Aspire-40 – Caramel Flavour

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

This bar from Garnell Nutrition. For starters, it offers a huge 40g of protein compared to a more usual 30g or less. Despite this, the bar isn’t massive – you can easily get it down.

Moreover, it has only 300kcal per 80g bar to give you those 40g of protein. Awesome.

Taste

The thing that drove me to this site was the aweful taste of most protein bars, despite superlative after superlative in advertising for most bars. The Aspire-40 is described by the manufacturer as being a “Delicious Caramel Flavour”.

I don’t quite agree with that… There’s a hint of caramel taste there, but it’s fairly odd. That’s not to say that it’s bad. For a protein bar it is actually quite good.

The consistency of the bar is somewhat like toffee. It is not too chevy, unlike a lot of bars I’ve tried, nor does it feel too dry. You can easily eat this bar without having to drink a lot while doing it (though I still recommend drinking water with your bar anyway).

If you just run your tongue over it, you can certainly notice the caramel taste, but take a bigger chunk and the first thing you’re likely to notice is that it tastes fairly sour. At first this put me off, and I thought I’d be unable to finish even my first bar, but after a bit the taste started growing on me. As I’m writing this I’m taking small bites and rolling the bar over my tongue and it feels like a treat, not a chore.

It’s one of those rare bars I can see actually work as a chocolate substitute for myself when I want a treat (ca. 375kcal per 100g compared to ca. 500kcal per 100g of Snickers; not a huge difference, but then the Snickers doesn’t give you all that great protein, nor do I think it makes you feel full as long).

Nutrition

The nutritional information on the bar is pretty basic – this is a protein bar, not an “all in one” bar marketed with tons of other ingredients. Garnell makes a big point of how only 2.8 grams of the bar comes from “impact carbs” which they define as “sugars and starches, which are carbohydrates that cause significant fluctuations in blood glucose level”. The downside of this is that each bar does contain 18.6g of polyols – sugar alcohols that while they don’t mess with your blood sugar level, does cause flatulence and has a laxative effect for some people.

It is described on the box as “With milk protein isolate and whey concentrate”, but no further information is given about the split.

The nutritional information given on the box is as follows (per 80g bar):

Energy:                300kcal
Protein:               40g
Carbohydrates:         21.4g
 Of which Sugars:      2g
 Of which Polyols:     18.6g
Fat:                   5.8g
  Of which saturates:  3.8g 
Dietary Fibre:         2.7g
Sodium:                200mg

Ingredients: Protein blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate from milk), Hydrolysed Gelatine, Glycerine, Milk Chocolate Flavour Coating (15%)(Sweeteners: Isomalt Sucralose; Non-Hydrogenated Palm and Palm Kernel Oil, Whe Powerder, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Wheat Flour, Emulsifiers: Soya Lecithin, E476, Flavouring), Sweeteners (Maltitol, Sucralose), Polydextrose, Falvouring, Rapseed Oil, Burnt Sugar Syrup, Antioxidant (Mixed Tocopherols), Salt. Contains: Gluten, Soya, Milk.

Value for money

I’ll be buying more of this bar. The high amount of protein and low amount of carbs combined with a surprisingly good taste makes this a no-brainer.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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