Thursday, 25 July 2024

Equipment, Protein Bars

PowerBar Protein Plus Protein Bar Review

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Each PowerBar Protein Plus bar provides your body with 30 g of protein, 34 g of carbohydrates, 11 g of fat, and 360 calories. They’re also one of the few protein bars to use a proprietary TriSource Protein blend of whey, soy, and casein, for sustained release.

But unlike most protein powders, there’s no creatine, L-glutamine, or BCAAs. So can they still be an effective source of pre-workout and post-workout nutrition?

In this review we’ll compare PowerBar Protein Plus to two other top-rated protein bars; MusclePharm Combat Crunch, and thinkThins.

Comparisons include the levels of protein, carbs, and fats, as well as the cost per serving, flavors, customer feedback, and total calories.

This is to guarantee you only buy the best protein bar for your current diet and fitness goal. Whether that’s weight loss, lean muscle gain, bulking, or simply to boost your daily protein intake.

PowerBar Protein Plus Ingredients

PowerBar Protein Plus Protein Bar Ingredients

Supplement companies tend to use a blend of proteins to create their protein bars. In most cases this means milk protein isolate combined with whey protein isolate, which is what you’ll find with Optimum Nutrition and MusclePharm protein bars.

PowerBar have used a slightly different combination, with soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate and calcium caseinate forming their TriSource Protein Blend.

So is it really any more effective to use casein and soy proteins in place of milk protein?

TriSource Protein Blend

  • Soy Protein IsolateStudies have shown that soy protein provides similar benefits to whey protein. Both types promoting lean muscle gain more than placebo, when combined with resistance training.However, research published in the Nutrition Journal shows that soy protein bars had the added benefit of preserving antioxidants during exercise. The fact that this is soy isolate simply means you’re getting the purest form of soy protein, with minimal fat and carbohydrates.
  • Whey Protein IsolateA popular choice for anyone on a low-carb diet, as the high purity means you’re getting almost pure protein, with very low fats and carbs. Studies have also shown it to be effective for increasing strength and lean muscle mass, with similar effects to beef protein isolate.
  • Calcium CaseinateSimilar to micellar casein, but a more soluble version that you’re more likely to find in protein bars. Both types of casein are digested slower than whey, making them the perfect choice before sleep, or when there’s a long time between meals.

Without knowing what percent is soy, whey, or casein, it’s difficult to talk much about the essential amino acid content.

It’s widely believed that a protein blend containing soy and dairy proteins will capitalize on the unique properties of each type of protein. Essentially targetting muscle protein synthesis from all angles to allow optimal delivery of amino acids.

One study tested this theory by comparing the ingestion of a 19 g protein blend against 18 g of pure whey protein, consumed one hour after high-intensity resistance exercise.

The protein blend produced a lower initial rise in blood BCAA, but sustained the elevated levels for longer than whey alone. Researchers concluded that a soy-dairy protein blend is an effective post-exercise nutritional supplement.

What’s in PowerBar Protein Plus?

PowerBar Protein Plus Ingredients Label (Chocolate Brownie)
Ingredient Amount per Serving % Daily Value
Calories 330
Total Fat 9 g 14%
Saturated Fat 4 g 20%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 190 mg 8%
Potassium 135 mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 40 g 13%
Dietary Fiber 5 g 20%
Sugars 21 g
Protein 30 g 56%

PowerBar Protein Plus Protein Bar

PowerBar Protein Plus – Product Summary

  • Contains 12 – 3.28 Ounce Bars
  • 30g TriSource Protein, a proprietary blend of whey, soy and casein protein
  • Helps build lean muscle
  • Provides sustained energy for active people
  • Take after training or competition where protein intake has been shown to promote muscle recovery

Weight loss or weight gain?

Protein Plus bars are designed to assist with the support of lean muscle growth and recovery, as part of a regular exercise and nutrition program.

For weight gain, you’ll need to consume sufficient protein and enough calories from healthy foods to put your body in a daily caloric surplus. This is what PowerBar Protein Plus bars are designed for.

If you need even more carbs and calories, MET-Rx Big 100 (30 g protein, 47 g carbs, 400 cals) could be your only option.

If your goal is weight loss, it’s better to find a high protein, low calorie, low carb protein bar that helps put your body in a caloric deficit each day.

Quest Protein Bars meet this criteria, containing just 6 g of fat, 20 g of protein and as few as 170 calories.

