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Review: VOOM Nutrition energy bars and products

Written by Fiona

June 24 2022

Like many runners I need to be able to take on fuel, especially on runs of more than about eight miles, yet I often suffer with digestive issues, a sore stomach and nausea. I find most energy gels do not agree with me. Mostly I eat ordinary foods on a long run, such as Babybel cheese and Peperamis, as wellas jelly sweets, but sometimes I need an extra boost.

I first spotted VOOM bars being used by Russell Bentley, a successful ultra runner. I thought they would be worth a try – and I can happily report that I find VOOM bars really good.

I have been testing a range of VOOM bars.

What is VOOM?

The team behind VOOM wanted to create a tasty, portable and stomach-friendly alternative to sports gels, “with twice the energy and zero mess”.

Drawing on core expertise from 20 years working in nutrition product development, VOOM considered the key areas of palatability, portion control, energy delivery, stomach comfort and handiness.

The headline product is VOOM Pocket Rocket energy bars. There are also pre and post-run bars and drinks.

Many of the products are vegan friendly, and most are also gluten free and naturally flavoured.

A starter pack.

On test: VOOM energy products

I have been testing the products over a number of months and on a variety of different runs, of variable duration and in different weather conditions. I received the products free in return for an honest review.

VOOM Pocket Rocket Electro Energy

  • Solid energy bar
  • 40g of carbohydrate
  • 160kcal
  • Four block design to aid stomach comfort because energy can be dosed gradually
  • 100mg full spectrum electrolytes to speed up hydration and fight cramp
  • Added B vitamins contribute to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue
  • Lemon & lime flavour from freeze-dried fruit
  • Batch tested Drug Free Sport.

VOOM Pocket Rocket Caffeine Kick

  • 40g carbohydrates
  • 160kcal
  • 175mg of caffeine (for fatigue-resistant effect)
  • B vitamins to reduce tiredness and fatigue
  • 100mg of taurine (can increase alertness)
  • Natural berry flavour with freeze-dried fruit.
  • Batch tested Drug Free Sport

VOOM Pocket Rocket Beta Blast

  • 40g carbohydrate
  • 150kcal in four chunks.
  • 2g of beta alanine (aim at runners doing high intensity work)
  • 150mg of caffeine (for a mental and physical boost)
  • Zesty orange flavour with real freeze-dried fruit.
  • Use pre-workout or before competition to give you the best start.
  • “This Pocket Rocket will help you lift off”
  • Batch tested Drug Free Sport.

VOOM RecoverFudge

  • Fast-acting salted caramel flavour recovery on-the-move or at home
  • Promotes recovery and aids muscle repair
  • 10g protein from whey isolate
  • Carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen.
  • MCTs for an alternative energy source and endurance booster
  • Carbs and protein together enhances uptake of both macronutrients.

VOOM Rapid Recovery Belgian Chocolate and Vanilla Protein shake mix

  • Repair, refuel and rehydrate after exercise
  • Unique formula with AstraGin® speeds up macronutrient absorption by up to 40%
  • Quality protein from whey isolate
  • Delicious Belgian chocolate and vanilla flavour.
  • 915g (15 servings) biodegradable pouch
  • Batch tested Drug Free Sport.

VOOM Raspberry & Beetroot Endurance Energy Bar

  • Nitrate-rich beetroot
  • Coconut MCTs provide readily available energy to boost glycogen stores
  • Oats provide steady carbohydrates
  • Honey offers both short and medium chain sugars

I have written about the claimed benefits of beetroot for runners.

Also, the products are all “proudly made in Britain”.

My thoughts: VOOM energy bars and products

My general thoughts are that these products are easy to carry and to eat/drink. The Pocket Rocket bars are now favourites for longer runs.

The consistency is like Scottish tablet (a hard fudge) although they are far less sickly. They do not upset my stomach and they seem to deliver a good dose of energy and keep me going at the end of a run when I have eaten enough Babybels and Peperamis.

If I want a boost that is caffeine-free, I choose the lemon and lime flavour Pocket Rocket Electro Energy bar. It’s easy to consume, quite tasty and requires only a bit of water to wash it down. The bar seems to work quickly and effectively.

