I’ll be honest, I am a little behind on the latest and greatest energy/protein bar market. I typically always eat food within 30 minutes of workouts and tote my own food if travel. At most I’ve bought a few Lara bars for some road trips. It’s just the reality of being on a mostly Paleo diet, you just don’t get caught unprepared. However, as pregnancy has progressed, and my diet demands increasing amounts of protein, I’ve been a little bit more open (and frankly) curious about what’s out there.
Recently LUNA (via my ambassadorship with Women’s Health as a Women’s Health Action Hero) sent me two flavors of the new LUNA Protein Bar line to sample: Lemon Vanilla & Chocolate Coconut Almond. They arrived a little melty (thanks Missouri summer!) so they spent a few days in the fridge recuperating. While they were setting, I picked up the equivalent bars in two other brands, the Chocolate Coconut VEGA bar, and the Lemon Cream Pie Quest Bar.
The Chocolate Coconut VEGA bar boasts 15 grams of protein but 19g of sugar, 29 grams of carbs, and 250 calories while the Lemon Cream Pie Quest bar has and impressive 20 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar, 25 grams of carbs, and 170 calories. Both the LUNA Chocolate Coconut Almond and the Lemon Vanilla offer 12 grams of protein, 15 grams of sugar, and 21 grams of carbs at 170-180 calories.
The LUNA Protein bar flavors by far tasted the best and most balanced. I wasn’t a total fan of the glaze/coating on the lemon (I’m a huge lemon fan, but found it somewhat artificial tasting), but they were the perfect middle ground of functional protein bar and something you would enjoy eating without being too sugary/dessert-like. The VEGA was comparable, but in my opinion had less flavor. The Quest bar was AWFUL. Granted, I get that it’s purely utilitarian (low sugar + high protein = optimal prescription for most of the people I know), but it was like eating wall spackle, and not even the impressive 20 grams of protein was enough to tempt me to try another flavor. I find this curious because seemingly every blogger but myself has been offered them to review and some people say they are delicious heated as dessert. I gag at the thought, and I’m pretty sure it’s not because I’m pregnant.
A huge thanks to LUNA for the opportunity to dive into bars a bit and enjoy their tasty bars. I’ve already bought a few more to keep in the fridge for my busy Tuesday night workout/coaching nights for the next few weeks. To learn more about the other flavors, check out LUNA’s website.
Disclosure: I am participating in the Women’s Health Action Hero program and have been provided with LUNA Bar Protein Bars and the opportunity to participate in an ambassadorship program for the period of a year in exchange for my thoughts, awareness through blog posts and opinions about any products or opportunities I partake in.
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Intriguing. I used to love Luna bars, but eventually that frosting-like stuff just got to me. I haven’t had one in years. I even got sick of cliff bars after loving them for quite awhile.
I’ve never had the Quest bars, but one of my friends eats them. Her favorite is cookies and cream. She’s on a macro diet, and she swears by these bars to help her meet her macro goals.
For my part, these days, I just eat more peanut butter if I need protein.
Yeah, straight peanut or almond butter is my typical go-to. Just simpler, less ingredients and processing. I agree with you, the regular Luna Bars have too much “ornamentation” now that I feel they didn’t have when they first came out.
Yeah, the Quest are purely utilitarian, and I wanted to like them because at 20g, that would make my life so much easier right now (feeling I literally can only take bites of food at a time) — but they just weren’t worth it to me. I felt like I was punishing myself.
I recently tried that Lemon Luna bar and wasn’t a fan…I was disappointed because I like other Luna bars but the taste was just too fake for me! I’ve been making my own homemade granola bars though and I can hopefully keep that up instead of buying any anyway!
I’ve had absolutely no appetite, so I’m living on protein shakes and peanut butter to get all the extra protein I need. Definitely want to try making my own bars though!
On the Quest Bars, I agree (and so does Blake) the Cookies n Cream is really good, and so is the Cookie Dough. The fact that it is only one gram of sugar is really impressive, and for Blake to enjoy something like that — when he doesn’t care about the sugar — certainly says something to it.
Other people have said the same, so I may pick some up for our road trip this weekend. You just can’t beat 20g of protein sometimes when you don’t feel like eating a lot of meat, ie when it’s hot out.
Wal-Mart & Target has a brand called “Balance” that I have found I like. They are probably available other places. They have pretty good flavor and are not tough and crunchy. I think its 14g protein but would have to check. They only come in 4-5 flavors at the local stores.