Carb Killa Protein Bar Review And When To Eat It To Get The Full Benefit

By Jen Evansy / January 4, 2020

Grenade Carb Killa Protein Bar, because of this slightly misleading name, there are a lot of questions and confusion surrounding it as to when it should be really eaten, how does it work exactly, is it good for weight loss, and is it really the ultimate guilt-free indulgence?

grenade carb killa peanut nutter flavor bar

Protein bars are not limited to sport nutrition shops anymore, and now you can find a good selection even in your local supermarket. As there is such a wide variety of protein bars on offer, you really need to check what you are buying.

These bars can vary enormously in terms of calories, sugars, fat, additives, protein, and other ingredients.

protein bars in the supermarket

If you do not check the labels very carefully, you may find yourself eating something more like a chocolate bar rather than a nutritious, protein-packed snack.

In this post, I am going to review one of the most popular, yet somewhat controversial protein bars, Grenade 'Carb Killa'.

Are Grenade Carb Killa Protein Bars Good For You?

nutrition bar

They are very low in sugar, making them a more suitable choice for anyone who wants to avoid sugar or simple carbs or needs a nutritious snack. An average of 1 gram of sugar and 23 grams of protein per bar, has made it one of the more healthier options among other protein bars.

Aside from being extremely low in sugar, Grenade’s Carb Killa is also known for its delicious flavor that can even rival some of the most popular chocolate bars out there. And that is precisely the combination that is leaving many gym junkies extremely skeptical.

As we all know, most protein bars suck. They're dry, chewy, and require a whole class of water just to get them to go down.

So, with the Carb Killa, it all just seems too good to be true.

Have We All Been Tricked By Grenade Protein Bars!?

Grenade carb killa bars nutritional information table

Grenade is quite clever in how they are marketing their protein bars. Some people think that they are misleading or using some sort of trickery, but that is not actually the case. These protein bars really are very low in sugar.

Now, the confusion usually comes when we check the total carbohydrate count in this protein bar. We can see that there are way more carbs in the product than sugar. Most people usually associate sugar with carb. That is generally the right assumption; however, in this case, the carbs used are not sugar but polyols.

So, What Are Polyols?

Quite simply, polyols are carbohydrates but not sugars meaning they are sugar-free sweeteners. Because polyols taste great, you can incorporate a healthier diet into your life without having to give up eating the sweet foods you love.

Most nutritionists and health specialists refer to polyols as sugar replacers as it has been deemed a more consumer-friendly name. Scientists cite them as being called sugar alcohols because the chemical structure of polyols bears a resemblance to part sugar and part alcohol. However, it is only a resemblance, and these sweeteners contain neither sugar nor alcohol.

As a general rule, there are 4 calories for each gram of sugar. Polyols contain far fewer calories than that; it varies between zero to three calories per one gram. [1]

At the moment, there are eight types of polyols in use, as shown below.

  • Erythritol
  • Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates (including maltitol syrups)
  • Isomalt
  • Lactitol
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol

These polyols are found in a huge number of food items such as ice cream, fruit spread, chewing gum, candy, and baked goods. Polyols are also used in many household products, including toothpaste, mouthwash, cough syrups, throat drops, and in health and fitness supplements, including some protein bars. [2]

Which Polyol Is Used In Carb Killa Protein Bar?

The polyol used in the Carb Killa protein bar is called Maltitol.

As Maltitol is a polyol; then, it is classified as a sugar alcohol, as well as being a carbohydrate. Sugar alcohols naturally occur in various fruits and vegetables.

However, Maltitol is manufactured for use more often than being used in its naturally occurring state. You will find that while it is sweet, it is not as sweet as pure sugar, and it has about half the amount of calories than sugar. [3]

Maltitol is commonly found in the following products:

  • Carb Killa Protein Bars
  • Candy
  • Baked Goods
  • Other Sweet Treats
  • Various Medications
  • Toothpaste 
  • Sports Supplements

Why Grenade Is Using Maltitol?

Below are some of the benefits of Maltitol:

One of the top benefits of using maltitol is helping people lose weight. Since the taste very closely mimics sugar but without the calories, this is a great sugar alternative for your diet.

