PowerBar Protein Plus Review

8.1
8.1 score
[Editors rating (8.1)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.1)/10


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It can be tough to satiate a sweet tooth when trying to take care of yourself. Treats like the PowerBar Protein Plus help to incorporate dessert flavors into your mindful diet. This creamy bar packs a huge protein punch, with 20 grams of protein in each bar plus added fiber. These are perfect for fans of the classic, smooth nutrition bar, rather than chunky granola options.

They come in a wide range of great flavors. That also, unfortunately, means they come with a fair amount of sugar. But if you’re not too worried about the glycemic index of your protein bars, these are a great option!

They’re gluten-free which makes them a great treat to beat a post-workout craving. And they last, so you can throw one in your gym bag to have on hand in a pinch. There are a million bars out there on the market and we have ten good reasons why you should choose PowerBar Protein Plus.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Gluten-Free
  • Added Fiber
  • Smooth Texture
  • Dessert-Like Flavors
  • Tri-Source Protein Blend
  • Essential Amino Acids
Cons
  • High In Sugar
  • High In Carbs
  • Few Flavors

Calorie Count

Not everyone eats protein bars to give themselves a boost after a workout. Some people just need something quick to munch on when they’re rushing around. That being said, things marketed as “healthy” may not be healthy for consumption every day for those who are not calculating the contents of their food.

Many protein-loaded “health foods” are pretty calorie heavy. The PowerBar Protein Plus isn’t too bad in calorie count at all. Where some can climb to the 300s or above, this option is 210 calories. With their sweet, dessert-like flavors, that number is very reasonable for the average person. These are great for a burst of energy during a long workday.

When counting calories, it is more important to pay attention to your macros than just the first number in the nutrition facts. You want to focus more on carbohydrates, fats, and sugars, which give the body energy, than just calorie count. If you’re using the PowerBar Protein Plus more like a meal replacement or snack, these numbers aren’t as pertinent to know.

Carbohydrates

There are a lot of lower carb protein options on the market, especially with the rise of ketogenic diets. The PowerBar Protein Plus is not one of them. While many bars top out at 15 grams of carbohydrates or so, this has nearly double. Carbohydrates are healthy to eat in moderation, as they provide the body with energy. If your workouts consist of a lot of cardio, you probably regularly add carbohydrates into your diet for this reason.

The problem with high carbs in a bar like this is that they are usually supplementing a complete diet. That could make eating these be an unintentional carbo-load that you don’t want or need. Easily accessed and quickly eaten food is frequently not very healthy when looking at the numbers, so this comes as no surprise. These are still fantastic for before an intense run as they have a fair amount of carbs for quick energy.

The PowerBar Protein Plus has 25 grams of carbohydrates. That is eight percent of a 2,000 calorie a day diet. If you’re looking for quick carbs for energy or training, this is a fantastic choice. Anyone trying to stay relatively low carb should avoid the PowerBar Protein Plus. They do have a lower sugar and carbohydrate option but it has even more artificial ingredients than its normal counterpart.

Gluten-Free

Though sometimes controversial, gluten-free products are more and more frequently available for the public’s consumption. Diseases such as Celiac can make a person extremely ill if they even come into contact with gluten. This is not only scary but dangerous, so the introduction of gluten-free products to the mainstream market is a relief.

You don’t need to have Celiac to be gluten sensitive. The PowerBar Protein Plus considers those avoiding gluten by being entirely gluten free. This allows those with sensitivities and Celiacs to freely indulge in this protein option without any concern.

If you have dairy or nut sensitivities or allergies, these do need to be avoided. Though they are safe for even high levels of gluten sensitivity, they are manufactured around peanuts, almonds, dairy, and soy. Anyone with a special or restrictive diet due to allergies needs to be very careful with prepackaged items. Those who need to avoid gluten can easily enjoy this PowerBar, however.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is a range from one to one hundred. Pure glucose is the highest number on the index at 100. This number determines the spike in your blood sugar two hours after eating. Many people need to be careful about sugar intake. Sugar can derail a diet and cause extreme cravings, not to mention more serious health problems.

This ranking is relative and pertains to how the carbohydrates in the things we eat affect our blood glucose levels. Slower rises are generally better, and foods with lower glycemic indexes are digested more slowly. Protein bars are usually in the high range of the glycemic index. There are now some on the market with a lower glycemic index, but that isn’t the norm. In the past, sugar was indiscriminately added to a bunch of foods to get buyers coming back for more.

That means for those seeking low sugar snacks or protein supplements, they are not a good option. Those with diabetes should not expect the PowerBar Protein Plus to be a proper substitute for a full, balanced meal or snack. With 25 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of sugar, this is not ideal for anyone trying to keep their insulin levels in check or their sugar intake down.

For those watching sugar, they do have a low sugar option in the PowerBar Protein Plus line. These aren't as widely available as the classic bar. These reduced sugar options have a tenth of the sugar of their regular bars, coming in at only two grams per serving.

Fiber

Protein tends to be constipating, which can be a problem for many. Feeling overly bloated or heavy before, during, or after a workout is unpleasant and will affect your endurance. Fiber helps to get your digestive system moving. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate which boosts your metabolism.

