Protein Bars- Are they worth it?
Protein bars have become an extremely popular choice in all the Health Food Shops, Chemists and Supermarkets.There is a massive amount to choose from, it can be a mind field to know which one to choose from.Are they a glorified chocolate bar or do they provide real wholesome nutrition? I know I have been introducing them into my eating regime in the last 2 years. Do I like them.. yes. Do I depend on them …no?
They can become expensive if you are eating them every day as they normally cost around €4 per bar.
Here is my penny’s worth of protein bars.
The question that I would ask is.. are they been replaced for a meal?
Are they eat as a snack in between meals?
How many do you eat a day or per week?
Do you understand the ingredients that are in the bars?
So let’s get into the nitty-gritty of Protein Bars.
We need to get familiar with a look at the back of the bar – nutritional information. Firstly we need to look at the value per bar, not 100 grams. Nextly look at energy, fats, carbohydrates, protein and other additional ingredients.
Take a look at the total carbs. If you are on a weight loss mission, then eating a 350 kcal bar isn’t going to help you get to your goals let’s be realistic. In fact, it will increase your weight if anything, work it into your macro’s.
On the other side if you are trying to gain body mass, increase your body weight, then it would a great way to getting extra carbs into your daily eating regime.
Total number of Carbohydrates
So you need to keep an eye on this one as well. Always check the bar per bar and not per 100 grammes. I know it gets confusing but sticks with me. Again if your ultimate goals are weight loss, then make sure your total carb is under 30 grams.Additionally, a protein bar with a good amount of total carbs will massively support you increase your total body mass.
How much protein is there in the bar? Mostly there are 10-20 grams in each bar That doesn’t replace the protein in a chicken fillet or salmon cutlet.The closer the protein source is to nature the faster and easier it will be absorbed in the body. So it’s a good idea to compare that to a number of carbs. You need to have ration of 1;2 if your goal is to shed the fat, furthermore if your mission is to increase body mass you need to look at 2;1
Protein will help to keep you fuller for longer, keep nasty sugar cravings away, repair and rebuild muscle fibres.
This is an area that I’m quite fussy about.A lot of people don’t know what they are, let me explain.
They will usually, be about halfway or at the end of the ingredients list. The names will be aspartame, sucralose, saccharin or acesulfame potassium What will they do to your body? They increase your appetite, your waist and in a research have been shown to promote tumours in rats and are extremely neurotoxic.In some case they can make you feel bloated, cramps, bad gas and diarrhoea, this is a massive symptom that I would see in my clients. Stevia is a safe sweetener that I would be happy to find in the ingredients.
It’s an essential area to take into consideration. You do need healthy fat, but on the other hand, you need to avoid the nasty, man-made fats.Healthy fats will slow down the release of blood sugar to the body and help to support a speedy recovery from your training.Healthy fats are so important for a plethora of different area’s in the body….healthy skin, hair, nails, memory, concentration, energy, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and hormones.
There is a but, most commercial bars will have a glug of trans fat, the nasty one that will not do anyone one any favours on your health goals, read the labels.
- Meal replacement is something that I don’t agree with, but on the other hand I do get day where you just don’t get to eat, even with all the planning in the world Having a protein bar probably is the best option, this will reduce the massive dip in your blood sugar levels and quite possibly keep the crazy lady from appearing.
- Protein bars are a convenient way to eat a snack. I eat them myself, let’s be honest they are normally homemade or I chose a healthy option for the shelves.Let me tell you there is far worse that you could choose from.
- How many do you consume per week ..if it’s just 1 then that is ok? On the other hand, if you are eating them every day, you may want to take a look at the quality.
- Check your ingredients, start to get familiar with your ingredients, compare them to different brands, look up the company’s website, can you pronounce it ( if you can’t pronounce it would you eat it ) If you don’t know what it looks it up. Especially if it’s artificial sweeteners, they will make your weight loss or gain a lot harder to attain and achieve.
However, if they are homemade with extremely nutrient dense, wholesome food, now that’s a win-win situation. I always recommend real food first.
If you do need to eat protein bars, check the above guidelines and you will make the right choice.