I was picking up some creatine the other day and spotted these bars just above the protein powders. I had not seen them before so decided I had to give them a try and then do a review on them.
I liked the taste. I thought the flavor was quite similar to that of semi-sweet chocolate chips. The chocolate is not overly sweet and has a slight bitterness to it much like good dark chocolates. There was no underlying flavor of artificial sweeteners like you can find with many protein bars on the market.
I liked the texture too. The texture was chewy, almost brownie like. So far, so good. I would like to try other flavors going forward.
Coming in at 200 calories per serving with 14 grams protein, 13 net grams of carbs with 14 grams of protein and zero added sugar is good. The nutrition gets better in that these bars also provide Vitamin D, Iron, Riboflavin, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium. They make for a nutritionally sound snack item.
Good Lord, look at all the ingredients. I normally steer clear of anything with so many. However, there is nothing bad in this list. I like that these bars have taste almost decadent and indulgent, while providing low glycemic, high protein support as part of your daily nutrition. What I’m not crazy about is their claim of being a weight loss bar. They contain 13-14g of organic prebiotic fiber to help you feel fuller longer which is good. But, you might experience a little bowel trouble if you eat more than one in a day while not drinking enough water. Excess fiber intake can cause constipation or diarrhea for many people. Think of fiber as bulk that attracts water in the GI tract. If you don’t consume enough water, dehydration of the GI tract can occur. This can lead to hardening and difficulty passing the stools. The average male adult should take in about 30 to 38 grams of fiber a day and for women the recommendation is 21 to 25 grams. So, if you eat more than one of these bars in a day along with other fiber rich foods, you could very well find yourself having bowel issues that nobody ever wants.
This product contains Svetol, or green coffee extract which has been touted as being good for losing weight. Here is what Healthline.com has to say:
There haven’t been a lot of studies on chlorogenic acids and their effectiveness as weight loss supplements. A review of human studies did show that green coffee extract may have the potential to help with weight loss. But the documented effects on weight loss were small, and the studies weren’t long term. The studies were also poorly designed. So, there isn’t enough evidence to say that the supplements are effective or safe. More research is needed.
This product also contains ashwagandha, 150mg of which is alleged to help you feel fuller longer. What in the world is this ingredient?
Ayurvedic medicine uses herbs, special diets, and other natural practices as treatment for a variety of conditions. In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is considered a Rasayana. That means it’s an herb that helps maintain youth, both mentally and physically.
Historically, the roots of ashwagandha have been used to treat:
- skin conditions
- gastrointestinal issues
- nervous breakdowns
- snake bites
- memory loss
The leaves, seeds, and even fruit have all been used in different ways for various treatments. Today, ashwagandha is sold as a supplement in the United States. It’s still used to treat many of the conditions listed above. It also continues to be important in Indian medicine.
Ashwagandha may be used in powdered form in dosages ranging from 450 milligrams to 2 grams. So, with only 150 mg being in a bar, it seems there may be too little of it to have any of the benefits alleged to the use of it. Ashwagandha and Ayurvedic medicine still remain somewhat of a mystery to modern science. Many of the studies so far have been too small, done only on animals, or had some flaws in their design. For this reason, researchers can’t say with certainty that it’s an effective treatment.
The bottom line is, these bars are nutritionally sound and taste pretty good if you like semi sweet to dark chocolate. However, they should only be a part of a diet that is carefully managed by tracking your intake of calories and macronutrients. This is true of all protein bars and protein supplements though. My concern is there are people out there who will see “Weight Loss Bar” and just assume these will help them to lose weight without making other changes. I know this sounds ridiculous to some of you reading this, but rest assured, there are people who think like this. We have encountered more than a few over the last couple years of running this website. Sometimes people who are desperate to lose weight, only think emotionally instead of pragmatically. I hate that there are products which are marketed as weight loss products that actually do little to nothing for weight loss. The “Snake Oil” salesmen of years past are still here, they just do not travel in wagons any longer. Now, they get their message out to the masses of gullible customers through instore and internet marketing.
As with any other food source, you have to use common sense when consuming them. Never just read a label and assume the product will work as advertised. Have an inquisitive mind, your health and welfare depend on it.