You may have tried other sweeteners in the past and found them to have an unpleasant aftertaste but maltitol doesn't have this, so it tastes very natural.

Maltitol doesn't harm your teeth either, unlike other sweeteners or sugars that can cause tooth decay and cavities. It is for this reason that you will sometimes find maltitol in different kinds of toothpaste, mouthwashes, and chewing gum.

For Grenade, using maltitol is a way to make their protein bars sweet without half as many calories. That isn't the only advantage to sugar alcohols like maltitol. They are also an excellent way of keeping food moist and preventing the onset of browning, that is one of the reasons Carb Killa protein bar has such a lovely and delicious texture. 

It is worth noting that on food packaging and labels, maltitol is sometimes listed as xylitol, sorbitol, or even simply as sugar alcohol.

Carb Killa Protein Bar Vs. Other Chocolate Bars

Now, when we compare Carb Killa Protein bar to other popular chocolate bars like Snickers, Mars, or Bounty, then we can see the macros (short for macronutrients) are not actually that far off (except sugar).

So, what makes a big difference here is the low glycemic nature of the carbs and also the protein used in the Carb Killa protein bar.

I will cover all that in more detail below.

Grenade Carb Killa compared to other protein bars

The Low-Glycemic Carbs Are Better For Weight Loss

Low-glycemic carbohydrates are the preferred choice when it comes to weight loss, as they are slowly absorbed and digested, causing a slower rise in blood sugar levels. [4]

Opposed to high impact carbohydrates (high-glycemic carbs) found in many other protein/chocolate bars that are quickly digested and absorbed, resulting in a rapid rise and fall of blood sugar levels that encourage fat deposition.

Of course, you need to keep in mind that you are still getting all of the calories, whether your carbohydrates are low or high impact. So, if you are trying to lose weight and you are on a low-calorie diet, one Carb Killa bar (with its 225 calories) can cost you almost 25% of your daily calorie allowance.

Suffice to say, the Carb Killa is slightly higher in protein than most other protein bars. It is also lower in carbohydrates, then regular chocolate or other protein bars. 

I'll have to add my usual caveat here tho. Nobody has really done any detailed research into these protein bars, so you just need to go by what the company is telling you and closely monitor how your body reacts to it.

I'll leave it up to you to decide!

What Protein Is Used In The Carb Killa Bars?

whey isolate

The protein content in the Grenade Carb Killa protein bar is made up of several different ingredients. The blend includes calcium caseinate, milk, and whey protein isolates. 

Let's look at each one of these in some more detail:

Calcium Caseinate

Calcium caseinate is considered to be one of the best sources of protein you can find as it usually contains about 90% protein. It is produced from fresh skimmed milk, and bodybuilders prefer it because it is a rich source of amino acids. It also digests slowly and can help to avoid a break-down of muscle fiber following strenuous exercise.

Calcium caseinate also has high levels of L-glutamine; this is a key amino acid required for muscle growth, and it's also the one that leaves you feeling full for longer. 

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey isolate is a high-quality form of whey containing at least 90% of pure protein; practically no fat; only a small dose of lactose; and low cholesterol. Whey protein gets rapidly absorbed by the body and can assist with protein synthesis, which is the process of building muscle. This can happen as quickly as 40 minutes after consumption. This makes whey isolate a very popular ingredient in many post-workout drinks or snacks.

Milk Protein Isolate

Milk protein isolate contains both casein and whey. Both these forms of protein include the essential amino acids required for building muscle. Milk protein isolates, generally, promise to consist of a minimum of 90% protein.

What Is Good About These Bars?

Pros and Cons list
  • Carb Killa gives you both fast and slow protein release. This, in theory, will stimulate and maintain a fast and steady release of essential amino acids.
  • These bars are really convenient; you can throw a couple in your pocket or your bag, when you are in a rush, and eat them when it is convenient for you.
  • Carb Killa comes with approval and accreditation from Informed-Sport, who is the global testing program for sports supplements.
  • It is widely consumed by military personnel and professional athletes.
  • These bars are non-GMO.
  • The Grenade Carb Killa taste and texture of this triple-layered crunchy protein bar seems to get the 5-star treatment from most reviewers. Many describe it as a similar tasting to a more conventional snack bar available in a grocery store.
  • If you believe Grenade's theory about high and low impact carbs, then the Carb Killa is a bar that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.

