Sunday, March 16, 2014

Clean Eats Review: Quest Bars

I told myself countless of times to be more disciplined in terms of posting in my blog. Admittedly, it’s not an issue of lacking ideas as I have an abundant list of things to post about (mostly health-related, and also regarding my last trip to Hong Kong), but the lack of time due to my recently rigid schedule. Not that you all care, but lately my schedule has been like this from Monday to Friday:

5:30 a.m- wake up
6:45 a.m- leave for work
7:15 a.m- drop stuff at gym
7:30 a.m- arrive at work
7:30 until 8:30 a.m- breakfast break
8:30 a.m until 5:30 a.m- work
6:00 p.m until 9:00 or 9:45 a.m (depending on training schedule)- gym
10:15 p.m until 12:00 m.n- chores

And repeat. So, really, with only 5.5 hours of sleep everyday along with 9 hours of work and roughly 2-3 hours of gym, I’m left with little time to write a coherent blog entry. On weekends, meanwhile, I go to the gym around 2-5 hours on Saturdays depending on my mood, and I’m only able to chill (i.e sleep and do chores) on Sundays.  Hence, there really is a deficit of time on my part and a surplus of things I’d like to do.

But let’s cut to the chase. I’m writing now, and I’m sure you all missed me, YES?! (Don’t bother disagreeing because I won’t know anyway LOL)

And because you all missed me, I’d like to write a review on my current healthy addiction: Quest Bars.






For those of you who don’t know, Quest Bars are basically protein snack bars that have been kicking up a storm in the U.S among fitness aficionados. Created by Quest Nutrition, Quest Bars are used by many as meal replacement bars and some as snacks to satisfy their hunger with something light. They were previously unavailable here in the Philippines, but thankfully Chevy of Quest Bars PH decided to distribute them and satisfied my curiosity.

Since many people out there tend to look down on snack bars and think that they’re all the same, let me tell you why Quest Bars are different. Let’s look into the different ingredients that Quest uses in their bars, and what they’re known for:
  • Lo Han Guo- I’m starting with this one because it’s the first time I’ve heard of it. According to what I’ve read on the net, this natural sweetener originates from what is known in China as the “Longevity Fruit,” used to treat respiratory problems and constipation. It’s low-calorie and low-glycemic, which makes it ideal for diabetics and sugar-conscious folks alike.
  •  Stevia- This natural, plant-based sweetener needs no introduction, as it is taking the fitness world by storm and is used by many diet-conscious individuals out there. According to WebMD, it has been used as a weight-loss aid over the years to treat diabetes, as well as in enhancing muscle contractions to pump blood to the heart.
  • Sucralose- Sucralose is said to be used in miniscule amounts in each Quest Bar, but to clear it off the red, it’s probably the safest artificial sweetener out there as it is known to only pass through the body and is excreted through the urine once consumed. It’s zero-calorie precisely because it’s not broken down into calories by the body, and it’s also about 600 times sweeter than sugar, so very minimal doses of it are needed.
  • Erythritol- Being a natural and safe sugar alcohol, Erythritol is said to have very low to zero impact on one’s blood sugar. For those who aren’t familiar with sugar alcohols, they basically act as low-calorie sweeteners, though some may spike up blood sugar and all should be consumed in little amounts.
Some of you may be bored at this point, but hey, I like looking into what I eat, and I think it’s important to inform you guys too about each and every ingredient since I know many of you guys usually overlook the ingredients and nutritional facts of the food you eat.

Moving on, each Quest Bar also has about 20-21g of protein per bar, so what’s not to love, right? Such protein comes from these two sources:
  • Whey Protein Isolates- Whey protein isolates are a form of whey, which is a by-product of the cheese-making process. It has the highest protein content among all types of whey, containing no carbs, cholesterol, lactose, and negligible fat. It is also absorbed by the body very quickly and has a high concentration of Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), thus aiding in muscle recovery.
  • Milk Protein Isolates- A form of protein derived from milk, milk protein isolates contain 80% casein and 20% whey. Its main difference from whey is that its rate of protein release into the body is very slow, taking up to 7 hours to be released into the bloodstream.
Besides being a nutritious snack on its own, Quest Bars come in a variety of flavors, each with different nutritional values/calories. I’ll be writing up some reviews on flavors I've tried, and so far, all of them have been scrumptious. I don't know if that's because I'm just fortunate enough to try the good flavors, or if it's because all flavors are good on their own, but I'm just glad I haven't reached a point where I felt like my calories were put to waste. 

For me, Quest Bars help in meeting my protein requirements and satiate my sweets cravings, so they’re usually a morning snack/pre-workout snack/my dinner (when I’m not that hungry). I personally don’t recommend going beyond 3 bars a day since it’s still important to get one’s nutrients from natural sources. Quest Bars are perfect for people on-the-go, and you can actually do a lot of things with them, such as bake them and microwave them to make various desserts.

That marks the end of my review. It would have been longer, but I figured reviewing each Quest Bar flavor on its own was more fun and provides me with more post ideas LOL.  For those of you who have read this until the end, THANK YOU SO MUCH, I LOVE YOU. For those who lacked the time to do so, it’s okay, JUST MAKE YOU SURE YOU AT LEAST LOOKED AT THE INGREDIENTS.

Til the next post,

Nicole

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