Written by Kaylee Franklin
I am big on caffeine. I have a cup of coffee or soda almost every day as my “special” beverage and am always on the hunt for new things to help increase productivity or give me some additional protein. And as we’ve established here on the blog, I am a big snacker. All of this became even better for me when I was introduced to IQBAR, a brain-body nutrition startup known for their keto, vegan, plant protein bars packed with 12 grams of protein and six brain nutrients. We’ll get into the nitty gritty here shortly, but first I want to give a background on this super cool CPG brand.
Founded by Will Nitze, IQBAR was created to help support cognitive energy, performance, and health. Will was on the hunt for something for himself when he realized there wasn’t anything on the market that he wanted, and like many other founders, he decided to create it himself. With a background in Neuroscience and psychology, Will got super invested in learning about the impacts of food on our brains, which inspired him to start IQBAR.
Lee sat down with Will in Episode 129: Challenges, Chaos, and CPG to chat all about the creation of IQBAR, CPG hyper-growth and valuations, how he hacked his way into launching a successful Kickstarter campaign, and the lifestyle implications of being an entrepreneur. Plus he shares his advice on hiring and firing, how to show compassion in tough times, and so much more!
Now that we know the background of the brand, let’s get into the depth of the brand. As mentioned, IQBAR’s come packed with six key brain nutrients in each bar. The six key ingredients are shown to support sustained cognitive energy, performance, and health.
1. Omega-3s: Essential fatty acids that the body cannot create, but must consume.
2. MCTs: Fats with a unique molecular composition that delivers sustained mental energy.
3. Lion's Mane: A powerful adaptogen used throughout Asia for millennia for its brain-boosting properties.
4. Flavonoids: A special group of polyphenols found in colorful vegetables and fruit.
5. Vitamin E: An antioxidant found in nuts, seeds, certain grains, and leafy vegetables.
6. Choline: An essential nutrient present in select vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
You can learn more about these six key ingredients HERE.
Not only are there six key brain nutrients in each bar, but there are also three key body nutrients in each bar, working to support strength, stamina, and a healthy gut/metabolism.
1. Plant Protein: 25% of each bar is pure plant-based protein for body health.
2. Prebiotic Fiber: Each IQBAR contains 7-10g of fiber to support the gut microbiome.
3. Healthy Fats: Clean, energizing mono- and polyunsaturated fats + MCTs.
In addition to having the eight key ingredients, each bar is also non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. The perfect quick breakfast, the mid-day slump, a healthy snack, and great for pre and post-workout!
IQBARs come in seven different flavors: Chocolate Sea Salt, Peanut Butter Chip, Almond Butter Chip, Lemon Blueberry, Banana Nut, Wild Blueberry, and Matcha Chai. We’ll get into what my personal favorites were, but I definitely recommend trying all of them so you can find your own favorite! They have a lot of different box combos to choose from but I highly recommend The Ultimate Sampler. It comes with one of each bar, and their IQMIX, don’t worry…we’ll get to that next! This box is $22.49 for a one-time purchase, or if you think you’ll fall in love with the product as I did, you can subscribe and save 15% on every order!
If you don’t want to try all the flavors, you can head to their website and choose a box combo! From the Chocolate Lovers boxes to Fruit Lovers, there’s something for everyone.
Not only do they offer the bars, but they also launched IQMIX, formulated around four nutrients shown to improve hydration, cognitive performance, and mood. Just throw a packet into some water, shake it up and you’re getting all the benefits! Each mix contains:
1. 750mg Magtein® (Mg L-Threonate): A clinically studied form of magnesium for cognition + mood.
2. 250mg Lion’s Mane (8X-Concentr.): A super-concentrated form of Lion’s Mane for the brain.
3. 500mg Sodium (Electrolyte): The most important electrolyte - critical for optimizing fluid levels.
4. 380mg Potassium (Electrolyte): A key electrolyte that supports muscle function and blood pressure.
The Hydration mixes come in four different flavors: Lemon Lime, Blood Orange, Peach Mango, and Blueberry Pomegranate. If you don’t get the Ultimate Sampler but want to try out the mixes, I would suggest the 8-Stick Sampler, for just $9.99. They also have different pack options for the mixes so you can’t go wrong with any choice!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, I have to tell you about my favorite IQBAR! I of course got The Ultimate Sampler so I could try all the products, and I was the most excited to try the bars. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed all of them. The texture is what you would expect of a protein bar but it was also a lot better than the ones I’ve had previously. I usually can’t get past the texture in some bars but I found myself wanting to eat this because the flavors were on point.
Now it should come little to no surprise that my favorite bar was a tie between the Chocolate Sea Salt and Peanut butter Chip. I feel like you can never go wrong with these flavors and they got them perfect! When I go to order again I will definitely be ordering the Chocolate Lovers Box!
Of course, those two were my favorite flavors but you really can’t go wrong with any of them! I loved having the fruit flavors in the morning for breakfast and that matcha was great for the mid-day slump. If you get to try them, let us know what your favorite was! We hope you enjoy.
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Welcome to the second edition of Stairway to CEO's Holiday Gift Guide! This year we have an even better list than we did our first go around last year, as we have added 52 brands to our guest roster. We’ve had an incredible year filled with some of the best interviews from top Founders and CEOs of today’s leading direct-to-consumer brands. We have a lot of amazing gift ideas for you and we’ll be sure to cover everyone you’re shopping for, so let’s get started!
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