Bars are small snacks or nutritional contributions, that is, they can be compared to a small meal, as depending on their composition, they will provide proteins, fats and carbohydrates, in bigger or smaller proportions and according to the moment that they have been thought for.
The meal replacement bars, for example, can complete our diet, as they are so easy to take with us that we can eat them at anytime, anywhere.
There is also satiating bars, with the purpose of avoiding to eat other types of food, that may jeopardize our objectives or goals: to lose, maintain or gain weight.
The protein bars are especially aimed at people who practice sports, and therefore have a higher demand of this protein than the general public.
The energy bars will be particularly interesting for those athletes who carry out activities with a high resistive nature.
Depending on you nutritional need, you must choose the bar that best adjusts to your requirements.
Why eat Bars?
Easy to carry
Can be eaten anywhere
Help to meet nutritional goal
Avoid eating between hours
Being easy to carry, they can be a valuable resource in some sports
They are delicious
What type of bar should I buy?
Within the wide range of bars, we may find cheap protein bars, high protein bars, meal replacement bars, energy bars…
As we see, it is easy to choose a type of bar that adjusts to our requirements. Depending on the physical activity, we can buy bars for:
Endurance sports: we should be interested in energy bars. However, we may include a protein bar at the end of training.
Strength sports: we will be looking for protein bars.
If our goal is to achieve weight loss, and maintain the greatest amount of muscle mass, high protein bars will be our best option. On the other hand, if we are trying to maintain and not gain weight, the satiating bars will contribute a greater amount of fiber, helping to reduce appetite between meals.
When to take the Bars?
We can eat these bars, in general, at any time. If we carry out a physical activity or sport, the moment would change to:
Before workout: we are seeking an energetic contribution, at the same time as a protein supply
During workout: energy bars will be the best option, to maintain the energy supply
After workout: protein bars, to help recover and begin to regenerate muscle tissues
At any another time, we will opt for satiating bars or meal replacement bars, depending on our objective.
Meal Replacement Bars
The meal-replacement bars will provide practically the same nutrients as a meal, but on a smaller scale. Usually the service will be 1 or 2 replacement bars to match the calories of a meal.
These satiating bars are ideal to have with us if we are on the move and we do not have anything to eat, this way continuing to provide the necessary nutrients. They can serve us as snack or even as a meal.
Brands of Meal Replacement Bars
The producers of meal replacement bars are interested in providing high quality nutrients, that are low in carbohydrates, especially sugars, with a good amount of proteins and micronutrients. Among the top selling brands of replacement bars we can find: Quest, Amix Nutrition, Quamtrax, Gold Nutrition, Meridian, Natural Prism.
The energy bars are often rich in carbohydrates. They are ideal for times when we need an effective energy input. The format of this type of bars is usually small so that it is much easier to transport, and carry with you during the course of physical activity. The moment that we feel a loss of strength or a lack of energy, resorting to them will be a relief, and briefly we will be able to maintain the intensity.
Brands of Energy Bars
Among the best known brands of energy bars in the sports nutrition market, we can highlight: Victory Endurance, Gold Nutrition, Multipower, Amix Performance.
Their priority is to produce bars that are allies for the athlete and sportsperson, and that at the time of greatest need, they can make use of them and refill their energy deposits.
The protein bars are those that provide a higher proportion of proteins than any other type of macronutrients. They are aimed at people who perform activities where there is a greater degradation of muscle fibers as a consequence of the type of exercise, like lifting weights. Thus, for these sportspeople, it is advisable to take 1 to 3 of these types of bars, either between meals, or before and/or after their workouts, in order to provide amino acids and contribute to the muscle regeneration and growth. On the other hand, other athletes, despite not being focussed on these activities, if they are going to suffer muscle degradation they can apply the same criteria, in this sense, only that reducing the daily amount.
Brands of Protein Bars
The manufacturers pursue to elaborate desirable and nutritious protein bars, for such a demanding public, which control down to the smallest detail of their diet, and above all seek a high protein and low calorie intake, especially avoiding sugar.
Among the brands of cheap protein bars we can find: Weider, Scitec Nutrition, BSN.