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- Rated 3 stars
- Big 100
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- SafetyEditor: 61%
- ValueEditor: 60%
What Is Big 100?
Big 100 refers to a well known series of engineered nutrition bars packed with vitamins, minerals and protein. With 50 grams of carbs per bar, they are an ideal small and complete meal, pre-workout meal or recovery bar that can help you hit your daily protein requirements. These bars are also a convenient high-protein snack for anyone needing to supplement their diet with an easy, on-the-go option. If you’re looking to maintain or gain, your daily protein intake should be anywhere from about 0.8 to 2.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Plus, 25 grams of the total carbs in each bar are sugar, so eating a bar after a workout gives you a slight insulin spike that is necessary for stacking other supplements whose fast and efficient uptake requires insulin.
The bars are large enough to be satisfying but not so big that a few of them take up too much space in your gym bag or make it heavier than it already is. They also won’t sit in your stomach like bricks, backing you up and making you feel awful. The bars come in three flavors:
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough;
- Rocky Road Cookie Dough;
- Peanut Butter Cookie Dough.
They’re sweet and tasty, which is a surprise and a relief. Most bars from the thriving protein bar and sports nutrition industry are notoriously and inevitably horrific to taste. Bad tasting protein bars are practically the norm. These bars are the exception. These are the kind of bars you won’t dread biting into at anytime, least of all after a grueling workout that leaves you famished and lusting for carbs.
Met-Rx manufactures the Big 100 series of bars, which also includes Big 100 Colossal and Big 100 Mini Colossal. Each series of bars falls under the category of meal replacement (MRP). Met-Rx is arguably the most trusted name industry-wide in the MRP category. The company introduced MRPs to the sports nutrition industry in the 1990s. Founder Scott Connelly, an anesthesiologist, developed the first Met-Rx MRPs to help critically ill patients maintain muscle mass. As a result, Met-Rx MRPs and bars are a carefully balanced mixture of macro- and micronutrients that correspond to the nutritional profile of an actual small meal.
Connelly drew upon his medical background to assist with engineering the first Met-Rx product. He then partnered with fitness guru Bill Phillips, who himself went on to found EAS and conceive the Body For Life concept. The association with Phillips led to the marketing of Met-Rx as a bodybuilding and athletic supplement. With the combined efforts of Phillips and Connelly, and with their new marketing angle and demographic, Met-Rx flourished despite a few initial PR blunders. Connelly sold his stake in the company in the year 2000. Phillips went on to become a successful entrepreneur and sports nutrition powerhouse in his own right. Ownership of Met-Rx has since changed hands multiple times; its current owner is NBTY, formerly known as Nature’s Bounty.
The Met-Rx MRP recipe has also changed slightly since its debut more than 20 year ago. The original Met-Rx MRP consisted of two powders: a “base” and a “plus.” Users had to mix a certain number of scoops from each powder with water or milk to experience all of the benefits. The product also contained miceller casein, derived from bovine mother’s milk. Micellar casein makes up about 80 percent of cow’s milk and supplies:
- Amino acids;
Met-Rx removed the micellar casein owing to growing concerns about its correlation to certain cancers and casein-related allergies. Met-Rx’s attention to detail in its product recipes carries over to Big 100 bars, which are devoid of allergens and not processed on equipment that is exposed to allergens.
How Does Big 100 Work?
Big 100 supplies 28 grams of protein to help your broken-down, challenged muscles recover from light to grueling workouts. When you consume the product, your stomach breaks the protein down into amino acids, which are the building blocks of every protein in your body. Proteins are the building blocks of all muscles. Transporter cells in your small intestine then absorb the amino acids directly into the bloodstream. The carbs in the bar cause an insulin spike, which expedites absorption of nutrients and amino acids more quickly than usual. At the same time, the remaining protein in your stomach stimulates the release of a substance called cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK is simultaneously a gut hormone and a neuropeptide that prevents your stomach from emptying too quickly. As a result, you feel fuller for longer periods, and your muscles get a steady stream of the protein they require.
As the amino acids from the bar circulate through your body via your blood, broken-down muscles were ruptured during your workout absorb amino acids as required. Each type of cell in the body chooses amino acids according to its needs and the genetic info encoded in your DNA. Most cells in your body, including your muscle cells, require a vast array of essential and nonessential amino acids to maintain daily functions, such as repair and growth. Essential amino acids are those that your body absolutely requires but cannot produce on its own and must obtain from your diet. To ensure that you get a good mixture of both, it’s a good idea to consume many varieties of protein. Fortunately, Big 100 contains several, so the bar fulfills the amino requirements for active individuals.
