5 Rules For Choosing The Right Protein Bar

5 Rules For Choosing The Right Protein Bar (Image Source: Shutterstock)
Protein Play a Major Role In Optimal Functioning Of Our Bodies. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

1: Check For The Amount Of Protein

When choosing a protein bar it’s extremely important to understand how you plan to use it first. The amount of protein in a typical bar on the market ranges from around 10–30g of protein. Where your bar lands on this spectrum will play a major role in how efficiently it works for you.

2: Check For The Type Of Protein

When it comes to the protein hierarchy, whey protein is pretty high up there. Gold Standard Whey Protein is a great choice. It contains an impressive range of essential amino acids and is absorbed quickly. Studies show that it can help you lose fat (while preserving muscle), increase size/strength, and reduce hunger pretty efficiently. Egg white protein is also another high-quality variation; plus you’ll get a boost of vitamins from your eggs. If you are looking to avoid animal protein or can’t opt for these variations for other reasons, then soy protein is a solid option to consider. While it originally was surrounded by a bit of controversy, it seems that the benefits of consuming it in moderation far outweigh the potential risks cited by weak evidence. If you’d rather avoid soy altogether, then other vegetarian proteins like pea protein and hemp protein are fine.

3: Go For A Low Sugar Protein Bar

A lot of protein bars are actually wolves in sheeps’ clothing. If you aren’t careful, you could be leaving the store with a glorified candy bar instead of a vehicle for muscular growth. These high sugar bars will spike your blood sugar and leave you in the same crave cycle that you were attempting to avoid when you bought them. When choosing a bar, aim for 10g of sugar or less if possible. If the bar does contain more than 10g, make sure it comes from fruit or other natural sugar sources. If you are looking to limit sugar as much as possible I would grab a bar sweetened with monk fruit or lean towards sugar alcohols. Although they taste sweet, they are lower in calories than regular sugar and won’t affect blood sugar levels. The only knock on the sugar alcohols (they contain neither sugar or alcohol) is the possibility that they may cause some digestive trouble, especially when consumed in large amounts.

4: Check How Many Calories Are In It

Let’s get this out of the way: a protein bar can’t hold up against a balanced meal in a battle of nutrient density, so if you have the time opt for real food. Save protein bars for when you need them. That being said, if you are snacking on a protein bar, aim for it to be around roughly 250 calories. If you need to replace an entire meal that day try to choose one below 400 calories.

5: Find Out What Else Is In It

You want your protein bar to read more like a recipe, and less like the lab notes from a Dr. Frankenstein experiment. You want your bar to mimic real ingredients, so search for whole food components on the ingredients list. A good rule of thumb is to aim for bars with a list of 8 ingredients or less. You won’t always strike gold with this rule, but it’s a great ballpark to be in if you want to maximize the quality of the foods that you put into your body.

My Favorite Low Sugar Protein Bar

As a trainer, it can be so easy to get caught up in the health of your clients that you skip or go for long periods of time in between your own meals. My favorite go-to protein bars to avoid this and to keep my energy high are the ones from QuestBar. They taste good, are low in sugar (only 2g), and have 20g of protein. They are apparently a huge hit on Amazon, with a 4-star rating on over 15,000 reviews. Find your favorite flavor by picking up this variety pack.

Shop Quest Protein Bars

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