In the world of (non-alcoholic) beverages, coffee is king. According to the National Coffee Association, yes that's a real organization, coffee is the most popular drink in the country. Myself included, we can't seem to get enough of the energy-packed bean, whether brewed at home or nabbed from our favorite coffee shop.
Coffee, while popular, does come with a few negatives on occasion. Jitters. Stomach rumblings. The ever-unpopular "coffee breath." Sometimes, reaching for our habitual morning mug can leave us questioning whether the boost is worth the headaches.
Verb, an all-natural, plant-based bar, could be the answer to coffee's shortcomings. According to the brand, one Verb snack bar can provide as much caffeine as an espresso, but without the jitters or sugar crash. A plant-based, vegan energy bar that could help us jailbreak from our java? We had to see what's up.
To see if this health-oriented energy alternative could provide the kick it claims, we tested a handful of the available flavors Verb has to offer. Over a few weeks, we swapped our normal cups of coffee for the sweet snacks, typically during our morning routine and in the early afternoon when we felt the day grinding. Here's what we found.
Verb Energy Bar Health Facts
According to the brand, each Verb bar contains 90 calories, with the main ingredients being gluten-free oats, nut butter, brown rice, and other organic flavorings, regardless of flavor. Each bar also delivers roughly 3.5–4.5 grams of fat, little or no sodium, 2 grams of protein, 12–13 grams of carbohydrates, 5–6 grams of sugar, and a mix of vitamins like iron, calcium and others.
Verb caffeinated snack bars are also gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, although the bars are manufactured in a facility that processes tree nuts, peanuts, soy, milk and eggs. While no issue for your tester, it's worth mentioning, especially if your diet is more restrictive.
What's Good About Verb Energy Bars
A flavorful treat that's easy to consume
What good is a coffee alternative if it doesn't taste good, right? Upon first biting into the small caffeinated creation, we were hit with a welcomed sweetness that was the perfect morning treat.
Our go-to flavorings for the morning were Chocolate Chip Banana Bread and Caramel Macchiato, but we got more adventurous with the lineup in the afternoons, sampling the likes of Vanilla Latte, Cookie Butter, S'mores, Key Lime Pie and Cinnamon Roll. There's a lot to choose from, but from our tests, there were no bad tastes in the bunch.
If the above flavors don't call out to you, Verb has even more flavors online, which can be great for taming particular taste buds. Not sold on just one flavor? Verb also offers curated bundles of some of their most popular tastes, as well as a Best Sellers Variety Pack.
Verb energy bars provide a balanced, sustainable jolt of energy
To be honest, we were slightly skeptical at first of the caffeine claims of the all-natural, albeit flavorful, bars. We've become accustomed to our normal cup of coffee in the morning, and finding alternatives had been unsuccessful in the past.
To our surprise, however, after consuming one Verb energy bar, we felt alert, cognitive and ready to take on the day in the same way we would after downing a cup of joe. The snacks were small enough that they didn't disrupt our stomach, and they were more than capable of fueling our day. No big drop-off. No sugar crash. Just a clean burn that lasted hours.
What's Not Ideal About Verb Energy Bars
The bars can have a greasy exterior
While we found every flavor in the Verb lineup to be mouth-watering, we would recommend eating them from the single-serve packaging. Because of the presence of nut butter in the profile, the exterior has a slippery coating, which could be off-putting to some.
We realized this trait upon initial taste tests, which called for a quick hand wash. To combat this, we simply held the bar with the packaging for a cleaner eating experience. While it's not the harshest critique, it's something to consider, especially if you're traveling or have no option to conveniently rinse up post-snacking.
90 calories is a great snack, but not a meal
Measuring only three inches in length, the Verb energy bars were easy to pop in the mouth, which was a nice addition to our on-the-go mornings. With that said, however, we weren't filled up as much as we'd prefer when consuming a bar of this nature. Plus, if you are someone that enjoys breakfast or pairing your coffee with a meal, there's some juggling to do with which flavor you choose.
If Verb were to pack in a few more calories, I think this could be a great morning choice or effective meal replacement. Until then, however, plan to use these snacks as just that: a snack.
Verb Energy Bars: The Verdict
Despite the meager 90-calorie makeup and the greasy nut butter exterior, we were thoroughly pleased with the energy boost provided by these snacks. The flavors are oh-so-good, and we can definitely see the benefits and convenience of choosing a Verb bar over brewing a pot of coffee.
Will it completely replace our coffee addiction? Probably not, but at less than $2 per bar, these tasty snacks can definitely share some counter space with our favorite breakfast brew.