So, one day, I’m just sitting around, minding my own business, and all of a sudden, unprovokedly, I’m contacted through my super-duper-easy-to-use contact form by Brittany Manwill of Mazamabar. She asked if it’d be ok if she sent me some samples of their meal replacement bars in order to write a review. I said, “sure, I’m a fat kid, I love free food!” And so it came to pass…
As someone that loves candy bars, has tried more varieties of protein bars, makes homemade “Lara bars”, and will grab whatever looks good at REI when I’m in a hurry, I’ve experienced my fair share of bliss (and nausea) caused by these on-the-go snacks. So far I’ve tried Wild Berry and Hazelnut Mocha. I have been overly excited with what I’ve experienced so far.
The hazelnut mocha is what I wished my morning coffee tasted like. The wild berry is the healthier, tastier version of an oatmeal raisin cookie (in my opinion). I’m more than a little excited to try the final flavor: chocolate banana.
I says to myself, “self, there ain’t no way something that tastes this good can actually be good for me.”
I was wrong (first time ever).
All of the ingredients listed are all mostly natural, with the exceptions of brown rice syrup, sugar, sunflower oil (for Wild Berry). And you could make arguments that those are still mostly all-natural. I’m not one to nitpick.
At $3.50/bar, I don’t think you’ll find these at the check-out lane at your local grocery store to buy on an impulse, nor do I think you should. The flavor and the ingredients alone demand more than $0.99. However, at that price, I may still choose a different, cheaper bar. Not only am I not nitpicky, but I am quite frugal (that makes me sound better than “cheap”) and there are other bars to be had.
One thing to consider though, is that they are quite a bit bigger than most other bars. If you do the math, they are quite close to their competitors’ price per ounce. And that’s cool!
As a Meal Replacement Bar
Now, consider this: there are always billions, if not millions, of factors that go into why your brain tells you you’re hungry or not. So, for whatever reason, the Mazamabar didn’t quite keep me as full as an actual meal of similar calories.
Calories. The Wild Berry Mazamabar has 390 calories – 140 from fat, 210 from carbs, and 40 calories from protein. That’s a pretty good ratio for intra-event nutrition (and possibly post-event nutrition, depending on the event), but for my purposes, that’s a little too many carbs and not enough protein.
You see, I chose to eat the Hazelnut Mocha bar with my morning coffee for breakfast as my sole source of calories before heading to the crag for 6 hours of climbing. Typically, my pre-climbing meal, which is only slightly more than 410 calories, lasts me for about 5 hours before I start to feel the pains of hunger. This bar? 3 hours. And then I was ravenous.
So, it does pack a lot of calories in a relatively small bar (which is still bigger than most of them on the market), but therein lies the problem: there’s just not enough volume to keep me full. And I don’t think that’s the bar’s fault.
Overall, I give the bars 4 out of 5 thumbs up.
I strongly believe they are priced according to their quality. (It just happens to be priced out of my personal price range.)
I strongly believe they are the best tasting commercially produced sports bar, meal replacement bar, snack bar I have ever had.
I believe the quality ingredients are better than nearly all of the other bars I’ve purchased.
If you happen to be in the market for this type of snack, I highly suggest you go for the Mazamabar!
**UPDATE! – I recently brought my final Chocolate Banana Mazamabar with me to the top of Cloud Peak. I ate the whole thing, and after the 3.5 hour, 2,000+’ descent, I still wasn’t hungry when I reached basecamp. Despite the relatively cold temps, the chocolate was still gooey but not at all messy.
The top of a mountain is a GREAT place to enjoy a Mazamabar!
Don’t Miss Your Chance
I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.
Then I took control.
You can too, and it starts right here.