Taste Test – SoLo Gi® Energy & Nutrition Bars

If you’ve recently cruised the supplement/energy bar aisle of your favourite grocery store or drug store, I’m sure you have noticed there are countless varieties of bars vying for shelf space, and your attention. It can be overwhelming to choose from when you are looking for a portable, nutritious, and energizing snack on the go. These bars vary wildly in ingredients, flavour, calorie content, texture, protein, fibre…the list goes on. And while I would always recommend reaching for a more whole food option for your snacks (because nothing is going to replace real food), I also realize this isn’t always possible, and sometimes it’s good to have a few nutrition bars on hand when you find yourself needing fuel and without any good options around.

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It would be almost impossible for me to even know how all of the bars out there on the market taste and stack up nutritionally without dropping a small fortune, so I was happy to have SoLo Gi® offer to send me samples of their entire line of energy and nutrition bars. I had seen them on the store shelves before, but didn’t really know much about them, and had never tried them.

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SoLo Gi® Energy & Nutrition Bars are a low glycemic index, gluten free bar, meant to provide slow released, sustained energy. What does low glycemic index mean? Instead of making your blood sugars spike (like say, a can of pop), they have a more gradual release of carbohydrates (like if you eat oatmeal), which keeps your blood sugars, and therefore you energy, more stable. This also means you won’t find yourself crashing, and reaching for another snack to get another energy boost.

Their bars come in 8 different flavours, the last 3 being new:

  • Peanut Power
  • Chocolate Charger
  • Pineapple Coconut
  • Dark Chocolate Mandarin
  • Lemon Lift
  • Dark Chocolate Almond
  • Apple Cinnamon with Quinoa
  • Mocha Fudge

Each bar is around 200 kcal, with 3-4 g of fibre, 10-13 g of protein, and 95-125 mg of sodium. They are certified gluten free, and also have no trans fats. They use a blend of whey and soy for their protein source, and each of them has either a chocolate or yogurt coating.

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First impressions were they remind me of many of the protein bars out there, with their chocolate coatings, and their similar protein sources. I’m not going to lie – any energy bar that comes with a chocolate coating makes me think it’s a glorified chocolate bar. But I did give them all a go, with varying results. I was not a fan of the yogurt covered/fruit flavoured bars. I found the fruit ones to be too fake tasting, and upon inspection of the ingredient lists, only the Apple Cinnamon bar had any apple in it. The Lemon Lift tasted too much like the lemon scent of cleaning products that I couldn’t finish it. It made me sad, because I appreciate people don’t always want chocolate, but I honestly couldn’t recommend these flavours.

The chocolate coated flavours definitely faired better. My absolute favourite was the Chocolate Charger, as it was just straight up chocolate with plenty of crispy chocolate bits in it. It definitely satisfied my afternoon chocolate craving at work one day. All of the other chocolate flavours were pretty good too – if I had to rank them, I would go:

  • Chocolate Charger
  • Mocha Fudge
  • Dark Chocolate Almond
  • Peanut Power
  • Dark Chocolate Mandarin*

* I didn’t actually try the Dark Chocolate Mandarin – my boyfriend did. He enjoyed it, said it was well balanced in flavour and had good texture. So I can’t really decide where it would fall in the chocolate rankings.

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I should also note that the fibre blend they add to these bars is made up of inulin and oat beta glucan. I find that sometimes added fibres like inulin can affect my digestive system, making me feel bloated if there is too much in the food, but these didn’t seem to have too big of an impact. It’s something to definitely be aware of though if you know you are sensitive to added fibres.

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My overall verdict – I’m not 100% sold on the SoLo Gi® Energy & Nutrition Bars. Some of the flavours were tasty, and made a good afternoon snack to keep me going throughout the day. But I don’t really like the long ingredient lists of food stuffs like soy and whey isolate in the protein blend, the palm oil in what I assume is the bar coatings, and the lack of real fruits in the fruit flavoured varieties. Plus the added fibres can be a problem for some people. They do have good protein and fibre content to help keep you feeling full, and with them being both low glycemic index and gluten free they are appropriate for certain health conditions (such as diabetics, women with PCOS, celiac disease, etc). They might be a good option on the go when a more whole food snack isn’t available, but they wouldn’t be my go to option.

 

Disclaimer – These products were provided to me free of charge to sample and review. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Categories: Gluten Free, Review, Snack, Vegetarian

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One Comment on “Taste Test – SoLo Gi® Energy & Nutrition Bars”

  1. November 30, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Yeah thats a good honest review of them. I felt the same way after trying them. I just wasnt a big fan but i can’t deny the chocolate and peanut were tasty!

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