It does this because it does not get digested. Instead of being broken down and absorbed, fiber helps to carry things through and out of your system. You burn more calories digesting fiber-rich foods than you would a plain carbohydrate. While a faster metabolism may make you think that you will be hungry soon after eating a PowerBar Protein Plus, that isn’t the case.

You will feel fuller longer thanks to its four grams of fiber. This is too low calorie for a meal replacement but thanks to this it acts great as a mid-day boost. If you snack throughout the day or don’t have much time or breakfast, adding in a PowerBar Protein Plus can help you kickstart and fuel your body in a pinch.

Flavors

Protein-filled snacks or meal replacements come in a bunch of different varieties. There are more dessert-centric options, or crunchy, slightly salty picks. No matter your taste, there is something on the market that you will love. This PowerBar Protein Plus is the former flavor profile.

PowerBar focuses on the sweeter side of life. Their flavors are rich and creamy. They have simple flavors such as vanilla or chocolate. Many reviewers felt this was a great substitute for calorie-laden dessert when they were having a sweet craving. Some refrigerated their bars for a cool and sweet treat.

Though they do create an indulgent bar, there are very few available flavors. In their Protein Plus option, they only have three widely available flavors. They are chocolate peanut butter, chocolate, and vanilla. Though there isn’t much variety, these tend to be the flavors people crave when looking for a treat.

Anyone who can no longer eat desserts but wants to satisfy their sweet tooth will still be satisfied even with the limited variety. Most protein supplements have these same flavors, regardless. These classic flavors are very popular, so it is for good reason that they are so common. People who liked to indulge in something richer than their usual pick after a spin class will flock to such a rich option.

Ingredients

Shorter ingredient lists are more trustworthy than long or hard to pronounce options. With so many products to take in, we often shop with our eyes before even looking at the label. For a protein bar, you’re going to want to take a good hard look at their ingredients and nutrition. This is mostly because so many of our food choices do not get an honest label, which is entirely intentional.

The PowerBar Protein Plus isn’t a natural food. With many of its ingredients being different forms of glucose, which is sugar, its health benefits take a back seat. Though formulated with fiber and protein, with carbs for energy, the added sugars make this much less appealing to the health food crowd.

There are next-to-no whole ingredients in this bar. Only a few of the listed ingredients are recognizable. It doesn’t have added vitamins or nutrition but sugar, flavoring, and fat. Thanks to its dairy content, it contains just a bit of calcium and iron but it is otherwise only significant in its protein level.

If you are not watching sugar and carbohydrates, then this won’t be an issue. For many who use supplements after a workout or as a meal replacement, they are looking to reduce such macronutrients. Though the PowerBar Protein Plus will be healthier than say, a piece of cake, it is more designed to be an energy boost or treat than a regular addition to your diet.

Protein

This bar is great for its high protein amount as well as its combination of amino acids. This is a special blend of amino acids formulated to keep bloating down and energy up. The PowerBar Protein Plus has 20 grams of protein packed into this tiny, 210 calorie bar.

That is the real shining quality of this PowerBar. The protein-to-calories ratio is impressive for such a small and compact product. Not only is it a lot of protein, but it is also high quality. Their Tri-Source protein blend is made up of whey, soy, and casein. These are all absorbed body at different rates, giving you a long term boost of protein throughout the day.

Amino acids minimize your post-workout bloat that can often come with eating or drinking protein. Their Tri-Source blend makes for an effective and practical protein source. As mentioned before, this isn’t a good option for those limiting their sugar or carb intake. If you are not concerned with them as much or carefully count your macronutrients, you won’t have to worry.

Texture

Reviewers agreed on the luxurious texture of the PowerBar Protein Plus being quite pleasant. Some options for protein tend to come to be a chalky texture due to their specific formula. Nothing is less pleasant than that taste and you may expect it even more so due to its added fiber.

PowerBar Protein Plus has a very creamy and smooth texture. It is a favorite among reviewers in addition to a shake or smoothie for breakfast. This is a must for those with a serious sweet tooth thanks to its silky and sweet middle. Multiple reviewers found that it became even more of an indulgence when chilled but this isn't necessary.

On a hot day, refrigerating or freezing one of these could be an awesome option for beating the heat. The outer shell is a chocolate flavored coating, not actual chocolate. Besides trying to cut the fat content with artificial chocolate, this helps keep it from melting as well or becoming too soft. So, no chocolate covered fingers after you’re eating it.

Value

Protein bars and similar supplemental food items can cost a pretty penny. When one has great value, it is more appealing. These PowerBar Protein Plus options are extremely affordable. The vanilla is priced the lowest, due to chocolate flavors having a bit more popularity.

If you’re looking to buy in bulk, these become even more affordable. The individual boxes come with 15 bars, which can go a long way when using them irregularly, as most will. Anyone looking to add protein bars into their routine will be overjoyed at their price. For an easy pick me up, these are a great, accessible option for a variety of people.

Bottom Line

This PowerBar Protein Plus definitely isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for a healthy addition to your diet and workout regimen, there are better-suited products available. These are relatively high in carbohydrates and sugar, so they are great for pre-run energy, but they aren’t so great solely as a protein supplement. Their added fiber and 20 grams of protein is a perk for those missing their favorite sweet treats. Those with gluten allergies or Celiacs can eat this with ease but these aren’t as perfect for other dietary restrictions.