Are you constantly overwhelmed by which protein bar you should pick? Same. It used to leave me playing protein-roulette in the grocery store aisle.
Protein bars can be deceitfully sugary, and to be honest, sometimes picking up a candy bar could be a better option. Protein bars are all typically marketed as a ‘healthy’ but if you read the nutrition facts past the calorie count, it would say otherwise! I’ve learned that there are few bars that rise to the top, making it much easier to narrow down my options. Here are a few tricks on navigating the protein-seas!
1. Find bars that hit 10g of fiber or more.This will cut out about 95% of the players! But this just means your fuel source will go farther. And will make it much easier for you to say yay or nay.
2. Look for bars that are less than 20g of carbs.Overall, you want your total NC count to be under 10g or less! Always go for low-carb, high-fiber.
3. Choose a bar with 10g of protein of more.If you are using a protein bar for a post-workout snack. Try to find a bar with 10g of protein or more! I find that bars that promote 20g of protein are more are really high in carbs, sugars, and calories.
4. Protein/Fiber source should be first on the ingredients list.The first ingredient on the list should be either fiber or protein, like nuts! For example: almonds!
5. Aim for 5g of sugar or less.Sugar should not be one of the first 5 ingredients on the nutrition list! A lot of protein bars contain 20g of sugar or more! Your body should continue to burn fat not burn off the excess sugar from the bar. This may seem like a lot of boxes to check, but healthy protein bars exist! I pulled together some brand recs. Some you should avoid and some that are fiber heavy! Keep these tips above and the bar options below top of mind next time you hit the store.
- Pure Protein: 190 calories, 6 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 8 g sugar alcohol), 20 g protein
- ThinkThin: 240 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 0g fiber, Sugar 0 g sugar, 22g sugar alcohol), 20 g protein
- Vega Sport Protein Bar: 290 calories, 11 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, Fiber 3g, Sugars 14 g, 20g protein
- Raw Rev: Calories 180, Total Fat 11g, Sat. Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholest. 0mg. Sodium 100mg , Total Carb. 19g, Fiber 13g, Sugars 3g, Protein 11g
- Truth Bar: Calories 200, Total Fat 12g, Sat. Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholest. 0mg. Sodium 105mg , Total Carb. 23g, Fiber 13g, Sugars 4g, Protein 10g
- No Cow: Calories 190, 110, Total Fat 5g, Sat. Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholest. 0mg. Sodium 105mg , Total Carb. 26g, Fiber 19g, Sugars 1g, Protein 20g
Hopefully this makes protein bar shopping less intimidating. Next time you’re in market for a protein bar use these tips above to make your workout go further!
The Atomic She