Battle of the Bars Written by Lindsey on September 8th, 2010

My go to energy bar? Clif. Why? I don’t know. I think it was the cheapest bar when I was on the high school cross-country team. Back then the choices were either Power Bar or Clif Bar.

Now, the energy bar options are endless. Ranging in price from about $.70 to $3.00+ depending on where you shop, the choice can be confusing! Thankfully I’m on your side doing the tough research to break down the best option.

With so many choices, I stuck with bars that were chocolate flavored. I opted for several protein rich varieties since my husband, Ryan, and I were taking these bars on a backpacking trip and needed sustained energy for the long haul. The only exception was the Odwalla bar which came in either protein rich or chocolate. I opted for the protein rich variety.

THE LINE-UP (random order)

Tiger’s Milk’s Peanut Butter Crunch: 6 grams protein, 13 grams sugar, 150 calories “Chocolaty and sweet with limited fakey chemical taste. Very candy bar-esque.”

Odwalla’s Super Protein: 14 grams protein, 17 grams sugar, 210 calories “Oatmeal and raisin are the strongest flavors. The texture is a bit more natural but the after taste is pure chemical. Still, a nice break from the imitation chocolate flavored bars.”

Power Bar Protein Plus’s Chocolate Crisp: 23 grams protein, 18 grams sugar, 290 calories “Can you say cardboard? The texture is classic Power Bar – pressed, chewy, who-knows-what-this-is-made-of bar with a few rice crispies folded in here and there, finished with an imitation chocolate coating.”

Promax’s Double Fudge Brownie: 20 grams protein, 28 grams sugar, 280 calories “A chewy bar, very chewy. This bar is more chocolate with a caramel texture than brownie texture.”

Pure Protein’s Chocolate Deluxe: 20 grams protein, 2 grams sugar, 180 calories  “Chewy and fudgy. It’s no brownie but it could be a relative.” 

Luna’s Caramel Nut Brownie: 8 grams protein, 12 grams sugar, 180 calories “No wonder this is marketed to women. This is by far the prettiest bar! Even though it looked like there were different layers and flavors, it tasted pretty much the same all the way through. I don’t know were the nuts were, but the texture was similar to a brownie and the chocolate flavor was sugar sweet without being chemically”

Clif Bar’s Chocolate Brownie: 10 grams protein, 22 grams sugar, 240 calories “Looks like a turd. Tastes like a smoother version of a no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookie. Not bad!”

THE RESULTS

Lindsey’s Winners

1. Tiger’s Milk – “Tastes like a candy bar!”

2. Clif Bar – “Has a natural feeling texture and is chocolaty without being overly sweet.”

3. Luna – “Another sweet bar and interesting texture. No fake chemical taste.”

Lindsey’s Loser

Tie! Power Bar – “Pressed chemicals and cardboard,” and Odwalla – “Strong chemical after-taste, plain nasty.”

Ryan’s Winners

1. Odwalla – “Both chewy and crunchy, the flavor was a bit more natural than imitation chocolate.”

2. Clif Bar – “Tasted more like a candy bar than a health bar.”

3. Promax – “It’s a good chew!”

Ryan’s Loser

Power Bar – “If you cover cardboard in chocolate, it’s still cardboard.”

SUMMARY

Women have taste buds. Men don’t! The only bars we agree on are Clif as a winner and Power Bar as a loser. Other than that, I like the high sugar low protein bars. Ryan preferred bars with a more interesting texture.

Another plus, our mutually appreciated Clif bar was one of the least expensive and mid-range for protien making Clif Bar our Overall Winner! I’ve had it right since high school.

-Lindsey

2 Responses

  1. Covert says:

    I think your choice of dense protein bars for sustained energy is not right. No endurance athlete would eat a proteinplus bar before a race. Ugh. You shouldn’t eat one before a hike. You’d eat protein after a hike or race or workout to help muscle recovery.

    For energy before or during activity, you should stick to complex carbs with little protein. PowerBar has some very tasty “energy” bars. (Agree w you about ProteinPlus. Blah.)

    Try PowerBar Harvest or Nut Naturals or Pure & Simple or Triple Threat or Energy Bites (insanely good little nuggets of cookie dough). http://www.powerbar.com/products/

    Cheers.

  2. Lindsey says:

    Covert – thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to have to do some PowerBar testing!

    And maybe I should have been a bit clearer – we were backpacking and these bars were eaten over the course of a couple day and lots of miles.

    You’re right, for energy right before or a boost of zest during, these bars would not be ideal!

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