Reviewed by Kat Harrison
I am currently taking part in a six-week challenge in a bid to get healthier and fitter. Part of this process involves ensuring I’m getting enough protein in my diet, so when I spotted there were some protein energy bars that needed reviewing, I was first in the queue.
What I didn’t spot was the brand name. ‘ProYouth Nutrition’ was founded by a team of leading sports scientists and nutritionists to create products with selected macro and micro nutrients to support youth athletes and active children. At 41, I’m not entirely sure I fit their primary target audience but reassured by the company’s website that ‘anyone can eat ProYOUth bars’, I didn’t hesitate any further and unwrapped my first bar.
With two active children, I became curious as to the concept of protein bars designed for ‘Children under the age of 16 who undertake more than 4 hours of sports activity per week’. With gymnastics, swimming, family walks and general running around, my two quickly gained guinea pig status.
ProYouth bars are currently available in three flavours: Choco Brownie, Vanilla Delight and Banana Split. As a family of renowned chocoholics, no prizes for guessing which of those we selected to try first.
“What do you think?” I asked my five-year-old.
And before I reveal the answer, please don’t judge these products on the next seven words alone. Keep reading!
“It tastes a bit like chocolate Playdoh!”
Now as far as I know, she’s never eaten said modelling compound, and I know I haven’t; but I did get what she meant. On seeing her distaste, her three-year-old sister piped up, “Can I have your piece then?” Clearly, she was much more taken with her share.
The Banana Split was much more of a success. We could definitely taste Dates, Cashew Nuts, Almonds and of course Banana. This was definitely an all-round surprise favourite flavour and one I would certainly buy again. Vanilla Delight too, had a balanced, if unexpectedly nutty taste. I think we were all just a little disappointed by the chocolate; I guess nothing can live up to the ‘real stuff’ when you’re a Willy Wonka Wannabe. And, with these bars, we should really be considering the nutrient value as opposed to the treat factor.
ProYouth Bars are made with carefully chosen ingredients containing a unique mix of nutrients that provide over 18 benefits. These are all listed on their website but for a quick overview, we’re talking no artificial sweeteners, preservatives or additives but plenty of Protein for growth and maintenance of muscle, Copper for energy, Magnesium for reduction of tiredness and fatigue and Slow Release Sugars that won’t cause an energy crash.
I’d never really considered giving my girls a Protein Bar before but from reading up about them, I have discovered there is definitely a market for them. Many of my girls’ activities take place after school at a time where a meal pre or post ‘workout’, is neither functional nor practical. When everyone’s on the go, it can be difficult to ensure we’re fuelling our families with the nutrients to support an active lifestyle. ProYouth is a super, go-to snack, a perfect energy boost and of much greater nutritional value than the typical, easy to grab bag of sweets, chocolate bar or sugary drink, offered in the hope of an ‘energy kick’ and bridging a mealtime gap. I can confirm the bars definitely filled a hole and kept us going.
Since signing up for my challenge, I’ve gained a little knowledge about the importance of protein and tried a few different bars to help increase my intake and power me through my day, especially pre and post exercise. I had never considered sharing them with my girls, I had even told them, they were only for grown-ups. I guess somehow I had the knowledge that adult protein bars are formulated with the nutritional needs of adults whose mature digestive systems can cope with larger amounts of protein and calories. Young athletes and active children have different nutritional needs and ProYouth Bars have been formulated to match the amounts of protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients they need.
We’ll definitely be buying the Banana Split again. To kids (and me), the bar comes across more of a treat than just the offer of a banana but is still a healthy choice that boosts busy bodies. The packaging whilst bright does not seem to be directly designed to attract children’s attention; it does kind of make sense that it will appeal more to their grown-ups but it does mean the benefit of Protein Bars for youngsters could go overlooked without a suitable amount of marketing and PR. That said, it’s not just young athletes who like to eat their products but parents too, perhaps the more protein aware ones, who appreciate that their nutrients are derived from natural ingredients and are looking for a quick and tasty protein fix themselves. With 10-11g of protein per bar, they’re certainly the perfect pick-me-up for me!
If you’re familiar with the market, you’ll know protein products don’t come in cheap and at almost £2 a bar, ProYouth are not an exception. I think if I had active, sporty teenagers, maybe competing in their chosen field, I’d be more inclined to splurge. I love the taste of the Banana Split; it’s definitely one of my favourite protein bars. I’ll pop an order in for myself. ProYouth. Who knows, they might even make me feel a little younger!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
RRP: Box of 12 – £23.95
Trial pack of the 3 flavours – £5.00
For more information and to buy online please visit the Pro Youth Nutrition website here.