Monday, 30 April 2012

Review: Energy Bars

Although some, but not all energy bars are aimed at runners and cyclists, they can be a convenient quick snack on the move or for a speedy stop when hiking. I know there are many snack options when on the trail, but I tend to find I lose my appetite when walking a long distance. I do sometimes take bananas, nuts, sandwiches, Peperami etc. But a nice tasting, energy full bar, can easily fill the bill.

So in this review I will be looking at four fairly easily available energy bars. I will consider three aspects; ease of access, taste and nutrition.

Clif Bar - Peanut Butter Crunch

Access into the packaging isn't going to win any medals for form, but you can get in their fairly easily. The bar doesn't stick to the packaging though, so no problems eating.

A definite peanut taste, in fact almost as strong as peanut butter......nice. The bar is very slightly tacky and holds together well with a nice peanut crunch. There's not much in the way of sweetness with this flavour of Clif Bar. Not a bad thing as the peanut taste is nice as is for me. I didn't find myself really needing a drink afterwards.

PowerBar Energize - Cookies and Cream

There is a slight tackiness to the bar so the packaging tends to stick to the bar requiring a constant peeling of the wrapper. It's not too much of an issue as the bar bends easily, so a reduced chance of it breaking and losing some of your snack.

The texture, when eating the PowerBar Energize is of chewy cookie dough. Cookie dough also continues in the taste, along with chocolate and quite a bit of sweetness. Once I'd eaten the bar I did find that it made me quite thirsty. I really like it out on a walk as the strong flavour helps with the lack of appetite I get when walking. There is a slight after taste but nothing too bad. Might be a little love it or hate it.

Trek Bar - Cocoa Brownie

The packet access isn't too difficult and the bar slides out of the packaging easily as it is not tacky. So eating on the go is very possible.

When chewing there is a slightly moist texture with a definite trace of the dates the bar is based on. It has a solid consistency that keeps it's structure as eating, but has a nice chew to it, with a slight crunch. The Cocoa taste clearly comes through mixed with the date taste, complementing each other nicely. But the date taste is dominant, as it is with the other flavours of Trek Bar I have had. Unlike plain dates the flavour isn't too overpowering and not overly sweet. There's no particular feeling of thirst after eating the Trek Bar.

High5 Energy Bar - Banana

I do find the packaging for the High5 a little difficult to get into. And once opened the bar can take some coaxing out, even though there is no tackiness to it.

The texture of the High5 is quite firm and a little rubbery. So it feels chewy, a bit strangely so, as though there has been a lot of setting agent used. The Banana taste is so sweet it tastes more like apple sauce. So more like an overly ripe Banana.

Nutritional Information

The following table shows a comparison for the various bars reviewed with a snickers bar for comparison.

Info sources

Snickers: The packaging.