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Power Crunch protein bars are light, fast and taste great

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A few weeks ago, the folks at Power Crunch sent me a few samples of their protein bars and asked for my opinion on them. The samples included the original Power Crunch bar, the Power Crunch Crisp and the Power Crunch Choklat. All the bars contain what the company calls “Proto Whey”, whey protein engineered to digest easily and be absorbed rapidly.

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First, let's go over the differences. The original Power Crunch has creme-filled wafers and contain up to 14 grams of protein. Choklat bars are either milk or dark chocolate and contain up to 5 grams of protein. Lastly, the Crisp bars are a gluten-free offering that also contains up to 14 grams of protein.

But there are tons of protein bars on the market. What makes the Power Crunch bars different? Glad you asked that question.

1) Taste:

This was one of the Power Crunch's strongest points. All of the samples tasted good, but some were great.

The dark chocolate Choklat bar could hold its own as a candy bar, let alone going up against protein bars. It was a rich flavor and there wasn't even a hint of that aftertaste we often expect from protein bars. Imagine a Hershey's Krackel bar in dark chocolate. It was that good.

My favorite among the original Power Crunch was probably the Chocolate Mint. They reminded me of the Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies (stop pretending like you haven't eaten them). The flavor was great and, again, there was no aftertaste. It is definitely a tasty way to get 14 grams of protein.

The Chocolate Brownie Wonder was the winner among the Crisp samples I tried. This bar, which contained 13 grams of protein, was light and tasty. It tasted more like a dessert than a nutritional supplement.

2) Digestion:

All three of the Power Crunch variants digested very easily. Over the years, I've tried a lot of different protein bars. It is very common to find protein bars to be slow to digest and sometimes they feel like you swallowed a lump. Not so here. Endurance athletes will appreciate how light they feel on the stomach.

One thing I don't like about a lot of protein bars is how slow they are to eat. It seems like you spend five minutes trying to chew up each bite. All three versions of Power Crunch bars were fast to eat. These would be ideal for grabbing on the way to the gym or the pool.

I feel that I should point out the one thing I found that was a bit of a negative. They do tend to melt easily. To be fair, I live in South Florida and the heat here is formidable. That heat took its toll during shipping and the samples melted to one degree or another. I refrigerated them and got them firmed back up. I did note, however, that the Choklat bar still went from refrigerated to starting to melt before I had finished eating it. So if you plan to pack a Power Crunch bar for a bike ride or something like that, take the variety and temperature into account.

The bottom line:

I have no reservation in recommending the original Power Crunch, the Choklat or the Crisp for endurance athletes. They digest well, leave no aftertaste and taste good enough that you'll actually look forward to having one.

Power Crunch also offers protein powders and premixed drinks. Information on these products and the Power Crunch bars can be found at their website. You can also find these bars at Trader Joe's, WalMart, Vitamin Shoppe, Safeway, Publix and Kroger.