Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: GNC Pro Performance Pro-Crunch Cookies & Cream Protein Bar

I’ve been on an Oreo rampage lately. I rediscovered them a few months ago, realized the virtues of store-bought, cream-filled cookies, and even since then they just seem to find their way into my stomach. That, and the fact that I’ve enjoyed some Cookies & Cream flavored nutrition/protein bars in the past, made me pick up this Pro-Crunch bar the last time I was at GNC. Oh, and the fact that is was buy three/get one free on protein bars was a big factor. ;)

Sometimes I wonder if you all get sick of looking at the outside of chocolate-coated protein bars, which, I have to admit, all pretty much look the same. Anyway, I know there’s nothing to use for a size reference, but it’s significantly smaller than the MET-Rx or enormous Supreme Protein bars, but don’t be deceived because this thing is heavy. When you pick it up, you know it’s going to be filling.

Umm, cool! It looks just like the picture on the packaging. Beyond the mandatory protein
base, there’s a creamy “cream” layer that even has little cookie pieces mixed in! It’s like an inverted Oreo, with the cookies sandwiched in the cream instead of the other way around.

Now I know it’s not going to taste like cookies & cream, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good. At first it reminded me of the Life Choice Double Chocolate bar, a little bit of a fake-chocolate taste, but at the same time a deep chocolate...I don’t know. You have to try it to understand, all I know is, it’s not bad. It’s actually pretty good. Especially because the cream filling (which adds a marshmallow-fluff sort of texture) gives a super sweet kick at the end. There is no sour or bitter note at all. It is sort of like a freaking huge Oreo.

Now, the one place where this bar doesn’t live up to its name is the crunch. The base is chewy and dense and sort of like a really packed-together brownie, with a few random crisp pieces strewn about. So, where’s the crunch in “Pro-Crunch”? Still, this is a minor complaint, because I liked the texture just fine the way it is. I’m just pointing out that if you want to be nit-picky, it doesn’t match up with the name (well, brand name, really).

If you’re an Oreo person, this is definitely for you. It’s like an Oreo on steroids. I think it’s the cream that makes this bar, but the base is decent too, and I’ll eat (almost) anything you coat in chocolate. There’s also a “Lite” version, which is smaller if you’re not some enormous bodybuilder who routinely eats 400-calorie snacks.

Taste: 9--Oreo on steroids. 10 hands down for the cream filling.
Texture: 9--dense and chewy with a bit of crisp; fine the way it is, but doesn’t match the “crunch” label.
Health: 8--not much sugar, but most of the carbs are from sugar alcohols.
Eat Again? Yes.

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