The type of protein bar that is best for you depends on your diet and protein goals. Since every person is trying to achieve different results, we have come up with how to spot a healthy protein bar, then from there, you can refine your search more based on trial and error. There are a few tips to consider when choosing a protein bar because many today are not much better than candy. Keep it between 150-250 calories, the less ingredients the better, over 20 grams of protein, the less sugar the better.
Finding the perfect protein bar is a lot of trial and error. Depending on your activity level, weight loss or weight gain goals, muscle repair, etc. will change the ingredients that you will look for in a protein bar. Since everyone is trying to achieve different results we have come up with ways to weed out the unhealthy protein bars and find the best healthy bar that fits your needs.
Tip 1: Protein bars should have at least 20 grams of protein for recovery. A protein bar with over 20 grams of protein will optimize muscle synthesis and assist with recovery the best. It has also been shown in studies that the more protein consumed in a snack/meal the longer it will take before you are hungry again.
Tip 2: Protein bars should have less than 13 grams of sugar. Sugar is hidden in protein bars to make them taste more candy like; however, sugar adds empty calories that hinder weight loss.
Tip 3: Protein bars should be between 150 and 250 calories. If you are looking for a meal replacement bar go for over 200 calories. If it is just a post workout aid aim for less than 200 and focus more on the protein content.
Tip 4: Protein should make up at least half the bars carbohydrates. If the protein bar has 24 grams of carbs, there should be at least 12 grams of protein with low sugar and moderate fat content.
Tip 5: The less ingredients, the better. If your protein bar has a laundry list of ingredients or has a lot of unpronounceable items, it may be time to find something simpler. There are so many protein bars on the market, finding one that is healthier is an easy task. RX bars typically have less than 5 whole ingredients with minimal processing.
References: WellandGood, Livestrong, OrlandoDietian, EverydayHealth, BuiltLean