The Melting Point of Nutrition: PureFit Bars

This is a longer overdue review of PureFit bars, one of my favorite vegan protein/energy bars out there. They were kind of enough to send me a sample pack to review, so this is one of those rare “sponsored” posts. That doesn’t mean I’m biasing my review, however – I’ve stood behind these bars long before they contacted me to write this piece.

After receiving a package of PureFit bars to review, the USPS envelope with five flavors inside sat on my desk for several days, urging “review me, review me!” every time I walked by. I figured I would sit down long enough to do so, trigged by a constant nagging of the physical reminder so often. That didn’t happen. Instead, as I hurry through life as an activist, athlete, friend, and so on, I need food – like, all the time – and quality food at that. I found myself grabbing a bar out of the envelope just about every day, so much that I hardly had one left to review by the time I tried to force myself to do it.

To me, that represents one of the tenets of the PureFit Nutrition Bars – they’re quick, portable sources of food – vegan, gluten-free, healthy, and, as PureFit loves to remind us: they don’t melt! Now, a lot of people find that sort of weird, but if you’ve ever packed a Clif Builder Bar (with twice the sugar in exchange for 2 more grams of protein) in a hot bag, a cycling jersey pocket, a car with the windows rolled up, or even on the table in a non-air conditioned house, you know what I’m talking about. Soft, squishy energy bars suck, and PureFit bars avoid all that. They use an interesting mixture of soy protein, brown rice syrup, and some other wholesome ingredients to create a bar that’s not as “crunchy” as Clif bars, but softer than some of those awful granola bars.

The nutrition profile is solid, and they use a 40/30/30 ratio: 40% carbs to 30% fat and 30% protein. For those on a low-fat diet, this seem may seem absurd, but I urge you to re-think that low-fat approach in light of recent research. 30% fat and protein does wonders for glycemic load as well, and each bar contains a whopping 18 grams of protein. To me, they’re good for just about anything: pre-workout energy, mid-workout sustained energy (in small bites, or half a bar at a time), and post-workout refuel, especially with the high protein content.

The flavors are great: I particularly like the chocolate and peanut butter, but the other three are good too. The newest one, granola, is probably my least favorite, and I would love to see PureFit go with a “green” flavor for the next bar: think spirulina, wheatgrass, etc. I’m confident they could make it taste amazing while being ultra-healthy at the same time.

The company is awesome – I’ve talked the founder, Robb Dorf, on the phone, about cycling and the need for a great-tasting vegan energy bar. They also do a lot of outreach with celiac groups and promote gluten-free living. PureFit came from athletes, and that’s one of the reasons I like it. It’s an independent, small company from California who has existed for over 10 years at this point. They always have some deal going for retailers or individual buyers too: 10% off, 25% off of a case, etc. I’ve bought lots of bars online through both third-party outlets (like Active.com deals) and directly from PureFit.

Unfortunately, the availability in Lousiville has wained, so getting them online is often your best bet. I’ve seen them pop up at places like Kroger, but they’ll usually be found in health food stores or bike/running shops. If you want to try a new energy bar, or just need some compact protein that’s vegan and gluten-free, I would highly recommend trying PureFit.