29 July 2009

bikefix Exclusive Review: Soyjoy bars

Separate from the food section, most of our local Target stores have a "nutrition" aisle filled with weight-loss remedies, Ensure, and energy bars. Seeing as I'm in a Target every couple of weeks picking up this or that, I tend to poke my head down the aisle to see what's on sale. On one of these visits, the 6-packs of Soyjoy were on sale and I figured that, for $2.59, they were worth a shot.

Besides being fun to say, the name Soyjoy tells the customer a lot of what the bars are about. The non-GMO soy used in Soyjoy bars is pretty cool stuff, being "packed with protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids," among other things. The bars are marketed as a convenient, healthy afternoon snack. Their low Glycemic Index means that they don't cause spikes in blud sugar- or the subsequent crash. Beyond the soy, Soyjoy focus on natural ingredients and their healthy implications.

At only 30g (1oz) and 140 calories, it would be a stretch to call a Soyjoy an energy food, but the fact that they provide a bit of quick energy alongside slower-burning fat and restorative protein does make for a good mid-ride snack. The three flavors I've tried are all relatively mild tasting- the fruit is in there for sure, but people accustomed to more aggressively-flavored snacks will be underwhelmed. When riding hard, however, I can't stomach a lot of flavor and Soyjoy tend to stay down during even the hardest, hottest single speed rides. Around bikefix HQ, we keep buying the yellow (Mango Coconut) and green (Apple Walnut) bars but have learned to steer clear of "the red ones" (Berry). Just as importantly for riders, Soyjoy are fairly dense bars and travel well, either in a jersey pocket or overstuffed pack. The lack of chocolate or other frostings means that they don't melt when it gets hot. They also maintain their texture in cooler temperatures so stay edible when skiing or snowshoing.

Spoiled by the $2.59-4.00 sale prices (for 6, which are available about one Target trip in three), I just can't see spending the "full retail" $6 for a box or $1.25-1.50 apiece I've seen them for in our local natural food store- there's just not that much food in each bar. It also pays to look at the box's expiration date- stale Soyjoy aren't bad, but I've had widely varying levels of dryness between boxes. At $.40-.75 per bar, I'm a fan- eaten at the midpoint and supplemented with an energy drink, a Soyjoy is just enough food to get me through a 2-3 hour ride, are easy on the stomach and have a pleasant, lightly fruity flavor. Keep an eye out.




Anonymous said...

Soyjoy... 20mg of cholesterol. Not for me.

bikefix said...

As I understand it, as it's not animal-derived, SoyJoy's cholesterol is the 'good' kind and could help reduce the 'bad' kind. Is that not the case?