It’s story time folks, so close your eyes with me and see if you can imagine what I’m telling you. It’s the weekend and you’re finally getting out to play some golf with your buddies. You were in too much of a hurry to eat a good lunch before your round since you had to mow the lawn, but you wanted to get in good with your wife before you left. Your first nine holes were pretty good and you are looking at one of your better scores in awhile. At the turn you contemplate a hot dog, but don’t want to lose your spot on the 10th tee. Right around the 14th hole things start going south. Your belly is rumbling and you are spraying balls all over the place. Your putter might as well be a 2×4 because it’s not getting the ball anywhere near the hole. Sound familiar? It does to me. In fact, I would imagine that I play hungry more than I play not hungry. Wouldn’t you know that there is a product out there to help hungry golfers like me? It’s called the IQPLUS Golf Bar. But according to the company, it’s not just a snack to keep you going. The IQPLUS is supposed to help improve your accuracy off the tee by as much as twenty percent! That’s a pretty big claim, so THP wanted to give this nutrition bar a thorough review.
From the Company
The IQPLUS® Golf Bar has been specially formulated for golfers’ needs by a sports nutritionist. The product is a unique combination of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and the key ingredient PS (Phosphatidylserine).
We carefully studied golfers’ nutritional needs and formulated the product according to the latest sports science without compromising taste. We selected only premium ingredients which we combined in a unique way to provide balanced nutrition with an additional golf specific benefit: improving accuracy off the tee.
Energy is great and I always appreciate a mid-round pick-me-up, but I really need it to taste good. I will not eat a snack that tastes bad, no matter how good it is for me. So how does the IQPLUS bar rate when it comes to flavor? Well, we sent a bar to quite a few of our forum members and you can read what they thought about the taste here.
I found the texture of the IQPLUS to be similar in ways to other protein or energy bars, but there were some key differences that I liked. The center is similar to nougat, but a little chewier than your typical candy bar. Not so much so that it becomes a chore to eat, like many other products that I’ve tried. I sampled the Chococcino variety and found it to be quite tasty. It has a nice chocolate flavor with a slight coffee aroma to it. In my opinion, the amount of coffee flavoring is just right. Not too strong and not too light. There is a slight crunch when you bite into the IQPLUS bar, but I really don’t know where it comes from. I don’t see anything in it that looks crunchy, but it is there nonetheless. I think the crunch adds a vital element to the overall taste of the bar. It really ties the whole thing together for me.
The IQPLUS Golf Bar isn’t very big. It’s about the size of a standard cigarette lighter. Don’t let the small size fool you, though. There is a ton of nutritional goodness packed into these things. Each bar has 140 calories and a number of vitamins and minerals to keep you going through your round. I suspect many people would want to snack on a couple of these to get full, but I found that one bar was a sufficient mid-morning snack to get me through to lunch. The best thing about that is that my normal snack in the mornings has almost twice the calories!
The “secret” ingredient of the IQPLUS is the soy-derivative Phosphatidylserine (PSP). This chemical is supposed to improve cognitive abilities and concentration. According to IQPLUS, PSP is truly activated when combined with protein and carbohydrates, as opposed to taking it in a pure supplement form. The Golf Bar has all three of these ingredients together in one pretty tasty snack.
Ryan H. gets scientific
First of all, let me say that I am not a scientist. IQPLUS had real scientists conduct a study to show the results people got from eating their product and published it on their website. One of THP’s forum members, who happens to be a pharmacist, actually gave a summary of the study right here. It’s a good read and I encourage you to check it out.
Still, I wanted to try my own little experiment to see if I saw any positive effects from eating these bars. Over the course of a few weeks, I did my best to eat one of the IQPLUS bars each day. In the interest of full disclosure, there were days that I forgot to eat one. This review was done over the holidays, so I wasn’t always able to grab a bar from the box when I wanted a snack. Also, there were a couple days that I ate two bars because I was hungrier than normal. Basically, I acted like most everybody would, which I think was a good way to conduct my little homemade science project.
Before I started this experiment, I did two things to measure my concentration: I did a matching test on the internet and I tried to see how many five foot putts that I could make out of thirty tries on my indoor putting mat. Why did I choose these two tests? I chose the matching test because it was timed and I could come back to do the exact same thing after 24 days. I chose the putting because it was an easy golf related measure of my concentration. My pre-IQPLUS scores were: matching test completed in 1:43 and 20 out of 30 putts made or 67%.
I was pretty excited to see what differences I saw after eating the IQPLUS bars. Again, I’m no scientist, but it’s always fun to pretend. After a few weeks of eating the bars, my matching game score was slightly lower. I finished in 1:39 seconds instead of the pre-bar score of 1:43. I hate matching games, and the IQPLUS didn’t change that, but my time was a bit faster. As for the putting, I took myself to the putting mat and came away making 25 out of 30 putts as opposed to the 20 I made at the beginning of the test. So my putting accuracy went from 67% to 83%.
So, what does this all mean? Well, to be honest, I have no clue. I know what my scores in each test were before I started eating the IQPLUS bars and I know the scores I got after eating them for a few weeks. I really don’t know if the bars had any effect on my scores, but I know I did better. One thing I want to say is that towards the end of the testing, I started to grow a bit weary of eating the same snack every day. I get tired of anything I eat daily for more than a couple weeks, so it’s not the bar’s fault, but I don’t know that I’d choose this, or any snack, as a daily supplement. However, I love the idea of eating one when I’m hungry out on the course, or before a practice session. It’s perfect for that job since it’s small, filling, and tastes good.
In all, I love the IQPLUS bar for a few reasons. First of all, it’s made for golfers, not people going to the gym, climbing mountains, or running a marathon. I like that somebody was thinking of us when they made a snack. Second, it tastes really good! I would rate it at the top of list when comparing it to other energy bars that I’ve eaten. It’s definitely snackier than the shoe leather bars that I’ve tried in the past. Lastly, some thought went into the ingredients. The creators of the IQPLUS not only made a good snack; they also used scientific knowledge in an attempt to help golfers play better. In my opinion, that’s a pretty cool addition to an already good product.
My final thought on the IQPLUS Golf Bar is that regardless of the studies and experiments, this is a snack made for golfers and I plan to keep a few in my bag for when I need them. I need all the help I can get out on the course, and a little something to boost my energy, and maybe my brain, is always welcome. If you are interested in more information, especially some good nutrition tips and the science behind the product, check out the company’s website at www.iqplusfoods.com.
To see what THP Forum members thought of the IQ Plus Bar, THP sent 20 golfers a bar to try out and test for flavor, you can read their results here.