The Creation of CLIF Organic Energy Food: Scott Jurek
An Interview with Scott Jurek
Tell us a little about how this project came to be? How did you help with the development of CLIF Organic Energy Food?
How I eat is a whole lifestyle approach. I feed my body the same way whether I’m on a run or whether I’m at home, as I believe that what I eat on a regular basis for lunch, breakfast or dinner ties back to my sports nutrition. Being connected to my food as an athlete provides a huge advantage that goes above and beyond putting in lots of miles and training. So, when CLIF Bar approached me for my thoughts about making a product for endurance athletes that let them get the energy their body needed for long-distance activity from real food ingredients, I was intrigued. From the beginning, I was able to give my ideas, try and test all of the flavors and provide feedback into the finished product.
With the savory flavors in particular, there’s really like nothing else like it out on the market. For years I’ve been doing this all on my own –wish I had this about 10 years ago it would have made things a little bit easier while traveling and racing in places like in Europe or Asia and other places where I just didn’t have my kitchen. Having it in an easy, readily available format and just portability is really key for the runs that I do.
Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind Organic Energy Food. What are some of the home made real foods that you like to eat while running?
The inspiration for CLIF Organic Energy Food was about making real, wholesome, organic food portable so you could enjoy the tastes, textures and flavors that you crave at home on the trail. Since I started out in ultra-running, I was packing my food in zip lock Baggies—everything from baked, sweet red and yellow potatoes with salt on them to leftover vegan pizza. When the idea of a savory flavor was brought up to me, I was excited to have a uniquely flavored and textured product in an easy to consumer pouch that contained carbohydrates, protein and fat. That’s the beauty of it—the pouch keeps things nice and easy since a lot of people aren’t going to make and package their own food for a run.
How would you recommend using organic energy food? How does it fit into the rest of your nutrition plan?
I really use Organic Energy Food to mix up the flavors and textures of gels and bloks. There are times on a run where I’m approaching an uphill and I really want that kind of quick acting carbohydrate and crave the sweet flavors. Other times I’ll be running downhill five hours into a race and want an even, nice burn which is where the fat and protein in the savory flavor hits the spot– you’re getting the right kind fuel but the taste and the texture really kind hits home. The nice thing is it’s super easy to twist and turn, and also you can just take half of it depending on how many carbs you need.
What's the craziest real food that you've eaten while on a race?
I’ve been experimenting with a lot of nutrition ideas throughout the years and have brought some crazy things out on a run. I once tried putting olive oil in gel flask bottles! I thought “olive oil is amazing, it’s a super dense energy source and of course has so many health benefits, why not take it running?” So I take some guzzles of it on a run and it caused some severe stomach issues—surprise! But, throughout the years, I’ve enjoyed being my own guinea pig and working to find out what kinds of real foods and sport foods work the best for me.