Are you on the lookout for a big-name plant-based protein bar? Vega Sport Protein Bar could be right up your alley. This review will give you the lowdown, and then some.
About Vega Sport Protein Bar
The manufacturer says Vega Sport Protein Bar will help “fuel your muscles post-workout,” per its official website. It’s also “not your typical protein bar” with a “bold taste,” per the same source. Formula notes:
- Twenty grams of protein per serving. Helps increase muscle mass and shorten exercise recovery time.
- High in fats, saturated fats, and sugars. Surprising, considering manufacturer has an excellent reputation among health nuts.
- Awful taste. This protein bar’s new formula is one of the worst-tasting in the industry.
Vega Sport Protein Bar Supplement Facts (Crunchy Peanut Butter)
|Serving Size: 1 bar (70 g)|
|Nutrient||Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|Calories From Fat||100|
|Total Fat||11 g||17%|
|Saturated Fat||5 g||25%|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||26 g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber||3 g||12%|
|Ingredients: Brown Rice Protein, Tapioca Syrup, Pea Protein, Organic Sugar, Vegetable Glycerine, Organic Agave Syrup, Peanut Butter, Palm Kernel Oil, Sunflower Oil, Rice Starch, Natural Flavors, Organic Peanut Flour, Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Liquor, Inulin (from Chicory Root), Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Tart Cherry Powder, Organic Peanut Extract, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin.|
|Directions: Enjoy Vega Sport® Protein Bar anytime, on-the-go.|
The Plant-Based Protein Bar
Taking a protein supplement is a great way to muscle up, shorten exercise recovery time, and meet your daily protein requirements. All it takes is a scoop or two to do the trick. Long story short, these products are a heaven-sent for any bodybuilding enthusiast. If you can add a top-notch protein supplement like NutraBio Muscle Matrix Protein to your stack, that would be great.
On that note, let’s no underestimate the benefits of protein bars. Not only are they convenient, but they’re also a great way of packing on muscle mass as if every day was a cheat day. It’s a tasty way of achieving your fitness goals. Try snacking on a protein bar such as BSN PROTEIN CRISP BAR (which has a solid 20 grams of protein). It’ll make you come back for more.
Well, how about trying a plant-based protein bar for a change? This is where Vega Sport Protein Bar comes in. The manufacturer says this product will help “fuel your muscles post-workout,” per its official website. It’s also “not your typical protein bar” with a “bold taste,” per the same source.
When the company says this protein bar isn’t your usual protein bar, we agree wholeheartedly. Most of the products in this category use whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, milk protein, and casein protein. If you’re sensitive to dairy, taking the plant-based route is the way to go.
We reviewed several Vega Sport products before. More specifically, these are Vega Sport Performance Protein and Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator. Their formulations and natural ingredients exceeded our wildest expectations. Bear in mind Vega Sport Protein Bar has a new formulation. Customers loved the old one. Let’s see if this new player blows us away.
Formulation, 70 grams
One serving of Vega Sport Protein Bar packs 70 grams of various nutrients. Leading the charge are 20 grams of protein, which is equal to a solid 28 percent of the daily value (a minimum daily value of 15 percent is high).
Let’s check out how Vega Sports Protein Bar stacks up against the rest of the competition:
|Vega Sport Protein Bar (Crunchy Peanut Butter)||BSN PROTEIN CRISP BAR (Chocolate Crunch)||MuscleTech NITRO-TECH CRUNCH (Cookies & Cream)|
|Protein per serving||20 grams||20 grams||22 grams|
|Daily value||28 percent||40 percent||44 percent|
It’s clear MuscleTech NITRO-TECH CRUNCH’s protein content lords it over the rest of the field. Vega Sport Protein Bar’s isn’t bad at all at 20 grams per 70-gram bar. However, BSN PROTEIN CRISP BAR packs more protein considering one bar is only 57 grams. That’s a huge discrepancy right there.
