Update 2/28/20. Walking through Walmart one day, I happened upon the Gatorade Whey Protein Bar. I've heard of this supplement but never had a chance to look at its ingredients, so I knew this was my chance. The box boasts 20 grams of whey protein, but I wanted to know more. In this review, I will look beyond the whey protein and show you the information that you need to know about before you decide if the Gatorade Whey Protein Bar is right for you. Also, see the Fit Crunch Bar review for additional insights.
Gatorade Whey Protein Bar Nutrition
According to the Nutrition Facts label, one Gatorade Whey Protein bar has 360 calories and the following other nutrition information:
|Calories 360||Calories from fat 120|
|Nutrient||Amount||Percent Daily Value|
|Total Fat||13 grams||19%|
|Saturated Fat||10 grams||50%|
|Trans Fat||0 grams||N/A|
|Total Carbs||42 grams||14%|
|Dietary Fiber||2 grams||7%|
|Vitamin A||Amount not given||0 %|
|Vitamin C||Amount not given||0%|
|Calcium||Amount not given||15%|
|Iron||Amount not given||8%|
Like all nutrition labels in the US, there is hidden information about fat content that they make us work for. Let's talk about that next.
Fat In Gatorade Whey Protein Bar
From the Daily Values volume of Nutrition Facts label above, we see that the Gatorade Whey Protein bar provides 19% of our daily allowance of fat (if we eat 2000 calories per day). While that may not sound like much, we need to have a reference point to compare this to.
Here is the key to understanding the Daily Values. Just remember these 2 rules:
- If you see 5% or less, it's “low” in that nutrient
- If you see 20% or more, it's “high” in that nutrient
This means that the Gatorade Whey Protein bar is almost technically “high” in fat by FDA standards. That said, there is something we are NOT told. We are not told the percentage of fat in this nutrition bar.
Percentage Of Calories From Fat
I think we should know the percentage of calories fat that's is in foods – and supplements.
Here's how to do the math to figure this out :
Calories from fat ÷ total calories X 100
From the nutrition table above, we know that 1 Gatorade Whey Protein bar has 360 calories and that 120 of those calories comes from fat. Let's do the math:
120 fat calories ÷ 360 total calories =0.333
0.333 X 100 = 33.3% fat
Answer: each Gatorade Whey Protein Bar gets 33.3% of its calories from fat.
So, more than 1/3rd of the bar is fat.
Putting it another way, if you ate 3 of these bars in a day, you exceeded your daily alliance for fat. You'd have to eat REALLY clean the rest of the day.
Now Let's look at the saturated fat….
How Much Saturated Fat?
We don't have to any math to find out that the Gatorade Whey Protein bar is really high in saturated fat. The nutrition label tells us that each bar has 10 grams of saturated fat. The Daily Value column in the table above also tells us that this 10 grams represent 50% of the amount of saturated fat we are permitted to eat per day.
How healthy is a nutrition bar that provides all that saturated fat?
I think Gatorade knows how serious this is because on the front of the box – in smaller lettering – they actually tell people to see the nutrition label about saturated fat content.
To be fair, most protein bars I see have saturated fat – sometimes a lot of saturated fat too! Given that these nutrition bars are marketed to people who want to be “healthy” I think this needs to be remembered.
Sure, the label also tells us that the Gatorade Whey Protein bar has zero cholesterol, but that's not really a selling point for most people. Most of the cholesterol in our bodies comes from what we make naturally. I would rather eat foods that have cholesterol and a low amount of saturated fat.
Gatorade Whey Protein Bar Ingredients
There are a LOT of ingredients in this bar. I've listed them below.
|Cane syrup||Palm kernel||Palm oil|
|Whey protein isolate||Coca powder||Soy lecithn|
|Whey protein concentrate||corn starch||sugar|
|Chocolate liquour||Cocoa butter||Soy lecithin|
|Vanilla extract||Corn syrup||Brown sugar|
|Salt||Modified corn starch||Whey|
|Salt||Mono and diglycerides||Natural and artificial flavor|
|Glycerin||Invert sugar||Milk protein concentrate|
|Water||Salt||Natural and artificial flavor|
|Sugar||Canola and/or soybean oil||Caramel color|
|Cocoa powder||Non fat dry milk||BHT (preservative)|
|Soy lecithin||Citric acid|
Read the table from left to right. This will tell you the ingredients that are present the most and least. Those at the top are present the most. Those at the bottom are present the least.
