In recent years, a variety of protein bars have flooded the market, promising good health and an energy boost.
But not all protein bars are created equally; some are great nutritional supplements while other are simply candy bars dressed up to look like nutritional supplements.
So, what are the best bars and which ones should you be avoiding?
4 Healthy Protein Bars
1. Health Warrior Bars
Health Warrior Bars are plant-based bars stuffed with protein from quinoa and chia seeds. Chai seeds are packed with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. On top of that, they also keep you feeling fuller longer, and aid in digestion. That alone makes this bar a top contender, but the added benefit of being a low-calorie, low sugar and great tasting option really pushes it to the top of the list.
2. RX Bars
RX bars offer their ingredient list in large font right on the front of the packaging. They can do so because the ingredient list is short. The chocolate sea salt bar has egg whites, almonds, cashews, dates and sea salt, as well as chocolate flavoring. High in potassium and magnesium, this bar helps improve muscle function and is great for people with blood pressure issues, advise medical professionals. One before the gym will keep you energized and feeling great.
YouBar is a company that takes protein bars to a customizable level. You can use their website to craft a protein bar to your exact specifications, and the nutritional info will change right on the screen as you are building bars. You also have the choice of picking one of their pre-packed offerings, like the chocolate brownie. The protein is high, the fiber is great and they are a lower-sugar option with great flavors.
4. Odwalla Bars
If you are interested in a fruit-based bar, Odwalla Bars are a good pick. The grains are whole grains, and the fruit used is traditionally pureed. While the sugar counts can be a bit higher than more protein-based bars, the Odwalla bar is a good option for younger athletes looking for a snack. Try to avoid varieties that use fruit concentrate, however.
What Type of Protein Bars to Avoid
When picking out a bar to get you through the day, try to avoid bars that don’t include a whole food as their first ingredient. You’ll also want to avoid bars that utilize artificial sweeteners. While these make the bar taste good, studies have shown they may promote weight gain over time, and we don’t truly understand how such sweeteners affect our mood and body.