Product Reviews, June 2007: The Spotlight Is On Meal Replacements!

The following reviews cover meal replacement powders and meal replacement bars. Learn more from this descriptive review about great products such as Met-Rx Original Vanilla MRP, Oh Yeah! Protein Bars and more!

Part 1 | Part 2


Met-Rx Original Vanilla MRP
An Instant Classic

What do Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis Presley, Humphrey Bogart, and Met-Rx Original Vanilla all have in common?

They're all instant classics, courageous groundbreakers that set a standard of excellence within their prospective fields for all the rest to follow. Valued treasures in their eras, they were all at one time universally hailed for their unprecedented grace and originality, as millions continue to still talk about them today.

Yet, take a closer look at the aforementioned list and you'll see that one entry doesn't quite fit in with the rest of this elite crowd.

Yes, only Met-Rx is still alive and kicking. In fact, for all intents and purposes, this great beverage may still be in its prime.

PRODUCT
Meal Replacement Met-Rx Presents:
Meal Replacement

America's original and best selling protein drink mix, with a unique combination of high levels of proprietary METAMYOSYN protein, vitamins, nutrients and anti-oxidants in a great tasting, convenient and easy-to-use packet.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

A few years back, Met-Rx Original Vanilla was a lot like the Rubix Cube of twenty years ago, a nifty and intriguing new commodity that others just couldn't help tinkering with. But unlike the plastic toy, the delicious health drink, rich in both vitamins and nutrients, is still twirling around in our cabinets and juice bars.

Met-Rx is a modest product in its own sense, an invaluable asset to your daily vitamin consumption, while straying from the bold, outlandish promises that you'll find on the labels of competitive products.

No "You'll pack on 20 pounds of muscle in two weeks!" No "You'll lose 60 pounds of bodyfat in a month!"

Met-Rx serves up no silly promises, no gimmicks, no exaggerations and no BS.

And that's no kidding.

Instead, it's an honest, simple approach to maintaining a sound nutritional fitness, providing you with 37 grams of the high-quality Metamyosyn protein and high levels of glutamine within each packet, a great way to feed your muscle-building intentions and power your system before a rigorous workout.

Also, Met-Rx is low in both fat and sugar, therefore eliciting the response that all bodybuilders are yearning for: lose the fat, keep the muscle.

Met-Rx is not only the best-seller among protein drinks in the country (just look at all the pro athletes who endorse it - Troy Aikman, Oscar De La Hoya, etc.), it's also a serious athlete's best friend, a heavy dose of energy to load up on before the big game.

The recommendation here is to mix your Original Vanilla with pineapple juice, but certainly, there are various other juices - like orange juice or fruit juice - which will make for a tasty mix.

And that leads to another of Met-Rx fine benefits: the taste.

For many fitness trainers, drinking their protein drinks is a lot like that shot of whisky. Hoping the experience is quick and painless, they can't wait for it to go down the hatch.

Not only does Met-Rx actually place emphasis on the taste, it flourishes in it. The proof is in its booming receipts.

If Original Vanilla doesn't quite cut it for you, try Extreme Chocolate, White Chocolate Mocha, Peach, Berry Blast, Apple Pie, or Chocolate Peanut Butter.

    Get This Product At The Bodybuilding.com Store Here.


Review Of Oh Yeah! Wafers

What's In It?

    Serving Size 1 Package (2 Sticks)
    Servings Per Container 9 Packages

    Amount Per Serving % DV

    Calories 180
    Calories From Fat 111

    Total Fat 12g 18%
    Saturated Fat 5g 26%
    Trans Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 0mg 0%
    Sodium 140mg 6%
    Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
    Dietary Fiber < 1g 3%
    Sugars 2g
    Protein 15g 30%

    Vitamin A 0%
    Vitamin C 0%
    Calcium 8%
    Iron 8%

    * Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Ingredients:

    Protein Blend(Oh Yeah! Blend Consisiting Of Whey Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Isolate, Egg White, Calcium Caseinate), Palm Oil, Chocolate Coating[Sugar, Chocolate Liquor-Processed With Alkali, Cocoa Butter, Sodium Caseinate(Milk), Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin(Artificial Flavor)], Natural Peanut Butter, Whole Wheat Flour, Peanut Oil, Canola/Red Palm Oil Blend, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sucralose

PRODUCT
Oh Yeah! Protein Wafer Bars Oh Yeah! Protein Wafer Bars
A scrumptious creme filled wafer loaded with protein. Each delicious stick has only 90 calories and 1 gram of sugar!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    ISS Oh Yeah! protein wafers are a low carb protein bar, with a 1/5 to ratio of carbs to protein, not bad! The down side to the low carb route, same with pretty much any low carb snack, is that there is usually more fat, the same way fat free products usually have more carbs.

    The protein wafers come in packs of two sticks, so you can have 1 at a time or 2, each bar has 90 calories and 1g of sugar but also has 6g of fat, 2.5g being saturated. However, I suppose the fat comes from the peanut butter, the dominant flavor of this bar.

    If you are a peanut butter lover, this is the bar for you! I se these bars as a snack in between meals when I am not at home (i.e. studying at the library, in between classes, etc.) Let's go into a little more detail:

Ingredients Discussion:

    The OhYeah! protein blend, Whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate, Egg White, and Calcium caseinate, all quality proteins which give the bar a really nice texture, you can barely tell that it has that much protein in it because the bar is not hard or chalky and the filling is smooth.

    The next ingredient you could really do without, palm oil, it's a saturated fat meant to stabilize liquids so that they stay hard in warmer temperatures, it's a saturated fat oil.

    The chocolate coating consists of: sugar, chocolate liquor-processed with alkali, cocoa butter (the fat from cocoa beans), sodium caseinate(milk), milk fat (more fat), soy lecithin, Vanillin (artificial flavoring). You'll notice that almost no sugar added candies or chocolates use sugar alcohol, it still has the calories of sugar but however it is said not to spike insulin levels.

    Natural peanut butter (the other source of fat, healthy fats though), Whole Wheat flour, Peanut oil, Canola/Red palm oil blend, Soy Lecithin, salt, sodium bicarbonate, and last is sucralose.

    As you can tell there are a lot of oils in the ingredients, that's the way they keep the carbs so low and why the fat is so high, although the only bad oils I see are palm oils.

RELATED ARTICLE
Good And Bad Fats. Good And Bad Fats.
Body fat usually results from an inadequate diet and is comprised of carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Get facts about the good and bad fats, their effects on the body, and tips to keep body fat in check.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Taste:

    These bars taste amazingly great. If you have ever had Kit Kat peanut butter bars....it's almost like that but a natural approach with less sugar and unsweetened peanut butter. The chocolate coating tastes like chocolate as well. There is nothing in the taste that gives away that this is a protein filled snack.

Texture:

    The bar is smooth, has a great filling and the wafers are crispy. However the chocolate coating, if kept anywhere that is warm (even just in a warm place in the house), then it will melt. The chocolate melting at very low temperatures is probably one of the effects of the high fat content as things with lots of fat tend to melt easier. This results in a messy snack.

    When unwrapping the bar there is a bunch of melted chocolate and grabbing a piece usually results in a big mess on your hands, hopefully there is a sink near you or you have wetnaps. You can get by this problem by just pushing the wafers up from the bottom of the wrapper but that usually ends up stripping the bar of its chocolate coating which takes away from its flavor, but it still tastes good with the peanut butter filling.

Pros:

    Low carbs (1g per stick), 180 calories per serving, 15g of protein per serving, great taste, not too expensive, doesn't taste like a conventional protein bar, and quality protein blend.

Cons:

    High fat content, 111 calories from fat alone per serving, coating melts easily which makes it messy to eat, palm oil, they taste so good you often end up eating more than 1!

    If fat isn't as big of a concern as carbs then this bar should serve well for your applications. It's an amazing tasting bar with great protein sources and has one of the lowest carb:protein ratios of any bar 1/5, and only 2g of carbs per serving are impact carbs (carbs that effect blood sugar).

    The bar is good if you keep them cool, however if you plan to keep them in your car in the summer or carry them around with you then they might be a little messy to handle. This is a good way to treat yourself to a lil' treat without breaking your diet as its a good substitute for a chocolate bar and these actually have a nutritional value to them, just don't over eat.

    Overall, ISS OhYeah! Chocolate Peanut Butter wafers are a great bar for the peanut butter lovers who want to get protein and taste in one bar without tons of carbs.

    If you have any questions or comments, visit www.issresearch.com or call them at 1-888-231-2684. Other than that, if you decide to get these bars, enjoy! OhYeah! Don't forget, just 'cause they are low carb doesn't mean that you can eat the whole box!

    Get This Product At The Bodybuilding.com Store Here.


Review Of Oh Yeah! Bars
ISS Research Oh Yeah! Bars

What's In It?

    Serving Size: 1 Bar
    Servings Per Container: 12

    Amount Per Serving:

    Calories 380
    Calories from Fat 180
    Total Fat 19g 30%
    Saturated Fat 7g 33%
    Trans Fat 0g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 3.5g
    Monounsaturated Fat 7g
    Cholesterol 5mg 1%
    Sodium 130mg 5%
    Total Carbohydrate 31g 10%
    Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
    Sugars 8g
    Sugar Alcohol 15g*
    Protein 26g 52%

    Vitamin A 0%
    Vitamin C 0%
    Calcium 6%
    Iron 10%

Ingredients:

    Peanuts, Protein Blend [(Oh Yeah! Blend Consisting of Whey Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate), Hydrolyzed Gelatin], Chocolate Coating [Chocolate Liquor, Maltitol, Cocoa Butter, Sodium Caseinate, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin (An Emulsifier), Sucralose, Vanillin (An Artificial Flavor), Vanilla and Salt], Caramel (Sugar, Corn Syrup, Non Fat Dry Milk, Maltitol Syrup, Cocoa Butter, Corn Starch, Butter, Sucralose, Soy Lecithin, Natural And Artificial Flavor), Soy Nuts, Glycerine, Peanut Flour, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Lecithin (An Emulsifier), Natural And Artificial Flavors, Salt, Sucralose And Potassium Sorbate Added As A Preservative.

PRODUCT
Oh Yeah! Bars ISS Research Presents:
Oh Yeah! Bars

Guilt Free Nutrition Packed With Milk Chocolate, Peanuts, & Caramel!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

ISS Research Oh Yeah! Bars

    ISS Oh Yeah! protein bars are a great addition to a complete and healthy bodybuilding diet. Keep in mind that supplements are only meant to be an addition to a diet, and not the base of one. Each serving of one bar contains 380 calories, which is pretty calorie dense and also easy to eat.

    I would personally use these when bulking up. Others may have other physique goals, but I am always bulking up and seeking a convenient way to get some extra calories in. The bad news about the caloric breakdown for the Oh Yeah! bars would be that they contain 19 grams of fat per serving (works out to 180 calories from fat) in a 380 calorie bar. There are also eight grams of sugar per bar.

    The good news is that each bar has 26 grams of protein which makes for a great amount of protein to have in a very tiny and convenient meal, but for me, I do wish less of the calories came from fat.

    Overall, the ingredients are not too bad, but could stand to be a little better in my opinion. Unfortunately, despite all the competition in the supplement industry, there are few protein bars I have seen so far which have completely satisfied me in terms of nutritional content.

Taste:

    These bars taste great! They are basically like a chocolate bar and the only difference in my opinion is that you will feel fuller after eating one. They are easy to eat and make for a great snack and contain a high amount of protein which makes it a great choice for bodybuilding. For taste, the Oh Yeah! bars get an A+.

Texture:

    I found that the bars would sometimes stick to the roof of my mouth, which is what you would probably expect from any bar containing peanuts of peanut flavouring. I tried the chocolate peanut caramel flavour and the other kinds available were peanut butter & strawberry, and peanut butter peanut caramel.

    I would expect that all three varieties have roughly the same texture. Personally I don't think I would prefer either of the other flavours over the one that I tried, as they all sounded pretty good and I didn't have a particular reason for picking the one that I did, but a friend of mine recommended it so I figured I would give it a try.

Overall Review:

    Personally, I find that protein bars in general are just too expensive for a bodybuilder on a budget. A box of 12 of the Oh Yeah! bars is normally $36.99 but are available on the page below for a sale price of $22.99. Basically it all comes down to convenience.

    If protein bars are what you want, the Oh Yeah! bars deliver. But as with any protein bar, formulated the bars are not as easy as producing other supplements including protein powders and so that reflects in the cost. I would sooner eat a protein powder or weight gain powder supplement but it all boils down to your budget and what you are willing to pay for convenience.

    As far as protein bars go, the Oh Yeah! bars are pretty good - they are a favourite as far as taste is concerned and have a lot of protein in each bar. If you buy the Oh Yeah! bars you will be getting a quality product which will help you to meet your nutritional needs.

    Get This Product At The Bodybuilding.com Store Here.


Review Of Muscletech Meso-Tech Complete Bars

What's In It?

    Serving Size: 1 Bar (77g)
    Servings Per Container: 12

    Amount Per Serving:

    Calories 310
    Calories 110
    Total 12g 18%
    Saturated Fat 4g 20%
    Cholesterol 50mg 17%
    Sodium 280mg 12%
    Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
    Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    Sugars 10mg
    Protein 25g 50%

    Vitamin A 1%
    Vitamin C 0%
    Calcium 4%
    Iron 2%

Ingredients:

    Mesopro Bar Blend (cross flow microfiltered whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate**, soy protein isolate, whole egg), chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, dextrose, whey, soy lecithin), polyol blend (sorbitol, glycerin, maltitol), margarine, gelatin, liquid whole egg, brown sugar, sugar, cocoa powder (processed with potassium carbonate), corn syrup, palm oil, natural and artificial flavors, mono- and diglycerides, baking soda, salt, potassium sorbate (as preservative), konjac flour, sucralose.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

PRODUCT
Meso-Tech Complete Bars MuscleTech Presents:
Meso-Tech Complete Bars

A Great Tasting Moist And Chewy Oat Bar With Zero Trans Fat!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Review By Matt Canning:

    Muscle-Tech offers a very good protein bar supplement which contains a total of 310 calories per bar. I've tried a number of protein bars before and I find that a lot of them fall short on the calories and to me, 300 calories is basically where I would like to be as far as a protein bar is concerned.

    Basically if you throw in a tall glass of milk and a banana you have a complete small meal. Protein bars which are under 200 calories are not providing me with a lot of nutrition to achieve my bodybuilding goals. Meso-Tech bars have zero trans fat which is a bonus from a health perspective but have four grams of saturated fat and 50mg of cholesterol.

    It should be noted that cholesterol in the human body is not as simplistic as being based on how much cholesterol is in the foods we eat and there are more factors at play which determine our cholesterol levels, so don't be too turned off from a food which contains cholesterol.

    You have probably all heard of the debate about eggs for example. There are 25 grams of carbohydrates in each bar and two grams of fiber. There are only 10 milligrams of sugar and the bars contain both natural and artificial flavors. The great news is that each bar contains 25 grams of protein! So this bar is a winner in my book due to the overall calories it contains and the high protein content.

Taste:

    I liked the taste of the Meso-tech Bars, and like virtually every other protein bar, you could tell it was a health supplement, but MuscleTech did a pretty good job of hiding that. It is difficult to make any bar which is so high in protein actually taste like a treat, but everything considered, the Meso-tech Bars came pretty close. I tried the double chocolate chip cookie bar.

Texture:

    The Meso-tech Bars tasted good and were easy to eat. They were moist and chewy as they claimed to be and did not stick to the roof of my mouth. As I said above, it is easy to see that these bars are health supplements, but they did a very good job hiding that.

Overall Review:

    My recommending Meso-tech Bars would be based on a number of factors and it really comes down to your personal preferences. Meso-Tech bars taste great for a protein bar and the main thing I like about them is the high calorie and protein content.

    They deliver what I want in a protein bar. I think what it comes down to is price. A box of 12 Meso-Tech Complete Bars cost $25.99. That works out to a little over $2.00 per bar. You have to decide if that is worth it or whether you are better off investing the money in whole foods or other supplements. As always, be sure to check back here for more honest reviews of supplements, as I will always tell it like it is!

    Get This Product At The Bodybuilding.com Store Here.


Review Of Univeral Unisyn MRP2

What's In It?

    Serving Size: 2.5 Scoops (79g)
    Servings Per Container: 15

    Amount Per Serving:

    Please Note:
    Nutritional content may vary slightly between Uni-Syn MRP2 flavors.

    Calories: 286
    Calories From Fat: 14
    Total Fat: 1.5g
    Cholesterol: 46mg
    Total Carbohydrates: 24g
    Dietary Fiber: 3g
    Sugars: 4g
    Protein: 44g
    Vitamin A: 2500IU
    Vitamin C: 30mg
    Vitamin D: 200IU
    Vitamin E: 15IU
    Vitamin K: 40mcg
    Thiamin: 750mcg
    Riboflavin: 850mcg
    Niacin: 10mg
    Vitamin B6: 1mg
    Folic Acid: 200mcg
    Vitamin B12: 3mcg
    Biotin: 150mcg
    Pantothenic Acid: 5mg
    Calcium: 500mg
    Iron: 4.5mg
    Phosphorus: 250mg
    Magnesium: 100mg
    Zinc: 3.8mg
    Selenium: 17.5mcg
    Copper: 500mcg
    Manganese: 500mcg
    Chromium: 30mcg
    Molybdenum: 18.5mcg
    Chloride: 320mg
    Sodium: 370mg
    Potassium: 875mg

Other Ingredients:

    Uni-Syn Protein Complex (consisting of ultrafiltrated whey protein concentrate, isolated casein peptides, total milk protein isolates, whey protein isolates, glutamine peptides, instantized egg albumin), maltodextrin, natural and artificial flavors, cellulose gum, xantham gum, carrageenan, sodium chloride, sucralose, magnesium oxide, acesulfame potassium, vitamin E acetate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A palmitate, selenomethionine, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, zinc oxide, cholecalciferol, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine HCl, thiamin mononitrate, cupric oxide, folic acid, cyanocabalamin, chromium picolinate, biotin, sodium molybdate.

Directions:

    Using 12-14 oz. of water, skim milk or your favorite beverage, take 1-3 three servings per day, or what best suits your needs. For optimum results, use a blender. Ice and fresh fruit can be added for a frosty, delicious smoothie.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

PRODUCT
UniSyn MRP2 Universal Presents:
UniSyn MRP2

Uni-Syn represents the highest achievement in the evolution of the meal replacement powder?it is the pinnacle of nutritionally-complete shakes.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Review By Matt Canning:

    Since the first day that I started working out on November 18th 2000, I wanted to bulk up. While a variety of supplements such are intended to elicit an anabolic environment such as creatine, the fundamentals of bulking up are to train hard and ensure that you consume adequate calories and be conscious of your macronutrient intake and specifically, your protein intake, since muscle building is in part the result of the synthesis of protein.

    I have tried plenty of different protein and weight gain powders at this point and this time out I decided to try UniSyn MRP2 by Universal Nutrition. It is an advanced nutrient delivery technology which promises to provide nutritionally complete shakes.

    In this review I will discuss various attributes of UniSyn MRP2 and give you the word on its promise as being a high tech supplement for the aspiring bodybuilder or avid gym goer.

Taste:

    I liked the taste of UniSyn MRP2. To be as clear as possible in my review, I should point out how I consumed UniSyn MRP2. I mixed the powder in a blender and included a banana and oatmeal. I mixed it with whole milk. I enjoyed this shake and it was easy to drink.

    The way that I made it resulted in pretty thick shakes, but the ease in which I was able to drink it was what I appreciated the most. Sometimes it is very difficult to eat calories, so drinking them is an alternative and it makes it a lot easier to consume the requisite number of calories by way of shakes made either with protein, weight gain, or meal replacement powders.

    I did not drink UniSyn MRP2 in the traditional shake style mixed with whole milk or water, but based on the taste when I made it in a shake as I did, I'm pretty confident it would mix perfectly well in either. I would recommend pouring the milk or water into a tall glass or shaker bottle first and pour the powder in it next.

Mixability/Texture:

    For simplicity and ease or reading, I will write out my shake recipe outlined above, in point form for your convenience:

    • UniSyn MRP2 powder.
    • Whole Milk.
    • Banana.
    • Oatmeal.

    I highly recommend mixing your protein powders in shakes like the one above if you are a fan of taste. Personally I don't care much about that aspect, providing the nutritional content is sound (as it is for UniSyn MRP2), but it definitely doesn't hurt to make nice tasting shakes.

    You can also make the shakes with fruit or yogurt if you wish - both would likely mix well, although UniSyn MRP2 comes in a strawberry flavour, and if you are going to use fruit or yogurt, I would say that would be the flavour to get in that case. The recipe above made the shake come out very thick and a little grainy, but you can also use more milk if you want a thinner shake (personally I prefer a thicker one).

RELATED ARTICLE
Protein Shake Recipes. Protein Shake Recipes.
Are you tired of drinking the same boring, bland tasting proteins shakes? Try these superb shakes and mix things up!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Digestibility:

    I had no problem whatsoever digesting Universal UniSyn MRP2. It went down easy, and I don't know of anyone else who has used this product to voice a complaint regarding its digestibility.

Effectiveness:

    Protein supplements, weight gain supplements, and meal replacement supplements are all great to me for one reason - convenience. I do not want to write any product reviews as vehicles to push supplements on you, but rather give you my honest opinions and endorsements should I like the products I am reviewing.

    The main thing to bear in mind when it comes to MRPs is whether or not you are willing to pay for the convenience - if you are, then UniSyn MRP2 will not disappoint you. It is nutritionally sound and will allow you to get your intake of protein and other nutrients necessary for success in muscle building.

Overall Review:

    Universal UniSyn MRP2 is a great MRP. I have no complaints about it and could go on with more praise, but I think my review detailed my likes about it fairly adequately. You can buy 2.5 pounds through the link below for $19.99, which is pretty good.

      Get This Product At The Bodybuilding.com Store Here.

    If you are looking for a less expensive protein supplement, check out Higher Power's 100% Whey Power - that being said, while UniSyn MRP2 is not the cheapest protein supplement around, it is also definitely not the most expensive and pretty reasonably placed in relation to the competition. If you are interested in trying a good tasting MRP, UniSyn MRP2 may be for you.

PRODUCT
100% Whey Power Higher Power Presents:
100% Whey Power

Out of the many protein sources out there, whey protein is the ultimate. It provides the body with the necessary building blocks to produce amino acids that are used for building muscle tissue.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Part 1 | Part 2