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Can You Live on Energy Bars Alone?

Our experiment on a Men's Fitness staffer aims to find out.

Now that there are nutrition bars that provide not only the three energy sources, but also vitamins, greens, living Superfoods, herbal extracts and magic fairy grains, everything an adult human male needs for a day’s worth of nutrients can theoretically be supplied by a bar.

But what about actuality?

Without any hint of recommendation—because this is utterly ludicrous—we consulted with New York-based dietitian Sharon Richter M.S., R.D., C.D.N. to craft a meal plan based on the stated nutrition facts of 11 different bars. But we not only intend to present the All-Bar Diet—one of us is going to live on it.

Experiment: To see how a man would fare subsisting solely on nutrition bars for one week.


Meet Sunil Ramsamooj.

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 158 lbs.
Current Intake: 2,300-2,500 calories/day

Sunil works out, generally eats right and, despite making a religion of meal replacement shakes, has NEVER HAD A PROTEIN BAR BEFORE. Sharon has crafted a one-week plan based solely on bars and water that Sunil will adhere to strictly.
 

THE ALL-BAR DIET PLAN

Richter's daily regimen for complete, bar-based nutrition. Eat one of these per day with lots of water to compensate for the hydration not derived from consuming actual fruits and vegetables. (And to keep your poops from coming out like moon rocks.)

BAR CALORIES FAT PROTEIN FIBER PRICE

Clif Builder's
Contains the most additional vitamins of the bars featured.
270 8g 20g 4g $2.19

Promax LS
Sweetened with Stevia, so there are only 9g of sugar per bar.
220 6g 18g 14g $1.79

Rebar
Claims eight servings of fruits and vegetables per bar.
150 0.5g 1g 3g $2.25

Kind Fruit & Nut
You can identify most of the ingredients on sight because they're pretty much just fruit and nuts stuck together.
180 11g 5g 4g $1.99

nogii Super Protein
Gluten-free, but among the highest in sugar of the protein bars featured, at 22g.
390 14g 30g 3g $3.81

GNU Flavor & Fiber
Among Sharon's personal favorites.
140 4g 4g 12g $1.99

Quest Protein
The shortest ingredients list of all bars featured.
200 9g 20g 18g $2.99

Elevate Me!
A rare combination of protein and dried fruit. Most bars offer one or the other.
240 4g 16g 4g $2.25

Kashi TLC
Only 5g of sugar.
140 5g 7g 4g $4.65
(box of 6)

Power Crunch
Sweetned with Sucralose, these are low in sugar, but also the lowest in fiber of all bars featured.
205 12g 14g 1g $1.69

Clif Mojo
Sweet and salty, this is the closest Sunil's taste buds will get to savory for a full week.
200 12g 8g 3g $1.69

We will document each stage of the experiment in photo, video and written updates that will chronicle its impact on Sunil in several categories: satiety, energy, thirst, sleep, waste, sanity and, of course, cost. Check back daily for the results!

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