PowerBar is a popular manufacturer of energy bars, sports nutrition drinks and other products tailored towards those with an active lifestyle. The company was founded in the late 1980s by Canadian athlete Brian Maxwell and his nutritionist wife, Jennifer. The bars were instant hits in the sporting world and revenues grew to the point that Nestle purchased the company in 2000. The main focus of the company is its range of energy bars that can serve as meal replacements or as a snack before or after workouts. The company recommends consuming the bars from half hour to an hour prior to working out and a one bar per hour rate for strenuous activities lasting longer than an hour. Sedentary people shouldn’t’ consume most PowerBar products, even as a meal replacement bar, as the high doses of protein and carbohydrates can accelerate weight gain if there’s not activity present to utilize the ingredients within the body.
The PowerBar line of energy bars can be organized into three groups: standard, C2MAX enriched and specialty. Standard bars contain 10 grams of protein, 20 % of the daily recommended fiber and a rich blend of vitamins and minerals. Examples of standard bars include the oatmeal raisin flavored PowerBar Harvest Energy, the trail mix flavored Nut Naturals and the chocolate peanut butter crisp flavored Triple Threat. C2MAX enriched bars contain a balanced blend of glucose and fructose that provides energy for muscles, increasing sports performance. The bars also contain 180 milligrams of sodium to replace what’s lost during sweating. These bars are low in fat and contain 6 grams of protein. Examples include the citrus flavored Fruit Harvest bars and the apple cinnamon PowerBar Performance.
PowerBar Pria 110 Plus is a mint chocolate chip bar designed with female athletes in mind. Low in calories at 110 per bar, there are 5 grams of protein and a glass of milk’s dose of calcium. Women tend to have calcium deficits more than men, and a lack of it can lead to bone damage later down the road. The IronGirl bars are also tailored to this demographic, containing calcium, iron and B-vitamins. ProteinPlus is the bar designed for bodybuilders and others who undergo strenuous activity in hopes of building muscle. Each bar contains 23 grams of specially blended proteins to fuel muscle strength. Alternatives include the ProteinPlus 30 bar, which contains 30 grams of protein, and the ProteinPlus reduced sugar, which contains 22 grams of protein but only 1 gram of sugar.
After a rough workout, eating PowerBar Recovery can help repair damage to muscles. There are 12 grams of protein and 30 grams carbohydrates that will restart the glycogen lost during the workout. These bars should only be used post-workout as the amount of carbohydrates may cause a crash otherwise. For those who want a meal replacement bar but aren’t serious athletes, the PowerBar Pure & Simple bar might be the answer. There are only 140 calories with 5 grams of protein, 10% of the recommended daily fiber and nourishing whole grains. The lighter ingredients mean that a person doesn’t need to run a marathon afterwards to burn them off.
A smaller portion size alternative to the bars is the PowerBar Bites. The Energy Bites contain the C2MAX carbohydrate blend for a burst of energy when eaten every half hour during exercise. The Protein Plus Bites have 20 grams of specially formulated protein. Bites come in a sealable bag that can be taken along during a workout. Three or four bites can be eaten at a time as a serving, which will still be considerably smaller than a standard Powerbar energy bar. PowerBar also produces a specialty Energy Gel for those who don’t’ want to eat a bar. Many people find the energy gel much easier to take during exercise. The gel features the C2MAX blend plus 200 milligrams of sodium. The company recommends taking a gel approximately every half hour during lasting strenuous exercise. PowerBar Energy Blasts are similar, they are gel-filled bites that contain less sodium.
There are ready-to-drink and drink mixes that PowerBar produces for athletes who need to restore fluids and electrolytes during exercise to prevent dehydration or muscle cramp. The Ironman PERFORM sports drink has 17 grams carbohydrates, 190 milligrams sodium and 70 calories. The formula is also available in a powdered drink mix. There’s also the Ironman RESTORE drink mix which contains more carbohydrates, sodium and calories for more intense workouts. Another drink alternative is the PowerBar ProteinPlus mix. It combines amino acids with 20 grams of specially formulated protein. The mixes can simply be added to a bottle of water, shook until combined and carried along with you during any exercise.