To be honest, you can never know from one run to the next what it is that gets you through because there are so many variables, including how you feel on the day, general fatigue, terrain, weather, distance etc. However, I do think the VOOM bars deliver a good amount of fuel when I’m on a long run. I like that you can eat a square at a time and stretch them out over an hour or so.

My favourite is VOOM Pocket Rocket Caffeine Kick. I like the berry taste the best and it gives a good energy boost. It depends whether or not you believe in the effects of caffeine. I think caffeine does give a kick to me physically.

The bars are not too sweet, which is important especially if you are prone to nausea on longer runs.

The bars stay solid even when temperatures rise. They don’t feel sticky, either.

The Pocket Rocket Beta Blast is a good product if you are looking for a pre-run energy dose. I’ve not used this product as much as the others because I prefer a bowl of cornflakes and granola and hour before a run, but when I haven’t had time or access to my usual cereal I take on a couple of squares of the Pocket Rocket Beta Blast.

It’s easy to consume, although not as tasty as the Pocket Rocket Caffeine Kick bar. In fact, it’s my least favourite taste of the energy bars and has an odd after-taste.

When I’ve used the Pocket Rocket bars for a long run, for example, more than two hours, I’ve suffered far less nausea and stomach issues than previously. This might be due to a slower pace or the fact I am now a more experienced longer-distance runner and so my body has adjusted to the exertions, but, even after weighing this up, I think you tend to pack the items you believe work best and VOOM products seem good for me.

I have also tried a couple of the new Raspberry & Beetroot Endurance Energy Bars. They taste good. The are tartly sweet but pretty good overall with a nice moist consistency. Again, it’s hard to say if they if they are better than other products or whether give the right energy but I would trust in them after using the Pocket Rocket energy bars.

I have read a lot about beetroot and the benefits for performance and muscle recovery and I feel persuaded by the science. Like with so many products and claims, there is likely to be only the smallest of marginal gains but if a product doesn’t upset my stomach it’s a winner for me.

I don’t tend to use many recovery products but I gave two of VOOM’s products a try. The VOOM RecoverFudge is a tasty bar and very easy to consume. I’d go so far as to say it is quite dangerously good because you might start eating it like biscuits. This would prove rather expensive and probably rather calorific.

The VOOM RecoverFudge has the right ingredients for recovery, although I am not a sports scientist so I’ve no idea if they are the right quantities for me or for my running activities. I’m trusting that VOOM has done the science.

Again, you will find there is a lot of debate about how to consume recovery nutrients and whether a simple banana milkshake will do the job without need for pricier specialised products.

The VOOM product that I tested and liked least is the VOOM Rapid Recovery Belgian Chocolate and Vanilla Protein shake mix. It’s too sweet and fake chocolately for me. I’d rather drink a home-made chocolate milkshake although the ingredient AstraGin does interest me.

Apparently AstraGin comprises Astragalus Root extract and San-qi Ginseng Root Extract. It is a 100% natural compound that is claimed to increase absorption of vital nutrients and promote a healthy gut environment.

Pricing is hard to access. There is a £10 VOOM starter pack that allows you to try a range of products. This is a good place to begin.

Energy bar starter pack is £7.50.

A single Pocket Rocket Caffeine Kick bar is £1.50. (I am not sure if you can buy a multi-pack and reduce the price per bar.)

It’s £29.50 for a pack of 15 servings of Rapid Recovery shake.

I don’t think the products are particularly cheap but I would say they are on a par with many other similar products. I use the bars only when I am doing longer runs.

Conclusion: Many athletes vouch for VOOM and believe in them. This is a good start. The products are also mostly vegan, natural where possible and also gluten free where possible. They are made in Britain.

They do seem to work well for me and I have passed a few on to friends to try and they also highly rate them.

Whether the ingredients and benefits are backed up by science is difficult to tell and would require me to have a great deal more knowledge than I have but they tick the boxes of all the ingredients you would imagine to be useful for better running performance.

I recommend you give a starter pack a try to see if they work for you.

See VOOM Nutrition for more details.

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