nugo stronger protein bars

I’m always open to trying a new protein bar, because every so often, someone actually makes a good one! This past week I got to sample the NuGO Stronger Protein Bar, a new option from the folks at NuGo Nutrition.

They call it the “ultimate combination of outrageous flavor and function.”

That doesn’t sound bad by any means. But it was their stance on the nutrition aspect that really drew me in. They use hormone-free whey protein and non-GMO ingredients, and these bars are certified gluten-free. The bars don’t contain soy either, if that’s a concern – just whey protein, rice protein, and milk protein.

The NuGo Stronger is also unique in that it’s both high in protein and high in fiber. I can’t recall ever having a high-fiber protein bar, so it peaked my curiosity!

Let’s get into the nutrition details then, shall we?

NuGo Stronger Health and Nutrition Inspection

As mentioned, the key ingredient here is an ultra-pure, premium-grade whey protein blend. I’m all for rBGH-free whey, as I see no reason to be consuming recombinant bovine growth hormone!

The protein blend includes rice protein and milk protein to give you a variety of protein types, while excluding soy. I’ve never experienced immediate issues from consuming soy, but some people probably have allergies, and there is still some debate over soy’s health benefits and concerns. So it was probably a good idea for NuGo to leave out the soy.

The bar is also gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO. I always like the more natural bars so this makes me very happy! I don’t necessarily require gluten-free or kosher foods, but I’ll always choose them if I have the option.

As for the sugar content, we’re looking at cane sugar and organic agave syrup. When it comes to bars, those are some of the better sweetener choices. (Even better is that there isn’t much sugar in this bar!)

Best of all, there are no artificial sweeteners! There are no sugar alcohols either. I’ve never had problems with sugar alcohols, but many people do. (Maltitol, sorbitol, and other sugar alcohols have been known to cause various types of GI distress.)

Now let’s bring numbers into the discussion.

Each bar contains from 290-320 calories! That’s quite a few calories, though just right for a protein bar.

Total fat at 8g is fairly low for a bar of this size, but it helps to keep total calories in check.

The “lower sugar” claim is indeed true. Each bar contains just 9g sugar, and that’s really low for any bar, let alone one this big.

Total carbs aren’t low, as there are around 34-36g carbs per bar. But 12g of those carbs are fiber! Now that is high!! (I’ve seen other protein bars claim to be high fiber by containing 4g fiber!)

Considering the high fiber, your “net carbs” are fairly low in the end, so they just about balance out with the protein content.

Speaking of protein, there are 25-27g per bar, depending on flavor. That ranks it up there with what I consider to be the real protein bars. (25g is my arbitrary separator since that’s generally what a scoop of whey protein gives you.) I’d say 25-30g is the ideal range for a bar.

It’s tough to go any higher than that in a bar. I’ve said before, if you want more grams of protein than grams of carbs, mix up your own protein shakes!

From an overall nutrition perspective, it’s an awesome bar! Maybe it isn’t a good choice for low-carb diets, but it would be good for post-workout recovery.

NuGo Stronger Taste Test

The bar comes in four flavors, and they all sound tempting. Here’s what I thought…

nugo stronger real dark chocolate bar

Real Dark Chocolate

This bar is mostly soft nougat, with a little liquidy dark chocolate filling on top, and the whole thing coated in dark chocolate. It has a potent, strong flavor that’s not too sweet nor too bitter. It’s actually a realistic dark chocolate flavor. The bar is chewy and pretty dense – in other words, a fairly standard protein bar texture.

If you like chocolate, you’ll probably enjoy this one.

nugo stronger peanut cluster bar

Peanut Cluster

You can smell peanut butter as you go to bite it! I think it’s a peanut butter nougat, some peanuts, and a caramel coating, which is all covered in chocolate. A little like a Snickers, a little like a PayDay. The peanut butter flavor is more akin to Boyer Smoothies than to Reese’s, though. The texture was pretty typical, but less chewy than the Real Dark Chocolate one.

It’s very good overall. Didn’t blow me away, but I’d say it’s better than the Caramel Peanut flavor of Clif Builder’s MAX.

nugo stronger cookies n cream bar

Cookies ‘N Cream

There is a different sort of look to this one; rather than being covered in chocolate, it looks like a dark cookie bar partially covered in white cream. Yep, much like an Oreo. The texture is pretty hard and tough, and kinda chewy, but actually a bit dry compared to the others. At the end of a big bite, I could finally taste what reminds me of a traditional cookies ‘n cream flavor.

The flavor did build up some by the time I finished the bar, but it wasn’t particularly tasty to eat. I didn’t enjoy it and wouldn’t reach for another one!

nugo stronger caramel pretzel flavor

Caramel Pretzel

This one looks awesome since it has some shape to it. Biting in, it’s like a Christmas party dessert! Seriously it’s like those homemade cookie bars with real pretzel sticks, caramel, and other stuff, all dipped in chocolate. Insanely delicious!!

It’s a very sweet bar, in a good way. Not overly sweet, not artificially sweet. More like, real caramel sweet. It’s so good! The best part is that you get real textures, one of which is pretzel. This is probably the best tasting protein bar I’ve ever had!

For any protein bar, it’s not uncommon for me to like a few flavors, hate one, and absolutely love one. That was the case here. I can’t imagine anyone loving the Cookies ‘N Cream flavor. That’s normally one of my favorites, and this could be the only cookies n cream bar I don’t like. I highly recommend every single person try the Caramel Pretzel though! It’s that good!!

Did they work?

In a word, yes.

At least for pre-workout snacks and post-workout recovery. I only tested these out on gym workout days. I didn’t use them during cardio workouts like bike rides or XC ski sessions.

For being such a big bar, I felt great after eating them. Other big protein bars, even the ones I like, seem too filling. The NuGo Stronger gave me that ‘just right’ feeling, which is what impressed me the most. It’s nearly the size of a Clif Builder’s MAX, but gives me a much lighter feeling after eating it.

There were no issues from the high fiber content, either. No signs of GI distress whatsoever. I was really interested to see how that would work out!!

(However, be careful the first time you have one, just in case.)

If you want to try some, they are $31.20 per box of 12 on their site. They’re expected to hit stores in the Spring of 2014 (look for them at Whole Foods), but for now, you have to order them from the NuGo website.

nugo stronger protein bars

NuGo Stronger – healthier than that movie theater popcorn and soda in the background!

My final verdict is…

I’m really liking NuGo as a company now. It doesn’t look like you can go wrong with any of their bar selection. And the bars are especially good for anyone who commonly suffers GI distress.

So with healthy bars and at least one delicious flavor, I highly recommend these if you need a protein bar!

Official website: www.NugoNutrition.com

Buy online: Store.NugoNutrition.com


Product Review Details
Company: NuGo Nutrition
Product: NuGO Stronger Protein Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-08-12
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments
  1. Had one of these bars, peanut, it caused cramping and distress for 14 hours. I have never experienced anything like it. I googled it and it turns out that I am not the only one who had this reaction. Apparently the fiber they add can have this effect. FOlks should be SO cautious with this product.

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