Home Fitness Training The Risks and Rewards of Protein Bars

The Risks and Rewards of Protein Bars

19 min read

Are you all the time on the go? Between attending to work, the health club, and working no matter different errands you and your loved ones have happening, it could possibly definitely really feel prefer it! Staying fueled for no matter life-style you could have is absolutely essential, and should you’re speeding someplace earlier than or after your exercise, excited about protein issues, too. Protein bars would possibly look like the answer to your downside: they’re prepackaged, simple to seek out on the grocery retailer, often scrumptious and require zero meal prep! However, it’s greatest to eat bars sparingly, somewhat than as your main protein supply. While they’re nice in a pinch, it’s greatest to get your protein from complete food sources and snacks like hard-boiled eggs, nut butter, hummus, nuts and seeds or cheese.

Now, we completely perceive that some days, meal prep simply isn’t going to occur, a lot much less healthy snack prep! It’s higher to have a protein bar round than to go hungry, or to overlook that essential interval after your exercise when your body needs to re-fuel. That being mentioned, there are quite a bit of good protein bars on the market, however some rank greater than others. Let’s check out some of a very powerful info to think about when searching for a healthy protein bar that matches into your healthy eating plan.

Watch the Calories

Like all packaged meals, ensure that to learn the nutrition info. Some protein bars fall below the class of meal alternative bars, most of that are 400+ energy. That’s equal to eating one egg, two egg whites, three slices of gentle toast, strawberries, and a veggie sausage patty! If you’re eating a bar for a snack, it ought to be nearer to 200 energy. Those additional energy can contribute to weight acquire, particularly should you suppose you’re simply eating a pre or put up exercise snack!

Beware of Certain Ingredients

If you solely have time on the grocery retailer to learn one factor on the packaging past the bar’s taste, make it the substances listing! The first 5 predominant substances (of any nutrition label) make up the majority of the vitamins. If you see these listed as some of the highest substances, we’d suggest skipping that bar altogether.

  • Soy Protein Isolate & Soy Lecithin: “Seriously processed soy junk…” says Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, writer of “The Little Book of Thin.” There are higher protein sources to be discovered!
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup & Sucralose: “High-fructose corn syrup is generally a clue that the bar company doesn’t care about high-quality ingredients,” says Slayton. It’s a man-made sweetener that may additionally make the grams of sugar spike!
  • Sugar alcohols, which present up on labels as erythritol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, maltitol, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysate. You might imagine {that a} bar is healthy if it has fewer grams of sugar, however beware: generally these grams of sugar are hiding as sugar alcohols, that are synthetic sweeteners and tougher for the body to digest.
  • Inulin: “When consumed in large amounts, it can actually do the opposite of promote healthy digestion—it can give you an upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, bloating, or constipation,” says McKel Hill, MS, RD, creator of Nutrition Stripped.
  • Soluble Corn Fiber: May end in gastrointestinal results.

The greatest protein bars can have a brief ingredient listing composed primarily of high-quality, and ideally complete food, substances. If you’re gluten-free, the label in your bar is especially essential! Many bars include tons of unfamiliar substances, so we will’t all the time inform in the event that they’re gluten-free simply by studying the substances listing. Look for bars which are particularly labeled gluten-free by the producer should you comply with a gluten-free eating regimen.

Macronutrients Are Key

Macronutrients are these dietary elements of your eating regimen which are wanted in comparatively giant quantities. You want protein, carbohydrates, fats, and macrominerals. It’s an amazing concept usually to start moving into the behavior of studying nutrition labels so that you perceive what gaps are being crammed in your each day macronutrient consumption, particularly with reference to protein. The common person can solely take in 25-30 grams of protein in a single sitting (one recent study regarded into this); the remainder will go to waste. Here’s a number of issues to search for in protein bars.

Serving Size

Bars typically disguise their calorie content material by splitting the bar into two servings, and solely displaying the dietary worth for one serving – despite the fact that most individuals eat your entire bar in a single sitting. It’s a sneaky transfer that may sadly have adverse results in your body weight! Make certain the serving dimension aligns with the protein content material and energy you’re searching for, as half of your healthy eating regimen.


