Product Review: RxBar Protein Bars

 

This being my inaugural post dedicated to product review, I’m going to take the next few lines to describe what you’ll find on this type of post.  You will get my honest, straightforward opinion on each product reviewed.  If I haven’t tried something, I won’t review it, and if I think it sucks, I’m going to tell you.  As of this writing, I have no affiliation with any company other than Amazon who gives me a small commission on anything a reader buys when they get to the store via the links in my blog.  My main goal is to help my readers make informed decisions when investing in fitness or nutrition products.  Now that the necessary logistics have been stated, on to my review……..

 

Truth be told, I’m not a huge protein bar guy.  The average bar usually comes packed with a ton of useless calories, more artificial sweeteners than a 2 liter of diet coke, and taste like someone put a box of chalk in a Snickers bar.  9 times out of 10, I recommend making a shake with a high-quality protein powder in lieu of a bar simply because they are usually loaded with only protein.  In a pinch however, a bar can be quite handy when you don’t have a shaker, powder, actual food, or the discipline it takes to always have a shaker, powder, or real food on hand.

 

RxBar protein bars were originally marketed to the Cross-fit crowd as a Paleo approved protein bar that could be a “whole food” snack without any GMO, dairy, gluten, etc.  Today, amid the “all natural” movement, it makes sense that a protein bar with only 4 or 5 ingredients (listed on the package) will fly off the shelves.  The front of the package has a minimalist feel as it only has the limited list of ingredients and “NO B.S.” at the bottom which is absolutely genius marketing.  However, when you flip the bar over and see the actual ingredient list, it’s a little longer, but still has no red flags.  Let’s see how these graded out after I tried 7 assorted flavors.

 

Taste

The biggest thing that jumps out when tasting RxBars is how similar each flavor is.  I’m guessing it’s because each bar uses the same sweetener: dates or figs.  The non-fruit ingredients are there but only in gentle tones.  Taste is just OK, but no comparison to a Kind Bar which isn’t far off from the same macro-nutrient profile.  Chocolate coconut was easily my favorite, the chunks of chocolate, crunch of the nuts and hint of coconut was the most distinguishable from the other flavors by a landslide.  As soon as you bite in, the fact that it’s made from real food is apparent.  It conjures up images of 2 guys getting together and making a homemade protein bar in their kitchen, which is cool.  If that appeals to you, then this will certainly fit the bill.  While the taste is decent enough, the main problem with this bar is that each flavor stuck to my teeth almost instantly.  Deal breaker for me.  If you can look past that, good for you, but don’t blame me when you plow through a box and wind up with 3 cavities at your next dental appointment. 

IMG_7310[675].JPG

 

Nutrient Profile

Rxbars fall short here for me.  While they are Paleo and Whole 30 approved, each diet only recommends they be used sparingly.  Low carbers and those on a ketogenic diet are out of luck as they pack in 15g of sugar and 24g of carbs with only 6g of fiber (18 net carbs).  While its great that the majority of the carbs come from fruit, at the end of the day all that sugar adds up and do you really want to use it on a bar that tastes just OK and sticks to your teeth?  Not this guy.  Each bar has 12 grams of protein, which is markedly lower than its competitors in the protein bar aisle, once again the argument is the source of protein.  RxBars use egg whites and most others use some sort of whey or even some basterdized version of protein cooked up to increase the numbers.  Given the choice, I’m going to go with higher protein and less sugar almost all the time regardless of if it’s whey or egg whites, especially if I’m on a low carb diet. Most of the flavors have 9g of fat which puts them right in line with the majority of other bars.

 

 

 A label comparison of  a Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bar and a RxBar protein bar.  It’s a blowout in terms of which bar is more “macro-friendly” and easier to implement in most diet protocols.         

A label comparison of  a Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bar and a RxBar protein bar.  It’s a blowout in terms of which bar is more “macro-friendly” and easier to implement in most diet protocols.         

 

Overall Rating: 6/10

If you get enough protein from other sources, aren’t on a specific dietary plan, aren’t counting calories, and generally don’t care about the numbers, these are a decent choice. What you are getting is an average tasting, on-the-go snack, made from whole foods, and for some, that’s perfect.   However, if physique enhancement, fat loss, or lean muscle mass are on the top of your priority list, there are better options.