Protein Powder Potato Chips? ProTings, Reviewed

STACK staffers try ProTings to see if they are a tasty and guilt-free alternative to potato chips.

We've all choked down some less-than-appetizing bars and shakes simply because our desire for muscle-building protein overrode our concern for our taste buds. But imagine a protein-based snack that's actually fun to eat?

That's the idea behind ProTings, a self-described "delightful baked crisp" that delivers 15 grams of protein per serving. A serving is 1o ounces, the same serving size you find on bags of regular potato chips. But instead of skyrocketing saturated fat totals and loading staggering amounts of sodium, ProTings deliver the aforementioned protein along with 28 percent of your daily iron requirement, about 200mg of potassium (depending on variety), and some vitamin A, all in just 120 calories, 4 grams of fat and no cholesterol. Plus, ProTings are vegan, gluten-free, and made with non-GMO ingredients, so there are other reasons to feel good about eating them.

But can you really get jacked by eating chips? You cannot if they taste like cardboard and are impossible to eat. We tried three flavors of ProTings—Sea Salt, Chili Lime and Tangy Southern BBQ—to see if you'd want to consider munching on these chips ahead of your next workout.

Pita Chip or Pencil Shavings?

The first thing you notice when you open a bag of ProTings is their look. They don't resemble potato chips, more closely mimicking thin pita chips. Every chip has black seeds on it. Those are flax seeds, a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which  help your body with enzyme regulation and muscle repair.

When STACK's editors first bit into the chips, their initial reactions ranged from "awesome!" to "bland" and back to "totally acceptable." Overall consensus: the chips taste pretty good. Many compared the flavor to the "baked" versions of potato chips, which became popular in the late 90s and are still available today. The Tangy Southern BBQ and Chili Lime flavors were the clear favorites, with Sea Salt being derided as bland and flavorless.

The texture of the chips, however, leaves something to be desired. ProTings give you that satisfying potato chip "crunch" on the first bite, but the texture becomes a little more dusty as you chew. Several STACK staffers said they got dry mouth while munching the chips, especially the Sea Salt variety. One editor compared the texture to pencil shavings. But most felt that while though its a bit granulated at times, the texture isn't a deal-breaker. A nearby glass of water, or a bowl of salsa or hummus, would make them more palatable.

The Verdict

The majority of our team felt they could see themselves eating ProTings on a regular basis. One editor said, "I could see these being a guilt-free snack I munch on during the day," while an intern offered, "I'd probably eat them for a snack when I was in a heavy training phase." A couple of folks said they'd consider replacing their usual pre- or post-workout shake with ProTings, saying, "They're less trouble to make than a shake, and they're tastier."

ProTings are worth a try if you're looking for a new way to consume protein. The Chili Lime and Tangy Southern BBQ flavors are more tasty, they also contain more ingredients than the six-ingredient "Sea Salt" variety. One of those extra ingredients, maltodextrin, is a modified cornstarch that has recently been linked to an increased likelihood of Crohn's disease. Presumably it would take a far greater quantity than what is present in these chips to justify heightened concern with that issue. So if taste is your first priority and maltodextrin doesn't worry you, try the Chili Lime or BBQ. If you're an earthy type looking for a low ingredient count, Sea Salt fits the bill.

Check out more delicious ways to add protein to your diet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock