After publishing my recent blog post about vegan protein bars, Quantum Energy Squares reached out to me about their products, asking if I wanted to try them! I’m so grateful that they sent me a sample pack!
Here’s the rundown on the nutrition of these bars:
- 10g plant based protein from peas and pumpkin seeds
- 100mg caffeine from green coffee to enhance performance and focus
- Simple and complex carbs to fuel your workout
- Healthy fats to balance the macros
- Gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan
- Made with real food
- Four chocolatey flavors!
For me, these are really more practical as a pre-workout bar, with the caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee. Quantum promises that their squares will sustain your workout without making you crash. So, I took one for a test run!
If you read my protein bar review, you may have guessed that I tried the peanut butter dark chocolate flavor first! It reminds me a lot of a regular Larabar texture wise, but I like the flavor better. Comparing ingredients and nutrition to the Larabar protein version, they are similar, with the Quantum bar lower in sugar at 11g vs. 18g for the Larabar, but similar protein content. I’ll have to try the protein Larabar for a true comparison. The biggest difference seems to be the boost of caffeine.
If you read my post last summer about caffeine and supplements, you might remember that I’m definitely the kind of person who requires their morning cup of coffee to jump start my day, but I also can’t have any coffee after noon, or else I won’t sleep at night! So I was expecting a significant kick from this bar. I did feel it, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by it. I simply felt nourished and energized for my run. The zip was big enough that I wouldn’t stack this bar with another caffeinated product during a long run, like caffeinated Nuun or gels. But, hey, if you’re a “drink a pot of coffee a day” kind of person, this amount of caffeine probably won’t affect you as much!
Because of the caffeine, I personally would not use this for post-run recovery fuel, even though the type of caffeine used in this product can help speed recovery per the information on the website. But it’s enough of the stimulant that I may not be able to take a well earned nap after a super long run!
How will I use these? I will definitely take one with me on a double digit run once marathon training is in full swing to see how bites of this will help keep me fueled during these efforts, because sometimes I get tired of essentially eating candy on a run. My body starts to ask for real food! It will replace the one caffeinated item I typically take with me on these super long runs. And it will also work as a pre-run snack if I’m running a major race and have a bit of rest time between arriving at the start and beginning the race. I would also pair these with a banana as a general pre-run breakfast, especially if I don’t have access to coffee!
What do I like about this bar? It’s vegan! It tastes good! Like, really good. It has real, clean ingredients. There is a mix of simple and more complex carbs. Low in fiber, so it makes it practical for long run fuel. The company is small and independent. And they are the official energy bar of Ironman in the US as well as the Rock’n’ Roll running series!
These are definitely worth trying, especially if you have allergies to gluten and soy, and if you are the type who really benefits from a caffeine kick! They do offer several buying options directly from their website, including the sample pack like the one I received, and they are offering free shipping right now. Or you can simply pick some up at your nearest Whole Foods or a variety pack on Amazon!
Have you tried Quantum Energy Squares? I’d love to hear about your experience if you have! As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.