As a general rule, I don’t usually set foot inside of a GNC. With its pimply, post-adolescent, overzealous and under-educated employees pushing whatever product happens to be the promotional contest of the month, I typically walk by and enjoy a chuckle at the expense of the 157 lb wannabe cagefighter who exits the store lugging his pre and post-workout drink powders and convinced that the powerful combination of his Gold Card plus a Super Tuesday has saved him enough money to buy this week’s UFC PPV.
Nonetheless, on this particular day in which my better half was lost in the cornucopia of the Mall’s teen clothing stores, I found myself walking past the GNC for the fourth time and decided to have a gander inside. I effortlessly sneaked past the Jay Cutler Hydroxycut display (regularly $89.99 but now $81.99!!) and asked the aforementioned sales clerk what products were selling. Predictably, he replied: “Well the Hydroxycut is always popular but it also really works!” Embarassed by both his inability to conjure up an original thought and the idea that I appeared no wiser than his typical mark, I looked down at the display of protein bars in shame. To my surprise, I saw several bars bearing orange price stickers indicating major price reductions. While I typically scoff at the idea of paying $3.50 for 30g of protein, I have no objections to completing the same purchase at a much lower price point. So when I saw two Muscletech Peanut Butter protein bars marked down to $0.75 cents each, I seized the day and plunked down my Platinum Amex (hey I’m not a cash-carrying kinda guy).
I figured that with its R&D budget exceeding the GNP of most third world countries, Muscletech would have mastered the basics of a quality protein bar — great taste, good texture, and the right combination of chew-ability and saliva-solubility.
Sadly, I was mistaken. I took a bite of the overly salty chocolike coated bar and chewed. And chewed. And kept chewing. Problem was nothing was happening! I actually picked up the bar and read the label again to make sure I hadn’t accidentally picked up Muscletech’s new Protein Bubblegum bar or something that I was expected to chew for several hours. Peanut butter doesn’t lend itself to many great beverage combinations, so I opened my fridge and quickly settled on my son’s whole milk to wash it down. Halfway through the bar, I stopped bothering to chew. It was pointless. This wasn’t a protein bar — it was the world’s largest protein pill.
I took another bite and downed another gulp of milk to help it bypass the peristalsis and go straight into my stomach where presumably, it would continue its resistance to acidic juices before winding its way through my intestines and vacating my colon in its original form. Had I either the time or inclination to do so, I’d send my bowel movement to the Muscletech labs for them to remove the intact piece and recycle it in a new bar, at least to give someone else a shot at obtaining some benefit from my purchase.
Rating: * (One Star) (at $0.75) out of ***** (Five Stars)
Ed. Note: Subtract the entire star if paying retail. Beach sand is free.