Are you on search of a healthy energy bar for times when you can't break away from your desk at lunch, or it's post workout, or you biked 37 km commuting to and from work, and you just need a small top up of energy before dinner? Well, look no further! In this article, I will review some nutrition bars, and will aim to help guide your decision in those confusing food product isles. Since there are so many choices, it can be overwhelming, for example, should you get organic, or vegan, or do you need gluten-free, or should you have something with added protein or vitamins?
I will evaluate energy bars based on taste, texture, calories, unique ingredients and the resulting energy delivery. Which one will come out on top? It's anyone's guess.
On day one, I tried the 'SimplyProtein' Whey Chocolate Mint Protein Bar. It retails for $2.99, and is a 40g bar, delivering 15g protein, 5g fibre, 3g of sugar, and is 150 calories. It is labeled with 'made in Canada', Gluten free, Easy to Digest, Vegetarian, low GI, and low sodium. Although I like that it is made "locally" in Canada, I don't love the mint flavour, and the crunchy texture seems like eating a rice crispy. It's most unique ingredient is roasted split peas, and although it doesn't taste like peas, I don't love the overall flavour. It seems too minty, like the mint is trying to mask the flavour of the whey protein powder.
On Day two, I sampled a 'go macro MACROBAR', peanut butter and chocolate chip flavour. It's pretty packaging comes stamped with 'USDA Organic', Gluten Free, Vegan, macrobiotic and non-GMO. So what does this all mean? We will get to that in a second. But first, yum! This bar tastes great, the texture was smooth, and it was easy to eat. I biked to work, and ate half of the bar as my mid-morning snack, and the other half right before my 18 km trek home. It gave me sustained energy throughout the morning, and a power boost before my +30 degree ride home. The flavour was awesome! No overpowering either peanut butter or chocolate taste, but a nice general peanutty flavour, with some chocolate chips mixed in. It was one of the more pricey bars, but weighing in at 71 grams, so you can split it into two snacks like me if you wanted.
On Day three, I had a 'Luna Chocolate Peppermint Stick Whole Nutrition Bar for Women', by Clif Bar and Company, based out of California. It boasts 70% organic ingredients, is Certified Organic by QAI, and is labelled as a 'Nutritional Supplement'. It weighs in at a total 48 grams, contains 5 g of fat, 8 g of protein, 12 g of sugar and 28 g of carbohydrate. It has vitamins added including Calcium, Folate, Vitamin D and Iron. Targeting four of the vitamins and minerals that women are sometimes deficient in. I loved the flavour of this bar, very easy to eat, nice and moist with a dipped layer on the bottom. Overall, it felt filling, kept me energized, could be eaten before, during or after a workout, and had great flavour.
On day four, after an intense @SculptBarre class, I ate a Peanut Buttter 'LARABAR, a Fruit and Nut Energy Bar' weighing in at a total of 48 grams. It's brown, understated label states 'gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, and kosher'. I'm impressed by the fact that it only has 3 ingredients!!! That's right three, when the others averaged over 20 ingredients. So for those of us that want to eat as many real and whole foods, I recommend LARABAR. And what are these three simple ingredients - dates, sea salt and Peanuts, mixed in a perfect ratio that provides a yummy, nutrient-rich snack. Grab one when you don't have time to concoct your own GORP, aka good old raisins and peanuts', a snack I've had hiking with my dad since I was a little girl.
Another bar I enjoy and recommend, is the yummy #Vega Sport energy bar - Sustain, in Apple Cherry flavour, it's 'Certified Vegan', 'Gluten free', and 'Non-GMO Verified'.
Thank you to the friendly and helpful staff at Amaranth whole foods market at the @EnjoyCentre in #Stalbert for your help during my bar selection!
By Christina Herbers
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