As I looked over the ingredients, a few things occurred to me.
Notice from the ingredients list that the first 3 ingredients are sugar and fats. Even though “whey protein” is part of the name of this nutrition bar, whey doesn't show up until the 4th ingredient.
What's up with that?
The word “sugar” is listed 4 different types in the list, but that is a conservative estimate. I think sugar is present even more than this, because the list contains other words such as “glucose” “corn syrup.” These words also mean sugar.
This does make some sense given that the nutrition label tells us that each bar has 29 grams of sugar.
To put things in perspective, there are 28 grams in 1 ounce. Putting it another way, a teaspoon has about 4 grams. If that's correct, it means the Gatorade Whey Protein bar has about 7 teaspoons of sugar – per bar.
Who Makes The Gatorade Bar?
Well of course, it's Gatorade. But who owners them? The company is PepsiCo, the makers of Pepsi Cola. While some might think that that the association with a soda company explains why the whey protein nutrition bar has so much sugar, I'm not sure of this because PepsiCo also owns Quaker Oats too – and that's healthy. PepsiCo does have healthy products. Why isn't this whey protein bar one of them?
While I can understand why the company wants to diversify its brand, and applaud them for trying to improve nutrition for athletes, I have to ask, why they appeared to drop the ball with this product?
Gatorade Bar vs. Candy Bar
As I was looking over the Gatorade bar, it was like I was looking at a candy bar. But, in some ways, I thought the Gatorade bar was worse. For example, here is a side by side comparison between the Gatorade Whey Protein bar and a Snickers bar:
|Gatorade Whey Protein Bar (80g)||Snickers Candy Bar (52.7g)|
|Calories from fat||120||110|
|Total fat||13g (19% DV)||12g (18% DV)|
|Saturated fat||10g (50%DV)||4.5g (25% DV)|
|Trans fat||0 g||0 g|
|Cholesterol||30mg (10%)||5 mg (2% DV)|
|Sodium||160mg (7% DV)||120mg (5% DV)|
|Total carbohydrate||42g (14% DV)||33g (11% DV)|
|Dietary fiber||2g (7% DV)||1g (4% DV)|
Now, this table is not completely correct because the weights of the bars are different. I could not locate a candy bar that had the same weight as Gatorade bar.
That said, looking at both the Gatorade Bar and a Snickers candy bar side-by-side, we can see that both are providing rather similar amounts of several ingredients. Yes, the Gatorade Whey bar provides 20 grams of protein as compared to only 4 grams for Snickers -BUT, that comes at the expense of a LOT of saturated fat and calories. Snickers candy bar has 50% LESS saturated fat than the Gatorade Whey Protein Bar!
Because it has fewer calories and a LOT less saturated fat, I'd pick the Snickers bar over the Gatorade bar.
If those 20 grams of protein are a selling point, you can instead buy the Quest Bar and get 21 grams of protein, fewer calories, less saturated fat AND 17 grams of fiber.
Whey Protein Bar vs. Competition
There are many protein bars to choose from. To help you decide I've created a giant review of protein bars where I broke them down according to calories, fat, sugar, etc.
Is The Gatorade Bar Worth It?
Based on the ingredients and nutrition profile, I don't like the Gatorade Whey Protein Bar. Sure, it provides 20 grams of whey protein but that comes at the price of way too much-saturated fat and calories. Why did the company that makes it add so much fat and saturated fat to a nutrition bar that's marketed to people who workout out want to be healthy? I feel the Quest Bar is a much better option for those who want a protein bar. Some might argue that the calories and fat in the Gatorade bar don't matter if you work out hard, but I disagree. I don't think most people workout enough to warrant consuming this product.