Who are they designed for?

Runners, weightlifters, athletes, or anyone looking for a quick and easy way to increase their protein intake.

When is the best time to take it?

The high carb content of Protein Plus bars means they’re ideal for pre-workout/post-workout nutrition, or as mid-morning/mid-afternoon snacks.

But as a general guide, whether you’re looking to diet or add lean muscle, carb intake should be drastically reduced after 5-7pm.

PowerBar Protein Bar vs. Combat Crunch

PowerBar Protein Plus
MusclePharm Combat Crunch
Protein: 20 g
Protein: 20 g
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Fat: 8 g
Fat: 7 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Dietary fiber: 12 g
Calories: 270
Calories: 210
Bars per box: 15
Bars per box: 12
Bar weight: 65 g
Bar weight: 63 g
Protein density: 31%
Protein density: 32%
Cost per serving: $1.28
Cost per serving: $1.50

PowerBar Protein Bar vs. thinkThins

PowerBar Protein Bar
Protein: 20 g
Protein: 20 g
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Fat: 8 g
Fat: 8 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Calories: 270
Calories: 230
Bars per box: 15
Bars per box: 10
Bar weight: 65 g
Bar weight: 60 g
Protein density: 31%
Protein density: 33%
Cost per serving: $1.28
Cost per serving: $1.50

What flavors and sizes are available?

PowerBar Protein Plus bars are quite unusual in the sense that they’re available in two sizes; 65g and 90g. The 65 gram bars are available in a box of 15, while the 90 gram bars come in a box of 12.

At the time of writing this review, the best value for money comes from the smaller 65g bars. Each of the larger bars was priced at $2.38 per serving, compared to $1.28 for the 65g version. So nearly twice the price for larger bars, even though you get just 2.5% more protein as a proportion of the bar weight.

That’s why we always recommend calculating the average cost per serving, across all flavors and sizes, before making a final buying decision.


  • Chocolate Mint
  • Peanut Butter
  • Reduced Sugar Lemon Poppyseed
  • Chocolate Brownie
  • Salted Caramel
  • Chocolate Coconut

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Dulce De Leche
  • Lemon Poppyseed
  • Peanut Butter Cookie
  • Vanilla

Save money with Amazon

If you’re looking to save money on your monthly supplement order, you might want to consider the Amazon Subscribe & Save program.

Subscribe & Save allows you to unlock savings of up to 15% on a wide range of sports nutrition products, including PowerBar Protein Plus Protein Bar (selected flavors only).

You can save 5% with a subscription to 1 product, or save the full 15% by subscribing to 5 products, provided they’re all delivered to the same address. The delivery schedule can be set from monthly, up to once every 6 months.

Although 5 products might sound a lot, if you already supplement with a protein powder, multivitamin, creatine, BCAA, and glutamine, the savings can soon add up. But it’s best to order before you run out of your current supplements, because Amazon set the day of the month each order is sent (same day each month e.g. 14th.).

Who are PowerBar?

PowerBar are a sports nutrition company with over 30 years experience in the development of protein bars, endurance nutrition, and wholesome snack products.

In addition to their protein drinks and performance energy bars, PowerBar have also developed a bestselling line of protein bars. This includes Clean Whey, Plant Protein, Protein Plus, and Protein Plus Reduced Sugar.

Protein Bar Buying Guide

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4.5 / 5

So, are Protein Plus bars worth buying?

They have a very similar macro split to the bestselling CLIF Builder's Protein bars, except with 1g less fat and use whey protein concentrate in place of soy. There's also virtually no difference in price, with Protein Plus bars costing 3 cents less per bar compared to CLIF Builder's, at time of writing.

Protein Plus and Builder's Protein bars also contain the same amount of sugar (21g), which makes them both excellent for a quick boost of energy before physical activity.

PowerBar do have slightly more flavors to choose from, but overall the two bars are virtually identical in terms of price, macro split, and ingredients.

Personally, we struggled to separate the two bars, right down to the taste and texture. As a company, Clif appear to be more focussed on organic and sustainable ingredients and a happier workplace culture for their workers, so on these grounds we hold a personal preference for the CLIF Builder's Protein bars.

In terms of quality, PowerBar Protein Plus bars are still delicious, and you'll struggle to find a better balance of carbs and protein for anyone that needs energy before a workout. Their reduced sugar line of protein bars is also something CLIF can't really offer without reducing the protein content.

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