Saturday, December 30, 2017

Will Power Protein Kick Start Your Day?

Discovering PROBAR and NuGo this year has raised my expectations for energy, snack, and meal replacement products with chocolate. As you've seen this year, the results have been less than happy reviews of other brands of these same sorts of products. Today I'm looking at a well-know brand, PowerBar, for the first time. Specifically I'm looking at their Protein Snack Bar in Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp variety. One bar is 1.94 ounces (or 55 grams) and has 220 calories that are made up of 6 grams total fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 170 mg sodium, 140 mg potassium, 32 grams total carbs, 4 grams dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar!, and 11 grams of protein... In a bar called "Protein" anything in its title I want more protein than sugar personally. The bar has peanuts, almonds, milk, and soy in case those are allergens for you. It does have alkalized cocoa but also "chocolate flavored coating" (or candy to be blunt) plus several chemicals. Interestingly it says at the bottom of the ingredients list that it is "partially produced with genetic engineering" and I'm not used to seeing that, only to see non-GMO on labels. I received their Protein Snack Bar free by using my Kroger Loyalty card. Neither Kroger nor PowerBar was aware I'd be doing this review of their products so obviously no form of compensation was received in exchange for this article revealing my honest feelings about the product.

Let's get to what you really want to know -- how is the bar when you eat it? It looks like a lot of energy and snack bars -- you can see the nuts and rice amid the cocoa colored top 2/3rds and on the bottom 1/3rd is that chocolate flavored coating. It has a very strong rice and sweet scent to it as soon as I open the wrapper and that smell does not dissipate as I'm sitting here typing out the previous paragraph and reading the label.Taking a bite with the coating against my tongue I can taste that chocolatey coating then the soy and sweetness but the rice flavor lasts the longest. Flipping the bar makes the coating less strong and thus the chocolatey flavor less intense but it does not intensify the sweetness. In fact, I'm surprised at little sweetness there is to this bar and that is a good thing. It is crunchy to bite into and to chew.

I ate this for breakfast before heading to the university museum where I volunteer to lead classes through the galleries and help them learn about art. So the final test of this bar was whether or not it gave me the energy I needed for the morning. It gave me a lot of energy and I wasn't hungry at all until lunch time.

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