Energy bars: our top 10 taste tested

Posted on 17 August 2015

Energy bars are a convenient snack on the road or trail. The Getaway team taste tested 10 popular bars and rated their favourites out of five. In no particular order, here are the results.

Also read: How to survive hiking the Fish River Canyon

Energy bars


1. ProNutro Sport Bar

Price: R7.99
Nutritional info: Energy 487kJ, Protein 4.6g, Carbohydrate 36g, Fat 10.6g
Getaway rating: Taste 3.5 | Texture 4
Tasting notes: Very sweet. If you like Horlicks, you’ll love these.


2. Future Life Peanut Butter Crunch

Price: R14.50
Nutritional info: Energy 795kJ, Protein 14.9g, Carbohydrate 12.8g, Fat 5.9g
Getaway rating: Taste 3 | Texture 4
Tasting notes: Delicious taste, although the slightly bitter aftertaste lowered its overall score.


3. McNab’S Hi Energy SuperCharge – Getaway’s favourite!

Price: R10.95
Nutritional info: Energy 784kJ, Protein 8.4g, Carbohydrate 19g, Fat 8g
Getaway rating: Taste 4.5 | Texture 4.5
Tasting notes: ‘You could almost fool yourself into thinking you’re eating fudge,’ said one taster.


4. Evox Energy Bar

Price: R10.50
Nutritional info: Energy 861kJ, Protein 4.3g, Carbohydrate 35.7g, Fat 5.1g
Getaway rating: Taste< 3.5 | Texture 3.5 Tasting notes: Overwhelming banana flavour.


5 JungLe Energy Bar Nuts

Price: R7.45
Nutritional info: Energy 736kJ, Protein 3.1g, Carbohydrate 23g, Fat 8.4g
Getaway rating: Taste 4.5 | Texture 4
Tasting notes: A tasty lunchbox staple.


6. Come Ready Performance Protein Bar

Price: R34.95
Nutritional info: Energy 1423kJ, Protein 24g, Carbohydrate, 33g, Fat 13g
Getaway rating: Taste 2 | Texture 2.5
Tasting notes: A sticky texture and with a bitter aftertaste.


7. PVM Energy Bar, Choc Nut

Price: R9.95
Nutritional info: Energy 767.70kJ, Protein 5.3g, Carbohydrate 27.07g, Fat 5.45g
Getaway rating: Taste 3.5 | Texture 3
Tasting notes: One of the tastiest – and chewiest.


8. Trek Peanut and Oat Wholefood Energy Bar

Price: R22.95
Nutritional info: Energy 1001kJ, Protein 11g, Carbohydrate 33g, Fat 8g
Getaway rating: Taste 2 | Texture 2.5
Tasting notes: ‘Going by its appearance, with whole nuts and fruit pulp, you know it’s good for you.’ And it certainly is, consisting mainly of raw dates, raisins, peanuts, oats and soya crispies.


9. Rush Endurance Bar

Price: R17.50
Nutritional info: Energy 762.5kJ, Protein 4.68g, Carbohydrate 23.65g, Fat 7.8g
Getaway rating: Taste 2 | Texture 1.5
Tasting notes: Made by a mom with a passion for performance nutrition and healthy eating. Free from preservatives, gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs and refined sugar.


10. USN Energy HP Sport Performance Bar Chocolate Flavour

Price: R9.95
Nutritional info: Energy 832kJ, Protein 4.1g, Carbohydrate 30.5g, Fat 6.3g
Getaway rating: Taste 3.5 | Texture 3.5
Tasting notes: Tastes like an energy bar should: smooth, but with a slightly chewy texture.


Energy bar info

We spoke to Sarah Chantler, registered dietitian with Shelly Meltzer and Associates, at the Sports Science Institute in Cape Town.


Are energy bars really good for you?

Energy bars come in many shapes, sizes, with varying ingredients and compositions. With this wide choice, you need to decide what your needs are based on the duration and intensity of your activity and match this to the products available. When racing to the summit on a bike, carbohydrate is your main fuel source and you should select a higher carbohydrate bar, but when doing an easy hike with friends you can choose slower-releasing, lower-sugar bars that are higher in fibre. If you are heading out for a longer time, it can be useful to have a bar with high protein. Stick to whole ingredients with as few additives or preservatives as possible.


Would you throw one into your backpack?

Definitely. But I also enjoy other food-based options like trail mix, biltong, dried fruit and a peanut butter sandwich. It all depends on how long I am planning to be on the trail.

This article first appeared in the November 2014 issue of Getaway magazine.

Please note that all prices above were correct at time of publication, but are subject to change at any time. They have been left here as an indication only. All nutritional information is per serving.

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