Nutrition Review: NOW Snack Bars

Weird - but the bar splits the same place as the packaging.....

Weird – but the bar splits the same place as the packaging…..

Last fall, I participated in Bicycling Magazine’s Fall Classic in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.  With the various ride lengths, I chose to do the 50 mile ride (which was long enough for me).  I’ll have to post a review on that ride as this year’s event gets closer.

The ride itself is a great place to pick up some free swag – which is a great reason to do an organized ride.  One of the sponsors (and free swag-givers) was giving away small samples of the NOW Snack Bar.

There were a few different flavors – and all seemed pretty good to me.  Of course, I had just finished riding 50 miles in some rain and wind, so chewing on my shoe just might have tasted good.  I scarfed a few down – and – then took a few more for the road to try later.  The consistency was good (much like a fig newton – hence their website name:  NOWnewtons.com) – and the flavor was also very good.

I’m a fan of an afternoon snack bar (and a big bottle of clear water) – about an hour before I’m ready to go out for a ride.  I feel like it’s my secret energy boost that seems to hit as I start turning the pedals.  My snack bar of choice is the Clif Bar – but I wanted to see how this NOW Bar would add up.

So, for Christmas, I asked for some NOW Snack Bars for my stocking.  My wife – being the prudent shopper she is – found a boxful of them at a great price and stuffed the stocking with them.

The full-size bar maintained the same fig newton-ish consistency; however, out of the entire box, I haven’t found one that stayed in one piece as I went to eat it.  Every time I opened one (usually while on the road for my commute home), the bar split right down the middle.  Even when I was sitting at my desk with no distractions, the bar is split (as it did right before I wrote this review).

Sure it seems like a weird gripe – but – I think it’s valid.  Imagine trying to eat one while out in the woods.  There’s a really good chance that half of your bar will end up on the ground for the wildlife to eat later.  Good for them.  Bad for you.

The full-size bar did maintain a good taste – not quite as heavy as a fig newton, but tasty nonetheless.  I only found that they just didn’t seem “meaty” enough.  It’s probably because I’m so used to the thickness and consistency of a CLIF Bar – but – I would complete the bar and find that I didn’t even feel like I had a snack bar at all.

Side-by-side, the NOW Bar is lower in fat (with NO saturated fat).  It’s also lower in sodium and sugars.  Calories are also less in the NOW Bar – BUT – we’re talking 45g serving size vs. 68g serving size in a CLIF Bar.

As for my review, I think you’re better off with the CLIF Bar if you’re looking for something to give you endurance on a ride of approximately 20 miles (road) or 10 miles (mountain).  It’ll keep the evil “bonk” away longer!

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