In my quest to find the best protein bar on the market, today I’m breaking down Power Crunch Pro Peanut Butter Fudge.
But first things first…
Power Crunch is a company that focuses on protein. But not just any protein, they focus on hydrolyzed whey protein.
Their founder, Kevin Lawrence, is “a former college football player and world champion bodybuilder with over a decade spent formulating sports nutrition products.” You could say that’s pretty similar to my story, except I wasn’t a world champion bodybuilder. Just played in the NFL like any regular person.
Based on this, they should be making high quality protein bars, right?
Only one way to find out.
Power Crunch says, “Power Crunch PRO Peanut Butter Fudge bars are known for their unique wafer-cookie texture and loaded with 20 grams of our signature protein blend featuring High-DH hydrolyzed whey protein.” And they also say, “...bars have zero sugar alcohols and are the ideal protein bar to support intense workouts or for anyone who wants to increase our protein intake in our diet.”
But is that really the case?
This review is going to break down Power Crunch’s ingredients, shedding light on their ingredient choices that might raise eyebrows among health-conscious consumers.
Let’s ignore the Nutrition Facts for a moment and just focus on the long list of ingredients in the image above. The first thing that you’ll notice is the “signature” whey protein they use, which seems to be their main value prop. But, as soon as you look past this over-hyped protein source, you’ll see the next ingredient on the label: cheap low quality palm oil!
If only there were a better way to create protein bars that aren’t just candy bars in disguise. (Foreshadowing)
So, let’s break these ingredients down into an easy to read list.
As might already know, the FDA requires food manufacturers to list their ingredients in order by weight.
Which means that the Power Crunch Chocolate Peanut Butter bar is filled with mostly ultra processed whey protein, sugar, and inflammatory oils. Sure, it contains 20 grams of protein from whey protein isolate, but surely there are better alternatives to getting 20 grams of protein without all the damaging chemicals and ultra processed ingredients.
To me, It doesn’t seem like there is much benefit to choosing hydrolysed whey over regular whey. Hydrolysis of whey is just breaking down protein molecules with enzymes to make them “more bioavailable” but most studies have not shown this effect.
Plus whey protein has its own problems.
Palm oil is the cheapest oil you can buy. This is the reason why almost all long shelf life packaged food has palm oil as the source of fat.
Plus there’s the problem of deforestation and labor abuse in Asia.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, growing palm oil is destroying the habitat of endangered species such as Orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino. Which is why sustainable sources of palm oil are so important — to prevent deforestation and ensure quality.
Power Crunch hasn’t mentioned if they’re using sustainable sources. I mean, if Power Crunch was using sustainable palm oil, they would 100% have mentioned it on their website… but that’s just my speculation.
And with 21 grams of fat, there’s at least 11-12 grams of palm oil in this bar. Might even be 18-19 grams of it but we don’t know.
Enriched flour is just flour with cheap synthetic vitamins added to them. And cheap synthetic vitamins aren’t exactly good for you.
It’s much better to go for higher quality natural vitamins instead. You know the ones you can get from real food, and not from a chemistry lab using fossil fuel.
Also, why is there flour in a protein bar in the first place?
Instead of using sugar like most other brands, Power Crunch is using fructose and allulose instead.
Is this a good thing?
Well, the problem is glucose and fructose are metabolized very differently.
While every cell in the body can use glucose, only the liver can metabolize fructose. So, when people eat a high calorie diet which is high in fructose, the liver gets overloaded and starts turning the fructose into fat.
According to Healthline, “Many scientists believe that excess fructose consumption may be a key driver of many of the most serious diseases of today. These include obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.”
But more research is needed before we can determine causation..
More research won’t change the fact that — if you’re trying to lose weight — your protein bar should be low in sugar and carbs, and high in protein.
Power Crunch Pro Peanut Butter Fudge — like almost every other protein bar we review — is packed with cheap ingredients. It doesn’t really get any cheaper than palm oil, flour, and fructose.
The hydrolysed whey protein is better than soy protein at least. But I think they have too much palm oil for a protein bar. Looking at the nutrition facts which says 21 grams of fat, at least 11-12 grams of that is palm oil.
And it’s exactly for these reasons I can’t recommend Power Crunch Pro bars to you.
But if you’re looking for a real protein bar with real ingredients, see below.
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