Ideally, your protein bar can have comparatively low carbohydrates, below 20 grams. Of course, there’s nothing flawed with carbohydrates, and your body wants them for gas, however protein bar ought to be centered on the protein content material, somewhat than the carbs. Some CLIF bars, for instance, include round 45 grams of carbs. That’s when you’ve discovered a meal alternative bar, somewhat than only a protein complement. Most Luna bars, however, include 20 grams of carbs or much less, making Luna bars a more sensible choice for a snack.

Another essential factor to remember with carbohydrates is the grams of sugar, which fall below carbs. If you start studying nutrition info, you’ll be shocked to seek out what number of grams of sugar are hiding in what’s imagined to be a healthy protein bar! The Luna bar we checked out above, for instance, contained 14 grams of sugar. For women, that’s over half the advisable grams of sugar it is best to eat in a day, in a single bar!

Just about each good protein bar goes to include some quantity of sugar, however you additionally don’t need your protein bar to show right into a sweet bar! How a lot sugar must you search for? For males, the advisable each day quantity of sugar is 36 grams or much less. For women, it’s 25 grams of sugar. You don’t desire a bar to eat up your total days’ allotment of sugar, so we recommend aiming for 10 grams of added sugar or much less. A bar with an excessive amount of sugar can spike your blood sugar, which may trigger your vitality ranges to crash later within the day when your blood sugar drops.


In addition to watching out for sugar, you’ll additionally wish to depend the grams of fiber in your bar. The grams of fiber to look out for depends upon your wants from the protein bar! A bar with extra grams of fiber will hold you satiated and feeling full longer. The extra grams of fiber in a bar, the longer it takes to digest! On the opposite hand, the less grams of fiber a bar has, the faster your body can digest it. So for folks searching for a meal alternative bar, extra fiber is a good suggestion, however for individuals who simply want a fast snack to quell starvation, much less fiber is the most suitable choice!


Protein is, of course, the important thing ingredient in a protein bar, however how a lot protein do you actually need? The protein content material in protein bars can range anyplace between 10 grams to 30 grams, in excessive protein bars. Those excessive protein bars are greatest for folks following excessive protein diets to construct muscle. For most individuals not following excessive protein diets, anyplace between 10 and 20 grams is okay. The Dietary Reference Intake for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. When selecting a protein bar, think about how a lot protein you eat on an everyday day. If it’s low, intention for nearer to 20 grams of protein in a protein complement. If you’re already getting sufficient protein in your eating regimen, round 10 grams or extra is an efficient selection. Again, should you’re following a excessive protein eating regimen to actively construct muscle mass, it’s possible you’ll be working with totally different numbers.

You’ll additionally wish to take into consideration the kind of protein you’re eating in your bar. If you select animal-based protein, like whey, you’re getting all of your essential amino acids. Plant-based proteins present some amino acids, however not all, so that you would possibly wish to search for a plant protein mix should you’re involved about getting a whole protein.


Ideally, your protein bar can have lower than 10 grams of fats. Fat provides pointless energy, and slows down digestion, which isn’t useful should you’re actually hungry! If you possibly can, we suggest searching for monounsaturated fats as an alternative of saturated fats, because it’s higher in your ldl cholesterol.

Don’t Skip Meals

Protein bars are fast, handy, and comparatively well-priced in comparison with another packaged choices you could have out there in a pinch. But there are loads of healthy selfmade recipe alternate options like these protein bites on the market that can enable you hold higher management of the substances. In truth, at Build-a-Bar you possibly can design your individual.

When chosen accurately, having a pair bars that you simply get pleasure from available is a superb guard in opposition to these instances once you’re determined for a snack or with out a meal. If given the selection between a salad and a protein bar, the salad probably affords larger advantages, notably nutritional vitamins, fiber and minerals. If your choices are between the drive-thru and a protein bar, nevertheless, the bar will hopefully show simply as satisfying with fewer energy. We took a have a look at some of the most popular protein bars on the market to assessment that are the perfect!

Lastly, if a lift of protein is required in your eating regimen, think about food choices naturally excessive in protein equivalent to fish, turkey, and eggs. Do your self a favor and plan the perfect you possibly can forward of time; or seize bar, then get to a well-balanced meal that’s full of nutritional vitamins, minerals and complete meals later!

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