With give or take 2 million different choices of protein bars, how do we know which is the best for us? Tough to say, but we can break down the Why, When and What to help make your choices a little easier. The great thing about having so many to choose from is that you will find one that meets your needs.
Lets start with Why protein bars are a good solution when you’re trying to stick to a nutrition plan.
- Convenience: The one place most of “slip” up is when we’re hungry and there’s nothing healthy in sight. Having a healthy on the go option handy can keep us out of the drive-thru line.
- Protein: When living healthy we need to have a good amount of protein. It will help us build muscle and speed up our metabolism ultimately helping us burn more fat.
- Sweet Tooth Cravings: We get them, face it, its normal and we’ve got to deal with it. So instead of going after the cookies, or candy we can get something sweet that helps to kick the craving.
Then When? This is pretty easy to answer because there’s no bad time to consume protein, more is better.
- Protein within 30 minutes of working out is essential to take advantage of the all the great aminos that can help build muscle and repair the body.
- Breakfast is a great time to eat protein, get your body the building blocks it needs to be its best and as I mentioned earlier, protein speeds up metabolism so we can get to burning fat early!
- Anytime you think you think you’re going to eat something I WOULD NOT approve of. Be smart!
Here’s the one we have the most questions on, What protein bars are best for us? Here are a couple things to know about protein that will help you choose your bar
There are different sources of protein, and here’s what to know
- Whey is a great protein source but if you deal with any lactose problem, you’ll want to be sure to try Whey Concentrate or Whey Isolate. Both are similar to one another in that manufacturers have taken out all the carbs, fats and anything else including most lactose. Concentrate is 80% whey and Isolate is 90% whey, it just goes through one more filtering process. Try these in small doses to see how you react.
- Plant based proteins can be found in many bars, there’s Hemp which is numero uno in my book, you have Pea, Rice, Soy and there are some others. If you’re going to use a Soy product PLEASE be sure it is Non-GMO Soy. This means it was not genetically altered and is in its purest form.
So with all of that said, here are my personal top 3 protein bars based on what my personal needs are, but they pretty much fit the bill for anyone, anytime. I try to keep my protein bars low in bad carbs like sugars and fillers. Carbs from dietary fiber are ok, because they’re not going to spike your blood sugar level. I like to have 15 grams of protein or more in my protein bars so I’m getting a good portion. And lastly, I look for cost effective bars. I equate these to meals at times, so if I can get them for $3.00 or less, I’m doing great.
Here you are, my top 3:
- Quest Bars. BUT NOT ALL OF THEM…. I had to bold that for you because half Quest bars contain SUCRALOSE which is chemical artificial sweetener and studies show it is not healthy. Stay healthy, go with the Quest bars that contain Stevia. Stevia comes from a plant and is digested well in the body.
- Nu-GO Bars. There are a whole bunch of different style Nu-Go Bars, some are Organic, some are Lactose Free, some contain different sources of protein, but the one thing they all have in common is quality of ingredients. Non-GMO, no Malitol, no artificial anything. Take a look at their site and you’ll see what I mean.
- Kind Bars. These don’t have as much protein as I would usually like, but I wanted to add them because of all the healthy bars out there, these are the ones you will most commonly find in your local convenient stores, gas stations, airports or places they may be lacking healthy in general. They’re made of quality ingredients and above all, they are far more healthy than the drive-thru…..any drive thru.
We could have discussed so many more bars, and that’s because of the 2 million or so in the world, there are a lot of really healthy bars. What you should take from this is that you DO want to have a protein bar that fits in to your nutrition plan, there are many more pros than cons, so next time you’re at your health store, look for some with the key do’s and don’ts we discussed. Keep it natural, keep it clean and keep it handy.
One day when you step on the scale or look in the mirror you’ll be happy you did!