As the name suggests, OTE's Protein Bar delivers a protein-boost with a moreish chocolate mint taste, great for supporting recovery.
For many, consuming enough protein to provide the building blocks of recovery (with carbohydrates providing the energy to fuel that recovery) is a significant issue. Maintenance of lean muscle tissue, and therefore strength, is vital to cyclists wanting to maximise performance – no longer the preserve of body builders and power athletes.
OTE has set about tackling this need with this new Protein Bar. Likely a response to other high-protein bars emerging on the market of late, OTE's variant provides a competitive 22.3g per 45g bar, with the remainder made up of 4.3g of fat (2.4g of which are saturates) and 10.8g of carbohydrate (of which only 0.1g are simple sugars).
These figures on their own are pleasing, and I'm encouraged that instead of shirking fat entirely in favour of sugar content, some has remained. It makes for a more rounded nutritional intake, with an emphasis also on complex carbohydrates in the form of polyols.
A quick analysis reveals that just over half the small amount of fat present is made up of saturates – a statement which I suspect will frighten some readers of this review. However, considering the human body needs a small amount of saturated fat intake anyway – a need slightly increased naturally by the ravages of taxing exercise – I must say I'm not fussed by this, and neither should you be. The bars are meant as a supplement, not as a replacement, so I personally I wouldn't be consuming more than one a day anyway.
This is actually a challenge, because the taste is excellent and digestion is easy. In this dark chocolate and peppermint flavour, the bars manage to taste quite refreshing in the same way a quality chocolate mint ice cream does. They're rather moreish with a nice texture; there's no stickiness or cloying sweetness, with a Mars Bar nougat-y type consistency in the mouth. I'm looking forward to future flavour options becoming available.
OTE does recommend consumption within 20-30 minutes post exercise, as a pre-exercise protein hit, or a snack in between meals. This reflects the versatility of the bar, with it containing fast-acting and slow-releasing proteins to fuel muscles quickly and to satisfy your hunger. The one potential fault I would level at it is that it's not suitable for vegetarians, but seeing as this is quite common with protein-based foods, it doesn't stand out from the crowd for it particularly.
It's hard to quantify effectiveness with bars such as this – especially when I already meet my protein intake goals. What I can say is that substituting these bars for my other protein supplement sources was successful in that I felt no difference in my recovery – which I already consider to have maximised, to be honest. So – a good product!
Available in single bars (keep an eye out for discounts – they were £1.43 per bar for a while, direct from OTE) or boxes of 20 (was £28.50 instead of the usual £38), value isn't bad for a protein bar. Use them smartly (eating enough to reach your protein intake goals) and you can probably get each box to last up to a month with regular training and a healthy diet.
The only oher thing to note is that the packaging feels relatively thin, but this only says to me that less of the planet's resources have gone into wrapping them up – which is a very good thing. It's tough enough to deal with being transported around without compromising the bar inside, so no worries on that score.
A good quality protein bar designed to help you reach your protein intake goals, tastes great and doesn't cost the earth
road.cc test report
Make and model: OTE Dark Chocolate Mint Protein Bar
Size tested: 45g
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
OTE says: Each 45g protein bar can be used during the day in between meals to increase daily protein intake, and is also ideal to use as a pre-workout snack. A good source of high quality protein.
Instructions for Use:
Consume 1 bar within 20 to 30 minutes of finishing exercise. OTE protein bar can also be used during the day in between meals to increase daily protein intake and is ideal as a pre-workout snack.
Not suitable for vegetarians.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- 22g of high quality protein per 45g bar
- High in protein product – 49%
- Great tasting
- Natural peppermint flavour
- Ideal as a pre-workout snack
- Repair and rebuild muscle
- Contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass
- Increase daily protein intake
- A convenient and good source of high quality protein
Nutrition Information, per 45g bar:
- Energy: 659 kJ / 157 kcal
- Fat: 4.3g
of which saturates: 2.4g
- Fibre: 0.8g
- Carbohydrate: 10.8g
of which sugars: 0.1g
of which polyols: 10.1g
- Protein: 22.3g
- Salt: 0.25g
Packaging seems to be able to stand up to transportation, but isn't as thick as others. So it's more environmentally friendly!
At £1.90 per bar it's a little expensive, but not outrageous. (Keep an eye out for discounts on OTE's website.)
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well - no complaints in terms of supporting recovery.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great taste - I'm not usually a chocolate mint follower - and its effectiveness seems good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing huge springs to mind. Vegetarians won't like that it's not suitable for them, and OTE could do with expanding the flavour range.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? For occasional use when I need a good quality top-up of protein, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding