No Cow Protein Bars ReviewVegan Dream or Unhealthy Fake Food? (Nutritionist Reacts)
No Cow protein bars seem to fit the bill for the perfect plant-based snack.
This nutritious goodie is high protein, high fiber, vegan, and tasty. Its solid macro profile makes it a favorite among gym-goers, but is it really a vegan’s dream in a wrapper?
It’s time for a deep dive into all things No Cow. Our review assesses this product using six scales that are —relevant for individuals who lead active lifestyles.
We’ll finish by comparing No Cow to our Human Food Bar.
Join us and find the best organic fuel source for your day.
What Is No Cow?
No Cow is a food tech company that was founded by Daniel Katz in 2015. They’re on a mission to revolutionize the protein bar industry with alternative, plant-based protein sources.
The company started in Colorado but quickly became a market leader across the US. They rely on cutting-edge innovation techniques to deliver low-calorie, low-sugar products.
All bars deliver at least 20 grams of plant-based protein and only 1 gram of sugar. Everything is dairy-free, soy-free, as well as certified gluten-free and non-GMO.
Now that we know about the producer, let’s talk about the product.
Nutritional Macros of No Cow Protein Bars
Here’s the macro count of No Cow’s protein bars:
- 190–200 calories
- 22–26 grams of carbs
- 20–22 grams of protein
- 5–7 grams of fat
- 16 grams of fiber
- 1 gram of sugar
No Cow did their best to optimize the protein and fiber content of their bars, supplying much of your daily needs in just one snack.
What do these figures mean in practice? Let’s explore the pros and cons of No Cow relative to its industry competitors.
Pros and Cons of No Cow Protein Bars
No Cow protein bars have the same benefits as whey-based protein supplements but remain dairy-free and gluten-free. They’re rich in protein and fiber, offer 19 delicious flavors, and are suitable for various diets.
However, the problem with fiber over-optimization is that it can negatively affect your digestion. Real food-based meals are usually much better balanced than protein bars.
In a nutshell, No Cow is perfect for vegans in a bind. It’s far from a superfood, though, with some questionable ingredient choices.
Let’s see how these dairy-free bars measure up across several relevant categories.
Rating the No Cow Protein Bar
No Cow is an above-average product in terms of taste, ingredient quality, and macro contents. Nevertheless, it’s not without issues, as you’ll see below.
Texture and Taste
To start, we have to compliment the manufacturer on the flavor variety of the No Cow bar. You’ll find the bar in the following flavors:
- Chocolate Sprinkled Donut
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
- Cookies ‘N Cream
- Birthday Cake
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
- Chocolate Fudge Brownie
- Sticky Cinnamon Roll
- Chunky Peanut Butter
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Mint Cacao Chip
- Blueberry Cobbler
- Vanilla Caramel
- Raspberry Truffle
- Chocolate Coconut
- Carrot Cake
- Pumpkin Pie
There are so many available flavors, it’s best to get a variety pack if you plan on trying the entire scope they have to offer.
However, regardless of which flavor you pick, the overall taste is decent, if a bit too sweet.
We found No Cow was successful with the classics, such as PB and Chocolate Chip. Ambitious recipes felt a bit off, however, not offering the freshest taste.
The texture is also problematic. Many customers report needing a full glass of water after they eat a No Cow bar. They’re either too sticky or too chalky, depending on the temperature.
No Cow protein bars deliver clean, plant-based protein and a good dose of carbs. Plus, they’re low-fat!
The average bar contains around 25 grams of carbs, over 20 grams of protein, and just over 5 grams of fat, making it a good match for most nutrition styles. It’s not low-carb enough to fit a keto diet, but its macronutrient makeup is beyond acceptable.
Plant Protein and Fiber Content
These products supply you with over 20 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber per bar. That’s excellent news if you’re just finishing your workout or if you skipped your fruits and veggies—but more isn’t always better.
We’re namely discussing fiber here. Consuming over 12 grams per meal is sure to cause digestive issues. Plus, these bars contain only soluble fiber.
