What Are Protein Bars?
Protein bars are a nutritional snack containing a large amount of protein compared to fats and carbohydrates.
Most protein bars contain 5-10 grams of fat, 25-35 grams of carbs, and between 5 and 10 grams of fiber.
On average, a protein bar will contain 25g of protein, though this number may vary.
Protein bars may also contain other nutrients, including:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin D
Protein bars are favored amongst athletes and regular gym goers who require more energy than the average person.
Protein bars are a convenient way to get a hit of energy before or after a workout.
They can also be a convenient way to get more vitamins and minerals in your diet, and they may even help curb your appetite.
Are Protein Bars Good For Weight Loss?
Talking of curbing appetite… are protein bars good for weight loss?
Although protein is better known for growing muscle and giving us energy, the right protein bar may also help you lose weight.
To choose the right protein bar, it’s important to know how much protein you should be consuming, and you’ll need to establish how many calories you’ll need, as well as sugar and fiber, so you won’t sabotage your own fitness goals.
Protein bars can help you lose weight because protein can have positive effects on your appetite, metabolism, and digestive process.
Eating more protein can actually boost your metabolism and reduce hunger, which can keep you feeling fuller for longer.
This means you’ll be less likely to start raiding the cupboard after lunch! Even without portion control, carbohydrate restriction, or calorie counting, protein can help you lose weight.
However, you’ll need a pretty high-protein diet to get there, so don’t rely strictly on protein bars.
Some studies have even found that high-protein diets can create a higher energy expenditure, meaning more weight loss.
So, if all of your meals contain protein and you’re using protein bars to curb the cravings, you may be on track to achieve your weight loss goals – especially because protein reduces the amount of ghrelin (or the ‘hunger hormone’) in our bodies!
What To Consider When Buying Protein Bars?
Not all protein bars are created equal, though.
Protein bars may appear to be healthy, but many of them can contain plenty of sugars and additives, which are bad for your health, and threaten to throw your weight-loss goals off track.
So, if you want to find the best protein bar for you, be prepared to shop around.
Essentially, you should be looking for a bar that has a high protein content, plenty of fiber, and low calories.
Don’t forget to check the sugar content, either! Here are a few tips to help you find the right protein bar for your diet:
Check The Protein Content
First off, check the nutritional information on your bars, and look for a high protein content.
If you want to eat your protein bars before or after a workout, you should be looking for a bar with a minimum of 20g of protein.
We’d advise against choosing bars with a higher protein content than this, as too much protein can be difficult for the body to digest in one go. This can also contribute to weight gain.
Check The Calories
Ideally, your protein bar should contain between 200-250 calories.
Avoid bars with more calories than this, as your bars are intended to be eaten as a snack, not a complete meal replacement.
Check The Sugars
Too much sugar is bad for your health, and it can contribute to weight gain.
The ‘sweet spot’ (pardon the pun) for most protein bars is less than five grams of sugar, so try and avoid going any higher than this.
Check For The Type Of Protein
When you’re on the hunt for a new protein bar, you should also check what type of protein is on offer.
Is the protein in your bar plant-based or dairy based? This is important to consider, especially if you have special dietary requirements.
Make Your Own Protein Bars
There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying protein bars, and there’s never a guarantee that you’ll find the right one for you.
If you’re overwhelmed with options or simply stuck in a rut, why not try and make your own?
If you have some extra time in the week, creating a batch of protein bars is simple and quick, and you’ll be guaranteed to create a bar that has the optimal nutritional value for your diet.
What’s more – protein bar recipes are incredibly versatile, so you can throw in whatever flavors you like to enjoy!
Most protein powders can be used to create protein bars, but you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions before starting.
Here’s a quick recipe that will take you just 5 minutes to prepare (yes, really), and you won’t even have to bake anything!
- 1 ½ cup of peanut butter
- ¾ cup of protein powder
- ¼ cup of honey or maple syrup
- ½ tsp salt
- 4oz of chocolate chips (melted)
Stir all of your ingredients together, except for the dough and the chocolate chips.
Once you’ve mixed your ingredients together, shape your bars or smooth them out into a pan and refrigerate them until they’re chilled. That’s it!
If you’re using melted chocolate chips, spread them over your bars before you chill them. You can even dip your bars into the chocolate sauce and then leave them to set.
The Bottom Line
Protein bars aren’t just good for athletes and hardcore gym goers. The truth is, protein bars can also be eaten by anyone who’s attempting to lose weight.
When protein bars are consumed in moderation (and incorporated into a healthy diet and exercise routine), they can help you reach your goals faster!