What Is Not Good About Them?

  • The lack of any instructions on the bar as to when it should be consumed.
  • It just tastes a bit too good to make you feel guilt-free when eating it.
  • The taste, one of its biggest selling points, can also have a negative effect. If you enjoy them too much and cannot control yourself, you may find yourself consuming a few more than you should! 
  • Not vegan! Carb Killa contains gelatine, which means that it is NOT going to be suitable for most vegans and vegetarians.
  • Do not contain as much protein as an average shake. So, if you are a bodybuilder on a very high protein diet, then you might need to consume more then one of them to get your recommended amount of nutrients.  
  • They are relatively high in carbohydrates (despite the claims made by Grenade).
  • Each 60g bar contains about 214 calories. If you have a couple of bars per day, that could be a significant proportion (about 1/3) of your daily calorie allowance for a low-calorie diet.
  • Do not provide BCAA information. These are the amino acids responsible for muscle-building and maintenance.
  • If you have lactose intolerance, the Grenade Carb Killa may not be suitable for you.

When Is The Best Time To Eat A Carb Killa Protein Bar?

a group of people after the exercise

The best time to eat the Carb Killa protein bar is near a workout. After a heavy workout, the body requires amino acids to help repair any muscle damage caused by exercise. Consuming high-quality protein and carbs after exercise is shown to be the most effective. A recommended 15-30 grams of protein after a training session is enough to give your muscles the nutrients they need. Carb Killa falls perfectly within this range. 

But that is not the only time when it is best to eat it.

We need protein as part of a balanced diet to stay healthy, there are many other times we can put this nutritious bar to good use, whether we want to lose weight, gain muscle mass or tone the body.

Here are my recommended times when it is best to eat Carb Killa:

Before And After Exercise

Eating a Carb Killa before exercise will allow you to keep going longer in the gym. If you are going to be doing a particularly hard workout, though, you may want to consider eating more then one of these.

The same goes for after your workout. The protein in your bar will help you as you crave for a much-needed amino acid and energy boost. Exercise will strain your muscles and getting amino acids into the damaged tissue fast will help with its quick recovery and your fitness development.

As a Replacement Meal

A meal-replacement diet involves you forgoing a proper meal for some low-calorie alternative. Meal Replacement Shakes are generally the choice when it comes to meal-replacements, but protein bars are a very good option too.

These bars are packed full of protein, and they also have plenty of fiber and healthy fats and carbs, so a great meal-replacement choice.

For Breakfast

This is one of the most important meals of the day, but it is often one of the most overlooked too. People who eat breakfast regularly, statistically have a higher likelihood of being slimmer than those who do not. A good breakfast sets you up for the day and stops those terrible mid-morning hunger pangs from setting in.

The problem with having breakfast, though, is that many people simply do not have the time to prepare it. This is where a protein bar comes into its own. You can simply grab one on your way out of the door and eat on your way to work, allowing you to relax in the knowledge that you're starting your day off in the right way.

For a Snack

Snacks are, in general, unhealthy and should be avoided. I'm talking about the terrible ones like candy, cake, crisps, donuts, that sort of thing. Eating any of these types of snacks is going to set your weight loss efforts right back.

However, the Carb Killa bar is a more nutritious snack. It will fill you up, and that feeling of fullness will last so that you are not feeling the urge to keep snacking. It's a good option to keep you going between meals.

When you are really hungry, it becomes much more difficult to make healthy eating choices; you just want to have something that satisfies you straight away. Snacking on a protein bar will give you relief from this pressure and tide you over until the next proper meal.

Discover more extremely filling food here: Foods That Help You Feel Full And Lose Weight

To Help Stem Your Cravings

More balanced snack bars like Carb Killa will taste great and without all the sugar of standard candy bars. As such, they are a better way to treat yourself (don't go crazy) without breaking much of your healthy dietary rules. Compared to candy, they are more nutritious and filling too. Consider keeping a couple of bars handy so that you can indulge in something better next time you want a sweet snack.

