Hello! What better on a dark November night than a few sport supplement reviews? Well, you’re in luck, cos here is my latest “fitness kit I’ve tested this week” post.
Today we have a few bars which were sent to me by the kind folk at Optimum Nutrition (ON). They sent me their Whey Crisp bar in Marshmallow Treat (anyone would think they know my tastes…) and in Double Rich Chocolate. They also sent through some Wholly Oats! bars in Strawberries and Cream flavour and Chocolate Peanut Butter flavour. Marshmallow. Peanut butter. Optimum Nutrition, are you stalking me?
I have to own up to not testing the Wholly Oats! bars myself, at least not fully. Even in an off-season non-diet, they’re just not my thing. Too….wholly oaty, I guess. However I am married to an endurance athlete for whom oats (wholly or otherwise) are a good thing. I did “sample” a bit (I’m such a nice wife, I prepare my husband’s packed lunch every morning and have taken to chopping the Wholly Oats! bars into bits to add into homemade trail mix) and this is what I have to say:
- Chocolate Peanut Butter – not as peanut buttery as I’d hoped, but this is actually a good thing otherwise my husband’s packed lunch would have been lighter that day. It was a nice flavour but not outstanding. Mainly chocolatey. My husband said they were very good. “Chocolatey and peanutty, but not very peanut buttery,” were his exact words.
- Strawberries and Cream - as the name would suggest, this is very sweet. The top layer represents the cream and is a bit like white chocolate. Right up my husband’s street (although he did report a taste of “marzipan”?!), but not mine. Horses for courses – you may love this bar and I’d certainly say give it a go. It’s nice, just not very me. The ON website says these bars represent a replacement/alternative to a bowl of porridge (translation for my US readers: “oatmeal” ) and a protein shake, and certainly that’s a typical breakfast for many a bodybuilder, so don’t think they’re only for endurance athletes.
The Wholly Oats! bars stats are: 21g protein (from casein, whey and egg), 42g carbs and 5g fat per bar
The Whey Crisp bars were mine and mine alone to sample! Husband didn’t get a look in, in fact I suspect he doesn’t even know I ever had them to review. Here’s what I thought:
- Marshmallow Treat. A treat indeed! Marshmallowy in taste but not texture, this was crispy (like a rice crispy cereal bar thing) and a bit sticky but not as sticky as an actual marshmallow. I… erm… may have dipped it in a cup of tea, and it held up admirably to that rigorous stage in the review process. I thought I might find this too sickly but I didn’t. I am proud of myself.
- Double Rich Chocolate – again, I thought this might be too sweet for me but it wasn’t (just). The bars aren’t huge, but I think this would have been too sweet if they’d been any larger. The tea-dunking test worked well for this bar, too.
The Whey Crisp bar stats are 16g protein (from whey). 25g carbs, less than 1g sugar and less than 2g fat. So, hardly a low-carb bar but then again I’d suggest that if you were in a low-carb stage of dieting you wouldn’t be using bars anyway. A tasty treat which was a welcome tea-dunking experiment in this more relaxed stage of bodybuilding eating!
Like most commercial energy/recovery/meal replacement (etc) bars, these aren’t the ideal solution when you need a snack, but they’re better than a lot of choices (chocolate bars, crisps, biscuits) and help you meet your protein requirements.
The flavours and sweetness are very much a personal thing. But here you have two different types of bars from a well-respected sports nutrition brand, worth trying if you like bars and certainly worth keeping in your bag in case you’re caught short without food. Thanks for the samples, Optimum Nutrition people!
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.