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Runivore is a brand out of Taiwan that “offers high quality whole foods as well energy bars created with natural superfoods that are effective and delicious,” according to their website.

Friends of mine had been talking about it on and off for months, but I could never get my hands on any.

It wasn’t until Brent Morgans from Simply Active in Singapore, their local distributor, introduced me to the Protein Bar that I had the pleasure of trying Runivore.

Here are the two products I picked up from him:

Both these bars are pretty similar. They’re obviously just made up of raw, whole foods pressed together. You can clearly see the chia seeds, dates, oats, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and more.

They’re a bit chewy – which I like because they won’t crumble into pieces as you run – but not so tough that you will have a hard time getting them down. Eating while running isn’t easy because you have to breathe and chew at the same time.

The Mighty Banana bar isn’t too banana-y, which I appreciated. I’d say the dominant element is the chia seeds, as their texture and presence are quite distinctive and unusual. I like them.

The prominence of the chia seeds in the Superfood Bar is similar, but here, the dominant flavor is absolutely the coffee taste. It’s amazing.

Unless you don’t like coffee.

But then there are other flavors like Zesty Orange, Mega Matcha, and Chia & Dates – all with the same consistency and general ingredients, just flavored for variety.

The addition of that coffee comes with a welcome 56mg of caffeine – too little for me to perceive, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. But it’s actually more than many other caffeinated products.

The Mega Matcha has 42mg of caffeine.

As a reference, here’s how much caffeine some common gels contain:

  • Maurten Gel Caf (40g serving): 100mg
  • Clif Citrus + Caffeine (34g serving): 81mg
  • Koda Cola Vanilla (45g serving): 80mg
  • Hammer Gel Espresso (33g serving): 50mg
  • High5 Raspberry (40g serving): 30mg
  • PURE Espresso Coffee (35g serving): 30mg
  • GU Chocolate Outrage (32g serving): 20mg

And in case you’re wondering, a cup of coffee – let’s take a short Starbucks Brewed Coffee (236 ml or 8oz) – has 180mg of caffeine in it.

Now, let’s see a comparison of the two bars side-by-side. Note that my small one was just a sample – the details below are for the full-sized one:

Protein Bar – Mighty Banana50g20410g30.5g140mg580mg Omega-3
Superfood Bar – Coffee Cacao50g2105g30g50gm56mg caffeine

Besides taste, the main differences between the two Runivores are amounts of protein, sodium, and caffeine. But as far as protein is concerned, 10g isn’t a whole lot.

However, that said, I don’t think I want a lot of protein while I run. Now if it’s a post-workout snack, I do want protein; but I believe this is designed to be consumed while running.

Let’s see another comparison of common protein products to get a sense of how much Runivore’s 10g of protein measures up:

  • Quest Protein Bar Chocolate Brownie (60g serving): 20g
  • SIS Protein 20 Double Chocolate Brownie (55g serving) 20g
  • Unicity LC Snap Protein Bar Chocolate Malt (60g serving): 17g
  • GNC Layered Lean Bar Whipped Chocolate Mousse (44g serving): 16g

The next group don’t claim to be protein foods, but are good for reference:

  • Clif Bar Crunchy Peanut Butter (68g serving): 11g
  • GNC Climb Recovery Chocolate Fudge Brownie (58g serving): 10g
  • Hammer Bar Raw Energy Chocolate Chip (50g serving): 5g
  • EM’s Power Cookies Chocolate Cranberry Craze (80g serving): 3.1 g

So while Runivore calls it a protein bar, it’s really on the low side of protein. But like I said, that’s fine with me, as I don’t need so much protein while I run.

These bars are fairly substantial – on the bike for scale

In short, I’ll keep using Runivore due to the great taste and texture along with the unique ingredients. I don’t think any other brands put chia seeds in their products, and I do like the bars’ unrefined nature.

I think they would do well on the bike, too. I am always looking for more food options (beyond just gels and liquids) that can help nourish me as I cycle.

Next I’ll be buying a few of the other flavors but somehow I don’t think any will beat Coffee Cacao.

If you’re in Singapore buy them from Simply Active here:

And here’s the Runivore site:

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