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Power Crunch bars

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A few weeks ago I was out buying sports nutrition products for my son to use before his track meet. I happened to notice that there were some empty boxes on the shelf. I mentioned it to the clerk at check out and she said "oh yeah the Power Crunch bars are pretty popular". A few days later I got an email asking if I would like to review the product. Serendipity.

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A week later I received an assortment of Power Crunch bars. I had already taken a look at their website and reviewed the product ingredients. The tagline 'treat your body smart' caught my eye'. I always find it interesting when a new product is created to solve a problem. In this case Kevin Lawrence, President, CEO and former bodybuilding champion, had a colicky son. He decided to develop a type of hydrolyzed whey protein that would be better absorbed by the body and easier to digest. Kevin created the powder and found his son was able to digest the protein, as a result the colic symptoms disappeared. Realizing the market opportunity he brought Power Crunch Proto Whey to the market in 1996.

The Power Crunch bars come in 7 flavors; Peanut Butter Fudge, Triple Chocolate, Peanut Butter Crème, French Vanilla Crème, Cookies & Crème, Wild Berry Crème and Chocolate Mint. They are a light creme filled wafer cookie. A quick read of the label shows up to 14 grams of protein, 2-5 grams of sugar, and 6-10 grams of fat with a high percentage of saturated fat. That led me to take a second look. The saturated fat is actually palm kernal oil which is like coconut oil. They are saturated fats which are a solid at room temperature but do not contain cholesterol or trans fatty acids. These oils are processed differently by the body and can be beneficial.

The low sugar is due to stevia. For most concerned about their health and inflammation this is good news. Trace amounts of soy lecithin and caramel color might put off the critics at least until they try the bars. The taste is pretty phenomenal for a protein bar. While it does not have 20+ grams of protein a solid 14 can sometimes taste chalky. These bars taste like a light Kit Kat bar. They are light and crispy without the sweetness of a candy bar. I found the peanut butter fudge to be downright delicious. One son tried the mint chocolate and proceeded to finish it before anyone else get a chance to try the bar. He said it wasn't as sweet at a Thin Mint cookie and gave it a thumbs up. My vanilla connoisseur loved the French Vanilla. He also powered rather quickly through the Wild Berry before I could get a chance to taste. He said the flavor was good, like real fruit not fake!

The new Crisp bars also have up to 14 grams of protein. They do not have the wafer cookie inside. Both the Chocolate Brownie Wonder and Sweet Vanilla Dream are gluten free. I had a workout fiend who regularly consumes protein bars and has tried (and likes the Power Crunch bars) give the Chocolate Brownie a try. She liked the flavor and found they had a slight protein after taste. She said she would definitely have given a thumbs up if she had never tried the Power Crunch bar. She (and I) just really liked the light wafer in the Power Crunch. My husband said he would eat the vanilla bar since it had a lighter flavor.

The big hit with my boys were the Choklat bars. These gluten free bars have up to 10 grams of protein in milk and dark chocolate flavors. Buyer beware the label shows a serving size as 1/2 of bar, so they have 220 calories, 14g fat, and 10 grams of protein. These taste like Nestle Crunch bars. If you are trying to kick the candy habit then these bars are a good option for you. The protein will keep you satiated longer and 7 grams of sugar is markedly less than the 24 grams in a Nestle bar.

Most protein bars on the market boast 20 or more grams of protein. Power Crunch stands apart with slightly lower protein, but also lower carbohydrates and sugars.

The average protein bar has:

20-30 grams 17-33 grams carbs 6-10 grams fat 2-5 grams sugar

Power Crunch Peanut Butter Fudge 13 grams protein, 10 grams carbs, 12 grams fat, 5 grams sugar

Kind Bars 5 grams protein, 20 grams carbs, 11 grams fat, 11 grams sugar

Lara Bars 6 grams protein, 23 carbs, 13 grams fat, 18 grams sugar

You really do need to read labels and know what you want and why you are eating a protein or nutrition bar. Bottom line is that the Power Crunch bars taste great. I am fine giving these to my boys as a yummy snack to hold them over to a meal post workout or game. As a triathlete it would not a be a bar I would take out on a bike ride with me due to the melting factor, but I'd be happy with one post workout. The 120 mg sodium and 250 mg of potassium are a nice bonus.

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