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Are Protein Bars Good For You? Who & Why Needs Them

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Protein bars have gained tremendous popularity in recent years as a convenient and seemingly healthy snack option. They typically contain a good amount of protein, which is vital for muscle repair and growth. They also promise to help you lose weight and satisfy your hunger cravings.

Additionally, protein bars often contain other macronutrients like carbohydrates and healthy fats, providing a well-rounded snack option. But are protein bars good for you as they claim to be? In this article, we will explore this question further so you can be well-informed.

Are protein bars good for you? Yes, protein bars can be good for you, just choose the right one and consume it moderately. Nutritional profile of protein bars differs, making some good while some are bad. If you are in doubt weather are protein bars good for you, check the nutritional profile and ingredients before buying them.

Are protein bars good for you

Are Protein Bars Good for You?

Protein bars are becoming an option for athletes and fitness enthusiasts lately as it is one of the most convenient ways to get additional proteins needed for their fitness journey. Whey and casein are the sources of protein you find in some protein bars while some are sourced from egg white or plant-based proteins like seeds and nuts. They also contain macronutrients like carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Although the number of nutrients found in whole meals can never be compared to those found in protein bars, protein bars are a quick source of protein needed by the body for muscle growth and repair, they are also important for either weight gain or weight loss, it also helps to satisfy hunger and sweets craving and are more convenient to take on the goal than protein shakes which could spill on any surface at any time if not well covered.

But are protein bars bad for you? Protein bar benefits make them a good option and not bad for athletes and fitness enthusiasts or anyone who needs extra protein aside from what they get from whole meals.

However, protein bars are not created equally so you need to consider protein bars with clear nutritional information before making a purchase. Do not go for a protein bar with saturated fats, high calories, and excessive added sugar or those with sugar alcohol because ingesting high amounts of saturated fat and sugar alcohols which are found in some of them can result in abdominal discomfort.

Protein bar one bite

Nonetheless, many bars are high in energy value which could assist in bulking.

Choose protein bars that contain about 5-10 grams of fat, 25-35 grams of carbs, and 5-10 grams of fiber because they are effective in giving you the full benefits you intend to reap. But, are protein bars healthy when taken in excess?

Nothing can be compared to taking a balanced diet, prioritizing taking a whole meal, no matter the number of protein bars you take, it can never replace the nutrients you will get from whole food so ensure you take protein bars moderately.

Overall, benefit of protein bars like convenience and versatility, muscle growth and repair, and an additional protein source for people who encounter difficulty in consuming quality protein due to their busy lifestyle makes them a good option . However, care should be taken when selecting protein so as not to select those with high-added sugar, fructose, unhealthy fat.

5 Reasons to Include Protein Bars in Your Meal Plan

What are protein bars good for is another question to ask now that you have learned that they are good for you once you choose the right ones and consume them moderately, we will walk you through some reasons why you should consider including protein bars in your next meal plan.

1. A Way to Add a Significant Portion of Protein to Your Overall Meal Plan

Aside from bodybuilding, have you ever wondered “do protein bars give you energy? Consuming protein bars daily has been shown to increase overall energy intake and impact body mass in the long run. So adding protein bars to your overall meal plan will be a fantastic idea to get fortified with a significant amount of protein needed for your workout and other daily activities. Additionally, protein promotes satiety meaning reduces hunger craving and can be a good option to help satisfy your desire for sweets, so including protein bars in your meal plans is also a way to get filled up and you won’t unnecessarily take unhealthy junk.

2. A Way to Add Protein to a Low-Protein Meal

Protein is a bodybuilder, it supports muscle growth and repair and overall promotes body fitness. A deficiency of protein is a disaster for the body, this is where protein bars come in even after taking a low-protein meal. Are protein bars a good source of protein? Yes, protein bars are sourced from quality proteins needed by the body, taking protein bars along with low protein foods is a way to fortify your meal. 

3. Great Dessert Option After the Main Meal

Protein bars can serve as an excellent dessert choice following a main meal, seamlessly blending a delightful sweetness with the added benefit of a protein infusion. Do protein bars fill you up?

a package of protein bars

Yes, These bars not only cater to your taste buds but also contribute to a sense of fullness, making them a satisfying post-dinner treat. It’s advisable to pay attention to the sugar content, opting for bars that strike a harmonious nutritional balance to enhance your overall dining experience. Overall, ensure you are not adding too many calories and also consuming too much protein.

4. A Perfect Snack During the Day

On a busy day, one of the things you can easily gasp is snacks or any other junk food. But, are protein bars good snacks? Protein bars can be considered a yummy snack. Instead of taking less nutritious snacks or candies, consider taking protein bars. They are not only healthy but also yummy.

