Whey protein isolate Globular proteins left over
from cheese making, minus the fats and sugars. The main protein,
beta-lactoglobulin, is an especially good source of amino acids for
building other proteins.
Calcium caseinate Legend had it that casein can
worsen autism due to the protein's alleged opiate-like effects on the
brain. But a 2006 study showed no significant connection. So don't
blame PowerBar for your Asperger's, nerdlinger.
Soy protein isolate High intake of soy protein
has been linked to lower rates of coronary heart disease. But manly men
seeking to sculpt their musculature may not like the fact that it's
rich in phytoestrogens (girlie hormones). Cooties!
Chocolatey coating Why the y? Anything sold as
"chocolate" can contain only one type of added fat — cocoa butter.
PowerBars use fractionated palm kernel oil instead, which is about as
healthy as Elmer's Glue-All.
High fructose corn syrup This ingredient is
everywhere, even in so-called health foods. In 2006, Americans consumed
58 pounds of this sweetener per capita, up nearly 50 pounds in 30 years.
Glycerin The bar's chewy texture is due in part to this sugar alcohol, which moonlights as a food moisturizer.
Maltitol syrup Another sugar alcohol and
probable sweetener, but one that the body absorbs super slowly. Besides
gas and bloating, maltitol can produce a laxative effect so powerful
that Australia and New Zealand require a warning label on foods that
Oat fiber Oat fiber helps lower cholesterol by
fermenting into the short-chain fatty acid butyrate, which can limit
the release of lipids from the small intestine.
Calcium phosphate This supposed performance
enhancer (which is essentially powdered bone) is also used to polish
teeth and build hard-tissue prosthetics.
Copper gluconate In theory, a copper deficiency
can lead to anemia and neurological disorders (though such problems are
usually found only in people who have been kept alive via intravenous
feeding or in babies fed nothing but cow's milk). So copper gluconate sounds healthy. Too bad a 1985 study showed zero effects from adding it to the diet.
Pantothenic acid (calcium pantothenate) Better
known as vitamin B5, pantothenic acid is necessary for the digestion of
sugars, proteins, and fats. Handily, it's found widely in foods —
plants, animals, and all PowerBar Protein Pluses.
Vitamin B6 B6 is essential for the synthesis of
neurotransmitters like epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and
serotonin. But don't binge, new moms: Too much can stop lactation.