When it comes to protein bars, my usual first choice is Grenade Carb Killa bars. However, when I recently found Optimum Bars on offer, I though this would be a great opportunity to try them. I had great expectations from these protein bars due to Optimum Nutrition producing such great quality protein. While they are nice protein bars overall, I do still prefer the Carb Killa bars, find out why below.
If you have researched protein anytime over the last several years, you have most likely already come across Optimum Nutrition. The well respected supplement brand has been producing sports nutrition supplements for over 30 years. Operating from a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Middlesbrough, Optimum Nutrition produces a massive range of supplements. Most popular is the Gold Standard whey protein which regularly ranks as one of the best proteins on the market. But the range is much larger, including pre-workout formulas and creatine powder.
Optimum Nutrition is a premium supplement brand with an uncompromising focus on quality. Each supplement is produced using carefully selected premium raw materials. The manufacturing site is also informed sport registered. Lots of reviews can be found online to support this quality approach. The supplements regularly feature in many top rankings (including our own) for some of the best quality and overall taste.
The Optimum Bar is designed to be the perfect balance between great taste and high protein. Protein bars make an ideal choice as an easy to consume protein source. I often favour a protein bar for example at work when it is not practical to bring a shake with you.
Taste & flavour
The flavour for our review was chocolate caramel. After opening the packaging, you are presented with a bar covered in dark chocolate. The protein bar is slightly thinner compared with other protein proteins. This is not a bad thing as it makes the bar feel less stodgy. All of the outside, particularly on the top is coated in crispies. These add a nice crunch to the bar and give it a nice texture overall.
Biting in to the bar reveals serval layers. The bottom features a soft base which I presume most of the protein is contained within. On top of that is a good layer of caramel and also some chocolate. Overall I found the taste enjoyable. The bar feels fairly light and none of the flavours are too overpowering. But I believe there is still room for more flavour. While not bland, other protein bars are definitely packed with more flavour.
Currently, five flavours of the Optimum Bar are available. This includes chocolate caramel, caramel cookie, chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream and rocky road. This is a good sized range and a fairly standard amount of flavours available for a protein bar. A variety box is also available which makes a good choice for those who cannot pick just one flavour.
The nutritional value of Optimum Nutrition products is always very good. Unlike many protein bars which just contain whey concentrate, the optimum bar actually contains a blend of multiple high quality protein sources. This includes whey concentrate, whey isolate and casein. The casein is a nice addition and a useful slower digesting protein.
The chocolate caramel flavour contained 203 calories per bar and 20g of protein. Both of these are fairly average nutritional values to be expected from a protein bar. The same flavour Amfit Nutrition bar we recently reviewed contained 188 calories and 19.6g of protein in each bar. A 20g serving of protein is similar to the amount found in a whey protein shake and pretty good for a protein bar. Each bar also contained 5.8g of fat and 19g of carbohydrates. Again slightly higher compared with the Amfit bar.
Usually Optimum Nutrition products are on the higher end for supplement prices. For example the Gold Standard whey is more expensive compared with whey protein from the likes of MyProtein or Bulk Powders. The reason for this is the premium great tasting supplements.
I was pleasantly surprised with the price of Optimum Bars. I managed to purchase them on Amazon for roughly £15 for a pack of 10 bars. Working out at roughly £1.50 per bar. This is not the cheapest protein bar available but I did expect Optimum Nutrition protein bars to be slightly more expensive. However it is worth noting that these protein bars do only come in a pack of 10 when most protein bars are in packs of 12. I have found the price of these protein bars to vary from different sites online. The RRP is £24.99 but they can be purchased from a lot of placed for £17.99.
In comparison, Grenade Carb Killa bars are available on Amazon for £19 a pack, but this is for 12 bars and roughly £1.60 per bar. Also Amazons Amfit bars are even better value at nearly £15 for a pack of 12.
Overall the Optimum Bar is a good protein bar. I am a big fan of the Optimum Nutrition brand and the full range of high quality products they produce. But the Optimum Bar does not particularly stand out. There is a good amount of protein and also a good selection of flavours. But I wont be changing my current favourite protein bars, the Grenade Carb Killa range. Let us know in the comments which protein bar is your favourite.
- A delicious treat that is also a fantastic source of nutrition with 20 g of protein in each bar – including whey protein isolate and casein protein
- Coated in mouth-watering Belgian chocolate with a soft inner layer that is packed with even more flavour to really tantalise your taste buds
- Optimum Nutrition high protein bars contain no added sugar (contains naturally-occurring sugars only)
- An on-the-go snack that sacrifices absolutely nothing in terms of taste
- Ideal in-between meals, after hitting the gym for a strenuous workout or whenever you’re in need of a protein hit
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Optimum Nutrition Optimum Bars
Overall I do like Optimum Bars. If you are looking for a new protein bar to try from a trusted brand, they make a good choice. But there is nothing to make them really stand out from competitors. Both the taste and macros are pretty average compared with other protein bars we have tried. The price of these can be good value when on offer, but just remember they come in boxes of 10 and not 12 like most protein bars.