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Pulsin Snack Bars


Pulsin sells a range of snack bars; the protein bars are said to increase energy levels and help suppress the appetite. They come in many different flavours but in those with more than one source of protein, it isn’t clear how much protein comes from each ingredient.

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Pulsin Snack Bars Pros
  • The snack bars could offer an easy and convenient means of increasing your protein intake
  • The ingredients are not generally associated with severe side effects when taken in reasonable quantities
  • The snack bars are available in a selection of different flavours and sold by a range of reliable retailers
  • Some of the ingredients have been shown in early clinical trials to have a slight beneficial effect on weight loss and body composition
Pulsin Snack Bars Cons
  • No clinical studies have been undertaken on the product as a whole
  • The official product website does not disclose the precise quantities of each ingredient in the snack bars
  • No mention of potential side effects or people who shouldn’t take the snack bars on the official site
  • No money-back guarantee available

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Pulsin Snack Bars Review

Pulsin is a company that makes and sells a range of different health products, with a focus on protein powders and snack bars. The snacks are organic and those in the protein snack range contain supplementary protein. It is these bars that we will discuss in our review of Pulsin Snack Bars. The bars each contain around 12.5g of protein, in the form of pea protein, whey protein and rice protein, depending on which flavour you are looking at.

The bars are soy free, gluten free, GMO free, dairy free, and suitable for vegans. Nutritional information is provided, but for those products with more than one source of protein, how much protein comes from each source is not disclosed.

Pulsin Snack Bars Claimed weight loss benefits

It is implied on the official Pulsin website that the protein snack bars are intended for use by those who are looking to lose weight, to gain muscle, and for those involved in sport and fitness. It is stated that the snack was created to offer sustained energy release without a crash and that the bar is perfect for consumption before or after a workout, when you’re on the move, or just to increase protein intake throughout the day. The supplementary protein is said to help to build muscle and provide energy, supposedly making it particularly beneficial for athletes and people trying to lose weight.

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How Pulsin Snack Bars Works

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The Pulsin protein bars are claimed to help people to lose weight and gain muscle. The product is a nutritional snack that contains additional protein from a variety of sources – the sources of protein vary depending on the individual bar product. The various protein ingredients will help to increase the user’s protein intake, potentially helping with muscle gain and recovery after exercise. The protein might also help to keep the user fuller without contributing a large number of calories. The bars also contain green tea extract – an ingredient that is thought to help with weight loss through improving the processes of fat burning and metabolism boosting.

How Each Ingredient Works

Pea Protein

Pea protein is a lactose-free source of protein. Supplementing your diet with extra protein is thought to have weight loss and muscle building benefits. Protein is comprised on amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Taking protein supplements shortly after a bout of resistance exercise is therefore thought to help the body to build new muscle and repair any torn muscle tissue. The macronutrient is also thought to be a good way of suppressing the appetite and helping the user to feel fuller for longer, without getting the urge to snack on unhealthy foods.

Protein is also thought to help with weight loss in the long-term. If taken alongside regular exercise, protein supplementation could help to build muscle and improve body composition. Having more muscle in relation to fat means that your metabolic rate could be increased. This is because muscle tissue requires more energy for day-to-day tasks than does fatty tissue, so it burns more energy whilst the body is at rest.

Whey Protein Isolate

This ingredient is another source of protein – this time taken from whey. Whey protein is one of the most commonly supplemented sources of protein; it contains a wide range of different amino acids and has been the subject of a number of different clinical trials looking at its usefulness as an athletic performance supplement. It is thought to work in the same ways as discussed for ‘pea protein’ above.

Rice Protein

In common with pea protein and whey protein isolate, pea protein is another source of the macronutrient protein. As such, it is thought to work in similar ways as those discussed above for pea protein. Rice protein is less commonly used as a dietary supplement but is still available as a dairy-free option.

Chicory Fibre

Chicory fibre contains inulin, which can be broken down to shorter chains known as oligofructose. This substance, oligofructose, has been associated with weight loss in some early clinical trials (discussed in the ‘Clinical Studies’ section below). It is thought to have an effect on the blood sugar and insulin response to food intake, potentially having an appetite suppressing effect on users. The changes to blood sugar and insulin levels might help the body to feel fuller for longer and ward off hunger and cravings for certain foods.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is present in all of the protein bars advertised on the Pulsin website. This ingredient has been associated with a range of different weight loss effects. It is believed to aid weight loss through the action of its chemical components, particularly polyphenols like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These substances are thought to affect the body by causing thermogenesis (an increase in the internal body temperature). This in turn is believed to increase the efficiency with which fat cells are burnt for energy. It is also thought to increase the activity of many cells in the body, forcing them to burn more calories for general maintenance whilst the body is at rest.

As discussed in the ‘Clinical Studies’ section below, green tea extract has been used in preliminary tests to see whether or not it might have an impact on weight loss but these effects have not been conclusively proven. It is also important to note that the company does not disclose how much green tea extract is present in one Pulsin snack bar so we cannot accurately predict how much of an effect it might have.

Carob

Carob is another source of dietary fibre. There has been some suggestion in the past that carob might aid weight loss, though this claim is not sufficiently backed by scientific studies. It has been said that carob intake can have an effect on blood glucose and insulin levels. These changes have been tentatively linked to reduced appetite and cravings for sweet foods after eating a meal.

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Key Pulsin Snack Bars Ingredients

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The official Pulsin website provides and ingredients list and nutritional information for each of the protein snack bars. The ingredients list differs between bars, since they are available in a number of different flavours. Nevertheless, there are some common ingredients found in several or all of the different products. Whilst a list of the ingredients is disclosed, the Pulsin website does not generally state precisely how much of each ingredient is present in the snack bars.

Active Ingredients

Pea Protein

Pea protein is a vegan, gluten free, dairy free source of protein that can be added to supplements. It can be taken from green or yellow peas (split peas), which belong to the legume family. In some parts of Asia, people are reliant on peas for a large portion of their dietary protein needs. Pea protein is often used along rice protein (also present in some Pulsin protein snack bars) to make a more complete balance of amino acids.

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein is the protein extracted from whey – a bi-product created during the process of making cheese. As such, the ingredient might contain some lactose so is not suitable for all users. The ingredient is very commonly used as a protein supplement in products designed to increase athletic performance or muscle gain. It is a source of most amino acids. The ingredient has also been used in the past to help with the treatment of asthma and high cholesterol.

Rice Protein

For this ingredient, the protein is extracted from rice to create a powder that can be added to other products to increase their protein content. It is a vegetarian, lactose-free alternative to some of the more commonly used protein sources (like whey protein and casein protein). Brown rice extract is said to be more gentle on the stomach, though we are not told which type of rice is used to make the rice protein present in the Pulsin snack bars.

Chicory Fibre

Chicory is a plant, the roots of which are usually used to make a fibrous extract. Other parts of the plant are eaten as food. The ingredient is said to have numerous uses in traditional herbal medicine. It has been claimed to help with the treatment of stomach problems, loss of appetite, liver and gallbladder disorders and cancer. Chicory is thought to have a slight laxative effect and to increase the production of bile from the gallbladder. It is understood to be high in the vitamin beta-carotene.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is a common addition to weight loss supplements. The extract is taken from the steamed leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant – the same leaves that are used to make most teas, including black tea. The ingredient is thought to have a whole host of health benefits because it contains antioxidants and polyphenols. These chemicals have been associated with preventing cancer and treating heart and blood conditions in the past, amongst many more claimed uses in traditional herbal medicines.

Carob

Carob is a tree, the fruit of which is often used in traditional medicines. Its extract is said to have a range of different health properties; most commonly, carob has been used in the treatment of gastro-intestinal problems, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, heartburn and celiac. These potential benefits are said to be a result of its tannin content. It has also been used to treat cholesterol and as a supplement during pregnancy. The ingredient has been used as a flavourant in food production.

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Clinical Studies

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There do not appear to have been any clinical trials undertaken on the product as a whole. Some studies have been undertaken on the ingredients, with a focus on testing their potential weight loss and muscle building/recovery effects. Whilst some have shown positive results, the studies have only been preliminary and more reliable trials should be performed before any conclusions are drawn about the effectiveness of the ingredients.

A clinical study is a method used by scientists to test whether a product or ingredient has the properties that it is claimed to have. These studies are usually reliable, since they are peer-reviewed before they are published in journals, though some are of better quality than others.

Clinical Studies On Each Ingredient

Clinical Studies on Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein is probably the best-studied protein source commonly added to health supplements; it has been tested for its potential weight loss and muscle building qualities. A study published in 2008 investigated the effects of a specific whey protein supplement product. This study was a randomised, double blind trial lasting 12 weeks. Participants were given a very low-calorie diet; they took either the whey protein supplement or a control mix drink 20 minutes before breakfast and then again before dinner. Body measurements were taken every four weeks. The results showed that all participants lost weight; no significant difference was found between the amount of weight lost by the two groups. Those taking the whey protein supplement did however lose significantly more body fat and less lean muscle mass compared to those in the control group.

Studies have also indicated that whey protein is beneficial for body composition when taken alongside regular resistance exercise. A meta-analysis published in 2014 reported positive results. For this analysis, the authors searched the literature for randomised, controlled trials that tested the effects of whey protein on body weight, body fat, and lean body mass. The authors identified 14 trials that fitted the criteria. Statistical analyses were performed on the combined results of the studies. It was found that overall, whey protein has a beneficial effect on body composition when compared with carbohydrates.

Clinical Studies on Chicory Fibre

No clinical studies have directly tested the effects of chicory fibre on weight loss. Chicory fibre does however contain oligofructose – a chemical that has been subject to some clinical study. A trial published in 2009 for example looked at the effects of oligofructose supplementation using a sample of 48 overweight and obese adults. The subjects were randomly divided into group to receive 21g oligofructose per day or a placebo. The participants took their allocated treatment every day for a period of 12 weeks. Throughout this time, measurements such as food intake and body weight were taken.

The results showed that those in the oligofructose group lost significantly more body weight than those in the control group. Those being given oligofructose also had a lower self-reported caloric intake. It was concluded that oligofructose could alter blood glucose and insulin levels and could suppress ghrelin (a ‘hunger hormone’) levels. This in turn was seen to cause a reduction in appetite and consequently, reduced food intake and increased body weight loss.

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2011 used similar methods to test the effects of oligofructose on energy intake. For this trial, 31 individuals with a BMI of 24.8 – just within the upper remit of ‘healthy weight’ took part in a randomised, double blind, crossover trial. They were given oligofructose in various doses (0, 10 or 16g) for 13 days at a time with 2-week washout periods in between. A variety of measurements were taken before and after each treatment period.

The authors reported that taking 16g oligofructose significantly reduced the energy intake of participants over the 13 days of treatment. Energy intake was significantly lower with consumption of 16g oligofructose than it was with 10g oligofructose, indicating that the substance has a dose-dependent effect. It was concluded that supplementing 16g oligofructose daily, but not 10g, could have a notable effect on energy intake. It should be noted here that the amount of oligofructose present in Pulsin snack bars is not disclosed.

Clinical Studies on Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract and its key active components, like epigallocatechin gallate and caffeine, have been subject to some clinical study with regards to their potential weight loss effects. A review was published in 2009 that combined the results of all relevant trials with randomised, controlled methods. The aim was to determine whether or not green tea catechins could have an effect on weight loss and weight maintenance over a period of at least 12 weeks. Eleven trials were included that matched these criteria; the results were pooled together and statistical analyses performed on them as a whole. It was concluded that the catechins in green tea, or a mixture of caffeine and epigallocatchein gallate, could have a slight positive effect on weight loss and weight maintenance, but that these results should be interpreted with caution due to the limitations of the study.

Clinical Studies on Carob

Carob is not well studied and no scientific investigations appear to have been undertaken with the intent to reveal any potential weight loss effects of the ingredient. Nevertheless, one clinical study has suggested that carob intake might have an associated with blood glucose and insulin levels, which are associated with the metabolism and appetite. For this trial, 20 healthy subjects took part in a crossover study to look at the effects of carob fibre intake on glucose, insulin and ghrelin (the ‘hunger hormone’) responses. The participants were all given 200ml water with 50g glucose and varying amounts of carob fibre (0, 5, 10 or 20g) over a period of three hours. Measurements were taken before and after the treatment and any changes recorded.

