As someone with Celiac Disease who cannot have gluten, it can be a challenge to find quality food options. Adding to my diet puzzle is the increasing need for protein that I face as a middle-aged endurance athlete.
I have tried at least a dozen different protein, energy or similar bars that are gluten free. Some are loaded with sugar. Others have too much — or too little — fiber. And some don’t meet the taste test.
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to try a new gluten-free protein bar sampler from NuGo. Disclaimer: I received a 12-sample set of NuGo bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro ambassador, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews.
All of these NuGo bars are gluten free and three of the four — Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Maple Pecan and Blueberry — flavors qualify for those on paleo diets. The fourth one is Peanut Butter. To try them out for yourself, use code BIBRAVE for a 15 percent discount off any NuGo Egg White Protein Bars until Aug. 3.
I was particularly pleased to learn that NuGo goes beyond the federal requirements for what is considered gluten free. The FDA standard is less than 20ppm of gluten. At NuGo, all gluten-free bars have been tested to below 10ppm.
According to its website, NuGO heat treats and cleans all equipment before using its gluten-free products in order to maintain products test below 10ppm.
So, what’s inside?
NuGo uses real foods, including three non-GMO egg whites to create its bars. Egg white protein is a complete protein, containing all of the amino acids the body needs. That’s where the 12 to 14 grams of protein come in to play.
The bars do contain real fruits and nuts. They do not contain dairy, soy, added sugars or artificial ingredients.
My sample pack included three of each of the bars. I tried them after workouts and as a mid-day snack. My favorites in order:
(tie) Peanut butter and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt. Both flavors are legit and bring forth the natural flavors of their main, treasured ingredient. I am a big fan of both peanut butter and chocolate, and it was impossible to decide which one was better. (I may need another box of just peanut butter and dark chocolate bars.)
Blueberry: The blueberry version was good, though after a workout it’s not really the taste my body is craving. It does make for a fine mid-afternoon snack.
Maple Pecan: This was the biggest, well only, disappointment of the NuGo bars. I just couldn’t get into this flavor.
You can order a sample pack of 12 bars of any of the flavors on NuGo’s website. Remember to use the code BIBRAVE for 15 percent off Egg White Protein Bars until Aug. 3.
Or use NuGo’s handy store locator, to find a merchant near you.
For those who follow a gluten-free diet, the NuGo Egg White Protein bars are a solid option for high-quality bars that provide a good dose of protein.
It is worth noting, however, that the bars texture may not be for everyone. They are soft enough to chew but solid enough that chewing takes some effort. For me, this was especially apparent in the Maple Pecan batch, which is part of the reason why it was my least favorite. If the chewiness it a put off for some people, I could see dipping the bars in yogurt as a solution.
The texture aside, the bars worked for me in providing a filling, protein boost as a post-workout recovery or a mid-afternoon boost. I also liked the fact that they have no added sugar and the fiber is limited since I get plenty of that from my regular diet. I look forward to ordering my next batch of NuGos. Now, I just need to decide whether to get peanut butter or chocolate.