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So Many Bars, So Little Time – Energy Bars vs. Protein Bars

April 25th, 2014

1002819_10151514797027887_1499838946_nThe energy bar market has grown substantially over the past decade, so much so that local grocery stores have dedicated entire aisles to merchandise the hundreds of different brands, and flavors. All bars are not created equal and deciphering the quality, nutritional content, and purpose of each bar can be a daunting and confusing task. Energy bars do not equal protein bars. Energy bars are loaded with carbs and sugar to give you a quick boost during long distance training sessions. These types of bars should not be eaten as snacks, and typically shouldn’t be eaten at all unless you are training as an endurance athlete. Protein bars have a higher protein content and are best used as meal replacements when on the go. You should be aware that although protein bars can be a good choice when you’re on the run and don’t have time for a full, whole foods, meal they can contain hidden ingredients such as: chemicals, sugar alcohols and other unhealthy fillers. Protein bars can also be extremely high in calories and should almost never be eaten as snacks unless of course you are trying to achieve weight gain. Bars are a better, bad food choice; this means, if given the choice between a protein bar or energy bar and a meal from the drive-thru, we pick bars every time! Reading and understanding food labels and nutrition facts can help you make better choices in the bar department. Adding a bar into your diet here and there when you don’t have time to cook a healthy meal is not a bad idea, but making sure you aren’t ingesting extra calories by using bars as snacks is key.

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