PowerBar Energize - a tasty blast of energy
If it tastes bad, it must be good for you.
That's the conventional wisdom. And the energy bar market has pretty much reinforced it, offering serious athletes goodies that are seriously hard on the palette.
But PowerBar has raised the bar, so to speak, with its new trio of Energize Fruit Smoothie bars (suggested price: $1.59).
The new Fruit Smoothie bars are positioned, along with the company's stalwart Performance bar, at the front end of PowerBar's 3-step system of Energize, Refuel, Rebuild — which targets the body's different energy needs before, during, and after exercise. The bars are designed to be eaten just before a hard workout or endurance event, especially when there's no time for a real knife-and-fork meal.
The Fruit Smoothie bars have 210 calories and 6 grams of protein compared with the 230 calories and 9 grams of protein for the Performance bar. But both have C2 MAX, PowerBar's tag for that magic 2:1 ratio of glucose and fructose that boosts carb absorption, which means more fuel to working muscles that need it.
The smoothie bars come in three flavors: Berry Blast, Creamy Citrus, and Tangy Tropical. They contain no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners and are made with a base of fruit juices that includes pear, pineapple, apple, and peach.
Tangy Tropical tops off with dried pineapple, papaya, and mango; Berry Blast with dried strawberries and cranberries; and Creamy Citrus with orange and lemon peel.
With so many flavors competing in each bar, the result is flavor impressionism, not realism. But that's not a bad thing. (Rembrandt is great, but so is Cezanne.)
The bars don't punch you in the mouth with varietal flavor. But they give a convincing suggestion of berriness, citrus, and tropical fruitiness — similar to what you get with blended smoothies. And their texture — chewy, but not hard to swallow — is pleasant enough, if a bit grainy.
Unlike past performance bars, you won't need to choke these down. With the Energize Fruit Smoothie bars, PowerBar delivers an energy snack that just happens to taste good.
Bob Burrows is a California-based writer, editor and youth hockey coach.
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