Has The PowerBar Finally Been Dethroned?
- This is a guest post by Erica Chapman -
You know the drill: you’ve just finished your grueling, 20-mile run followed by a heavy-duty session at the weight machines, and your body is screaming out for energy. You’ve been told that the most effective way to help your muscles recover from such high-intensity work is by feeding them protein. But a big, greasy cheeseburger doesn’t sound quite right, so instead you grab an energy bar packed with 20+ grams of protein and fuel up. The only problem is, most of them taste like lab experiments, not food. Has Premier Nutrition’s new TITAN High Protein Cookie just changed all of that?
The answer for me is yes…and no. I’ve trained for several triathlons and cycling events, so I’m no stranger to the world of kooky candy bars masquerading as a “nutritional supplement.” Most are too high in all the bad, artificial stuff to let you enjoy the good stuff guilt-free. I’ll admit to gnawing on more than my fair share in the name of muscle-building, but I’ve gotta be honest—I never felt very good about what I was putting in my body. For that reason, I must point out that the TITAN cookie is no different: let’s just say there’s lots of science in the ingredients list.
However, my criticisms end there. Sometimes even the most hardcore health-nuts among us just want a freaking cookie! To me, this is the TITAN cookie’s niche. Billed as a “tasty snack” with a soft and chewy texture and boasting packaging complete with a just-baked picture (literally, steam is coming off this thing), it gets you right in the “no, I shouldn’t have that” brain messaging center. But hang on—it’s a recovery food! It serves a purpose other than just being delicious! Sold. This cookie isn’t pretending to be healthy. While it IS low in sugar, it’s really less of a healthy choice than the answer to that post-workout sweet tooth. But it’s probably healthier than what I used to do to get a quick jolt of sugar to my blood—pound a soda. Ick.
There are 3 varieties: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin. While I won’t give them a perfect score on taste (I could still detect a hint of something that doesn’t belong in a cookie—soy protein isolate, perhaps?—and the aftertaste is artificial), they’re pretty darn close. The Peanut Butter is my favorite; the Chocolate Chip is a tad TOO sweet for me. Each PB cookie has 150 calories, 5 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein (for reference, that’s 20% of your recommended daily requirement). They’re soft and chewy as advertised, and you can see peanut butter chips baked right in. Nice.
Obviously, the danger of energy bars is that people abuse them and end up gaining weight instead of losing it. (No, a 3-mile walk with your dog while talking on your phone does not require a protein-heavy snack afterwards.) But if you’re seriously breaking a sweat and incorporating strength training as well, you’re doing your muscles a favor by refueling with protein right afterwards—and the vehicle may as well be yummy, right? If you’ve got a serious sweet tooth, stash the TITAN High Protein Cookie in your gym bag and give it a shot.
I almost can’t wait to see a body-builder dead-lift several hundred pounds and reward himself with a cookie...and a glass of Muscle Milk to wash it down!