Are Protein Bars Good For You?
Protein bars get a bad rap, as they’re often seen as lacking in nutrients or containing unhealthy additives, excess calories and sugar. Yet, there are actually many high quality protein bars on the market to choose from, where the protein count is substantial enough to keep your body full and nourished.
Getting in around 15-25 grams of protein as a post-workout snack is all you need to replenish damaged muscles, for example, and stashing a protein bar in your gym bag is an easy way to get fuel within the hour.
The best healthy protein bars you’ll find will be lower in refined carbs and sugar as well as higher in fiber to keep you fuller for longer. Plus, fiber also is good for your gut, thus increasing immunity and regulating digestion. And the calorie range can vary depending on whether it’s a meal replacement or snack sized protein bar, so there’s a healthy protein bar fit for all needs—from on the go breakfast to afternoon pick-me-up.
Still, it all comes down to the ingredients in the protein bar and what else you’re eating in the day to determine whether protein bars are healthy and good for you. Here’s all you need to know when searching for the best protein bars at the store.
Are Protein Bars Healthy?
Yes, protein bars can definitely be healthy when made with wholesome, nutritious foods that have good amounts of protein, fat, complex carbs (fiber), and any other essential vitamins and minerals, as opposed to higher levels of sugar (especially added sugars) and saturated fats.
So, should you eat protein bars? As long as the protein bar fits into your daily calorie count for your needs and activity level, then it’s a great pick that’s easy to keep in your gym bag, cabinet at work or your car.
Plus, you can buy them in bulk, since they have long-lasting shelf lives in general. (Some protein bars require refrigeration due to the presence of gut-healthy bacteria, for example.)
And don’t think that protein bars are just mindless snacking culprits and junk.
If made with the right ingredients, it’s considered healthy. Some things to look for on the label: oats, fruit, sweeteners that don’t affect blood sugar (monk fruit, stevia or erythritol, for instance), nuts and seeds, nut butters and whey (for a non-vegan protein boost).
So, say goodbye to that bad rap for good. Plus, the best kinds of healthy protein bars won’t make you gain weight at all. They’d merely fit into your normal diet and would actually benefit you nutritionally, to the point where you may even lose weight if you’re dieting.
Either way, it’s a healthy snack or meal replacement that’s good for everyone! Here’s why.
Why Proteins Bars are Good For You
Protein bars are healthy snacks since they provide quick protein and other nutrients to your body to replenish lost nutrients and to satisfy hunger. Your muscles need to be nourished like we do, and if they are too low in nutrition they will start to cramp up and lose strength.
That’s why you get muscle cramps if you’ve gone too long without hydrating or after a workout where you’ve lost electrolytes and nutrients and so the muscles feel weak and fatigued. Protein bars satisfy the need to eat something within an hour of working out to strengthen and repair muscles, and protein and complex carbohydrates are two of the most important nutrients they need to function.
Beyond working out, the body needs protein throughout the day to function too, and protein bars give a good dose right when you need it.
We don’t always have time to make a meal or snack from scratch, so keeping protein bars on hand lowers the risk of feeling tempted to reach for junk when on the go and those hunger pangs are fierce. And it eliminates the stress of needing to cook all the time at home, which can be daunting during a long work week. So should you eat protein bars? Yes! Just choose the right ones.