Following my Questbar review, I decided to test a similar product: the OhYeah! Victory bars. They aren’t a new product, but they’re relatively new here in Europe. You can find them in most supplement stores where you usually find the ‘traditional’ OhYeah! protein bars (= massive 300-kcal bars made with artificial sweeteners).
These Victory bars are naturally sweetened with agave, honey and evaporated cane juice. They don’t contain any artificial sweeteners and are also free of sugar alcohols (unlike concurrent Questbars which are sweetened with erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol.)
What are they made of?
Here’s the ingredient list: Protein Blend (Blend Consisting of Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate), Natural Prebiotic Fiber Syrup (Tapioca), Almond Butter, Agave Syrup, Almonds, Chocolate Chips, Honey, Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Salt.
Like Quest bars, they’re thus full of prebiotic fiber, which I’m not a huge fan of, because I feel like I already get enough fiber in my diet. But as weird as this may sound, I think that this ingredient list sounds relatively okay if you compare it with traditional protein bars: there’s no soy protein, no things that end with ‘ose’ (sucralose, sucrose) or ‘ol’ (maltitol, sorbitol).
The bars are quite gooey: you can bend them or shape them like play dough. This is quite unusual for protein bars which are usually harder. But personally this doesn’t bother me that much.
OhYeah! products usually taste pretty great, and this is here also the case. However, I wouldn’t say they taste fantastic either. They still taste like protein bars. My favorite flavor was the vanilla bar because it contains white chocolate chips. But otherwise, cookie dough, fudge brownie and peanut butter flavors taste very American for European taste buds. To draw a comparison, it’s a bit like Ben&Jerry ice cream: yes, the flavors are great, but the taste is very sweet and “in-your-face”. Ben&Jerry ice cream certainly doesn’t taste bad, but it’s not like having a traditional hand-made Italian gelato with a more subtle savor.
Value and availability
These bars are still expensive, especially if you buy them in small quantities. I paid 3 euro per bar at the supplement store. You could probably find them for a cheaper price online, but there’s a good chance that you won’t find anything under 2 euro. Like Questbars, there are huge price differences between the American market and the European market. Furthermore, even if OhYeah Victory bars may be easier to find in Europe, they’re not that widely available.
Comparison with Questbars
|OhYeah! Victory bar||200||21g||28g||8g||6g||20g||120mg|
I like the fact that the sodium content is much lower in the OhYeah bars than in the Questbars. All Questbars tasted way too salty for me. However, sugar content is higher, making these bars more suitable as post-workout treats.
These bars are a good alternative to traditional protein bars. I think European customers would probably prefer them over Quest bars when it comes to flavor. They’re also more easily available. (The sweetener used in Questbars, Luo han guo, is not currently a permitted sweetener in the EU).
However, 8 g of sugar is a lot if I’m not eating them post-workout. I don’t understand why protein bar manufacturers always stick to products that taste very sweet. If their target customers are people that are used to ‘clean eating’, I think they should adapt their recipes to make bars that not only contain less sugar or sweeteners but also taste a lot less sweet and more natural.