If these Healthspan Elite All Blacks HiLO Protein Bars are good enough for the All Blacks, they’re good enough for us…

As you’d expect from any sports nutrition product endorsed by the All Blacks rugby team, the Healthspan Elite protein bars uses quality ingredients. It’s the only purely vegan bar on test (other vegan options on test are part of a larger regular range).

The protein in these HiLO bars is a blend of soy and pea protein, which helps ensure a good mix of essential amino acids, including leucine, which is required to trigger muscle protein synthesis. The protein bars hit the magic 20g protein mark, so it’s effective as a post-workout recovery option.

Men’s Fitness verdict

Low in sugar and high in fibre, these HiLO bars pack 20g of quality protein into each of their delicious flavours. They’re purely plant based and approved for elite competition too.
Pros
  • Great taste
  • Good amount of quality protein
  • High in fibre
Cons
  • Slightly bitter aftertaste
  • Only available online
  • Limited flavours

How we test the best protein bars

Registered nutritionist (AFN) and sports nutritionist (SENr) Rob Hobson only tested chocolate-flavoured bars to provide consistency in his reviews. He judged them on their taste, texture and nutritional effectiveness, as well as cost and availability, and the amount of polyols – a type of sweetener which can upset the gut in high amounts.

Healthspan Elite All Blacks HiLO Protein Bar benefits

The bar is low in sugar at just 1.1g and sweetened with maltitol and xylitol (polyols). It has the lowest levels of polyols of any other bar on test. It also has an impressive amount of fibre per serving at 7.5g, which helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to keep blood sugar levels balanced.

The black forest gateau flavour we tested is covered in a chocolate-flavoured coating. It has a rich chocolate flavour followed by a berry taste which doesn’t taste overly synthetic. Given the fact it’s a vegan bar, the texture’s quite pleasant. It’s chewy yet crispy and not gritty like some vegan bars. The taste is clean, but there’s a slightly bitter aftertaste due to the sweetener.

Flavours and availability

Its price is on a par with most other bars on test, although the only option is to buy them online in boxes of 12. There are only three flavours available – the black forest gateau, chocolate and salted caramel, and white chocolate, with the latter having three times the sugar of the other two.

Unsurprisingly for the All Blacks, the HiLO Protein Bars are Informed Sport approved, so they’ve been cleared for use in elite competition.