The Revolution has been Veganised

The Revolution has been Veganised

When co-founders, Lawrence and Marianne, brought PRO Krunch to the market in 2015, they knew they were on to something special; a protein recovery bar that was actually light and crispy, not dense and chewy; an actual treat, daresay, a post-workout reward, rather than another workout in itself.

When I joined the team, the bar’s popularity was exploding, we were hearing reports from the stores that they had to buy boxes in double, one for the customers and another for the staff. So it was my goal from day 1 at XACT that this bar also be accessible to those on a plant-based diet. However, at the same time, we didn’t want it to be one bar for one person and a different one for another, but rather an extension to the XACT Protein family, with a dark chocolate option and exciting flavours.

So many drivers had us passionately working on our new Plant-Based Protein bar; from the ecological and ethical factors of plant-based protein to diversifying the range of what is now three bars (coconut, vanilla and the original chocolate flavour). However, there are often questions around plant-based protein vs animal protein, so we brought the question to Physiology student and elite cyclist, Nick Kleban:

I think in sport and even in general, there’s many who believe that animal-based protein is a superior protein source to plant-based. This myth I believe stems from the terms “complete” and “incomplete” proteins which can get misconstrued from what they actually mean.

Proteins are made up of amino acids. Different combinations of these amino acids make different proteins. There are 20 amino acids in total and the body needs a balance of all twenty to function correctly. Of these twenty, nine of these are called “essential amino acids” which means the body is unable to synthesize them itself, therefore, we must obtain them from food. A complete protein source refers to a type of food that contains all nine. Generally, these sources come from animals while most plant-based protein sources tend to be incomplete, meaning they do not contain all nine essential amino acids.

While this happens to be the case, it does not make one source of protein superior to the other. Eating a wide variety and smart combinations of vegan/vegetarian foods that are “protein-rich” such as beans, legumes, soy, rice, tofu, etc will ensure that all the necessary amino acids have been consumed. In fact, we do not need to eat the entire range of essential amino acids in one meal. It is more important when looking at protein intake, to look over the course of the day to see if your essential amino acid requirements have been met.”

With this in mind, we began testing recipes. Surprisingly, the recipe we found ourselves loving, only had 4g of sugar thanks to the use of dark chocolate coating without any milk products. While we advocate the use of carbohydrates post-workout to rapidly rebuild glycogen reserves (ratio of 3-4:1 carbs to protein), there is something to be said for a bar with a lower carbohydrate content. For some, it is a choice to minimize their sugar intake, and for others (many endurance athletes in particular), the focus is often about consuming sufficient energy for all their training that their diet is overwhelmingly carbohydrates, so a bar focused on protein is a great compliment to their diet. Add a banana or fruit smoothie and you’ll get your 3:1 carb: protein ratio sorted post-workout.

So, it is with the greatest of pleasure to announce the launch of our Plant-Based Protein bars: a light and crispy wafer layered bar filled with a light cream containing a pea and rice protein mix with added vitamins (important for recovery) and surrounded in a dark chocolate coating. The three flavours we chose are lemon pie; light lemon zing balancing the dark chocolate, cinnamon cookie; a warming spice (the pumpkin spice season of protein bars), and banoffee; a classic British dessert of toffee and bananas that screams pudding in a protein bar. Enjoy them post-workout, with a coffee or wherever your next adventure takes you.

Viva la révolution!