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How Do I Choose the Best Protein Bar?

It's best to avoid protein bars with a lot of sugar.
Eating protein bars may boost muscle gain in those who lift weights.
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  • Written By: Solomon Branch
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 26 June 2014
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Finding the right protein bar depends on what you are trying to supplement. Protein bars can be used by weight lifters who want a lot of protein, or as a meal replacement. The right bar for you will meet your desired nutritional needs, be low in sugar, and taste good to you.

For weight-lifters, a protein bar is consumed to boost muscle gain. If that is what you are looking for, finding a bar that has plenty of protein and many calories should be your priority. For these types of bars, the amount of protein should be listed first in the ingredient list. The bar should also have plenty of carbohydrates and fats, especially for eating after a workout. For best results, the protein should come from a variety of sources, not just whey or peanuts.

If you are looking for a meal replacement protein bar, then you will want to find a bar that has protein but also is lower in fat. It should also contain enough vitamins and minerals to meet your needs. These types of bars are usually higher in calories, so be sure and verify that not a lot of the calories are from sugars.

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Protein bars that are used to boost energy will have protein, albeit in a lower amount, in addition to other mild-stimulants. The stimulants can be ingredients such as caffeine, ginseng, or green tea. They are fine before a physical activity but can often cause a lethargic feeling once the stimulants wear off. Avoid these bars after a workout or vigorous activity, and choose one of the other meal replacement bars or a bar with more protein.

Whatever bar you choose, it’s best to avoid those with a lot of sugar. This can be listed on the package in a variety of forms. High fructose corn syrup, sugar, cane sugar, and maltose are all forms of sugar that can add calories and spike your blood-sugar levels, which can lead to fatigue and possibly nausea.

Another factor that is important in a protein bar is taste. This can be tricky because the best tasting bars are often high in sugar and fats, which are what gives the bar a sweet taste and makes you feel full. If it doesn’t taste good, however, you probably won’t want to eat it. The best thing to do is find one that meets your needs and tastes decent. Finding several that meet this criteria can help avoid getting burned-out on one type of taste or bar.

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