No, we're not just pitting a regular chocolate bar against something created by sports nutritionist - that would be a tad one-sided. Mars created their very own protein bar last year - in addition to a Snickers protein bar - and in one move gave the world hope that exercise and chocolate could live harmoniously. But how does the new product stack up as fuel for running? We tasked Alexandra Cook, BSc PgDip and registered clinical and sports dietician, to compare it to a regular protein bar.
MAX'S PROTEIN BAR
MARS PROTEIN BAR
Mars don’t compromise on taste, but it comes at a price, with an ingredients list as long as your arm. Nutrition values are similar to the Max bar, but Mars use a blend of fast- and slow-acting proteins, which some believe can aid longer-term recovery due to a slower digestion rate. The sugar content is quite high for a snack, and is derived from a lot of questionable ingredients.
This bar is purer than the Mars product, with only nine ingredients listed, all of which are recognisable and can be clearly tasted, including oats, dried fruit and nuts. The whey protein content is high at 17g. The body easily absorbs this protein, stimulating muscle repair. The dried fruit and juices provide the sugar and fibre, together with 23g of carbohydrates, for a great recovery snack.
Both products have a good carbohydrate and protein balance, however, the Mars is sweet and essentially a glorified chocolate bar. The Max bar has wholesome ingredients and tastes less manufactured, so is a wiser nutritional choice.