How to Choose the Right Protein Bar
After an intense weight-lifting session, you decide to head to health food store for a quick fill me up. You’re ready to pick out a protein bar but the choices are vast. The selection is overwhelming. How do you decide between all of the options? Follow these simple guidelines to selecting the best protein bar for you.
Why Protein Bars?
If you’re starting a weight-training program, protein is going to be your new best friend. Lifting weights breaks down your muscles; it’s the repair of the muscle that makes them stronger. Neglecting your protein intake can result in weak muscle recovery. Therefore, you need to consume more protein to restore the lost protein in your muscle. The more you exercise, the more protein you should consume to aid in muscle recovery.
The amount of protein recommended for each person varies on several factors, especially on their desired level of muscle growth. Yet there are some basic rules that you can follow. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends that strength and endurance training athletes should consume anywhere from 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day.
Research shows that the best time to consume protein is directly after you lift. Therefore, what better way to get that protein than by a quick protein bar. By noshing on protein right after you lift, you are ensuring that your muscles are getting the energy they need to do some serious repair work. That immediacy is convenient for hard working people on the go who are looking for efficient ways to speed up muscle regrowth.
What to Look For
Protein Count – When selecting a protein bar, the protein count should be anywhere from 10 to 14 percent per serving. This ensures that the amount of protein is about 1/5th of your daily-recommended value of protein.
Carbs – Most protein bars also contain carbs because you need energy to help you rebuild. Together, the two elements allow your body to push harder towards restoring and renewing your muscles. Look for the following carbohydrate additives: brown rice, oats, quinoa, honey, and figs.
Calories – If you are looking for a meal replacement protein bar, then the calorie count should be greater than 250 calories. Otherwise, if you’re just looking for a post workout snack, your protein bar should be within a 100-200 calorie range. Remember that just because the protein bar is in a nice package, that doesn’t mean it’s exempt from your daily caloric intake.
Free of trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – Protein bars with any of the above-mentioned culprits refute any of the hard work you’re doing by putting negative ingredients into your body. These preservatives and additives are unnecessary and add on more calories to your diet.
Low Glycemic Index – All protein bars are going to contain sugar, but raising your blood sugar to an unhealthy degree is just silly. Look for protein bars with a lower glycemic index, as not to spike your blood glucose levels. Learn more about glycemic index.
You don’t need to purchase a protein bar in order to have a convenient snack available at your disposal. By producing your own homemade protein bars, you guarantee that it is made of ingredients that you endorse. This provides you with the ability to control how much protein, carbs, sugar, and fiber is included in your diet.
Find some scrumptious recipes and start to explore with taste and consistency. You never know, you could become the next protein bar superstar.
Active.com – The Role of Protein in Exercise Recovery
Live Strong – Protein Bars
Greatist.com – Dangerfood: Protein Bars