They provide your body with energy and essential amino acids. Additionally, Randomly people ask “Are protein bars good for breakfast” yes, aside from taking protein bars as a snack, you can sometimes try them out as a breakfast particularly when you are unable to make a well-rounded meal.

Remember that even though protein bars are fortified with other essential nutrients they can never replace a whole meal so they should be taken as a breakfast occasionally. 

5. Convenient Source of Protein to Eat on the Go

Protein bars are an option when your schedule is packed or you have limited access to food. Imagine this situation; you’re running late for work. Barely have time to grab your keys and rush out the door. In the midst of all the chaos you realize that you haven’t packed a lunch. That’s where protein bars come in handy!

The convenience that comes with it cannot be overstated. With their portable size and easy-to-carry packaging, protein bars can be your go-to solution on those days. Whether you find yourself stuck, in traffic or rushing from one meeting to another simply reach into your bag. Enjoy a protein-packed snack that will keep you energized and satisfied conveniently.

When Should I Eat a Protein Bar?

There’s no right or wrong time to take protein bars. They can be taken at any time based on your goals and preferences. Here are a few situations where protein bars can come in;

1. Between Meals

When you need a snack to keep your energy levels up or the meal has a low protein content grab a protein bar between the meals.

2. After Working Out

During post-workout support your muscle recovery and replenish glycogen stores by having a protein bar.

protein bars ingredients

3. On the Go

In case you’re in situations where it’s hard to find a meal a protein bar can be of help because they are quick and easy option.

4. Before Physical Activity

If you’re about to engage in activity having a protein bar beforehand might give you sustained energy. Its yummy taste can also be a motivation.

5. Busy Schedule

If you are to jump from one meeting to the other or let’s say your schedules are tight. There’s a chance you might miss a meal having a protein bar on hand can be a portable alternative.

Remember these are some situations where adding protein bars into your routine could be of importance.

Possible Disadvantages of Protein Bars

While protein bars offer many benefits, it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides they may have. We will discuss some of the shortcomings of protein bars below.

❌ Expensive Compared to Whole High-Protein Food and Protein Powder

A turn-off about protein bars is their high price especially when you consume two or more, they can be relatively expensive compared to whole high-protein foods which are even better protein sources and protein powders. Individuals on a budget may find it more cost-effective to obtain their protein from alternative sources. 

❌ May Contain Too Much Added Sugar

One big difference between protein bars and candy is the protein content, however, a protein bar with excessive added sugar might not be better than candies. Daily recommended sugar intake for men is 36 grams while 25 grams is recommended for women or just less than 10% of the total energy intake in both children and adults.

eating protein bar

Any protein bars with too much added sugar should stay clear of because excessive consumption of sugar can cause a spike in blood sugar level which can result in type 2 diabetes and other health anomalies. Carefully checking the nutritional label on any protein bar before making a purchase is essential. 

❌ May Cause Gastrointestinal Issues

Protein bars, particularly those with sugar alcohols or fructose in significant quantities, may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Potential side effects like bloating or digestive distress should be considered, and individuals with sensitivities may need to choose bars with simpler ingredients.

Overall, while protein bars offer convenience, consumers need to make informed choices based on their nutritional needs, budget, and potential sensitivities.

Are Protein Bars Ok Every Day

Protein bars are an easy, convenient, and versatile source of protein needed by the body.  There is no harm in taking protein bars every day as long as you check the nutritional composition and it doesn’t contain high added sugar, alcohol sugar or any other ingredients that are unhealthy.

Although protein bars are fortified with other macronutrients. However, its nutritional value can’t be compared with a well-rounded meal. As a result, protein bars should not be considered as a meal replacement but rather as a supplement.

The Protein Bar We Recommend

The Legion Protein Bar

The Legion protein bar
  • Protein Source: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Concentrate, Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate)
  • Flavors: Blueberry Muffin, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter
  • Vegan: No
  • Protein per bar: 20g
  • Fats per bar: 11-12g
  • Carbs per bar: 24-29g
  • Fiber per bar: 6-9g
  • Added Sugar: 3-4g
  • Sugar Alcohols: Erythritol
  • Calories per bar: 240-250
  • Sodium per bar: 150-170
  • Bars per Package: 12

Need a healthy protein bar that is good for you? Here is one: The Legion protein bar has low calories and fats, and a  higher protein content source from three quality sources – whey concentrate, milk protein isolate and whey isolate. 

When it comes to supplementation safety comes first. Legion protein bars come with a transparent nutritional label, It’s made with 100% natural ingredients. No artificial sweetener, It’s non-GMO, gluten free. The product is certified by Labdoor – the gold standard of third-party lab testing so you can be sure you’re consuming a 100% safe product.

legion protein bars in hands

Per serving you get 20 grams of protein, 240-250 calories, and 8-9 grams of prebiotic fiber. It’s sold for $3 per serving which is reasonable enough for its fantastic quality. Although, you may find it pricey when compared to other protein sources, the convenience and versatility that comes with protein bars make it worth the price. 