Still, you can’t go wrong with Vega Sport Protein Bar’s protein content. We’re just a bit puzzled why the manufacturer says it has only 28 percent of the daily value for protein. Forty percent would’ve been more accurate.
This product features “a multi-source protein blend of brown rice protein” and “pea protein,” per the company’s official website. The manufacturer tops this blend off with a rich chocolate coating. Nothing could be better than that.
Don’t let the name deceive you – brown rice protein packs a powerful wallop. In fact, Douglas S. Kalman of the Nutrition/Endocrinology Department of Miami Research Associates conducted a study in June 2014 (via MDPI.com) which says, “Brown rice is an excellent source of protein, containing 37 percent of the total protein as essential amino acids and 18 percent as BCAA.”
Not only that, but brown rice protein also has other crucial health benefits:
- Boosts fat loss
- Keeps the glycemic response in check
- Boosts liver, heart, and kidney health
- Regulates cholesterol levels
- Boasts of gluten- and dairy-free attributes
The clear takeaway: brown rice protein not only helps you muscle up, but it also helps improve your long-term health. We’re glad it’s in Vega Sport Protein Bar.
As for pea protein, it’s no slouch, either: one 30-gram scoop yields as much as 25 grams of protein. In contrast, some whey protein supplement brands can only muster 23 grams from that same amount. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s January 21, 2015 issue, “The consumption of pea protein promotes gains in biceps brachii thickness and especially in beginners or people returning to weight training.” With that, now would be a great time to include pea protein in your gym bag. We’re confident it’ll help you reap impressive gains.
In addition, pea protein has virtually zero cholesterol and saturated fat content. Moreover, it is gluten-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians. It’s clear brown rice protein and pea protein impact your long-term health in a positive way. The manufacturer did a great job in pairing them up for Vega Sport Protein Bar.
This product is also a decent source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) – it has 3.5 grams per 70-gram bar. These are the essential amino acids l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine.
BCAAs help increase muscle protein synthesis, repair muscle tissue, increase endurance, maintain a positive nitrogen balance, and regulate blood sugar levels, among other things. Let’s not forget they also help increase fat loss, shorten recovery time, and keep delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) at bay. We say Vega Sport Protein Bar’s BCAA content is solid for a protein bar. Consuming it after a hard workout should help you stay on track.
Vega Sport Protein Bar also has a secret weapon: 480 milligrams of tart cherry powder. The manufacturer says this ingredient helps boost recovery. To substantiate this, the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s May 26, 2016 issue (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov) says tart cherry supplementation “seven days before, the day of, and two days after completing an endurance running challenge appears to be an effective dietary supplement that may help attenuate post-run markers of muscle catabolism and physiological stress in aerobically-trained individuals.” If you’re an endurance athlete, consuming tart cherry powder may help take your performance to the next level.
We also like Vega Sport Protein Bar’s decent dietary fiber (12 percent of the daily value) and iron content (10 percent of the daily value). The former helps regulate bowel movement and blood sugar levels, keep cholesterol levels in check, and boost digestion, and improve heart health. For its part, the latter helps ward off anemia, regulate body temperature, improve sleep quality, produce hemoglobin, and enhance cognitive function.
Unfortunately, Vega Sport Protein Bar has high fat (17 percent of the daily value) and saturated fat levels (25 percent of the daily value). The American Heart Association’s official website recommends monitoring your saturated fat intake closely because it increases LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which may result in cardiovascular issues. The manufacturer could’ve toned down on these a bit.
This product also has a moderately-high sodium content (from sea salt) at 12 percent of the daily value. You need salt to ward off muscle cramps, regulate blood pressure levels, and maintain the proper electrolyte balance in the body. However, the American Heart Association also recommends regulating one’s sodium intake for better cardiovascular function. If you’re monitoring your salt consumption, consult your doctor first before buying Vega Sport Protein Bar.
Our first impression: Vega Sport Protein Bar should meet your expectations at the very least. If you want a healthier, plant-based protein bar alternative, this one should fit the bill. It’s not a perfect product, but it’s still better than some of the pretenders on the bodybuilding supplement market.
Let’s check out the formula ingredients:
- Calories, 300: Vega Sport Protein Bar has 300 calories per serving. In contrast, MuscleTech NITRO-TECH CRUNCH and BSN PROTEIN CRISP BAR have only 230 calories and 240 calories per serving, respectively.
- Calories from fat, 100: When a product’s fat content makes up roughly 33 percent of its calorie content, it should make you wonder. That’s a tad bit high.
- Total fat, 11 g: Vega Sport Protein Bar has high fat content at 17 percent of the daily value. If you’re monitoring your fat intake, better skip this one.
- Saturated fat, 5 g: This protein bar’s 25 percent of the daily value for saturated fat also represents a high amount. Limiting one’s saturated fat intake is crucial for long-term heart health. If you’re monitoring your saturated fat consumption, consult your physician first.
- Trans fat, 0 g: Vega Sport Protein Bar has zero trans fat content, which bodes well for excellent long-term cardiovascular function.
- Cholesterol, 0 g: It’s also remarkable this protein bar has no cholesterol content. Way too many competitors go overboard in this area.
- Sodium, 290 mg: Vega Sport Protein Bar has somewhat high sodium content at 12 percent of the daily value. If you’re monitoring your sodium intake, consult your doctor first before buying this product.
- Total carbohydrate, 26 g: This much represents nine percent of the daily value for carbs, which is right on the industry average for protein bars.
- Dietary fiber, 3 g: Vega Sport Protein Bar has decent dietary fiber content at 12 percent of the daily value. This much should help promote regular bowel movement, keep cholesterol levels in check, regulate blood sugar levels, and boost cardiovascular function.
- Sugars, 14 g: Vega Sport Protein Bar’s sugar content is high for a protein bar. To put things in proper perspective, MuscleTech NITRO-CRUNCH and BSN PROTEIN CRISP BAR have only five grams and two grams of sugar per serving, respectively.
- Protein, 20 g: Vega Sport Protein Bar gives you a solid 20 grams of protein per serving coming from brown rice protein and pea protein – two excellent sources with extra health benefits.
- Vitamin A, 0 percent DV: Vega Sport Protein Bar has no vitamin A content whatsoever.
- Vitamin C, 0 percent DV: This product also has no vitamin C content at all.
- Calcium, six percent DV: Vega Sport Protein Bar has somewhat low calcium content at just six percent of the daily value.
- Iron, 10 percent DV: This product is a decent source of the mineral iron, which helps produce hemoglobin, ward off anemia, regulate body temperature, and enhance cognitive function.
Did Vega Sport Protein Bar’s new formulation exceed lofty expectations? After a thorough analysis, it didn’t. In fact, it’s a perfect epitome of the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Don’t get us wrong; it’s not a flop by any means, but the old formulation was way better.
First off, its 20 grams of protein per serving is solid, to say the least. This much will help you muscle up, meet your daily protein requirements, fill nutrition gaps, and shorten exercise recovery time. The protein sources are excellent: you can’t go wrong with a combination of brown rice protein and pea protein. The market is saturated with protein bars with whey protein, milk protein, and casein protein. If you want a solid and convenient source of plant-based protein, this is it.
We also love Vega Sport Protein Bar’s 3.5 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) per serving. These help increase muscle protein synthesis, boost fat loss, repair muscle tissue, and increase exercise endurance – just about the entire plethora of fitness benefits. Remember, BCAAs are essential amino acids. Your body doesn’t synthesize these. You should obtain them from whole foods and supplements. Vega Sport Protein Bar is up to the task.
The inclusion of 480 milligrams of tart cherry powder per serving was also a great move. Some studies say this component helps boost exercise recovery and ward off catabolism (muscle breakdown). Not too many protein bars have this ingredient. We’re sure glad it’s in Vega Sport Protein Bar.
