Protein bars – the perfect on-the-go snack
Protein bars are quick and convenient snacks and a source of protein and fibre. They make great on the go breakfasts, support muscle building or can help beat those sweet cravings, but how you fit them into your diet plan depends on your personal goals.
Well first what is protein? It’s an essential macronutrient and your body’s building blocks. Your hair, skin, organs and muscles are built from protein. Protein is in various food sources such as eggs, fish, nuts, lentils and meats. Protein supplements have grown in popularity and protein bars are a great way to get the amount of protein you need to support your health goals.
Keeping a protein bar in your bag can help kick out those chocolate cravings and will also ensure you get a protein boost when you need it.
What exactly are protein bars?
Protein bars are dietary and lifestyle meal-replacements or snacks depending how you want to use them. They are made using different protein sources such as whey isolate, milk protein, soya and rice protein as a main ingredient.
They are brilliant alternatives to unhealthy chocolate bars and come in various different flavours some covered in a layer of chocolate, made as flapjacks or have added cookie pieces to give a great tasting snack.
Manufactures have made various indulgent flavoured protein bars including birthday cake, white and milk chocolate and peanut butter to name a few!
With a well-rounded, calorie controlled diet and exercise regime, protein bars can help reduce weight and build muscle.
How are protein bars different than candy bars?
Conventional chocolate bars have very little nutritional value. They contain high amounts of saturated fat and made with ingredients like sugar, glucose syrup, chocolate solids and vegetable fat.
The high sugar content in chocolate bars and sweets can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes; this can lead to weight gain as your body will convert the unused extra blood sugar into fat.
The calorie amounts in the average chocolate and protein bars are roughly the same – 200 calories. However, the amount of saturated fat in a protein bar is a lot less and also the carbohydrates from sugars.
Protein bars have a good amount of nutrients such as calcium (depending on the protein source), dietary fibre and of course protein!
Why you should turn to protein bars
They can complement your workout. Since they are high in protein and fibre, protein bars provide energy required for a vigourous workout routine. The amino acids found in protein help in the regeneration of muscle tissue, making it an ideal snack before and after a workout.
Protein bars are much more convenient than other protein supplements like protein powders. Careful measuring and mixing is necessary for protein powders, but proteins bars can be consumed right after you peel its packing.
Protein bars are a good meal replacement. Since these are high-protein and high-fibre bars, they make you feel fuller for longer. This makes a protein bar a beneficial meal replacement when used as part of a diet plan and healthy, balanced diet.
Things to keep in mind before turning to protein bar
Check for ingredients – not all protein bars are made the same! Avoid protein bars with high amounts of sugar and sodium. Sources of added sugar in a protein bar should be natural sugars such as honey, sucrose or brown rice syrup and sodium content ideally should be less than 140 milligrams.
Protein bars are not a miracle weight loss supplement. You will still need to control your calories if you want to lose weight and if you want to build muscle make sure you are eating foods high in protein.
It is always advisable to choose the right kind of protein bar. Choosing the wrong one may result in weight gain because their high calorie content.
Protein bars are however a healthy and nutritious alternative to sugary and high fat sweets and snacks. The busy lifestyle that people usually follow nowadays requires munching while you’re on the go and they help fulfil the protein and fibre requirements of the body.
So buy that protein bar and keep one with you while you tackle the world & your fitness goals. Stay fit!