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  • Quest Protein Bars vs. Maxine's Burn Bars

    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?


    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?


    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.



    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002
    1. 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.
    1. 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.
    1. 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.
    1. 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.
    1. 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.
    1. 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.
    1. 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.
  • Thermogenic Protein: How to Burn Fat While Building Muscle

    One of the most asked questions in the fitness industry is whether or not someone is able to build muscle WHILE burning fat. There seems to be this disconnect between the two as if you have to do one first and then follow up with the other. While there may be some truth to this as a professional whose job it is to look your best every day for marketing purposes, the average person CAN build muscle and burn fat. The primary way to do this is through diet and exercise but supplementation can also play a key role in your success. When you want to build muscle while burning more fat, the best supplement to utilize is a thermogenic protein. Let's take a look at what a thermogenic protein is, the ingredients to look for, and the best brands to use.


    What is a Thermogenic Protein Supplement?

    Fat burning supplements contain ingredients known as thermogenic compounds. A thermogenic ingredient supports fat burning in a number of ways: primarily, the ingredient will directly trigger a metabolic response. Some also make it more difficult for fat to be stored; instead, forcing it to be utilized as energy in place of glycogen.


    On the protein side of things: Protein supplements are used to support muscle building. The amino acids that are present within the protein supplement are the very building blocks of muscle tissue. This means that amino acids can support muscle recovery, protect muscle from breakdown, and support muscle growth. All the things you want if you're goal is to achieve a lean, muscular look.


    When you combine a quality protein blend with several elite quality thermogenic compounds, you get a powerful supplement that can promote muscle building while it triggers fat burning in the body.


    Are all thermogenic protein supplements created with equal quality? Not even close. There are specific ingredients to watch out for if you want the best results.


    The Best Thermogenic Ingredients That Should Be in Your Protein

    Many low quality thermogenic proteins use ingredients that have no scientific backing behind them. If you're considering using a thermogenic protein, here are the main ingredients that the supplement should contain:


    • L-Carnitine
    • Theobromine
    • Green Tea Extract
    • Bitter Orange Extract
    • Capsicum


    There are certainly more proven fat burners but the ones listed above are the most popular and effective. Now, are there any brands that contain most, if not all, of these ingredients?


    Best Thermogenic Protein Brands to Try

    Thermogenic protein supplements are quickly catching on and it's not hard to see why: Imagine being able to support two fitness goals at once. Who wouldn't want to do that? Here are a few brands that stand out:


    Gen-Tec Pro Lean


    Black Widow Hydroxy Whey


    Muscletech Hydroxycut SX-7 100% Protein Isolate


    Check out the complete collection of thermogenic protein powders here on the Amino Z website.



    1. 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.
    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002.
    1. 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.
    1. MU Eteng, HA Ibekwe, UI Umoh, PE Ebong, IB Umoh, EU Eyong. Theobromine rich cocoa powder induces weight loss and changes in lipid profile of obese wistar rats. Discovery and Innovation Vol. 18 (3) 2006: pp. 191-196.
    1. Venables MC, Hulston CJ, Cox HR, Jeukendrup AE. Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):778-84.
    1. Stohs SJ, Preuss HG, Shara M. A review of the human clinical studies involving Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) extract and its primary protoalkaloid p-synephrine. Int J Med Sci. 2012;9(7):527-38. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

    7. Lejeune MP, Kovacs EM, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Effect of capsaicin on substrate oxidation and weight maintenance after modest body-weight loss in human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2003 Sep;90(3):651-5

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