A sports energy supplement company originating from the Waikato, New Zealand, Boosta energy bars and chews are prepared with fresh and natural New Zealand Manuka honey and do not contain any artificial chemicals or additives. In fact according to Boosta, they are “simply the very best in natural energy producers, giving you the power that you need to excel and maintain your energy.”
Products are 100 per cent natural
Said Martin Helmantel, 45, co-founder of Boosta, “Our bars are 100 per cent natural so there are no preservatives or anything else. Besides that, I think that our bars and chews are the only ones in the market with Manuka honey; you can find others with normal honey but not Manuka honey. Also because there are no chemicals, your stomach will still be ok and not get upset as in the case with other gels; I also like the way that it is packaged – our packages are small so if you do not have that much space you can put three or four packets into a waist pouch or small belt, or even in your running shorts, and you do not need to carry a backpack with you.”
He continued, “Our products also have a very high carb ratio; in a lot of gels, there is about 20 grams of carbs but our energy chews for example, have 32 grams. This is good for marathoners and triathletes who need to fuel themselves in training and races.”
But despite the higher carb content, though, Martin quickly added that one of Boosta’s bar or chew will be insufficient to fuel an entire 42.195km marathon. He said, “Sorry about that, but you will still need to bring more. For say a five hour marathoner, though, you will only need about four to five of our bars or chews, as compared to six or seven packets of a typical energy gel.”
Martin added, “I generally like to take my own stuff during a marathon rather than use the stuff provided as I can then know exactly how my body reacts.”
Though the main users for Boosta products are primarily endurance athletes, Martin also said that mothers with young kids like their products too. He explained, “Our bars serve as a healthy snack for them and their children during tea time; instead of taking a cupcake, they will take one of these 100% natural bars, which also have a great taste.”
How the idea for Boosta had came about
The idea for Boosta had been conceptualised in 2007 when co-founder Hayden Pohio, 42, had been taking part in the Coast to Coast race that year. Coast to Coast is an iconic multi sports race in New Zealand, taking place from Kumara Beach on the west coast of the South Island, to New Brighton in the East.
According to Hayden, a food scientist, the energy bars that had been distributed, were too dry and so he wanted to make something that was more palatable and that people would enjoy eating. He thought that he could do better.
Added Martin “Hayden’s mum and dad have a Manuka honey farm and he thought that Manuka is a great source of healthy sugars. So he thought, why not try to combine that. He first conceptualised the bar based on healthy ingredients like sesame seeds and cashew nuts, in connection with Manuka honey. The second idea was to create an energy tube using Manuka honey. And so Boosta was born.”
Boosta was eventually launched in 2010.
Trying out Boosta’s Manuka Honey energy bars and chews
And thanks to Martin, I had the opportunity to try out Boosta’s Cashew & Manuka Honey energy bars, as well as the Manuka Energy Chews.
Cashew & Manuka Honey Energy Bars
Marketed as an “awesome all natural source of long lasting energy that also tastes great”, Boosta’s Cashew & Manuka Honey bars contain Active 5+ Manuka Honey, as well as roasted cashew nuts and organic apricots, for sustained energy during endurance activity.
One 40 gram bar contains 17.7 grams of carbohydrates, and it has no added colours, flavours, sugar or preservatives.
The bar has a very pleasant taste. It is crunchy, thanks to the presence of the cashew nuts and sesame seeds, and at the same time, not too dry, due to the usage of the Manuka honey that is used to bind all the ingredients together.
Added Dad, who had also sampled the bar, “It is a nice, nutty muesli bar, and not too overly sweet, with a mild honey taste.”
Due to the chewing required, this is probably not something that I would eat when I am running. But it is a great form of fuel, post-race when you want to get something healthy back into your body to replenish the energy that was lost during a marathon race.
Alternatively I can also see myself snacking on these, instead of other junk food, when the hunger pangs strike in the mid-afternoon.
Manuka Energy Chews
On the other hand, the Manuka Energy Chews have a “unique combination of Manuka Honey, balanced carbohydrates and essential electrolytes to provide the perfect nutrition for an athlete.”
Though they do require some chewing, they are quick to eat and easy on the stomach during physical exertion. Like the Cashew & Manuka Honey energy bars, they also primarily contain Active 5+ Manuka honey, and are marketed as being “the ideal choice for long runs and rides, marathons and triathlons.”
Upon opening a package of the Manuka Energy Chews, my first impression was that it had resembled a huge, yellowish-brown coloured gummy candy.
The Manuka honey taste is immediately apparent upon popping the Energy Chew into the mouth. It is quite easy to chew; so as such, you can choose whether to chew it up and swallow it immediately, or alternatively to slowly suck it as you are running. In fact it is just like eating a honey flavoured gummy candy.
Added Dad, “There is a strong and distinctive honey note, and it’s not overly sweet. It has a pleasant taste and texture.”
In terms of fuelling the needs of marathoners and triathletes with energy during their physical activity, these are a good alternative for health conscious people who are constantly aware of what they are putting into their bodies. I have not had the opportunity to try Boosta’s Manuka Energy Chews out on some really long training runs yet; my longest single run has been 18km but so far, I can say that the Energy Chews are working great for me.
Added Martin, “It is true that our chews may put off people who do not like chewing, but our chews are different; you do not need to finish the whole package in one sitting. Just have one bite and keep the rest for the next time. As well you can take a bite of our chews when you like and you do not need to be dependent on the water stations, rushing to the next hydration point when you have your mouth full of liquid gel.”
More products are in the works
These two products are the only products that Boosta is selling at this stage, but according to Martin, more products are in the works, such as a nut free energy bar and a Manuka Energy Chew with a more gel-like constituency.
Said Martin, “We understand that there are still people preferring liquids, and these will have the same advantage as the chews, being 100 per cent natural and containing no preservatives – though the carb content will be a bit lower due to the liquid constituency. You will not have to be afraid of unnecessary chemicals inside the body.”
He added, “It is true that it’s hard to find healthy stuff out there. But give us a try and you will be convinced.”
Where to buy the Boosta products
Boosta products can be bought at two locations in Singapore. These are at:
- J3 Juice Bar at 18 Cross Street #01-02
- BikePlus, at 833 Bukit Timah Road, #01-11
Boosta can also be bought online at www.boosta.net. Shipping is free to New Zealand and Australia, but shipping charges to Singapore apply.
Product photos are courtesy of Boosta.