Life is busier than ever, and we get how it can feel like you're running from the time the sun comes up ... until the time the sun goes down.
If you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle, chances are you’ve tried adding protein bars into your plan at some point because they are convenient.
Protein bars and protein-related treats have become very popular over the past decade … and rightfully so. They are easy to stash in your bag for a quick snack throughout the day.
However, are protein bars actually good for you?
The short answer … it depends.
There's a few things to consider before you purchase a few boxes of protein bars.
First, you will need to look at why you are grabbing a protein bar.
Are you relying on them because of their convenience when you can’t get to food?
Or do you just love how they taste and that's why you're eating them?
The truth is that you should always prioritize whole food first.
A complete, whole-food protein source will always be the superior option. Food will always beat protein shakes and protein bars (but we do know that we cannot always make this happen).
After whole food, your next option should be a protein shake … specifically a sustained assimilating protein shake.
High-quality meal replacement proteins are almost always lower in calories, carbs, and fats … but the quality of the protein in shakes is typically much higher than in protein bars.
If you can't get to whole food or protein shakes … That’s where protein bars enter the conversation.
Ten years ago, you would have never found a healthy protein bar.
Luckily … that has changed quite a bit and companies have gotten far better at making protein bars.
One thing that has improved in recent years, is the overall calories and sugars in bars. Most companies have improved their formulas to have less calories while still having an awesome taste.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure the protein bar you choose is under 300 calories.
An additional thing to look for with protein bars, is making sure they are baked at LOW TEMPERATURES … this preserves the protein and makes sure it is not denatured or “cooked out” ... similar to the concept with protein shakes as well.
So, as you can see ... most protein bars are not “bad” for you, and they can be a great tool to help keep you on track.
Just make sure the bars you choose fit your plan and that they don’t become too regular in your diet.
Protein bars have their place when you are trying to hit your protein goal for the day. Remember, protein is CRUCIAL when it comes to building muscle and burning fat.
If you need any help with picking out the right foods, shakes, or bars for your diet, reach out to any of our Certified Personal Trainers and Sports Nutrition Specialists. We would be more than happy to figure out the best options for you!
*This post was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a Bachelor's in Science Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.