How Do I Choose the Best Protein Bar for My Workouts?

The growing awareness of our need for protein has led to the protein bar industry becoming over a $4 billion dollar industry.

Why? Because the best protein bar does more than repair your muscles post-workout. It will offer needed macronutrients and help you feel full, holding you over until your next meal.

But with so many brands and varieties available, how do you know which protein bar to choose?

Here are some tips to choose the next protein bar for your workouts.

Avoid Hidden Sugar

Many protein bars are little more than glorified candy bars, loaded with junk you don’t need. When looking for a healthy protein bar, look for something with less than 8 grams of sugar.

Manufacturers often add in additional sugar, sugar alcohols, or artificial sweeteners to enhance the flavor of their bars. That extra sugar may (briefly) satisfy your sweet tooth, but it won’t do much for your health.

Some “sugar-free” or reduced sugar bars have hidden sugar in the form of sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are not digested in the same way as sugar. Ingesting sugar alcohols can lead to bloating, gas, and even diarrhea.

You may have seen sugar alcohols on many of your foods. A few names for sugar alcohols include:

  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol
  • Isomalt
  • Maltitol
  • Erythritol

Some sugar alcohol occurs in natural foods such as fruits and vegetables. However, they are more commonly seen in processed foods.

Watch Out for Calories

Before you make a purchase, check the calories of the protein bar you’re interested in. Ideally, each bar should have no more than a couple of hundred calories. You don’t want to consume a huge chunk of your daily calories in only one or two protein bars.

It’s easy to forget how many calories can be in a protein bar and go about your day with your regular eating habits. Then by the end of the day, you have accidentally exceeded your daily calories goal – all because you chose the wrong protein bar.

Some protein bars have 400 or more calories per bar!

Choose Healthy and Tasty

Protein bars don’t have to be bland and devoid of flavor. Some taste great but are bad for your overall health, others taste terrible but are healthy.

You need a snack that’s both healthy and tastes good, so you will actually enjoy it and reap the health benefits. Fortunately, there are more options available than ever, like these superfood bites that combine nutrition with the taste of a chocolate brownie. A protein bar doesn’t have to taste like junk food to be tasty.

You Need More Than the Best Protein Bar

Finding the best protein bar is only the beginning of your journey to reach optimal health. For a holistic approach to health and well-being, you should combine nutrition with physical fitness and mental health.

Not sure how to do that? Check out more articles in our health section to get started!

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