I love peanut butter, and it seems to be fashionable right now, and these new OTE Milk Chocolate Peanut Protein Bars satisfy the taste buds with a great flavour and nice hit of recovery thanks to 22g of protein per bar.
- Pros: Tasty, easy to digest
- Cons: Not cheap if used regularly
Testing any sort of nutritional product is a tricky task, but consuming protein bars or shakes after hard rides is generally considered to be a good thing if you want to get your recovery following a ride off to a great start.
OTE's range of protein bars are tasty and easy to digest, with Ash finding the Dark Chocolate Mint flavour highly agreeable. I'm no fan of mint but found the Chocolate Peanut very satisfying. Each to their own.
Flavour differences aside, each 45g packs 22g of protein, 4.3g of fat, 10.8g of carbohydrate, 0.9g of sugar and 159 calories. OTE claims this gives its bars the best protein to calorie ratio of any protein bar on the market. The bars are also free of artificial colours and flavours.
The texture of the bar is similar to most protein bars, a sort of slightly chalky texture. They're fairly dry, though you don't need to wash them down with water, and they're not sticky or sweet either. Light on the palette, they're easy to digest. I wouldn't describe them as delicious but I've definitely had worse tasting protein bars.
OTE recommends consuming a protein bar within 30 minutes of exercise. Boshing down one of these bars straight after a ride certainly keeps hunger at bay until you've had time to take a shower and prepare a proper meal. They're convenient and time-saving.
'Eating within this time frame has been shown to be the best way to optimise recovery, especially if you have multiple training sessions within a 24 hour period. Basically, the sooner you eat and hydrate the better your recovery and adaptation will be,' explains Annie Simpson in our guide to training nutrition.
If you care about what you put in your body, munching one of these bars is probably going to be better than an unhealthy (but possibly more appealing) post-ride snack. According to nutrition experts, 20g more or less is the optimal amount of protein for the body following a bike ride, and the OTE bars deliver this amount without the unwanted calories of some post-ride recovery options.
They also make handy snacks between meals – they've helped get me through the mid-afternoon lull a few times.
It's tricky to say how effective the protein bars are. There are so many variables and everyone is different. So much depends on your personal diet, what you eat before, during and after a ride, and whether you're getting a good balance of carbs, protein and fat in your diet already.
As a bike reviewer, I'm riding my bike every day so I'm always looking to make sure I give my body every assistance in the recovery department to avoid being too tired the following day. Downing one of these bars straight after a ride noticeably impacts my appetite for a meal so I'm able to manage a smaller portion – good for weight loss – and I've felt marginally fresher the following day.
However, at £2 a bar, or £40 for a box of 20, they're not what you might describe as affordable though they're par for the course for cycling nutrition products, and roughly the same as other brand protein bars. If you care about your recovery and don't mind paying for it, these are a good option.
Tasty low-calorie protein-packed recovery bar
road.cc test report
Make and model: OTE Milk Chocolate Peanut Protein Bar
Size tested: 45g
Tell us what the product is for
OTE says, "Speed up your recovery and adaptation to exercise with our great tasting, high protein bar.
"The third edition to our ground-breaking PROTEIN BAR range, the milk chocolate peanut protein bar packs over 22g of high-quality protein into every 45g bar for only 159 calories and only 0.9g sugar giving it the best protein to calorie ratio of any protein bar on the market.
"Developed by professional sports nutritionists to help repair and rebuild muscles after exercise, OTE Sports protein bars are ideal for aiding recovery when eaten within 30 minutes of exercise or as a healthy snack any time of day or night!
"All our protein bars are manufactured in an informed sport certified facility."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From OTE: 159 kcal, 22g of High Quality Protein and only 0.9g of Sugar per Bar.
They're fairly dry, though you don't need to wash them down with a drink.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Keeps hunger at bay until you've had time to shower, dress and prepare a proper meal following a bike ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tasty and easy to digest.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not cheap if you use them regularly.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a very tasty protein bar that delivers a good punch of protein in a low calorie package. They're not the cheapest but they do seem really good, and so score an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.