The decent levels of dietary fiber (12 percent of the daily value) and iron (10 percent of the daily value) are sure to benefit your long-term health. Their combined benefits include lower cholesterol levels, better heart health and blood sugar levels, and enhanced cognitive function.
The manufacturer also does a spectacular job in terms of transparency – it reveals all of the ingredient amounts. You won’t find any shady proprietary blends in Vega Sport Protein Bar.
This product has no fillers, either. Seeing protein bars with sucralose and artificial food colorings is a regular occurrence. These don’t do anything good for your body at all. Vega Sport Protein Bar’s clean ingredient profile is a breath of fresh air. We love it.
Unfortunately, Vega Sport Protein Bar has high levels of fats (17 percent of the daily value), saturated fats (25 percent of the daily value), and sugars (14 grams per serving). Sodium is also somewhat high at 12 percent of the daily value. This comes as a bit of a shock, considering Vega Sport is a manufacturer with a tremendous reputation among health nuts. It’s obvious there should be an advanced formulation with lower levels of these nutrients.
However, the biggest letdown by far is the new formulation’s below-average taste. Many customers have been griping about its chalky and bitter aftertaste. So are we. What was the manufacturer thinking? Like we said, this is the classic example of ruining a good thing. Perhaps the manufacturer should’ve just kept its hands off the old formula. Consumers enjoyed that one more.
Nevertheless, Vega Sport Protein Bar is still a decent choice for vegans, vegetarians, and those who want a convenient source of plant-based protein. It’s just too bad a manufacturer with a sterling reputation fell short of expectations. It has its work cut out. No question about it.
Vega Sport Protein Bar Benefits
Vega Sport Protein Bar has the following benefits, per its official website:
- Twenty grams of plant-based protein per serving
- 3.5 grams of BCAAs per bar
- 480 milligrams of tart cherry powder per serving
We agree with these claims. While Vega Sport Protein Bar isn’t a perfect product, it can still help you achieve your overall fitness goals.
Who Takes It?
The manufacturer intended Vega Sport Protein Bar for healthy and active individuals who want to build lean muscle mass, fill nutrition gaps, meet their daily protein requirements, boost long-term health, and achieve their daily fitness goals.
Any Side Effects?
Vega Sport Protein Bar has high levels of fats (17 percent of the daily value), saturated fats (25 percent of the daily value), and sugars (14 grams per serving). It also has moderately-high sodium levels at 12 percent of the daily value. If you’re monitoring your intake of any of these nutrients, please consult your doctor before buying this product.
The manufacturer also issues a warning:
Vega Sport Protein Bar Review Summary
- Twenty grams of protein per serving. Helps increase muscle mass, shorten recovery time, and fill nutrition gaps.
- Brown rice protein and pea protein. Excellent protein sources with extra health benefits.
- Tart cherry powder content. Helps shorten exercise recovery time and ward off catabolism.
- Decent amounts of dietary fiber and iron. Twelve percent and 10 percent of the daily value, respectively.
- Excellent transparency. Manufacturer reveals all of the ingredient amounts.
- Clean ingredients. You won’t find any fillers in this product.
- Flavor options. Comes in Crunchy Peanut Butter and Crispy Mint Chocolate flavors.
- High in fats, saturated fats, and sugars. Completely unexpected from a manufacturer with an excellent reputation.
- Somewhat high sodium content. Twelve percent of the daily value.
- Taste. One of the worst-tasting protein bars on the market.
Pricing & Where to Buy
- 1 70-gram bar: $2.49
- 1 box of 12 70-gram bars (12-day serving): $29.99
- Available online and in retail
Final Word on Vega Sport Protein Bar
It bears repeating: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Perhaps the manufacturer should’ve stuck to the reliable old formula of Vega Sport Protein Bar. The new version is decent, but it has several glaring loopholes.
With that in mind, we recommend you try this, but with reservations. Heed our warning: your taste buds most likely won’t find this protein bar appealing. Nevertheless, it has several solid benefits worth reaping. Otherwise, stick to Quest Bar or some other big-name competitor.