Ingredients of Big 100
Like all Met-Rx products, Big 100 bars contain Met-Rx’s proprietary blend of proteins. Called Metamyosin, the blend consists of:
Whey Protein: A milk protein that is a natural byproduct of cheese production. Whey protein is especially rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis in the body. The result is the building of new muscle, which is essentially new protein. Whey protein also contains the amino acid cysteine. Your body uses cysteine to produce another amino acid, glutathione, which serves as an antioxidant in every cell of your body. Consequently, Whey protein provides indirect protection against free radical damage. Big 100 contains two types of whey protein – concentrate and isolate. Whey protein concentrate is approximately 30 to 90 percent protein by weight, with carbs in the form of lactose. Whey Protein Isolate is roughly 90 percent protein by weight, with little to no carbs and fat.
Calcium Caseinate: A milk protein produced from casein.
Egg Albumen: A protein found in egg whites. Albumen makes up 50 percent of the total amount of protein in an egg.
Other ingredients include electrolytes like sodium and potassium to keep your neurons healthy and functioning properly while preventing your muscles from misfiring and cramping. The metamyosin blend contains a healthy assortment of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C provides deep immune support. This is key if you work out at all, since routine extreme activity suppresses your immune system and leaves you subject to contagions. Big 100 bars also have Vitamins A, C, E and B12 so you won’t want for antioxidants or energy. Minerals, such as zinc, copper, magnesium and iron, help your body maintain healthy red blood cell function and hormonal balance. For recovery purposes, each Met-Rx protein supplement has extra glutamine, a protein building block that helps to preserve muscle tissue and improves digestion.
Met-Rx bars are mobile meals and protein-dense snacks well suited to active lifestyles. Bars fit into your hands, a pants pocket, a briefcase or a corner of your gym bag. They are the closest thing to a complete muscle meal and allow you to get all the nutrients and protein you need while going about your business. The precision nutrition of Met-Rx bars makes them compatible with whole foods. In fact, on its website Met-Rx features snack and dessert recipes built around Big 100 bars, such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt.
The benefit of Metamyosin, the Met-Rx proprietary blend, is the different absorption speeds of the proteins it contains. Your body tends to absorb Whey Protein rather quickly, at roughly 8 grams to 10 grams per hour. Your body absorbs Casein and Albumen at about 6 grams per hour and 3 grams per hour, respectively. Staggered absorption rates mean that you get enough protein right away for recovery as well as a steady stream of protein that stabilizes your blood sugar over many hours. When your blood sugar is stable, you don’t crash or hit a wall, and you don’t feel sudden urges to cheat, which means you’re more likely to stick to your muscle diet.
While Met-Rx has no certificates, its parent company does. NBTY was the first of a handful of companies to receive the Current Good Manufacturing Practice certification from the United States Food and Drug Administration. The U.S. FDA CGMP regulations stipulate requirements for the facilities, methods and steps of the processing, manufacturing and packaging of a drug product. The certification indicates that NBTY’s products are safe, possess all the ingredients advertised on product labels and at the specified strengths or percentages. Similarly, NBTY also holds an accredited GMP program certificate through the Retail Certification Program from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), formerly known as Shuster Laboratories. The certification process promotes conformance to the U.S. FDA CGMP and is an annual certification program. However, the UL GMP program conveys its own certificate, which is as highly respected in the industry as the U.S. FDA CGMP.
I’m a bit of a supplement and protein bar freak, and this bar is by far my favorite protein bar ever. I’m all natural, but I bench and squat major poundage, so I need a beefy protein bar that has tons of protein and enough carbs. And I love that I can stack my creatine with this bar and combine with all my other supps, especially the ones that require a full stomach. I even down these bars to keep me sane when I’m going lean, and I even mix the bars with my low carb desserts on my cheat days. – Jake M., Little Rock
These bars are a great, quick meal for those bizarre times when my schedule is ridiculous. I work a full time and a part time. The full time is graveyard. I don’t get super hungry on the overnight, but that 2 a.m. mini meal hits the spot, and that’s when I usually have a bar. I buy them individually and keep a stash of various flavors on hand for early mornings, late nights or extra long shifts. Since I don’t have much time to cook, and I don’t want to blow money on fast food, I just grab a bar, a piece of fruit, and I wash it down with some seltzer or tap water. Luckily, the bars taste very close to a candy bar, so they’re enjoyable. – Anthony R., San Francisco
I needed to raise my protein intake to regain strength as part of my physical therapy. My therapist suggested shakes or these bars. I’ve never been much of a shake kind of girl, and I generally prefer to chew my snacks. I’m new to this whole protein bar game, but the reviews I read were very positive, so I ordered a bunch of these. I was shocked. They tasted like slightly powdery candy bars. I love that they have so many vitamins and minerals. I ate two or three each day during therapy, and I could literally feel my leg muscles getting stronger as the weeks went by. I’m sure the extra protein helped my muscles. These days I just eat them as a high protein snack. – Margarita G., Sheboygan
Awards & Media Coverage
In 2013 Met-Rx launched Met-Rx Cares, a charitable giving program that supports nutrition and healthy growth for U.S. families. For its inaugural giving campaign Met-Rx partnered with Feed The Children and The River Fund NY to serve economically depressed families in Queens, New York. The result was a donation of 25,000 pounds of Big 100 bars. The story appeared in a digital issue of PR Newswire.
