After a long race, sportive or training ride, you can help muscle recovery by taking on some protein. Ways to do this include munching on a Multipower Power Layer protein bar. They're tasty, and also make a good substitute for 'normal' chocolate bars even if you haven't actually ridden your bike first.
Previously on road.cc we've tested Multipower's Fit Protein Flapjack, and this Power Layer bar is a similar concept (protein after excursion helps rebuild muscle) but a very different taste, thanks to the main ingredients, which include milk, whey, cocoa, soya, caramel and hazelnuts.
The taste and texture of a Power Layer bar is reminiscent of a Snickers (not surprising, as the bar formerly known as Marathon contains chocolate, peanuts and caramel), although it's not as sweet, and not quite as chewy. But tasty all the same.
On the nutritional side, a 60g Power Layer bar contains just under 20g of protein, 24g of carbohydrate, 8g fat (of which 3.7g is saturated), plus a dash of fibre and sodium. All up, each bar provides 241 kcal.
It's definitely a bar to eat after your race or training ride, not during. Most sports scientists agree that, while carbs are good, taking on too much protein during exertion can be counter-productive. Of course, if you're touring or just tootling around then you can eat a Power Layer bar (or anything else) pretty much when you want.
You can also eat these bars as a general snack at work or home instead of the aforementioned Snickers or another 'normal' chocolate bar, which tend to have a higher proportion of refined sugars and saturated fat, making a Power Layer bar a relatively more healthy option, and also useful if you're trying to keep your weight down.
(Incidentally, Snickers will always be Marathons to me. Does anyone else remember an old TV ad for Marathon bars featuring a cyclocross rider, along with that famous catchphrase 'keeps you going going going'?)
When it comes to cost, these Power Layer protein bars retail at a penny under 45 quid for a box of 18 from the Multipower on-line store, which works out at £2.50 each. You can find them a bit cheaper at some other on-line stores (especially, it seems, those catering for body-builders), but they're still well over £2 each when you factor in delivery charges.
You can also buy them singly at some gyms and sports shops, where they're also between £2 and £2.50. Either way, this does not compare well on price against similar products such as Mule Bar Refuel, High5 Protein Bar or SIS Rego Bar, so these bars can't be called good value.
Good source of protein to help muscle recovery after a long ride. Very tasty, and a relatively healthy snack any time, but not cheap.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Multipower Power Layer Chocolate-Caramel-Nuts 33% Protein
Size tested: Chocolate-Caramel-Nuts
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?
This product is a recovery bar, designed to be eaten after exercise to help muscle recovery. Of course, such products are not essential. For many riders, recovery after a long ride can be helped just as much by something like a bowl of muesli or chicken sandwich, although a lot depends on what you feel like eating after a long hard ride.
The manufacturers website is fairly terse, and highlights these key features:
* High in protein – 33% protein per bar
* No artificial colours
* Four layers of nuts, caramel, crispies and chocolate
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Under 'How and when to take' the instructions are equally brief:
"Eat one bar after training or one or two bars throughout the day"
Rate the product for performance:
As a source of protein this bar is good, and it's healthier as a snack compared to 'normal' chocolate bars, although the saturated fat content of the Power Layer bar is slightly higher than some recovery bars from other manufacturers
Rate the product for value:
Compared to similar propducts from other manufactuers, the Power Layer bar is not good value.
Having said that, as with many nutrition products, it's not always about price. it comes dowen to more personal considerations such as taste. The Power Layer bar is undeniably tasty, so on that basis it's worth trying. If you don't like the taste, then leave it. If you prefer it to other recovery bars, then stick with it.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The bar performs well, when considered as a source of post-ride protein. as mentioned above, it's also healthier as a snack compared to 'normal' chocolate bars,
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Taste. Texture. Bringing back the memories of old TV adverts.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's a minor grumble, but the chocolate coating on these bars seems to have a low melting point; they come out of the packet quite sticky.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd recommend they try it, if they don't like the taste of other recovery bars.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Overall, this is a tasty protein bar, and a relatively healthy snack, which would give a score of 8. However, the saturated fat content is still a tad on the high side, and the price is not good value compared to other products, so this knocks off a couple of points, giving an overall score of 6.
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
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