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Food fight: PB&J Sandwich vs. Bonk Breaker PB&J Bar

**Editor's Note: Updated 2024 to reflect product changes.

There's more than one way to skin a cat.  Who came up with that? Mark Twain used the expression...Anyway, let's talk food, specifically a favorite pre and post-workout snack, the peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Just Google "peanut butter jelly sandwich athlete" and a slew of sites appear recommending the sandwich as a worthy source of calories, protein and carbs. (Our recommendation would be to substitute almond butter for the peanut butter. It's healthier. Read why here.)

But for those who may be taking to the road or packing their gear for a long ride or workout, the sandwich may not travel well. Hence another way to skin the cat! The energy/protein bar, specifically the PB&J flavor bar from Bonk Breaker.

Why did we choose Bonk Breaker? The taste and high quality ingredients. Bonk Breaker Bars are gluten, soy and dairy free, and it is one of the first (any maybe only) brand of bars that we like beyond the chocolate & peanut butter flavors. The apple is also quite good. 

But how does the bar stack up against the real thing?  FOOD FIGHT!

Keep in mind that a typical PBJ sandwich is bigger (115g) than a Bonk bar (62g). So ANY comparison must take this into account. Also, Bonk makes a higher protein version of the PB&J with 11g of protein vs the 8g. 

  PB&J Bonk Breaker

Calories

340 260
Weight 115g 62g
Total Fat 11g 9g 
Saturated Fat 1.5g 1.5g
Sodium 500mg 45mg
Potassium 0 2%
Carbs 55g 35g
Fiber 7g 3g
Sugar 20g 19g
Protein 12g 8g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Notes

  1. PB&J made using 1T peanut butter and 1T jelly -- which is quite a lot!
  2. 2 pieces of whole wheat bread 90 calories each slice
  3. Bonk Breaker Ingredients:  Dry Roasted Peanuts, Brown Rice Syrup, Gluten Free Whole Grain Oats, Strawberry Filling [Organic Evaporated Cane Syrup, Naturally Milled Sugar, Glycerin, Fruit Juice Concentrate (Pineapple, Peach, Apple, and/or Pear), Apple Powder, Organic Rice Starch, Natural Flavors, Strawberries, Water, Pectin, Citric Acid, Locust Bean Gum, Red Cabbage Extract and Annatto for Color], Medium Grain Brown Fine Rice Flour (Medium Grain Rice and Stabilized Rice Bran), Rice Protein, Grade-A Honey, Sea Salt. 

Given the above comparison, it's a pretty even fight. And we really like that the Bonks only have 19 grams of sugar. For an energy bar, that is impressive.  Most bars come in at 20+ grams for a 200-250 calorie bar.

Let your taste buds, travel needs and wallet lead you. Certainly making your own sandwich is cheaper. Bonk Breakers retail for $2 to $3 a bar, pricey. (Trader Joe's sells Clif Bars for a buck.) You can typically secure a dozen Bonk Breakers for $24 online, BUT shipping costs can be onerous. REI and bike shops sell the bars. 

Is there another worthy PB&J option? Let us know.

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