The results indicated that consuming 5 or 10g of carob fibre could significantly increase blood glucose and insulin levels when compared to the control. Total ghrelin concentrations also increased following intake of 10g carob fibre. It was concluded that when taken with a water-glucose solution, carob fibre could increase glucose and insulin responses.

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Pulsin Snack Bars Side Effects

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There is no mention of side effects associated with this product on the official website. This is not uncommon for supplement products, particularly when they are in the form of a food product. Nevertheless, it is important to look into the potential side effects associated with each ingredient since they may not be suitable for all potential users. Overall, the product appears to be safe for consumption by most people, but might cause mild side effects in some. Due to a lack of information provided by the company behind the product on ingredient quantities, we recommend consulting a doctor before taking this product if you have any health concerns.

Side Effects Associated With Each Ingredient

Side Effects associated with Pea Protein

The potential side effects associated with pea protein are not well documented since this ingredient has not been subject to much clinical investigation. Since potential side effects are not well understood, it is recommended that you consult a doctor before taking pea protein if you have a health condition or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. People who are allergic to legumes like peanuts and soybeans might also be allergic to peas so should be wary of this ingredient.

Side Effects associated with Whey Protein Isolate

In small quantities, whey protein is thought to be safe for use by most people. Higher doses might however some side effects in some people. Examples of potential side effects associated with whey include tiredness, headaches, reduced appetite, increased bowel movements, bloating, stomach pain, nausea and increased thirst. There is suggestion that some of these side effects might reduce as the body gets used to the higher intake of protein. Whey protein might not be suitable for those who are allergic to cow’s milk. Its safety for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women is not known due to a lack of reliable information on the topic. It is best to consult a doctor before taking whey protein if you belong to one of these groups.

Side Effects associated with Rice Protein

It is very difficult to find any reliable sources detailing the potential side effects associated with rice protein. The ingredient has not been subject to much clinical study to investigate its usefulness or its safety. Brown rice is thought to be safe for consumption in the quantities found in foods, but its safety in medicinal doses is not known.

Side Effects associated with Chicory Fibre

Chicory fibre is thought to be safe when consumed in the amounts normally found in foods, but its safety in medicinal doses is less understood. There has been suggestion that taking large quantities of chicory by mouth could trigger a miscarriage if consumed during pregnancy; pregnant women should avoid it. Some people are allergic to chicory; also avoid the ingredient if you are allergic to ragweed and related plants. Not enough is known about the safety of supplementing chicory during breastfeeding to say whether or not it might be safe – it is recommended that these individuals avoid the ingredient. Chicory intake might also increase the production of bile so should be avoided by people with gallstones.

A study on 48 individuals taking oligofructose – a component of chicory – on a daily basis reported that the participants did not suffer from any negative side effects.

Side Effects associated with Green Tea Extract

Green tea is thought to be safe for use in normal amounts (when it is consumed as a beverage). When taken in higher doses for longer periods of time, the safety of green tea extract is less clear. There has been some suggestion that regular intake of high doses of green tea could lead to liver problems. Green tea extract can cause side effects; these are primarily associated to its caffeine content. Caffeine can cause, for example, headaches, nervousness, anxiety, jitteriness, difficulty sleeping, ringing in the ears, stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. It can also have more severe side effects, like high blood pressure, increased breathing rate, irregular heartbeat and convulsions.

It is not recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women consume green tea in supplement form. Consult a doctor before taking green tea extract if you have a heart condition, bleeding disorder, gastro-intestinal condition, osteoporosis, liver disease or a history of mental health problems.

Side Effects associated with Carob

Carob fibre is thought to be generally safe for consumption by most people. There have not been any reports of negative effects with carob consumption, though it is not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women since not much is known about its effects in these groups of people. The clinical study discussed in the ‘clinical studies’ section above did not highlight any notable side effects caused by carob supplementation.

