Signature Protein Crunch Bars Review – Made With You in Mind

This protein bar is Bodybuilding.com’s own brand of the protein bars.

Their signature line was created in 1999 to supply a chain of products that they could put their own name on, even though they have a whole website that sells other product lines.

According to their website, their brand is completely transparent, with no fillers and they use clinically effective doses of science-backed ingredients.

Considering that Bodybuilding.com is the fulfiller of this brand, the customer service is fantastic, and the prices are very competitive.

They guarantee their product for 90 days. If for any reason you don’t like it, you can call customer service and they will either refund your money or give you store credit.

This makes buying these Signature Protein Crunch bars a no-risk deal, but are they worth it?

Let’s take a look.

Ingredient Profile

Signature protein bar ingredients

As their website mentions, all the ingredients of their products are supposed to be scientifically backed in dosage and in which ingredients they choose.

Let’s break down some of Signature Protein Crunch bars ingredients and see if they are indeed scientifically backed.

First, let’s look at the protein profile of the bars. That is the most important criteria of a protein bar, right?

This bar is made up of a blend of whey protein isolate and concentrate and has added soy protein isolate.

Whey protein isolate

Whey protein is considered king in the protein world because of it’s high and fast absorption rate into the muscle fibers. It also contains all nine essential amino acids.

The isolate form is a more concentrated source of protein because it has undergone an extra process to filter out more of the carbs and fat than the concentrate.

It seems a little backward but whey protein isolate is more concentrated than whey protein concentrate.

This type of protein is a great choice for these bars because it is almost 95% protein.

This really makes these bars have more bang for their buck in a smaller package with fewer calories.

Whey protein concentrate

This is another whey protein that is just as effective as whey protein isolate but contains more fat and carbohydrates.

Why would this be included in the protein content of these bars?

They probably blended these two whey proteins just to save cost since this type of protein is cheaper.

The whey protein isolate comes first in the list, though, which is supposed to mean that there is either more or just as much isolate as concentrate.

Soy protein isolate

Soy protein is one of the only plant proteins that is considered a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids.

This type of protein has been proven to be slightly better at helping you lose weight compared to whey.

Soy has long been a controversial food.

Many people think its amazingly beneficial, and it is a good protein source for vegans and vegetarians but why add it into a bar that already has animal proteins?

The answer may lie in the results of one study that showed better muscle synthesis when you take a mix of soy protein and dairy protein.

In this regard, this company really did their research to maximize muscle growth.

Palm kernel oil

This is part of the binding agent since its an oil.

It is a pretty healthy choice since it has low cholesterol and some vitamin K, which is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for bone health and a few other things.

Palm kernel oil is considered one of the healthier fats because it mostly consists of unsaturated fats and MCTs. It has a high vitamin C and vitamin A content as well as plenty of antioxidants.

I’m not sure how much cooking goes into the making of these bars, but palm kernel oil is known for its ability to be heated without oxidation and has a long shelf life.

Chicory root fiber

This is a form of fiber that is commonly added to many products that are trying to increase their fiber content.

As the name suggests, this fiber is extracted from the root of the chicory plant.

It is a type of soluble fiber called inulin which is undigested by the body and helps to keep things flowing well through the intestines. It also helps to keep you full.

I can see two reasons why you would want to include chicory root fiber in your protein bar.

The first is to help with weight loss since it would help to keep you satiated and full, reducing the number of calories you consume.

The second would be that high levels of protein can tend to upset the stomach.

Having a healthy dose of soluble fiber in the bars will help to alleviate some of that discomfort by promoting healthy digestion and more frequent stools.

Even though inulin will make you “go” more, it also slows down the rate at which you digest your food giving your body more time to absorb the nutrients of the foods.

Inulin has also been proven to help the body absorb calcium and help keep the bones strong.

Collagen

Yet another protein source, collagen has been popular mostly in the beauty world because of its touted benefits of healthy skin, hair, and nails but it delivers much more than that.

While it is great to have soft skin and strong, shiny hair, collagen helps active people in much more practical ways.

As we age, our collagen levels will go down. This contributes to weak bones and achy joints.

Supplementation of collagen has been proven to be a great way to not only prevent but also treat joint pain. It has also been proven to reduce bone loss that leads to osteoporosis.

Of course, collagen is a protein, and so it will also contribute to the feeding of the muscles to help with more muscle mass and size.

Collagen also plays a part in healthy arteries. It helps to add structure and keep your arteries from becoming weak.

Collagen has also been proven to increase the good cholesterol in the body. This helps to reduce your risk of heart problems in the future.

Potassium sorbate

This chemical additive created by mixing sorbic acid and potassium hydroxide. It is used as a preservative to stop the growth of any mold, fungus, or yeast in foods that need to be stored.

The Food and Drug Administration has deemed is safe to eat since it pretty much passes through the body without being absorbed or digested.

Some people have had allergic reactions to it, but this is very rare.

It is good to know that although this is an additive, it isn’t considered dangerous to your health as many others are.

Nutritional value

Signature protein bar nutrition facts

Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of these bars by dissecting the macronutrients and the ratio it presents to determine the best use of these bars.

Protein

It’s easy to see where these bars really shine.

They contain four different types of protein, each with their own outstanding quality. Each bar contains 20 grams of high-quality protein.

