Tuesday, 18 August 2015 18:25

MusclePharm Combat Crunch Review: Candy Bar or Protein Bar?

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Hello everybody thanks for checking out today’s Musclepharm Combat Crunch review. In this article I’m going to explore every aspect of a protein bar in a way that you probably didn’t think was possible for a protein bar. I’m going to explain in detail the taste of Combat Crunch bars so that by the time you’re done reading the review you will feel as if you had just eaten two combat crunch bars. That’s right- two. Why two? Because I’m going to tell you about the flavors of two Combat Crunch bars. I will compare and contrast these two flavors and help you figure out which one is the best. After we discuss the taste of combat crunch bars in depth, I’ll go over the ingredients and supplement facts panel so that you have a good idea of what goes into these Musclepharm protein bars. The last element of this product that we’ll discuss is the packaging- since I know that’s the part you all look forward to so much lol! As with all FLA reviews we’ll close things up with a final review evaluation and award a final score. So let’s get started on this Musclepharm Combat Crunch review.

As you know with all my reviews I like to open with a little bit of fun babbling about what’s going on in my life- it’s my way to get the juices flowing and get my thoughts in order for the review to come.

So today I’ll use this time to just tell you about why I actually ended up buying Combat Crunch bars in the first place. It started yesterday when I realized that I hadn’t eaten breakfast at all. It’s like all of a sudden it was 2 pm and my stomach started rumbling something ferocious. Hm. What have you eaten today, Allie? Oh that’s right- NOTHING. Now get something and put it in your belly. I sort of panic when that happens because I’ve found that this is when I end up making some pretty poor eating decisions. Thankfully I stumbled across my local neighborhood friendly GNC.

If you are a regular GNC-goer such as I am, then you know this is actually doubling as a healthy restaurant (ugh why do I still not know how to spell restaurant?), or if not a ‘healthy’ restaurant, then at least a high-protein one.

Such was the case today. I stumbled in probably looking like a famished and deranged little girl (not that far off anyways), and immediately the attendant swarmed me offering his services. I declined and pushed past him to the protein bar aisle. My second nature is to grab for the Quest bars…but today something else caught my eye. Something green. And delicious looking.

Musclepharm Combat Crunch Flavor Grade: 9.0

Well as you probably guessed- that something dressed in neon green could be only one thing. The Combat Crunch bar by Musclepharm. For some reason I’ve been aware of these hign-protein bars for some time now, but just never got around to trying some. But today what I saw was the birthday cake flavor. And in that moment of total hungriness, I knew today was the day to try it. I ended up grabbing four bars total to take advantage of the ‘buy 3 get 1 free’ deal, and checked out. The stupid register at GNC was broken so it took forever and of course an anti-fraud call from Capital One ’til I could finally get that Combat Crunch bar in my belly. But boy. Once that wrapper was off- it was GAME ON. About three bits later (don’t worry that’s not a reflection of the size,  but rather how big my mouth is that’s what she said), the Combat Crunch bar was nothing but an empty wrapper. About an hour later I took down the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor. So let me open up the meat of this review by comparing the two flavors and telling you what’s the best flavor of Combat Crunch

Birthday Cake Flavor: 10

I think the Birthday Cake flavored Musclepharm Combat Crunch bar might be the best-tasting protein bar in the world right now. Yes, Quest bar. We’ve had a good run, haven’t we? You will always be part of my life, but right now it is time to sing the praises of another. Surely you understand. 

The birthday cake Combat Crunch bar is absolutely delectable right from the first bite to the last. The first thing you notice is the fun-fetti chunks embedded in the top crust of the bar. What I love most about Musclepharm Combat Crunch bars in general is how thick that outer crust is. The bars themselves also have tremendous texture because of the crunchy bits that are mixed into that outer crust. But getting back to the taste- I kid you not the birthday cake flavor actually tastes like real frosted birthday cake. You know- like the ones we used to eat on a weekly basis at birthday parties and such. The fun-fetti really makes this flavor in my opinion, as does the vanilla frosting taste that they somehow put in here! I can’t tell you how good it really is- you just have to try it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Flavor: 9

I’m going to give cookie dough an even ‘9’ since it was also really well done in terms of taste. But here’s the thing- it doesn’t really taste like cookie dough at all! So why did I give it a 9? Because it tastes like a delicious brownie, that’s why. And I love brownies. But seriously- if you look at the picture of the inside of the bar on the wrapper, and then compare it to what the cross-section actually looks like- you will find that they are actually nowhere close to being equivalent. The real bar is darker in color- almost to the point where I thought they had simply package the bar wrong and it was actually a chocolate brownie flavor (i still think this is the case). But I never will know for sure until I try to buy another cookie dough flavored one. Maybe I’ll do that today. But anyways the flavor of this bar was phenomenal. As with the birthday cake, the texture was totally on point, and the flavors were super chocolatey. Quite authentic at that, too. Like almost Godiva-quality chocolate flavor we are talking here. So good. Ok let’s look at the nutrition facts and ingredients.

Musclepharm Combat Crunch Ingredients: 8.5

I’m giving Combat Crunch a slightly lower grade on the supplement facts and ingredients review section because they clearly made a few compromises in order to get the product to taste as good as it does. First of all you will notice that there are five grams of sugar in each bar. Nothing to cry about, but also not an in-significant amount. In addition to the sugar, there are 4 grams of saturated fat. Again, nothing I can’t handle, but at the same time 4 will always be a high number to those of us who have been programmed to fear anything with over 2 grams of saturated fat like the plague.

In terms of calories, the bar weighs in at over 200 calories, and has a protein content of 20 grams. Some sugar alcohol was also used, and also a large dosage of fiber at 12 grams. So summing that up we have: 

  • Calories: 210
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Dietary Fiber: 12g
  • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 20g

Overall these stats aren’t terrible, but they also represent a pretty clear choice on MusclePharm’s part to make the number one priority be the taste. It’s not an illogical decision at all given the nature of the protein bar market. Protein bars are the new candy bar. It gives people the ability to get that candy bar texture and sensation while still convincing themselves that they are being healthy. I’ll admit I let the same psychology work on me too every now and then. “Oh- a protein bar!” “Oh it has 25 grams of sugar though…” “Oh who cares it’s a protein bar!”. You know how it goes. At the end of the day these things (and maybe Musclepharm Combat Crunch more-so than others) are loaded with so much flavoring gunk that it’s tough to tell how healthy they really are. I think it varies from person to person. Just depends what matters most to you. Taste, or ‘cleanliness/natural-ness’. Let’s talk Musclepharm Combat Crunch packaging. 

Musclepharm Combat Crunch Packaging Grade: 7.5

So this is the only spot where I’m going to ding Combat Crunch in this review. I think they could have been much smarter in choosing the packaging of these protein bars. We already know that they chose taste > all-natural, which is easily the best business decision. But what they could have, and should have done in my opinion, is dressed it up like a ‘Kutoa’ or ‘Simple Sqaure’ bar - you know - something that you pick up and feel like it was picked from a garden that way. The packaging uses subdues colors and ‘home-made’ looking fonts to convey the appearance (and often illusion) of something that is SUPER healthy and all natural.

Instead, Musclepharm went with their signature black and neon green packaging. While this is great for brand consistency and all, I still think it’s a huge missed opportunity to reach out to an entirely different demographic of consumers. Sure, the meatheads will reach for the familiar Muscelpharm-branded bars- but will my mom? She WOULD have if it had a different look. But I feel like her generation would never buy this as it is now. Giving Muslcepharm a ‘C’ on packaging this time.

Musclepharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar Review Summary: 

  • Musclepharm Combat Crunch Flavor Grade: 9.0
  • Musclepharm Combat Crunch Ingredients: 8.5
  • Musclepharm Combat Crunch Packaging Grade: 7.5
  • Musclepharm Combat Crunch Value Grade: 9.5

At under $3/bar, Combat Crunch is priced at exactly what I think they are worth. In the age of the $5 protein bar, I’m satisfied with the Combat Crunch price point, and am awarding it a solid 9.5 score in terms of value. When you looks at this product from the 10,000 foot view- here is what you see: A DELICIOUS-tasting, MOSTLY healthy, fairly priced protein bar. That tastes like candy. I’ll ALWAYS be able to justify that.*

Musclepharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar Final Score: 9.6

Read 3475 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 August 2015 19:28
Allie Lewis

Hi, my name is Allie and this blog is my hobby :) I am passionate about being fit and active, so making a blog about my experience with different products that help me stay healthy made sense to me. Please contact me at any time if you would like to guest post or advertise on-site! Thanks for visiting :) 

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