The Protein Bar Challenge…

In the last few weeks I have stepped up my gym game with the help of my, now long-time, personal trainer Dane.  With the help of a ‘diet plan’ (read:  no bread or sugary snacks!) I have started a twelve week transformation challenge.  I begin the challenge at 9 1/2 stone and with just over 7% body fat, my goal is to tone up whilst also training for the Manchester 10k at the end of this month.  I will be writing a new blog post really soon on why I am running the Manchester 10k and how you can help support a great cause too!

For the last year I have used MyProtein Impact Whey Protein to supplement my training to good effect.  However, as a result of an increase in my training and also the need to cut down on foods with empty calories, I have recently began the search for a decent protein bar.  However, all is not as easy as it seems, here are the reasons why!

1:  There are so many different types of protein!

Whey protein, whey protein isolate, hemp protein, pea protein to name but a few.  Whilst I use whey protein powder, there appear to be a great deal more protein types when choosing protein bars.

2:  Protein vs Sugar Content

Last week I thought I had solved my sugary snack problem by investing in a number of ‘protein balls’.  However, on reading the list of ingredients it turned out that there was very little protein inside each serving.  Each ball contained just 10g of protein, alongside 9g of sugar.  Another protein flapjack offered 13.5g of sugar outweighing the 9g of protein in the 50g serving.  Perhaps a new name is required for the flapjack…

As I have delved into the ingredients list of a number of popular protein bar brands I have discovered that they are glorified sugar-hits with clever branding rather than the protein packed snack they promise to be.

3:  Density

I eat protein bars as a healthy alternative snack rather than a meal substitute so I was naturally disappointed when a nutritionally healthy protein bar had a very dense and heavy texture.  This not only detracted from the mouth feel of the protein bar but also made me feel like I had eaten a small meal rather than a quick snack.  Although the bar contained 21g of protein in an 80g serving, I was left feeling slightly bloated a short time after I had eaten it.

The Solution

I have ordered a sample of MyProtein’s Oats and Whey Cherry flapjack which combines milk and whey protein to give 22g of protein per 88g bar.  There is little in the way of sugars too with just 3.4g.  I will review the bars in the near future!

The best protein bars that I have tried so far are Grenade’s Carb Killa Dark Chocolate Mint.  In a 60g bar, a whopping 22.1g of protein is provided.  Although the bar has a great minty taste, there is little in the way of sugar content with just 0.6g!  I have two other flavours to try before bulk buying my favourite:  White Chocolate Mocha and Fudge Brownie.  However, with such a good protein/carbohydrate/sugar ratio I will be sure to buy protein bars from Grenade again.

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