Have you ever found yourself on the go but you know you need to hit your macronutrient budgets? Perhaps you’re going into a workout and it’s been a few hours since you ate your last meal. Whole foods are the best source of protein and carbohydrates for our bodies, however, you can get a good source of all three macronutrients packaged in the right protein bar.
You’re at the grocery store venturing out to find new bars as snacks for the days you are on the go or need that extra boost before or after a workout. You come to find that there is an overwhelming amount of bars in the aisle at the grocery store and you just don’t even know where to begin.
Here are some tips on how to choose the best bar:
Bars for Snacks vs Bars for Workouts
When you are looking to have a protein bar as a snack, look for bars with 10-15 grams of protein stick to around 200-250 calories per bar. This will help keep you full and can complement a piece of fruit. If you are using a bar as pre or post workout fuel, look for bars with 15-25 grams of protein to promote energy and recovery. Across the board, always look for bars with 6 grams or less of sugar.
What’s in my bar?
When reading an ingredient label on the bar, you want to look for easy-to-read ingredients and not ingredients with very long names that are hard to pronounce. The fewer ingredients on a label the better your choice of bar.
Look Out for Your Stomach
While finding a high amount of fiber in one bar can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. Fiber helps to slow digestion and helps you feel satisfied longer. However, it can cause your stomach to be upset if you are not used to having a lot of fiber at one time. In addition, sugar alcohol content is something you want to look for in a bar. Sugar alcohols are typically zero calorie sweeteners put into bars. This is typically done to reduce the amount of sugar content and overall carbohydrate amount in a bar without reducing the sweet taste. Sugar alcohols, especially if you’re not used to them, can also cause your stomach to be upset and can lead to bloating and gas as well.