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The Best Post-Workout Protein Bar – Product Comparison

by Jersey Strong on May 19, 2017 11:00:00 AM

The_Best_Protein_Bar_For_Your_Workout_GainsThere is no question that giving your body the right fuel can power your workout and give you the nutrition and protein you need to build lean, healthy muscle mass. But all too often consumers fall into a protein-bar marketing sugar-trap.

Just because the protein bar you reach for has a flashy label, and claims to help you build muscle, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. In fact, some protein bars on the market have more grams of sugar than a candy bar. Some of them even pack more sugar than a can of soda. Yikes.

Don’t fall into the protein bar marketing trap the next time you go shopping. Take a moment to hold the box in your hand and check the nutrition label. Here are the four essential elements you should compare before buying:

  1. The Calorie Count: You want to make sure you’re balancing protein intake with caloric intake. Although it’s not necessarily a good idea to look for a protein bar with the least amount of calories. Sometimes manufacturers will use calorie-free sweeteners or artificial flavoring in order to shave calories off the top. So, what’s a happy median between low calorie and high calorie? Search for a bar that has about 180 – 210 calories.

As you shop, try to avoid protein bars with high-caloric ingredients. Some popular protein bar brands contain 310 calories or more for a single bar. To give you an idea of what you’re putting into your body, here is how much exercise you’d have to do to burn off one 300-calorie protein bar:

  1. Play a 90-minute game of basketball or
  2. Spend 55 minutes of power walking on the beach or
  3. Kayak or row for 52 minutes or
  4. Shovel heavy snow for 38 minutes

To emphasize this point again – fueling your body after a workout is important. Just make sure you’re choosing a bar that balances the calories you burned during your session with the calories you’re consuming. If you’re eating more than you’re burning, you are on the fast track to gaining weight instead of building muscle.

  1. The Protein Count: A high-protein diet is the best way to build healthy muscle. That’s why you need to make sure the bar you’re purchasing is high enough in protein for the calorie intake to be worth it. But be careful – many manufacturers will mask the taste of whey protein by dumping a whole container of sugar into the vat. Aim for a bar that packs between 14 – 20 grams of protein. Pro-tip: drink a full glass of water with your protein bar to help prevent some of the stomach upset that some people experience with high-protein bars.
  2. The Sugar Count: When we first started researching protein bars, we couldn’t believe the amount of sugar some companies are adding to their products. In fact, a recovery bar from Gatorade packed a whopping 30 grams of sugar. That’s right, folks. Thirty grams of sugar! Here’s an idea of some other products with about 30 grams of sugar:
    1. Twizzlers: 28g
    2. Marshmallows: 29g
    3. Reese’s Pieces: 25g
    4. Hershey Bar: 17g
    5. Can of Coca-Cola: 33g

Some of your favorite brands of candy bars and soda had less sugar than some protein bars. That’s why it’s critical to read the label. If your protein bar is packing more than 4 grams of sugar, put it back on the shelf.

A Note from A Personal Trainer: Some people may argue that a protein bar high in calories and sugar is a good way to recover from an extremely strenuous workout – such as a professional football game or a half marathon run. In that case, a bar with high quantities of calories and sugar may be productive to a speedy recovery. However, the average person would not benefit from a bar with such high properties after a workout.

  1. Fiber Count: A diet high in fiber is crucial to a healthy diet. Increased fiber has been shown to decrease the probability heart disease and weight gain. And it helps you stay regular. We’ve included this as an important element to aid folks who are also looking to lose weight as part of their quest for the perfect protein bar. Four or more grams of fiber would be a great way to supplement your diet with fiber.

 

Here is a chart of the current Nutritional values for some of the most frequently purchased protein bars so you can make an informed purchase the next time you head to the grocery store:

Brand

Name of Bar

Calories

Protein

Sugar

Fiber

Pure Protein

Chocolate Deluxe

180

21g

3g

2g

S'mores

200

19g

3g

0g

OATMEGA

Chocolate Mint Crisp

190

14g

5g

7g

Vanilla Almond

190

14g

5g

7g

QuestBar

Mocha Chocolate Chip

180

20g

0g

14g

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

190

21g

0g

14g

Gatorade Recover

Chocolate Caramel Whey

340

20g

30g

1g

Paleo Protein

Almond Fudge

170

20g

1g

23g

Chocolate Mint

190

20g

2g

22g

PowerBar

Chocolate Peanut Butter

210

20g

12g

4g

Vanilla

210

20g

14g

4g

 

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Topics: Weight Loss, Fitness & Exercise, Healthy Living, Eating Well