Whey protein isolate is the most absorbable and high-quality protein available on the market.

Whey protein concentrate helps to bulk up the protein content without making it cost too much.

Soy protein helps to boost muscle protein synthesis as it works with the dairy proteins.

Let’s not forget about the collagen content that not only builds muscle but is also great for the bones and heart.

Plainly, these bars are just as good for you whether you are a serious athlete or a beginner, who is looking to put on some muscle mass without a doubt.

Carbohydrates

These bars aren’t extremely high in carbohydrates. They average about 20 grams per bar but only 5 grams of sugar.

This means that it is a very low glycemic bar and will give you sustainable energy.

The lower carb count, the lower sugar and the fact that each bar contains only 230 calories make these bars great at helping keep your bodyfat percentage down.

Fats

These bars contain only 9 grams of fat and none of those are the dangerous trans-fat.

Mostly derived from the palm seed and palm kernel oil, this fat is not only unsaturated but also full of good vitamins that increase the health of the body.

By now we hopefully haven’t stuck to the stigmatism that fat has held in the decades past.

Fat is an essential part of our health, especially if we want to keep our bodies limber and lubricated for healthy movement.

These bars do a good job of providing fat without adding too much.

They also made a good choice of what type of fat.

Out of the 9 grams of fat, 5 are saturated and the other 4 are divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Sodium

This bar does have a moderate amount of sodium with 350 mg in each bar.

The recommended daily intake is somewhat different depending on who you are talking to. It can be anywhere from 1500 mg per day to 2300 mg per day.

Either way, 350 mg is more than 10% of the daily recommended intake but as athletes, we sweat a lot and we are given a higher daily allowance of sodium intake.

Fiber

The chicory root fiber in these bars does plenty to up the fiber content.

They each contain 5 grams of fiber which is just enough to keep you full without giving you a stomachache.

I really appreciate the type of fiber included as well (inulin) because of its many beneficial attributes.

Taste and texture

So, this bar passes the health and effectiveness test but how does it taste? For some, that’s the real clincher.

It’s great to find a bar that has all the ingredients to give your body plenty of energy and nutrition but if it tastes like doo-doo then what’s the point?

People are raving about the fact that there is no weird chemical taste like many other protein bars have. It could do with the fact that their preservatives are all tasteless and odorless.

Well, this bar comes in several different flavors. Let’s break them down.

Double chocolate chunk

Signature protein crunch bar double chocolate chunk

This one has the taste and texture of… you guessed it – a chocolate bar. Being a chocolate lover myself, it’s very appealing to me and more importantly, it tastes pretty good.

Birthday cake

Signature protein crunch bar birthday cake

When it comes to the birthday cake flavor it seems you will either love it or hate it. Some people complain about it being too sweet while others say it tastes just like cake.

Chocolate chip cookie dough

Signature protein crunch bar chocolate chip cookie dough

This is one of the most popular flavors because it tastes so much like the dough itself. Not all companies can get the taste right but the guys at bodybuilding.com did it!

It is a nice treat especially in the summertime if you put it in the fridge before you eat it. It tastes like an ice cream bar.

Cookies and cream

Signature protein crunch bar cookies and cream

This flavor has a nice pleasant crunch in it to break up the creamy texture.

Chocolate peanut butter

Signature protein crunch bar chocolate peanut butter

This one is very peanut-y which is good if you like peanut butter. And if you don’t, why would you order this flavor anyway?

Pricing and where to buy it

There are several ways that you can buy these bars.

You can choose to buy individual bars to try them out before you buy a whole box. Or you can just splurge for the whole box, which comes with 12 bars.

The individuals cost around $5 per bar. It is rare that you will find specials on the individual bars since it isn’t much of an upsell.

But with the box, it is a different story.

The box of 12 bars costs about $25. This is an incredible saving compared to the individual bars.

Instead of paying $5 per bar, you pay a little over $2. But wait… there’s more! The boxes go on sale quite often, bringing the cost of each bar even more.

I’d say that’s a great time to stock up on all your favorites!

Check price

Pros and cons

So, do you want the good news or bad news first? Let’s talk good news first, not because that’s what I usually start with, but because there isn’t really much bad stuff to say.

Pros

  • A good blend and high content of protein
  • Low sugar
  • High fiber keeps you full
  • Healthy fat content with no trans fat
  • Supports not just the muscles but also the bones and joints
  • Lower calorie to help with weight loss.
  • Very affordable when bought in bulk

Cons

  • Definitely not for people who are lactose intolerant
  • Made in a facility that processes peanuts which may turn those with allergies away
  • Not for those on keto or Atkins diet

Summary

Overall these bars seem to be a very well thought out protein bar. You can tell that the bodybuilding.com team puts care into their products.

They developed a great tasting bar that won’t break the bank or have you put things into your body that won’t help you achieve results.

Some may be a bit disappointed with the protein content but the protein that it does contain is very high quality.

This bar isn’t for packing on major muscle, but it will definitely help to maintain muscle mass and keep you from gaining weight. It is a clean source of protein, plain and simple.

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Vlad is an experienced fitness trainer and nutrition junkie with over 15 years in the industry behind his back. He has a passion to help people achieve optimal health and wellness through education.

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