What’s a health conscious endurance athlete to do for those healthy on the go snacks? There’s a LOT of choices out there. ClIF bars, Kind bars, Picky bars and so many others you can’t count them on all of your fingers and toes. Beware that while some bars contain natural and healthy ingredients, moderation is key. If you’re snack bar is 700 calories and you’re wanting to maintain “race weight”, it may not be the best option for your 10am snack, or you will have to raid calories in other meals to balance your daily intake.
And what about protein? Exactly, what about it? Paleo, South Beach, Shakeology and so many other plans out there thrown into the faces of health minded triathletes. What you will find with most bars labeled protein is a high carb count to go with that. You have to be very careful of what you’re eating as there are very few products that come with high protein and few carbs.
In our eternal quest for the perfect protein bar we found Power Crunch. Well, rather they found us and offered an assortment of Power Crunch energy bars to try out for a review. After eating our fair share (all of them they sent us), we have a few thoughts we’d like to share.
Packaging / Shelf Appeal / Marketing
Power Crunch has come out in a big way. They are pretty much a staple at any gym snack bar and can be found in most food chain stores. Health stores, gas stations and more all carry Power Crunch.
The wrappers are clean and appealing. They catch your eye, but aren’t obnoxious. One wish list would be something more eco-friendly than the standard foil wrappers, but that’s splitting hairs. The other catch is you may not find the flavor you are looking for as shelf space might be limited.
Form / Construction
When you open your Power Crunch, it’s a wafer based bar. It was actually refreshing to find a self proclaimed energy bar that wasn’t the consistency of a fudge bar. So many energy bars are dense and gritty and Power Crunch is not. It’s reminiscent of the vanilla wafer days as a kid, but a little healthier.
Sorry those that are lactose intolerant or allergic to peanuts. Most bars have both of those ingredients but some are gluten free, if you’re looking for that. If you’re into the science, you can read up on the ingredients of each bar to find one that’s right for you and read up on Power Crunch’s unique form of protein called “hydrolyzed whey protein.” We won’t dive into that here, but what we will draw attention to is the ratio of protein to carbs per bar and what the calorie content is.
We are always looking for low calories, high protein options for our endurance lifestyle and were very excited to see that Power Crunch in general carries 14/8 protein to carb ratio around 200 calories. Competitors can get to 22/30 ratio with 270 calories with 80 calories from fat. Do notice though that around 115 calories are from fat for Power Crunch depending on the type of bar. They are using stevia leaf extract for sweetening, but still carry a decent amount of fat content which could be a good fuel source to train your body to work from on long distance training. It all depend on your take of training and fueling methodologies.
Fashion / Appearance
Power Crunch bars are appealing. You open up the wrapper and find a delicious looking wafer bar either with either a small coating or completely covered bar of “glaze”. They look like they were made by someone who knows what they are doing and not someone in a garage with a chemistry set. When you open one up, you actually want to eat it.
So how does it do as a daily snack or workout fuel source? We tried it all. It was a daily snack in the morning or afternoons. It was a pre-workout snack. It was a during-workout fuel source. It was a post-workout on the go snack. Power Crunch bars were super handy when you have a busy day of the “day job”, kids, family and trying to jam in training somewhere.
It was extremely filling, but if you’re on the go working out, you may not want that. It was light, but provided enough to satisfy the snack cravings during the day (we subscribe to 3 meals and 2 snacks per day).
All of the flavors were pretty good. The best were Cookies and Cream and Peanut Butter crunch. We weren't huge fans of the mint chocolate, but someone out there may dig it. There’s something for everyone with 13 energy bar options.
The biggest highlight was eating an energy bar and not having the fudgy texture without the fudge taste. Some competitor bars are akin to eating cardboard with grit. Have you ever eaten an energy bar that seemed like someone took some sand and added dough to it? Not Power Crunch. That wafer snack you loved as a kid is back, and it’s healthy! Our kids even loved them (but keep your hands off daddy’s workout snacks!). Overall we found Power Crunch to be satisfying as far as taste, texture, filling and supplying functional energy.
For a box of 12 bars, you will pay $24.99 from Power Crunch directly, plus shipping. Now, you didn’t read this here, but savvy internet shoppers can find it perhaps $10 less on other locations. You can also find them in local stores and forgo shipping as well.
Using the savvy internet shopping route, energy bars in the relative same market space go about equal for a count of 12 such as Power Crunch. So, really you won’t pay any extra for Power crunch over the competitors. What you pay for is an alternative to the dense energy bars with high protein to carb ratios.
Flat out we loved Power Crunch. Maybe not all flavors, but we found a good 10 flavors that we could stock our pantry with and enjoy for years on end. They offer a wide variety and the wafer model is so much more appealing than the fudge density bars that are out there. Cost wise you really are not paying a premium to use Power Crunch over competitors, so it really only comes down to how you want your energy delivered.
Writer’s Note – Power Crunch sent us samples for this review and in no way influenced the review.
AND NOW FOR THE RAFFLE!
It's time... time to give some stuff away!So those that have followed this blog, you have noticed I do a fair share of product reviews. Some are great, some are good, some are so-so and some don't happen since the product didn't work out for one reason or another.
Well, those people that have sent me the products are on board with helping me reach my fundraising goals for Ironman Texas ($1500 goal), Ironman 70.3 ($600 goal) Kansas and Ironman Chattanooga ($5000 goal). It's coming along, but we need more! This is all a part of my master www.Tri4aHandUp.com fundraising scheme for 2014.
I have a shelf in the basement full of stuff to give away to my readers, followers, fans and supporters. I'm taking a huge leap of faith setting up online raffles will result in contributions and not be a bust for the great people that sent me products.
How do you get in?
Each giveaway entry is counted by a contribution to one of the fundraising pages. Each giveaway will have a unique amount to donate so I can keep track of what's an entry and what's a regular donation. I get emails from each page when someone contributes, so they all get counted. You can enter as many times as you want.
You can contribute to either page:
How do you win?
I will number each entry and hit random.org to randomly generate a winner. I will keep generating numbers until someone gets 3 hits and then they win!
How do you get your prize?
Pay attention to this blog and the Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/Tri4aHandUp. Winners will be announced and I will have you email me your address for shipping.
Who is eligible?
Anyone in North America. No overseas shipping UNLESS you are in the armed services and you have a North American shipping address that ships items to you.
What's up for grabs this week?
Power Crunch Peanut Butter Fudge Box of 12 bars.
Check out my reviews:
I Tri Because I Can
In recognition of Ironman Texas being my second full Ironman triathlon, entry will be $2.00 at either site. Enter as many times as you want! Entry closes 11:59pm central time on Saturday, May 3.
You can contribute to either page: