Battle Of The Breakfast Bars - Labrada Vs. MuscleTech!

The time has arrived! We now introduce to you the battle of the breakfast bars. Our contenders in this match are Labrada and MuscleTech! Read on to see who wins!
As scientific knowledge continues to advance, dietary supplementation science is becoming increasingly specialized. Currently, many first-generation "general use" dietary supplements are being replaced with functional and specialized, time-specific supplements.

Whereas first-generation general-use products like MRP's (Meal Replacement Packages) were designed to meet the athletes "total daily nutrient needs", new second-generation time-specific supplements are designed to meet the varying nutrient needs of athletes at specific times of day.

Recently, two companies - Labrada Nutrition and MuscleTech Research and Development - have debuted functional dietary supplements called "cookie bars" designed to meet the athlete's needs during the morning hours of the breakfast period.

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Labrada Vs. MuscleTech!

While the Labrada Nutrition cookie bars were the first to hit the market and have proven extremely popular, the MuscleTech cookie bars are new and relatively unknown.


Scoring System:

    In Battle Of The Breakfast Bars! I will review each bar and each bar flavor from each manufacturer according to the following criterion:

    Initial Product Quality

    • Packaging
    • Freshness
    • Smell
    • Texture
    • Taste

    Product Macronutrient Analysis

    • Macronutrient Ratios
    • Calories By Nutrient Analysis
    • Macronutrient Source Analysis

    Product Cost Analysis

    • Cost Per Nutrient Analysis

    Final Product Rating

      Each product will be graded according to a graded star system in each of the listed sub-categories, and will be assigned a final overall product rating. The score range for each category will be between one star and ten stars (1-10), with a rating of one star being the lowest rating, and a rating of ten starts being the highest rating.


The Showdown...
Bring In The Contenders!


Contender 1:

Manufacturer: Labrada Nutrition
Product: Lean Body "Soft and Moist" Cookie Bars
Flavors: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, S'mores, Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon

Product Photos:


Click To Enlarge.
Lean Body "Soft and Moist" Cookie Bars.


Click To Enlarge.
Flavor: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.


Click To Enlarge.
Flavor: S'mores.


Click To Enlarge.
Flavor: Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon.

Initial Product Quality:

    Packaging:

      The product packaging for each bar is shiny and metallic in appearance, and is made from high-quality material.

      The color scheme on the individual bar wrappers is bright, reflective and attractive.

      The packaging is sturdy and the bars are well sealed to maintain purity, flavor and freshness.

    Freshness:

      The product was very fresh upon opening and was well preserved by the packaging.

    Smell:

      Each bar had a pleasant smell upon opening, and characteristic of the indicated flavor. Each bar smelled remarkably fresh - as if it had just been made.

    Texture:

      Prior to microwave heating, each bar was solid and dense. After microwaving the product as directed on the label, each bar was warm and the texture soft, moist and gooey.

    Taste:

      Each of the three bar flavors tasted very good; none of the bars tasted excessively sweet, and none of them sat heavily in the stomach.

      The pleasant flavor of the product was enhanced by the warm, moist texture of the bars, and the real ingredients used throughout each bar - chocolate chips in the case of the Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, graham cracker pieces and marshmallow bits in the case of S'mores, and real apple pieces in the case of Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon.

Initial Product Quality Rating: (9 out of 10 stars)

Product Macronutrient Analysis:

    The following chart is a macronutrient breakdown for each of the bar flavors listed:

    Macronutrient Profile:
    Calories: 360
    Total Fat: 13
    Saturated Fat: 3g
    Trans Fat: 0g
    Cholesterol: 60mg
    Sodium: 310mg
    Total Carbohydrates: 30g
    Dietary Fiber: 2g
    Sugars: 13g
    Protein: 30g

    Macronutrient Profile:
    Macronutrient Count (GM) Calories % Of Total Calories Dominant Source Type
    Fat 13 117 30% Unsaturated
    Protein 30 135 35% WPC
    Carbohydrates 30 135 35% Complex

    Fat:

      While this product contains 3g of saturated fat, 75% of the fats in the product come from healthy unsaturated fat sources.

    Protein:

      The dominant protein type in this product is cross-flow micro ultra filtered whey protein concentrate. The proteins in the product come from a LeanPro® protein blend formula.

      Protein sources are (as listed on product label):

    Carbohydrates:

      The carbohydrates in the product come from simple and complex sources. 13g of the 30g of carbohydrates are from simple sources, while the remaining 17g come from complex sources.

    Comments:

      While the product has 13g of total fat, 10g of fat come from healthy unsaturated sources. These healthy fats serve as a potent energy source, and they serve to promote anabolism by supporting healthy endocrine hormone production.

      The high protein content of the bar satisfies protein requirements for one meal, and the multiple types of protein used ensures a constant release of muscle building and muscle sparing amino acids. During the morning period when the body is in a state of catabolism, the use of multiple protein sources will end catabolism and promote a positive nitrogen balance.

      The small amount of simple carbohydrates in the product (13g) will serve as an immediately available energy source, thereby offsetting catabolism and sparing muscle tissue. In addition, these simple carbohydrates will aide in skeletal muscle and liver glycogen replenishment and spare the protein in the product from liver oxidation.

      Finally, the complex carbohydrates in the product will provide long-term energy and will further replenish muscle and liver glycogen stores while preventing the "spill over" effect that leads to fat storage.

      Overall, the product is ideal to meet the needs of an athlete during the morning period.

    Product Macronutrient Analysis: (9 out of 10 stars)

Product Cost Analysis:

    The following is a product cost analysis of nutrients by total product calorie count:

    Cost Analysis:
    Total Product Price: (per bar) Average Cost Per Calorie: Cost Per 1gm Fat Cost Per 1gm Protein Cost Per 1gm Carbohydrate
    $1.99 USD 0.55 cents 4.6 cents 4 cents 4 cents

    Comments:

      This product is very reasonably priced, and the products cost-per-nutrient breakdown is excellent.

      Product Cost Analysis Rating: (10 out of 10 stars)

Summary & Final Product Rating:

    The high quality packaging materials used on the Labrada Nutrition LEAN BODY COOKIE BARS make each of these bars fresh and full of flavor. Product freshness is obvious immediately after opening, as indicated by the fresh and pleasant smell of these bars, and their soft malleable texture.

    Bar flavoring is excellent without the use of excessive simple sugars, and each bar uses real, high quality, ingredients to live up to its namesake flavor.

    The Labrada Nutrition LEAN BODY COOKIE BARS are balanced nutrition bars that are ideally suited to meet the nutritive needs of athletes during the morning breakfast period.

    The balanced macronutrient profile addresses the need to end catabolism and initiate muscle-building anabolism. The high quality ingredients make this bar functional and useful. The ingredients serve to maintain positive nitrogen balance, build muscle, increase energy, and promote feelings of fullness.

    Product cost is ideal and makes this high-quality product affordable for everyone.

    Final Product Rating: (9 out of 10 stars)


CONTENDER 2:

Manufacturer: MuscleTech Research & Development
Product: Meso-Tech Complete "Meal Replacement" Cookie Bar
Flavors: Peanut Butter Chip, Double Chocolate Chip

Product Photos:


Click To Enlarge.
Meso-Tech Complete "Meal Replacement" Cookie Bar.


Click To Enlarge.
Flavor: Double Chocolate Chip.


Click To Enlarge.
Flavor: Peanut Butter Chip.

Initial Product Quality:

    Packaging:

      The product packaging for each bar is shiny in appearance, and is made from high-quality material. The appearance of individual bar wrappers is attractive, but the color scheme is somewhat dark and plain.

      The packaging is sturdy and the bars are well sealed to maintain purity, flavor and freshness.

    Freshness:

      The product was fresh upon opening and was well preserved by the packaging.

    Smell:

      Upon opening the product, the Peanut Butter Chip flavor smelled like peanut butter, but the Double Chocolate Chip flavor smelled artificial. I could smell solvents in the Double Chocolate Chip flavor bar, and this made it uninviting.

    Texture:

      Each bar was solid and dense. The Double Chocolate Chip bar was more solid than the Peanut Butter Chip, which was moist and malleable. The Peanut Butter Chip had a soft texture while the Double Chocolate Chip bar was tough and dry.

    Taste:

      While the Peanut Butter Chip bar tasted pleasant, the Double Chocolate Chip bar tasted bland and dry. The Double Chocolate Chip bar did not mix well with saliva and the flavor was unimpressive - even for a chocolate flavored protein bar.

      These bars used real chocolate and peanut butter chips for flavoring, and these chips were distributed throughout the bars. Although the use of real ingredients contributed to the eating experience and enhanced overall flavor, the real ingredients in the Double Chocolate Chip bar are not enough to make this flavor impressive.

      These bars are average tasting.

    Initial Product Quality Rating: (7 out of 10 stars)

Product Macronutrient Analysis:

    The following chart is a macronutrient breakdown for each of the bar flavors listed:

    Macronutrient Profile:
    Calories: 310
    Total Fat: 12
    Saturated Fat: 4g
    Trans Fat: 0g
    Cholesterol: 50mg
    Sodium: 280mg
    Total Carbohydrates: 25g
    Dietary Fiber: 2g
    Sugars: 10g
    Protein: 25g

    Macronutrient Profile:
    Macronutrient Count (GM) Calories % Of Total Calories Dominant Source Type
    Fat 12 110 36% Unsaturated
    Protein 25 100 32% WPC
    Carbohydrates 25 100 32% Simple

    Fat:

      This product contains a total of 12g of fat, 33% of which is from saturated sources. Less than 75% of the fats in this product come from unsaturated sources.

    Protein:

      The dominant protein type in this product is cross-flow micro ultra filtered whey protein concentrate. The proteins in the product come from the following sources (as listed on product label):

      • Cross-Flow Micro Ultra Filtered Whey Protein Concentrate
      • Whey Protein Isolate
      • Soy Protein Isolate
      • Whole Egg

    Carbohydrates:

      The carbohydrates in the product come predominantly from simple sources, with the first sugar ingredient being chocolate chips or peanut butter chips. 10g of the 25g of carbohydrates are from simple sources, while the remaining 15g come from sugar alcohols (sorbitol, glycerin, malitol). No complex carbohydrate sources are listed.

    Comments:

      Saturated fats constitute 33% of this products total fat content, with the remaining 66% of fats coming from unsaturated sources. The high saturated fat content is cause for concern, especially considering that the bar contains simple carbohydrates; the combination of simple sugars and saturated fats will increase the chances of fat storage.

      While the simple sugars in each Meso-Tech Complete bar will replenish muscle and liver glycogen stores and will provide the body with immediately available energy, the lack of complex carbohydrates will lead to an eventual energy-crash for the user when simple sugar sources have been used for energy and are exhausted.

      The medium-range protein content of the bars is standard and average, and makes them suitable for athletes weighing less than 200lbs in body mass. For athletes weighing 200lbs or more, the medium-range protein content of these bars make them an incomplete supplement option to meet nutritive needs during the breakfast period.

      Heavier athletes have higher nutritive needs throughout the day, and especially during the morning periods, and these athletes typically require more than 25g of protein per meal to initiate anabolism and maintain nitrogen balance.

      Given the less-than-stellar saturated fat percentage, the medium-range protein values and their sugar count of these bars, they receive an "average" macronutrient analysis rating.

    Product Macronutrient Analysis: (7 out of 10 stars)

Product Cost Analysis:

    The following is a product cost analysis of nutrients by total product calorie count:

    Cost Analysis:
    Total Product Price: (per bar) Average Cost Per Calorie: Cost Per 1gm Fat Cost Per 1gm Protein Cost Per 1gm Carbohydrate
    $2.99 USD 9.6 Cents 9 cents 4 cents 4 cents

    Comments:

      This product is more expensive in total price and per macronutrient than the Labrada Nutrition Lean Body Cookie Bars reviewed above, and although the protein and carbohydrate costs are comparable to the Labrada product, the cost for fats in the MuscleTech product is almost twice as expensive.

      Given that this bar is more expensive overall, has less protein, has carbohydrates from simple sources only and has fats that are twice as expensive as the Labrada product, the additional $1 USD price cost for this product is concerning.

      The products cost-per-nutrient breakdown is average for a product of this kind.

    Product Cost Analysis Rating: (7 out of 10 stars)

Summary & Final Product Rating:

    The sturdy product packaging preserves these bars and keeps them fresh, but the product is standard and did not catch my eye.

    The Peanut Butter Chip bar tasted very good and was moist, but the simple sugars made it taste too sweet. The Double Chocolate Chip bar smelled of solvents and smelled artificial, and its texture was dry and bland making it difficult to eat without fluids. Far from tasting like Double Chocolate Chips, this bar had little taste.

    The macronutrient breakdown of this product is average, and it's my opinion that these bars are suitable for smaller sized athletes that have lower nutrient requirements due to smaller body size.

    The cost-per-nutrient breakdown of this product is average in a high-priced supplement market, and while protein and carbohydrate costs are line-priced with the Labrada Nutrition product, the Meso-Tech Complete bars are more expensive, have less protein per bar, and have a higher saturated fat percentage than the Labrada Bars.

    Additionally, less than 75% of the fat sources in the Meso-Tech Complete bars are from unsaturated sources, and while protein is typically the most expensive macronutrient in dietary supplements, the fats in the Meso-Tech Complete bars are twice as expensive per gram than those in the Labrada Nutrition Lean Body Cookie Bar product. Finally, the carbohydrates in the Meso-Tech Complete bars are from simple sugar sources.

    Given these facts, this product receives an average rating.

    Final Product Rating: (7 out of 10 stars)


The Final Tally

BOUT SCORECARD: FINAL TALLY
Contender: Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Labrada Nutrition
(9/10)

(9/10)

(10/10)

(9/10)
MuscleTech
(7/10)

(7/10)

(7/10)

(7/10)


And The Winner Is...

As you can see from the scorecard, the Labrada Nutrition Lean Body Cookie Bars were superior in every round of this test to the MuscleTech Meso-Tech Complete bars. As a result, the Labrada Nutrition Lean Body Cookie Bars win this segment of Battle Of The Breakfast Bars!

That being said, you can be the ultimate victor in this epic battle if you use the information here to make wise buying choices. I hope that this in-depth product comparison and analysis will prove helpful to you, and will provide you with the information that you need to critically think about your supplement options.

RELATED POLL
Which Breakfast Bar Do You Think Should Have Won The Battle Of The Breakfast Bars?

Labrada.
Muscletech.

Remember This:

    Not all products are alike, and a product that works for someone else may be inappropriate for you. The onus is on you to know what's best for you, and to spend your hard-earned money responsibly; you must critically evaluate the facts and your supplement options before spending to get the best value.

    What Does Onus Mean?
    A difficult or disagreeable responsibility or necessity; a burden or obligation.

    Know your choices, know the score, and spend wisely.

    Good luck!