It seems that in the last couple of years, the combination of chocolate and peanut butter has become substantially more popular and I would hazard a guess that a certain American brand that clad their products in orange wrapping has something to do with it. While I would have been blissfully happy to have arrived at school with a floppy and misshapen peanut butter sandwich in my younger years, I feel I have been through some sort of graduation to its sweeter and possibly more sophisticated relative.
The thing I really like about this particular flavour combination though – and possibly the reason that it may be friendlier to ‘more mature’ palettes – is the balance between sweet and salty. Like a 50/50 bucket of cinema popcorn, it’s a very particular treat and one that, after a ride punctuated with sweet gels or energy drinks, is a welcome change.
So to get into the nitty gritty this bar is the first solid from the SiS REGO range, with all other protein coming in the form of drinks or gels. Personally, I think this is a great move by the UK-based sports nutrition giants to quite literally cater for the tastes of pretty much every athlete out there. While I can admit to being a fan of their REGO Rapid Recovery drinks to avoid achy leg syndrome (I’m not being sponsored by them, honest!), there are days when I just don’t fancy glugging down half a litre of recovery drink straight after a long ride or run. Instead, eating what could easily be confused with a regular chocolate bar is rather more enjoyable.
On that topic, these bars really are pretty good in terms of taste. Being more familiar with energy bars, I’m used to some pretty inventive flavours and textures, but these 55g bars, out of their packets, wouldn’t look out of place next to many of their confectionery cousins. Also, if you’re putting in the miles and hours during the day, you can reach for one of these little fellas mid-way through a film on the sofa of an evening completely guilt-free. Not only are they a fitting reward for all of your hard work, but they will continually top up your body’s stores of protein for ongoing recovery overnight and during the day.
The outside of the bar is a thin layer of chocolate which provides a pretty even covering for the good stuff inside. Biting through, the bar itself is a little on the chewy side (giving you a bit of face-ache if you’re impatient or extra hungry), but I’d say this is preferable to it being super soft with the potential to stick to the roof of your mouth. It also makes the bar last a little longer and sort of hits home the fact that even by eating something treat-like, you’re doing your muscles some good.
So onto the actual science contained within the red, silver and brown wrappers; packing a modest 20g of high quality protein in the form of a whey, casein and soy combination, these innovative bars will go a long way to support muscle recovery and adaptation. Comparing them to other single-serve offerings from SiS, it’s clear that you wouldn’t be losing out by giving the slightly quicker-to-digest recovery drinks a miss every now and again.
Product Protein per serving
REGO Protein drink
REGO Night drink
REGO Protein Bar
REGO Rapid Recovery
For anyone relatively new to the idea of taking on additional protein and therefore investing in these bars or a drink, you could potentially compare the numbers above to strengths of coffee. For example, if you’d had a good night’s sleep and were getting up to go to work, you might go for something lower down the spectrum, whereas if you were cramming for an exam and pulling an all-nighter, you might go for the strong, makes-you-wince stuff. In the same way, supplementing your everyday intake of protein through a healthy diet becomes even more important when you’re exercising regularly and at high intensities or for long periods of time. In fact, leaving your body running low in its reserves of protein can mean that the cells within your muscles aren’t getting the amino acids they need to continually upgrade and therefore help you get that KOM or feel good three-quarters of the way through a tough sportive.
While I may have painted a picture above of tucking into one of these bars after a ride or workout (oh yeah, and on the sofa), they can also be eaten before exercise as a way of providing cells with a readily available supply of protein for building and repair work. And due to the savoury edge, they sit quite happily in your stomach as long as you’ve left a bit of time for it to go down (30-60 minutes according to the brains (and stomachs) at SiS). Definitely a bit of an all-rounder!
So just to sum up, these incredibly tasty bars can be eaten throughout the day (as long as you’re exercising!) as well as either side of a session, to ultimately stop your body from aching and make you go harder and faster in the future. I mean, that’s a pretty good deal, right?
Yeah? Well here they are: www.scienceinsport.com/sis-products/sis-rego-range/sis-rego-protein-bar-choc-peanut-55g/
Originally reviewed for cyclosport.org.