Protein bars have become such a household staple that they are immediately what you'll reach for as you're running to get to work or school. Protein bars are a quick and convenient way to satisfy hunger cravings, get extra protein, and replace a meal during weight loss. Two of the biggest names in the protein bar market are Quest Protein Bars and Maxine's Burn Bars. Let's take a look at both of these supplements to see which one is worth adding to your daily nutrition program.
Quest Protein Bars
Where can I buy it?
- Click here to buy Quest Protein Bars.
Pros of Quest Protein Bars
The first thing you'll notice about Quest Protein Bars is that the label doesn't contain a laundry list of ingredients. This is a welcome change from the supplements that you find containing unnecessary additives, fillers, colours, and questionable compounds. Quest Protein Bars are straight to the point and contain the bare essentials. You're getting protein, fibre, and a natural sweetener.
The protein is an isolate, making it ideal to break the morning fast and to eat on the way home from the gym post-workout. The average protein amount is 21 grams, depending on the flavour of the bar. The amino acids that you'll get from this fasting acting type of protein may help to protect lean muscle mass, encourage new muscle growth, and support your fitness goals. (1-6)
The fibre is also an excellent change of pace for a protein bar. Many people don't get the recommended amount of fibre, which is important for digestive and overall health.
Cons of Quest Protein Bars
It's almost impossible to say anything bad about Quest Protein Bars. These are, hands down, one of the cleanest and highest quality bars on the market. However, we were a bit disappointed when they started using sugar alcohols in some of their bars. They have split their product line into two different categories: natural and artificial sweeteners. Both are fantastic. The buying decision will come down to whether or not your stomach can handle artificial sweeteners.
Maxine's Burn Bars
Where can I buy it?
- Click here to buy Maxine's Burn Bars.
Pros of Maxine's Burn Bars
Maxine's is a pioneer of the thermogenic protein trend. The idea is simple: Why not promote muscle building and fat loss simultaneously? Maxine's has produced a line-up of thermogenic protein products including the Burn Bars. These bars are really impressive as they contain a great protein blend and several proven fat burners.
To support your muscle building, you'll be getting almost 15 grams of protein in every bar. This protein blend includes Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), Whey Protein Concentrate, and Calcium Caseinate, which offers you hours of amino acid delivery.
On top of that, you'll also be getting thermogenic compounds such as green tea extract and L-Carnitine, both of which may be able to help support fat oxidation (7-8).
Cons of Maxine's Burn Bars
Our only disappointment with Maxine's Burn Bars is with the dosing of the thermogenic ingredients. Sure, there's only so much you can pack into a protein bar due to its size but we would have liked to have seen at least half the recommended dose. For example, one Maxine's Burn Bar contains 30 mg of L-Carnitine. If you look at studies or popular brands of the compound, you'll see that a standard dose is around 2 to 3 grams. Not even close, Maxine's.
Which One Should You Choose?
This can only be answered by defining what your fitness goals are for the long run. Quest Protein Bars are ideal for muscle building as they deliver an immediate shot of muscle supporting amino acids. Maxine's Burn Bars, on the other hand, may be more ideal if your focus is weight loss. Quest has more protein while Maxine's has the thermogenic benefit. You may even want to buy both. Use Quest after a workout and use Maxine's towards the evening to keep your metabolic rate high.
- Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002
- Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
- Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
- Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
- Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
- De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
- Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MP, Kovacs EM. Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation. Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204.
- Brandsch C, Eder K. Effect of L-carnitine on weight loss and body composition of rats fed a hypocaloric diet. Ann Nutr Metab. 2002;46(5):205-10.