Protein bars have come a long way.
I remember when you couldn't even find ONE at a convenient store. (showing my age now)
But nowadays, there are tons of options.
Some grocery stores have whole aisles dedicated to protein bars and all their varieties.
For some of us this is exciting.
And for some people this is confusing!
Since a lot of people want to know if they should eat protein bars and if so, which ones are best, I decided to share my thoughts.
Why Do You Need a Protein Bar?
I believe you should get the majority of your nutrition from real food.
But there are times when you just can't get a good meal.
Protein bars should NOT be your only source of protein.
But they can do the trick in a pinch.
Read the Labels
You should read labels. Make it a habit. ESPECIALLY for protein bars and protein powders.
A lot of bars are just glorified candy bars. Not what you need.
What to look for on the label:
-Protein 8+ Grams
-Sugar- Less than 15 grams
-Fiber- 2+ grams
Besides the numbers above, you want to see minimal ingredients. Less is better here.
If there are a bunch of ingredients you can't pronounce and don't know what they are, then STAY AWAY!
Experiment- Try Different Bars
You may not like the same bars as I do. The best way to find out is to just try different ones. Look for a decent nutrition label with minimal ingredients and then try different brands/flavors.
My body doesn't like whey protein bars so I stay away from those. You will only know by trying them and listen to how your body feels after eating them.
My Favorite Protein Bars
This is usually what people want to know but I don't like to force my personal tastes on anyone. Try different ones and see how you feel, how they taste and if they do what you need them to do. (hold you over until you get a real meal)
RX Bars- These are my go-to when I'm on the road. Made from only a few ingredients, with a good amount of protein (12 grams), fiber (6 grams) and they taste good. There are about 6-7 different flavors.
Health Warrior- I really like the pumpkin seed bars- dark chocolate flavor. These have 8 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, only 6 grams of sugar which comes from natural ingredients.
Vega Protein Bars- These taste good, have a good amount of protein and fiber but they have more ingredients than the other two.
Great option for guys who don't tolerate dairy well.
How To Choose the Right Protein Bar
It can be overwhelming to pick out a protein bar. There are so many options now. No matter what your goal, I suggest you stick to my outline above.
Look for minimal ingredients, higher fiber is better, lower sugar is better (less than 15 grams) and see how they make you feel.
If you eat a bar and end up gassy, bloated, or you get a sugar high/low then you know that bar is not for you.
Remember, whole foods are most important.
Bars should only be used as a supplement if you can't get a real meal. They can also be used as a treat once in awhile. (post-workout is a good time for this)
I hope this helps you pick out the right bar for your needs and your body. If you want more tips on boosting your energy with nutrition/fitness sign up for my FREE cheatsheet with 12 tips to give you a jolt of energy without caffeine or sugar.