Protein bars are probably the easiest and fastest way to ensure the necessary dose of food when we do not have much time. They are nutritious food that contains a high amount of protein compared to carbohydrates or fats. These bars are a source of energy at our disposal at any time, being very easy to consume.
Why do you need protein?
Proteins are vital for many functions of the body, but it can not produce them, they must be introduced through the diet. When proteins are digested, they are reduced to amino acids. These are basically the bricks that makeup proteins and the body uses them to maintain the integrity and function of muscles and organs. Proteins are also vital for the synthesis of blood, connective tissue, antibodies, enzymes, and even hair.
The best sources of protein are meat, eggs, fish, and dairy products. Of course, there are also vegetable sources of protein: legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. When eating protein-rich foods, it is good to choose nutritionally rich foods that do not contain saturated fat or refined carbohydrates.
Since proteins are necessary for muscle development, active people, athletes, or those who work physically, should consume a slightly larger amount. So are bodybuilders or those who practice various forms of fitness to support muscle development. At the same time, people who want to lose weight should pay attention to protein intake because they can help the weight loss process.
What are the characteristics of a good protein bar?
It’s very simple: you have to read what is written on the label. Yes, you need to read the details written in lower case, not just the marketing text. Take the stick, turn it over and read the label – don’t be fooled. Maybe he writes in capital letters that he has 26 grams of protein, but maybe he also has a high sugar content, which changes the game.
First of all, it must contain a lot of protein. In fact, you will find more protein in the weakest protein product, if we compare it with the simple bar bought in the store. The type, quality, and source of protein are also important factors. It can be soy protein but also whey protein. What do you think is more qualitative? Of course, the whey isolate.
The biggest mistake is not checking how many grams of sugar the product contains. I did not write carbohydrates, given that there are also good, complex carbohydrates, which are useful in certain situations – but about that later.
The amount of fat in the bar must also be checked. Avoid bars high in saturated fat.
The quality of the bar also depends on when you want to consume it. For example, you can use a stick with high sugar content, or other fast-absorbing carbohydrates immediately after training, because simple carbohydrates will recharge glycogen stores in the muscles. If you want to eat a bar before bed (usually this is the time when we want something sweet) then the post-workout bar is not a good choice. Instead of muscle, you will gain body fat. Therefore, before bed, you should choose a bar with almost 0% sugar.
The dietary fiber content of a bar must also be taken into account. Fiber has many benefits: they are extremely healthy because they help metabolism and decrease appetite.
The idea is to always read the label. Don’t buy the bar before that. Once you know how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat it contains, follow the list of ingredients. You may not find all the ingredients, but at least you will find the basic ingredients.
When is it good to eat protein bars? Before or after training?
If you do sports, the best time to consume protein bars can be both before (2 hours, so as not to hinder digestion) and after training. Consumed before training, a protein bar can help support the effort. Consumed after training, it can contribute to muscle recovery and development. However, protein bars can be consumed at any time of the day, as a healthy snack or as a snack when you want to lose weight.