Mainstay Energy Bars Product Review

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By:  Clay

Good day fellow preppers. Bernie has been so gracious to allow me to post reviews on products and ideas to help fellow apartment preppers. I myself live in a small apartment in a very populated urban environment and have been prepping for some time. I have been financially prepping longer than with supplies, but all the same, I have been researching and continuously revising several plans for different scenarios. I have learned through my hunting, fishing and outdoor experience, that I am into quality rather than quantity in most cases. Thus, I have been willing to spend a little bit more on certain things I feel are worth the money.

This is my first written review of any product. I am not a seasoned journalist, just a person who is trying to figure out how to best handle situations that may arise and be over-prepared. My focus is primarily on prepping for an economic type of disaster rather than a hurricane or major tropical storm like Houston had with Tropical Storm Allison and Hurricane Ike, although methods I use can cross over for any scenario. When there is a hurricane coming to Houston, I usually take a “Hurrication” to Austin or Dallas to visit friends. I usually don’t hang around.

All of that being said, having a small apartment, I do not have much room to store my supplies. Basically, I have a standard size closet and therefore I must be cognizant of what I buy and the amount as well. I have a “GOOD” bag (get out of dodge) that I can grab and go if something were to happen unexpectedly but I know based on research that one will have time to either load a vehicle and move locations, or prep your apartment for an impending event. Prepare now that way as to miss all the crowds at the stores who will be dashing to get what supplies they can and not necessarily what they need. Rotate your food and water as necessary. Pay attention to shelf life and storage requirements.

One of the things I have in my GOOD bag as well as in plastic tubs with the bulk of my food and water, is a group of energy bars called Mainstay Energy Bars. You can buy them in single bars or in bulk. There are several different ways to purchase these bars, mostly from the internet.

During a time of heavy stress, whether it be emotional, mental or physical, you need calories, fat, vitamins and carbohydrates because your body is working overtime to combat stress. These bars come in 3 different sizes and caloric amounts. I have chosen the 1200 calorie bars since I require a large number of calories due to my hyperthyroidism. These 1200 calorie bars come in a thick tough foil type package with 3 sections. They are about 8” long, 2” thick and 3” wide. They pack easily in any backpack or box. With regards to taste, the bars are not as good as a Snickers or Butterfinger, but in times of need, they are a welcome substitute and will do the trick to satisfy hunger and give you the nutrients you need to press on until you can settle with enough time to eat a meal. They taste somewhat like a rather bland sugar cookie. You won’t need to eat the entire bar, but only a section to carry you over. You can share the rest of the bar or keep it for later.

As there is with anything, there are pros and cons. Listed below are what I feel are pros and cons with these bars.


  • the bars are small and packable
  • their content is important for certain stresses on your body
  • they do not taste bad
  • low in sodium
  • do not make you thirsty like other bars
  • 4-5 year shelf life and are quickly consumed


  • pricey
  • flaky or chalky
  • hard
  • high saturated fat content
  • high in sugar

I would not consider this a meal but only a snack to give you energy to help fuel your body for a a few hours.  After eating a third of the bar (1 serving), I was not thirsty which is good because your body will not crave water, which you are trying to conserve during a crisis. Without water you are in big trouble. One reason you do not get thirsty is because the bar is not overloaded with protein or sodium. Protein needs water to be efficiently digested and absorbed by the body, so your body will crave water after you eat a lot of protein. I have 20 of these bars to supplement my food stock because of their pack-ability and nutritional value.

Nutritional Value:

Per serving and based on a 2,000 calorie diet:

Calories 40
Calories from Fat 210
Total Fat 23 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 23 mg
Total Carbs 46 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 14 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 50%
Vitamin C 60%
Calcium 50%
Iron 10%
Thiamin 15%
Riboflavin 25%
Niacin 30%
Vitamin D 50%
Vitamin E 25%
Vitamin B-6 90%
Folic Acid 35%
Vitamin B-12 20%
Phosphorous 40%
Magnesium 30%
Pantothenic Acid 100%

In conclusion, opinions vary and these bars might not be palatable or affordable for everyone, but they can sustain you during times of crisis.  I have several plastic tubs in my closet with an equal amount of rations, propane, MREs, water packets and medical supplies so that if I only have time to grab 1 tub, it will get me through 3-6 weeks of basic survival along with my GOOD bag. I’m not one to tell people about prepping for emergencies, since most people will wait until the last moment and will not have the necessary items needed to sustain them for very long. Also, in an extreme case, if looters get word you have supplies, they will pay you a visit. People who know me, know that I am a “go to” person in a survival type of situation because of my outdoor experience.  If you can gather a small group of people who you know to be trustworthy and responsible, you can pool your resources together.  This way, you eliminate time and space issues as well gain mental and physical support from the group.

Mainstay energy bars


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  1. Great article! We have those in our company earthquake/emergency kits and your right, not the best tasting but it beats nothing at all and will keep you alive and going. We just recycled (gave them to the homeless) and replaced them because the expiration date was coming up. I took a few home for friends to try. We also purchased emergency water (for work) in individual pouched and gallon size pouch in a case. I live and work in earthquake central.

    Something I keep in my BOB is energy and protein bars. They are great for on the go or taking a quick break snack. Since most containers are foil the wrapper could be used for signaling on a hiking trip and most taste pretty good with better options. We added the energy bars to our packs and threw a few in our pockets for patrols or if we were pinned down and needed a fast snack where an MRE wasn’t right for the moment. Shelf life varies from three months to a year on average so I just eat them or through them in the packed lunch when I replace them

    1. Hey Jarhead 03, good to know you have tried them as well. I am going to order some myself, along with additional energy and protein bars. Thanks!

  2. I recently spoke with a neighbor who is just getting started in her prepping adventure. She asked me about packets of meals – like MREs – and whether she should make the investment from the get go. My advice to her was to start with a 72 hour (3 day) kit with basic gear, some water, and foods that her family currently eats.

    She also asked about some pricey bars she read about on the internet. My advice to her – and to everyone else – is to start with something you are familiar with (i.e. Kashi bars or Luna bars) that can be purchased at the local grocery. When you are starting with nothing, take the easy way out so you can put something together quickly. You can always branch out and expand later.

    That is my two cents for what it is worth – two cents 🙂


    1. Good point. For someone who is starting out, even regular granola bars like honey n oat bars would be better than nothing. Kashi and Luna bars the healthier versions are easily obtained as well. Glad your neighbor is getting interested in preparedness. I hope mine come around.

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