Protein Bars: Bodybuilding Supplements
Many types of sports bars that provide varying amounts of macronutrients and micronutrients are commercially available today. They’re called sports bars, protein bars, meal-replacement bars, energy bars, and diet bars. You can find them in drug stores, health-food stores, supermarkets, general-merchandise stores, and even sporting-goods stores. They’re supposed to give you energy, build muscle, speed recovery from an intense workout, and help you lose weight. Some sports bars today are laden with other nutrients, such as glutamine, L-carnitine, ginseng, caffeine, and other vitamins and minerals.
A major nutritional sin that keeps many from achieving their physique goals, whether those goals involve muscle gain, fat loss, or both, is missing meals. You absolutely must provide a steady stream of nutrients, particularly protein, to your body if you want to recover and grow from workouts, or to keep the metabolism running at an optimal rate to burn bodyfat.
Three Basic Categories of Sports Bars
High-protein bars are for people who are carefully watching their intake of carbs. High protein bars usually contain from fifteen to thirty grams of protein, often in the form of soy protein, whey protein, or egg protein. The higher the protein content, the dryer the texture of the bar, which can make them unappetizing, depending on your palate.
High-Carbohydrate Bars (Energy Bars)
The high carbohydrate bars are primarily marketed to endurance athletes who rapidly burn up carb calories. High carb bars may contain from thirty to fifty grams of carbs.
Finally, there are other bars that are no better than candy bars. If you read their labels, you’ll see that one of first ingredients is some form of sugar—usually fructose. The problem is, although sugar provides a quick energy burst, the sudden spike in blood sugar results in an equally sharp drop, which will leave you tired and hungry. So, if you’re looking for sustained energy, these bars are not going to do the job.
When to Eat Protein Bars
Sometimes you cannot prepare all 5-6 meals to bring with you for the day so you may need to grab something fast that you know contains the right amounts of nutrients you need. You should never miss a meal (because it will lead to a drop in your metabolism and breakdown of muscle tissue) so in an emergency you should always carry a protein bar with you. This is where protein bars and shakes come in handy.
Protein bars are easy to carry in a workout bag, backpack, or purse but are among the most expensive protein supplement choices, gram for gram. They need to be your back up plan, not your “everyday” plan. Real food is always a healthier choice. Instead, have yogurt, nuts, fruit and other real food snacks and save your bars for “in an emergency only.” If you eat well—by that, we mean if you stick to high-quality protein, vegetables, fruits, and unprocessed carbohydrates—you don’t need sports bars.
How to Choose the Best Protein Bar?
Not all protein bars are made the same way and while some will help you reach your muscle building and fat loss goals, an equal number will detour you down the other pathway.
6 Factors to Consider when Choosing a Protein Bar
1. Total calorie count
2. Total number of carbohydrates
3. Presence of sugar
4. Ingredient panel listings
5. Dietary fat content
6. Carbs to protein ratio
Some protein bars have more or less sugar than others, as well as total caloric content. Some of them have a lot of protein and fiber and are low in fat and sugar. You should choose the type that suits your needs. The nutritional value of a protein bar can be determined by its nutritional label. Be very careful because most of them are nothing more than a regular candy bar with protein in it.
Proteins Shakes Vs Protein Bars
Most protein shakes are better quality than the protein bars. Protein bars are often higher in fat than protein-containing beverages are. That feature is an advantage if the athlete needs the additional calories or needs to satisfy her or his hunger for several hours.
If you’re a hard-gainer who needs plenty of calories and carbs, that type of bar would be ideal. The additional calories can be a disadvantage for athletes who are trying to lose or stabilize weight, so a protein-containing food with fewer calories, such as skim milk, may be a better choice.
Homemade Protein Bar – Video Guide
This video shows how to make your own protein bars at home in great detail.
Summing Up (Conclusion)
If you do use sports bars, read the labels! Make sure that the bar contains the right mix of protein and carbs for you, and that it is low in sugar. High-protein bars are a good source of high-quality protein and relatively low fat. High-carb bars are good for endurance athletes. These bars often contain dozens of ingredients.