Also in 2013, Bodybuilding.com awarded Met-Rx with the Protein Bar of the Year Award. In 2016, ESPN reported on the partnership between Met-Rx and top 2016 NFL draft pick Joey Bosa. The same article explained that Met-Rx protein bars continue to make up more than half of the company’s total annual sales.
When you order through Met-Rx, the company offers you a Satisfaction Guarantee. If you’re not entirely satisfied with the product, Met-Rx replaces the product or gives you a full refund. You have to return the product as soon as possible. Write the reason for your return on the back of your packing slip, and enclose the packing slip with your shipment. Met-Rx has two addresses where you can mail your returns as of 2016:
480 Terminal Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011
8620 Thornton Avenue
Newark, CA 94560
If you do not have a packing slip, enclose the reason for your return, your name, e-mail address, physical address and a phone number, so that Met-Rx can contact you if they have any questions.
Met-Rx ships via UPS, Fedex and Insured Parcel Post. The company also prefers that customers use one of these carriers to send in returns. Met-Rx bases its shipping and handling rates on purchase amounts. They range from roughly $6 for orders less than $15 and 11 percent of the order total for orders greater than $150. They offer standard, express and rush delivery. Met-Rx does not ship to P.O. boxes. Orders can take from one to eight business days. Met-Rx offers order tracking on its website.
Met-Rx extends help and support online when you register for an account on its website. You may also place orders or obtain customer service by phone: 855-972-0560. Customer service reps are available during business days between 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and on the weekends between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. The same phone number and help times apply to online store inquiries, or you may email Met-Rx: metrx at owrldpantry dot com. For questions that are not related directly to product, you can call 800-556-3879 as of 2016.
Safe & Secure Checkout
Met-Rx promises a security guarantee on all orders. WorldPantry.com servers process all Met-Rx orders using Secure Sockets Layer, the same standard that brokerage houses and banks use to conduct business over the Internet. Your transactions and all your personal information remain secure within 128-bit SSL encryption. If your bank holds you liable for more than $50 of fraudulent charges, WorldPantry.com will reimburse you for your losses up to $50 under the Fair Credit Billing Act.
Big 100 Pricing
Single bars and boxes of nine Big 100 bars retail for roughly $2.64 and $22.98, respectively. There may be sales tax on the bars, which are a food item, depending on the state you live in. Met-Rx does not offer any free trials, free samples or advanced access to its new products. Prices are subject to change according to availability, seasonal promotions, holiday sales and product re-branding.
- Big 100 bars are tasty and have 28 grams of protein per bar.
- Met-Rx proprietary blend Metamyosin contains slow-digest and fast-digest protein for instant recovery and extended protein bioavailability.
- Big 100 bars blend well with desserts for added variety on cheat days or refeed days.
- Each bar has about as many calories and fat as a small cheeseburger.
- The bars aren’t compatible with alternative diets, such as diabetic or gluten-free.
- A tiny portion of customers find the dense protein texture somewhat unpleasant.
Summary: Big 100 bars are convenient, high-protein bars that taste great and fit into any bodybuilding diet. Each bar provides a variety of proteins, 50 carbs and an array of vitamins and minerals. They mix well with whole food, can replace dessert or serve as a whole meal on their own. They are equally effective for pre-workout nutrition, recovering from grueling workouts or as an MRP bar. What stands out most about these bars is their flavor, which comes very close to cookie dough. Protein bars geared at serious lifters are typically disgusting. The taste of these bars makes it easy to keep your daily protein requirement at a rate that supports growth and strength, because you won’t mind noshing on these.
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