Combine these two factors, and you can count on at least some digestive issues.
No Cow has a short ingredient list, which is mostly good news.
The protein blend consists of brown rice and pea protein, two high-quality plant-based sources. The natural sweetener blend used is stevia and monk fruit, which we commend.
Other staples include vegan faves—almonds and cocoa butter.
Some ingredient choices could be better, though.
The manufacturer uses palm oil as their fat source, adding more than a dash of saturated fats to the bar’s macros. We also see glycerin (sugar alcohol) here. This carb does help the texture, but it’s known to cause gas and bloating.
No Cow bars pack quite a punch, despite sticking to regular, non-superfood ingredients.
For reference purposes, there aren’t many protein bars that deliver over 20 grams of protein. This one does, leaving you satiated and ready to grow muscle with only 200 calories.
The low-calorie nature of these snacks is also excellent for weight management.
Overall, you get good value for money with these bars, especially if you choose to enjoy them only after exercise (not as a meal replacement).
No Cow bars are super low in sugar, leaving you more than enough room for dessert.
You get a delicious flavor for just 1 gram of sugar, and it’s mostly from natural sweeteners.
However, alcohol sugar is one of the ingredients, which is bad news for health and digestion.
Comparison to the Human Food Bar
In essence, our main issue with No Cow is their focus on over-optimization that disregards the potential to introduce more healthy ingredients.
It’s 2022, and we no longer have to compromise between healthy and protein-rich products. Both are possible in a single bar, like our Human Food Bar.
We’ve spent quite a long time looking at industry leaders, working to understand what is best. That’s how we’ve come up with our own product; using competition and inspiration.
Unlike No Cow, the Human Food Bar is suitable for everyday consumption. Our hemp-derived, plant-based protein supplies just what you need to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two bars.
|No Cow Bars||Human Food Bars|
|Protein||Over 20 g per bar, derived from rice and peas||8 g per bar, derived from hemp|
|Fiber||16 g per bar, only from soluble corn fiber||12 g per bar, from multiple prebiotic fibers|
|Sugars||1 g per bar, but contains alcohol sugars||3 g per bar, derived from natural sources|
|Superfood contents||None||Green banana flour, baobab, cacao|
While No Cow has more protein, the Human Food Bar provides a better balance of all macros. Plus, it’s chock-full of good-for-you ingredients that make it a staple of daily nutrition.
In a nutshell, we don’t have big problems with No Cow. It’s gluten-free, soy-free, lactose-free, and with zero added sugar, it has a lot of the qualities we love seeing.
However, we do have some issues with the manufacturer’s ingredient and macro choices, which leads us to our conclusions:
- Choose No Cow as a quick after-workout snack. Have plenty of water handy and combine this bar with another carb source for a balanced meal.
- Go for an alternative, such as the Human Food Bar, if you’re looking for a bar to fit your daily routine.
This bar isn’t suitable for meal replacement, but it’ll do just fine in a pinch. We would definitely not call it unhealthy fake food, but it’s far from a dream come true.
Still not sure? Check out these reviews of other fiber rich bars we tested:
Frequently Asked Questions
Are No Cow bars vegan?
All No Cow bars are free of animal ingredients. The company CEO sought to produce non-dairy bars capable of competing with diary and whey-based competitors.
Are No Cow bars good for me?
These vegan protein bars are free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, and other harmful ingredients. If your gut can handle so much fiber in one meal, No Cow bars are pretty good for you.
How much protein is in a No Cow bar?
No Cow puts out super protein-rich products. These tasty treats contain an average of 21 grams of protein for 200 calories or less, which is quite impressive.
Which diets is the No Cow protein bar suitable for?
Apart from individuals looking to sample bars free of animal products, people on the following diets can eat No Cow:
- Vegetarian and vegan
Note that these bars do contain lectin, unlike the Human Food Bar, making them unsuitable for the Plant Paradox diet.