protein bar with many demands
August 8, 2006 10:14 AM   Subscribe

(protein bar filter) looking for advice on a protein bar with some strict guidelines.

so every day i have a Promax bar which almost fits my needs but i have decided to try to get rid of corn syrup consumption also and it is the 2nd ingredients so i need a change. this is an after-breakfast, before-lunch protein source for me.
i need a new bar that fits these qualifications:
  • a decent source of protein, at least 20g hopefully of whey protein
  • vegetarian. the bar can't have fish oil (this no Zone bars) or animal carcass derived protein sources.
  • no artificial sweetners (sucrolose, aspertame, etc). so that rules out a lot of them too.
  • no corn syrup. i used to be very allergic and it seems best to avoid anyhow
  • tasty. well, hopefully it will taste alright also.
i am fully aware that it is better to have an actual meal for a protein source but having a cup of beans or tofu in the morning just isn't working for me. and lunch often has little protein so i am trying to suppliment my intake. i am a biker and runner (age group duathlete) so work out about 6 days a week and want to not lose the muscle i have, perhaps gain a bit more. i don't mind carbs so much but would prefer non-refined sugar also.
yes, i could maybe make this myself also and if you have a recipe, i will try it, but i am kind of lazy so would prefer a packaged option.

i am not sure this exists but hope so.
posted by annoyance to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I doubt you'd be able to find a commercial product that meets your requirements.

Recipes here.
posted by grateful at 10:26 AM on August 8, 2006

I think that Hammer Food Bars will meet most of your criteria, although they're slightly lower on the protein than you might want. You can decide whether the benefits -- vegan, no refined sugars, no corn syrup, etc. -- outweigh that drawback.

Full disclosure: I'm a cyclist sponsored by Hammer Nutrition, in case that matters.
posted by dseaton at 10:57 AM on August 8, 2006

Alton Brown has a pretty good protein bar recipe here: recipe link. I'm not sure what the protein content is, but it seems to match your other criteria.
posted by NoMich at 11:02 AM on August 8, 2006

Paley bars are new, but fantastically tasty. I mean REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD, made by an award-winning chef here in Portland, OR.

They also don't meet your protein requirement, but as a distance athlete maybe they'd fit in elsewhere in your training.
posted by markovitch at 11:05 AM on August 8, 2006

Elev8 is a good possibility. Only 18g of whey protein--not quite 20, but no ingredients of unknown origin. Just whey protein and dried fruit.

Assuming you like whey protein and dried fruit, it should be tasty enough. (I think Power Bars taste like evil, but I think it may just be me).
posted by divka at 11:14 AM on August 8, 2006

I think Luna Bars fit these requirements, but I don't have one in front of me. I believe they use soy protein, not whey protein, and I know the sweetener is cane syrup, not corn syrup.

I also know that CLIF bars and Luna Bars are very similiar, just differently marketed.
posted by peep at 11:20 AM on August 8, 2006

Is a protein shake out of the question? Almost any protein powder mixed with milk,soy milk, water, etc seems like it would fit the bill.
posted by HoldFast at 11:23 AM on August 8, 2006

great suggestions all, thanks!
yeh, i have never liked Power Bars at all, they taste like old cardboard to me.

Clif and Luna bars have too little protein, only about 6g i think, but they do fit the rest.

a shake may be a good idea, i just have one later in the afternoon (just was going to make it in fact) so i wanted something different for the morning but i could have another of course.

i may try to make my own, i could always up the protein content i am sure.
posted by annoyance at 11:35 AM on August 8, 2006

Clif Bars, that I've had, are usually 10 to 12 grams. They have a Builder bar that's 20.
posted by Destroid at 12:09 PM on August 8, 2006

Clif and Luna bars have too little protein, only about 6g i think

Actually, the Luna bar I was stuffing in my face when I happened to read this has 9g of protein. And at 180 calories you could eat two without feeling much guilt. Plus, I think they have several pretty tasty flavors, and I'm not exactly a earthy crunchy type of eater or performance athlete.
posted by mdevore at 12:44 PM on August 8, 2006

I favor the Clif Builder's Bars (peanut butter if possible), they do in fact have 20g of protein. I have no idea about your other requirements since I eat anything dumber than me and I'm not sure what kind of protein. I'd bet you do end up having to make your own concoction.
posted by kcm at 1:44 PM on August 8, 2006

I have a Clif Builder's Bar (20g protein, as mentioned by a couple of others in the thread) here in front of me. It seems to suit all your requirements--as far as I can tell all the ingredients are vegetarian and many are also organic. Sweetened with chicory syrup, organic brown rice syrup, cane sugar, that sort of thing. And I can personally vouch for the tastiness of the Peanut Butter flavor.
posted by fermion at 1:50 PM on August 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

I don't know how you're going to find a bar without any "refined carbs." Most processed foods of this nature have to have some sort of refined carbs or artificial sweetners for flavor. Are you thinking that "natural" sweeteners like honey and fructose are not refined?
posted by catseatcheese at 3:43 PM on August 8, 2006

well, i said "refined sugars" but in any case i meant i would prefer cane sugar or honey. yes, of course they are refined also, but much less than just plain sugar.

there are too many good answers to mark one as best! i will order some builder's bars and a couple others to try out. great stuff.
posted by annoyance at 6:29 AM on August 9, 2006

a shake may be a good idea, i just have one later in the afternoon (just was going to make it in fact) so i wanted something different for the morning but i could have another of course.

You've gotten lots of good suggestions, but one other note on the shakes: to break up the monotony I like to have at least two different flavors (usually chocolate and vanilla, not necessarily the same brand either) of protein on hand. I'll also often spike them with a scoop of ice cream, or a starbucks doubleshot, frozen berries, chocolate milk, etc. I know to some extent I'm sort of defeating the purpose of "a healthy shake," but I'm mostly just trying to load up on protein.
posted by rorycberger at 10:48 AM on August 10, 2006

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