s very easy to say that everything is fucked up and everyone’s an ass, but it’s people who stand up and solve problems that I really respect. So when I spend money to buy a Huda Bar, it’s value is much more to me personally than just buying a product from some random manufacturer, and I like that sort of thing.
It’s a mentally, almost spiritually satisfying experience to buy from a friend.
I obviously recommend you buy them, but don’t take my word for it. Order a small sample by calling +91 9886796967 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and see for yourself. They can be used for all sorts of adventure activities, running, cycling, fucking, so don’t worry about not riding enough with the approaching summer to be able to use them all.
As far as I’m concerned, I’ll always try and carry a few of these whenever my butt goes on that seat.
You can read a bit more about The Huda Bar in The Hindu newspaper.