However, if you are not satisfied with your purchase you will get a 100% refund. Legion has a “No return necessary” money-back guarantee policy for any unsatisfied customer. I bet you no company with a substandard product does this. Why not grab a Legion protein bar today?

Other Protein Bar We Can Recommend

The Grass-Fed Protein Bar From Transparent Labs

The Grass-Fed Protein Bar From Transparent Labs
  • Protein Source: Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate
  • Flavors: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
  • Vegan: No
  • Protein per bar: 15g
  • Fats bar bar: 16g
  • Carbs per bar: 23g
  • Fiber per bar: 3g
  • Added Sugar: 5g
  • Sugar Alcohol: No
  • Calories per bar: 280
  • Sodium per bar: 280mg
  • Bars per Package: 12
  • Bar Weight: 60g
  • Price per bar: ~$3.33

The grass-fed protein bar is another protein bar you will be eager to have due to its quality. It’s produced by Transparent Lab. Transparent Lab is well known for the production of top-notch supplements and this protein bar is not an exception.

It comes with 280 calories, 16g of fats, 23g of whole-food carbs, and 15 grams of protein. Each serving cost ~$ 3.33. 

transparent labs protein bar instagram
Photo by @leviimack

Transparent Labs grass-fed protein bar is third-party tested so you can be sure it’s safe. It contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavor. Try it out today!

FAQ

Is It Healthy to Eat Protein Bars?

Yes, it’s very healthy to take protein bars, they support muscle growth and repairs and reduce cravings. they do not have any bad effect on the body system. However,  care should be taken when selecting protein bars, stay off those with excessive added sugar and sugar alcohol. More so, protein bars should not be taken as a meal replacement and should be consumed moderately.

Are Protein Bars Ok for Weight Loss?

Yes,  protein bars are beneficial in weight loss because they supply the body with quality protein which in turn increases satiety. When paired with a workout, it causes a reduction in body fat and also maintains muscle mass. 

Is It Ok to Eat 2 Protein Bars Every Day?

Yes, it is not bad to take 2 protein bars daily because it’s still within the protein-recommended dietary allowance. However it is important to analyze the amount of protein and calorie content of the bar according to individual needs.

Do not choose protein with high calories or any other unhealthy ingredients. Aside from taking protein bars, consider taking a balanced diet. Protein bars should not be seen as meal replacement.

Conclusion

Protein bars are a good option to get extra protein needed by the body, they are healthy, convenient, and versatile sources of protein because they can be taken on the go. When selecting protein bars, endeavor to check the nutritional profile so as not to choose products with excessive added sugar or high fructose which can bulk up protein bars and cause abdominal discomfort when consumed

We hope you have understood what are protein bars good for. We have made you understand the benefits of protein bars in your diet. Kindly drop your comment section and share this article with your lovelies.

Also read:

References:

  1. Shannon Clark, ” Bar None: 6 Things To Look For In Any Protein Bar” Bodybuilding.com”https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/6-top-protein-bar-factors.html” (accessed December 13, 2023) 
  2. Minghan Pang, Catherine Trier, Christy Alexon, Carol S. Johnston ” Daily ingestion of protein bars (with or without added fiber) increased energy intake and body fat mass after one week in healthy adults: A crossover trial” Journal of Functional Foods “https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464623001470 (accessed December 13, 2023)
  3. Z.A. Bhutta, K. Sadiq “Protein Deficiency” Science Direct ” https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/protein-deficiency (accessed December 13, 2023)
  4. Low protein food list “University of Washington PKU clinic” https://depts.washington.edu/pku/PDFs2/ModifyingRecipesFoodList.pdf, (Accessed December 13, 2023)
  5. Matthew Kadey, MS, RD ” The 40 Best High-Protein Foods” Bodybuilding.com, https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/ultimate-list-40-high-protein-foods.html (Accessed December 13, 2023)
  6. How much sugar is too much ” American Heart Association” https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/how-much-sugar-is-too-much (Accessed December 13, 2023)

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By trusting the recommendations of our certified experts in coaching, nutrition, dietology, and sports training programming, as well as scientific consultants, and physiotherapists, we provide you with thorough, well-considered, and scientifically proven content. All the information given in the articles concerning workout programming, separate exercises, and athletic performance, in general, is based on verified data. We ensure that you can rely on our professionals’ pieces of advice and recommendations that can be treated as personalized ones which will benefit you and fully meet your needs.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Sports Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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