Japanese Rice crackers as fuel?

Has anyone tried using japanese rice crackers for fueling workouts? maybe as an alternative to gels/sports specific products for long endurance rides?

Looking at the nutrition information (picture), seems to be good - 78g/100g of carbs, low in fibre, low in fat.

I’m looking at this item - nutrition info:
H&B Japanese Rice Crackers

What’s the catch? What am i missing?

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If they work for you, I say go for it. Might be a little high in fat for more intense efforts, but probably great for longer stuff. For me, something dry and crunchy like that would start to get hard to get down after a couple hours. I’ve done rice cakes and by hour 5 they’d just form a brick in my mouth. Might work well in combination with other sources.


stupid question here, but is 5.4g per 100g considered high fat? just curious because I come across sports bars that list peanut butter as their main ingredient

It is medium fat.

High fat is generally over 17.5% in the UK.

Low fat is under 3g or less per 100g and low saturated fat is 1.5g or less…

You might get slightly difference answers dependant on the food regulation authority depending on where you are in the world.

I think nothing. The only negative/neutral bit I can come up with is that pure rice crackers tend to be a bit bland, no? But I reckon you can put jam or something else on it if you want to mix it up.

Personally, I try to rotate different types of food so that I don’t get palate fatigue. Sometimes it is gummi bears, sometimes gels. If you can find solid food you can stomach that’s a plus, too.

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Also aren’t they very light?

What is the volume of a 100 or 200g of Japanese rice crackers?

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Good point, they are voluminous indeed. 200g would probably take up the whole space in a top tube feed bag. So not the greatest option for outdoor rides, but perhaps in small quantities to mix it up, or for long indoor rides?

Rice crackers are a terrible idea unless you like breathing in crumbs. Ask me how I know.
The general rule for training/ride food is that it must not be dry and crumby.
This is why bars, rice cakes, and sandwiches are the way they are.

Also, 200 calories of rice crackers takes up a huge volume.


On a trip, yes, but on the trainer? Seems fine if you put towels below your bike to catch your sweat (and crumbs).

You shouldn’t eat anything dry and crumbly while exercising. Having to concentrate so as to not breathe in crumbs is detrimental to training.

OTOH, Japanese rice balls are an almost perfect training food and you can avoid palette fatigue by changing up the filling.


I made my own onigiri (rice balls) for a race and plan to do so again. It weighs a bit more than some other options, but digests fast and easy. The taste is inoffensive and I find I’m always in the mood for rice. Whereas there’s only so many gummy bears and Oreos one can eat in a day.

Cooked jasmine rice is about 1 calorie per gram. For comparison, raw sugar is 4 calories per gram and honey is 3 calories per gram. A Stroopwafel is 4.2 calories per gram. Gummy bears are 4 cal/g. Oreos are 4.7 cal/g.

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Yes, as someone living in Japan, I can confirm this. They are resistant to body warmth (some food get icky, especially in the summer), hold up well (unlike sandwiches), are cheap and ubiquitous. In other words, perfect cycling food if you are craving for something salty.

My current go to on the trainer are gummi bears in various flavors. If I were living in Europe, I’d throw in stroopwafeln into the mix. But they are too expensive. (In the Netherlands and Germany they are cheap-cheap.)

Gummi bears and Oreos are my go-to’s for racing as they can easily be purchased at convenience stores. In my discipline, convenience store food may be the only food I have access to, so that is what I use on long outdoor rides. Nothing I do on the trainer is long enough for me to bother eating.

I’m thinking about stocking up on thin mints as a race food as well (5 cal/g!). Heaven knows I can eat a whole sleeve of them off the bike without even noticing.

More on gummies: Haribo gummies are made with 100% glucose, if you’re looking to optimize glucose:fructose. I prefer the sour streamers over the bears because 1) way easier to eat on the bike, 2) the sour helps deal with a dry mouth.

Yup, and in Japan they are carried by every convenience store. They also have sweet rice cakes (mochi), which are also very good, although they suffer a little from heat and are sticky. Best eaten on the spot.

Hmmm, learnt something today, thanks. That could indeed be useful.

They are also easy to make, too! I have taken a rice cooker with me to an AirBnB before a race.

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The content of Haribo actually depends on the country. I think American Haribo contains fructose for extra sweetness.

The ultimate cheap on-the-bike food in Japan is yokan, which have basically the same calorific density as gels and are just as easy (if not easier) to eat while riding due to the convenient packaging. They are cheaper per calorie than rice balls and about a fourth the price of a name-brand energy gel. The consistently is what I imagine Clif Bloks are like, though I’ve never had them. There are even some sports-oriented brands of yokan.

The amazing convenience store infrastructure here is one reason I have never bothered making sandwiches or rice cakes.

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I had never considered that to be honest. Off the bike they aren’t my favorite snack, but on the bike, they actually seem like a perfect choice to have in the quiver!

I think cooked short grain rice is more like 1.7 calories per gram.
I don’t think anyone is prepared to argue that pure carbohydrate and foods that contain fat don’t have higher energy density than rice, but in terms of solid food, cooked rice with a little sugar and fat added will be both palatable and energy dense.

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Only about 75 yen for ~120 calories!

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It does not. Haribo are some of the only gummies you can get in the US which reliably have no high fructose corn syrup in it.