Health Warrior Chia Protein Bar Review
I've been using some type of protein bar, meal bar, or nutrition bar for more than 20 years. Not often, but when I don't have the convenience of being where I can make or obtain a non-toxic meal. For example, while traveling. Or at the typical social gathering where "food" is served; there's plenty of wheat, corn, and soy that the other folks are poisoning themselves with but nothing safe to eat. Knowing this will be the situation, I bring bars so I don't have to go hungry.
Bar products are not ideal, nutritionally. But they are easily portable and that's what makes them great if they also pass certain other tests.
One limitation of the bars is that to stabilize the protein, it's usually hydrolyzed. If not stabilized by that process, another process is used and no matter the process there is some degradation of the protein. This is the trade-off made to have portable protein. Try carrying a slab of meat around at room temperature for a day and you'll understand why this trade-off is necessary. It's a worthwhile trade-off if you are traveling or otherwise away from your normal sources of quality nutrition and need something.
The main problem with bars generally is they are stuffed with corn syrup and other toxins, plus most have sugar and other garbage added. The reason for this is to make the bars taste better to those whose normal diet is limited to the normal two flavors that appeal to the typical American palate (over-sweetened and rancid fats).
I've looked at the bars from every major supplement manufacturer who offers them, this poisoning of the product is standard practice. Not only does it make the bars addictive to the nutritionally-depraved, it also makes them cheaper to produce so the manufacturer's profits are larger. I don't understand why people are so willing to throw away their training just to ride the sugar train, but that is often the case. Not just with bars, but also with shakes and other supplements whose ingredients panel should have a big skull and crossbones on it.
So what about this particular bar? I reviewed the ingredients panel before ordering it, and found that Health Warrior mostly respects the bodies of its customers. Here are those ingredients:
Ancient Grain Blend (Chia, Oats, Organic Quinoa), Brown Rice Syrup, Pea Crisp (Pea Protein Isolate, Pea Starch, Rice Flour, Calcium Carbonate), Almonds, Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Dark Chocolate Chips (Organic Sugar, Organic Cocoa Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Vanilla), Coconut Flakes, Cocoa Powder, Arabic Gum, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Vitamin E).
Let's take this apart. First, no problem with these ingredients:
Ancient Grain Blend (Chia, Oats, Organic Quinoa), Pea Crisp (Pea Protein Isolate, Pea Starch, Rice Flour, Calcium Carbonate), Almonds, Coconut Flakes, Cocoa Powder, Arabic Gum, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt.
These are somewhat problematic:
With these ingredients, you get only 10 grams of protein. But you get 200 calories. That means to get enough protein to use this bar as a meal substitute. the typical athlete will have to greatly exceed his/her daily calorie limit to satisfy his/her protein needs.
What about the taste and texture? Well, bars are always going to have that hydrolyzed protein texture, unless the manufacturer adds something like colon cancer causing hydrogenated oil (most of them do), but Health Warrior does not include that toxin. Still, it's a pleasant texture. The credit for that texture goes to the combination of ingredients that end up giving you 20% of your RDA for fiber in just one bar.
Compared to the candy bars that are misrepresented as nutrition bars, this one has a complex flavor that is quite pleasing. They could do with a little less of the sweeteners and still have a good taste.
They've also managed to keep the sodium low and they've done something to make the bar not require the normal "wash it down with something" that comes with even fairly good bars. That's a plus for the traveler, who might not always have access to water when it's time for a meal and the bar is the only thing readily available.
Because of the protein to calorie ratio, I would not make this my main bar generally. I think it's good to add into your bar mix if you're traveling. Another great use for it is if you're involved in a calorie burn sport such as climbing. In that case, making this your main bar is a very good idea.
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Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
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