What Are The Best Flavors Of Carb Killa Bar?

As flavors come and go, there are currently 17 different flavors that I know of, some of them are more popular than others. As far as I am concerned, they all taste incredible, and that is after having tried all of the flavors. My personal favorites are the Choc Chip Cookie Dough. Yum! I also like Dark Chocolate And Raspberry, the 'Jaffa Quake'; and The Cookies' N' Cream flavors. They all taste great.

But there are many other flavors to choose from:

  1. White Chocolate Mocha
  2. Dark Chocolate And Raspberry
  3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  4. Dark Chocolate Mint
  5. Caramel Chaos
  6. Banana Armour
  7. Birthday Cake
  8. White Chocolate With Salted Peanut Butter
  9. Caramel Chaos
  10. Chocolate Mint
  11. Jaffa Quake
  12. Chocolate Crunch
  13. Peanut Nutter
  14. Fudge Brownie
  15. White Chocolate Cookie
  16. White Chocolate Peanut
  17. Gingerbread

Where Can You Buy Grenade Carb Killa Protein Bars?

Grenade Carb Killa bars and all the new and current flavors are available on Amazon or direct from the Grenade website.

Is There A Limit For How Many Carb Killa Protein Bars You Should Eat?

While Carb Killa contains maltitol as a safe sugar alternative, like with most consumable goods, there are still some things to be aware of.

It Still Contains Carbohydrates

Therefore, anyone on a keto, low carb diet, or with diabetes should always be aware when eating the Carb Killa Protein bars. It will affect your glycemic index. Although your body doesn't absorb sugar alcohol on the same level as it does with sugar, your blood glucose level will still change. You must continue monitoring your glucose levels and how much you are consuming, even though the blood glucose level rise will be slower.

Safety Issues And Side Effects?

Grenade does issue a warning that excessive consumption of the Carb Killa can have laxative effects. This is because of the number of polyols in each bar. There are also the standard allergy warnings that come with most foods, including casein and lactose warnings. 

The bars could contain traces of eggs, peanuts, and other nuts, and are made in a facility that also processes gluten, although the bars itself contain no gluten ingredients.

You can never fully know how your body will react to any kind of food or drink until you try it, and it is the same with Grenade Carb Killa. 

However, there are no major health problems connected with any of the Grenade products.

 Conclusion 

  1. This bar is high in complete proteins that are great for achieving a toned body. 
  2. It claims to contain low/high impact carbs and is also loaded with fiber to provide you with required nutrition and energy. 
  3. It tastes great as each bar is made up of three layers of crunchy crispiness. It has a low sugar content that could be helpful for weight loss.
  4. This bar is a really delicious, high-protein snack.

I do use it myself if I crave a treat, and although I don't consider it a healthy snack per se, I do not feel guilty after eating it. I also do think it tastes better than any regular chocolate bar out there.


However, as far as power bars go, I would say that the most nutritious ones are your own homemade nut and seed bars with some oats added into the mix.


But that said, Carb Killa has been getting some great reviews and has already built up a strong following of dedicated fans.


So let me know what you think about it in the comments below. 

Are You Looking For Natural Low-Calorie Sugar Alternatives?

If you are trying to lose weight, follow a low carb diet, and avoid artificial sweeteners, then don't worry; there are alternatives out there that you can try instead. Not only in the food that you buy but also for home cooking that you do.

One of my favorite healthy alternatives to sugar is Stevia. It contains ZERO calories and, therefore, it is great for weight loss, low carb diet, or even controlling diabetes just as maltitol does, or perhaps even better.

As far as sweeteners go, Stevia is rather unique. It doesn't fall into any of the usual categories. Stevia is a plant grown in South America, and is completely calorie-free despite it being between two to three hundred times sweeter than regular sugar!

However, there are a few things you need to know before buying Stevia.

Please read my full article here: Stevia: Side Effects, Benefits, and More.

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About the author

    Jen Evansy

    Nutritionists, researchers, and writers, interested in everything healthy-living related. Helping you identify the best diets, learn about food and nutrition, to help you live happier, longer and stronger.


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