At just under a pound a bar when you buy a pack of five, the Aptonia Protein 35 looks like a real steal compared to the competition. This isn't entirely unexpected given that Aptonia is the nutritional arm of super-brand Decathlon, known for their value pricing. But does the end product deliver from a nutritional and taste perspective?
The first thing that stands out on the ingredients list, albeit not surprisingly as it's listed first, is that milk protein is the primary protein source used. Dairy is one of the most easily digestible protein sources according to the 'Biological Value' measure, as long as you're not lactose intolerant that is. For those of us fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the delights of milk and cheese, the Protein 35 bar packs a substantial 17.5g of protein into its dense 50g mass.
Elsewhere, the ingredient list doesn't look as though it holds any nasty surprises, and certainly nothing that you won't find even in bars marketed as 'natural' or 'organic'. Together with its sizeable protein content, each bar packs 20g of carbohydrates, some fibre, salt and 30% of your Vitamin B6 daily allowance. All in all, there's everything there you need to kickstart the recovery process after a tough ride.
Unfortunately, what the Protein 35 does lack is flavour. It's not as sweet (or chocolaty for that matter) as your typical chocolate bar and the hint of nuts is only barely perceptible; in fact, you'd be hard pushed to really pick out a defining taste at all. As a result, it's not the most satisfying of recovery bars – I never found myself reaching for one as a quick snack.
Its consistency is also too chewy to make its consumption a pleasant experience. You get the sense that all the ingredients have been so tightly packed in, that the result is a dense and not particularly tasty block of macronutrients. You may be getting the right amounts of protein and carbohydrate, but it's not going to be an enjoyable experience. And that's you want from a recovery bar, as you shouldn't have to feel that you're still 'training' when the ride is over.
All the right ingredients & good value, but too chewy and lacking in flavour to be a satisfying recovery bar
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Aptonia Protien 35 bars
Size tested: 5x50g Chocolate
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Aptonia Protein 35 bars are designed for post-ride use, as an efficient source of protein and carbohydrates to improve recovery
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Milk proteins, fructose syrup, milk chocolate coating (17%)(sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, whey, emulsifier: soya lecithin, natural vanilla flavour), glucose-fructose syrup, roasted cocoa beans chips, stabiliser: maltitol, humectant: glycerol, low-fat cocoa powder, egg white powder, flavouring, glucose syrup, vitamin B6. May contain traces of peanuts, gluten, nuts and sulphites.
Macronutrient content (per 50g bar):
Energy: 187kcal - 787kJ
of which saturates: 2.7g
of which sugars: 14.5g
Vitamin B6: 0.42mg (30%)
While the macronutrient content is right, it does lack flavour. It's not unpleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but doesn't really fulfill.
Very (maybe too?) dense.
Excellent, undercutting the competition by sometimes as much as 50%
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really.
Would you consider buying the product? I prefer to eat real food.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Ditto above.
About the tester
Age: 22 Height: 190cm Weight: 69kg
I usually ride: Canondale EVO Red My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.