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How To Use

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Whilst there is no dedicated ‘how to use’ section on the Pulsin snack bars pages, the site does hint towards usage instructions. It is suggested that the bars be used as a pick me up or to balance sugar levels and help to kick sugar cravings. The website also states that they can provide a pre-exercise energy boost or post-exercise snack, indicating that they can be taken before or after a workout. The snack bars are said to be gluten free and vegetarian, and contain no GM ingredients or refined sugars. It is also stated that the product is ideal for people who want to lose weight, who are athletes in training, or those who just want to have a boost in energy throughout the day.

There is no mention of how often you should take the bars; we cannot offer advice on this since precise ingredient quantities are not disclosed. This also makes it difficult to suggest which groups of people might be best avoiding the product. Green tea extract, for example, contains caffeine, which can cause an array of different side effects and may not be suitable for all groups of people in high doses; without dosage information however, we can’t say whether it might be dangerous for some people. We would recommend consulting a doctor before taking the product if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a cardiovascular condition.

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Who Makes It

Precisely where the Pulsin snack bars are manufactured is not disclosed on the official product website, but the product appears to be made by Pulsin – a company that appears to specialise in healthy, organic snacks for adults and for children. They also sell a range of protein powders. It is stated in the ‘about us’ section that all pulsing products have been designed to provide sustained energy release, support healthy body function, boost brainpower, make users feel fuller for longer, and strengthen the immune system. It is said that the products achieve this through a mixture of natural, high quality ingredients. They provide a range of ‘healthy recipes’ on the website and keep a regular blog.

Contact details for the company are available on the ‘contact’ page of the official website. The company appears to be based in Gloucester, UK, and provides a full postal address, email address and telephone number, as well as an online form that customers can fill in should they choose to get in touch that way. There is no mention of manufacturing standards or a money-back guarantee on the Pulsin website, but the company does appear to be established and reliable, without a large number of complaints against their name.

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Where To Buy Pulsin Snack Bars

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Pulsin snack bars are available to buy from a number of different health stores. The bars were once sold by Tesco, but are no longer in stock. Besides the official Pulsin website, the snack bars can be purchased from online stores such as dolphin fitness, Amazon, and Ocado. They are also available to buy from the high street health chain Holland and Barratt.

From the official product website, the protein bars are available in numerous different flavours, like orange choc chip and maple and peanut. They all cost the same price. A box of 9 bars costs £13.59 whilst a box of 18 bars costs £25.76. The protein bars can also be bought in mixed cases, containing several different flavours; these cost £25.76. The delivery costs are not disclosed until you get to check out; it is stated that delivery charges will be calculated based on the weight of the order and location of delivery address.

On the dolphin fitness website, a box of 18 Pulsin protein bars is sold for £19.95 with free delivery, or the bars are sold individually for £1.45 each. Holland and Barratt sells an individual Pulsin bar for £1.89 or 18 bars for £24.33; here, delivery is free on orders over £20. The online supermarket Ocado sells individual bars for £1.59.

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Does Pulsin Snack Bars Meet our Approved Criteria

Money-back-guarantee: No, there does not appear to be a 30-day money-back guarantee.

One-off payment: Yes, the payment seems to be one-off via the official website.

Manufacturing Standard: No, there is no mention of any manufacturing standard certification.

Accompanying Diet Plan: No, there is no mention of a diet plan with this product.

Ingredients and quantities disclosed: Yes, the ingredients list is provided, but the specific quantities of each individual ingredient are not available.

Company contact details readily available: Yes, full contact details are available on the official website.

Pulsin Snack Bars does not meet our ‘Approved’ criteria because it fails to provide a moneyback guarantee.

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Overall Verdict

Pulsin snack bars are available in a range of different flavours. The protein bars are said to help suppress the appetite and increase energy levels; they all contain some form of supplementary protein as well as herbal ingredients like green tea extract. The bars are convenient and advertised as being healthy and organic. They are sold by a range of retailers. No studies have been performed on the effects of the product as a whole but some trials have indicated that supplementing with certain types of protein might help to improve body composition. Unfortunately the official website does not disclose how much of the protein content comes from which source; some have been shown to work better than others.

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