Protein bars can be a good choice if you need some energy before you play a sport. They can also help you repair your muscles after playing a sport.
However, it is not necessary to use sports bars. You can get the energy you need from food before you play a sport.
When it’s needed?
The protein bar does not win in its composition before the protein shake. Usually, it is even less useful because of the contained sugars and the high denaturation of the raw material for keeping it in solid form.
Why do we need protein bars in this case? In fact, they have several advantages over other sources of concentrated protein:
- Storage. Prepared protein shake should be drunk within 3 hours after kneading, while the protein bar can be stored for up to a month in the unpacked state.
- Psychological barrier. Very many people are extremely negative about protein shakes due to myths and propaganda on television. The protein bar in this case is a compromise option that allows you to get the necessary protein and are not afraid “for the liver and potency”
- Compact form. If it is not always possible to carry a food container with you, the protein bar can easily fit in a bag or even in a pocket, which allows you to always have a supply of necessary proteins with you.
- Ability to use on the go. Especially important for busy people who are constantly traveling or at business meetings.
Protein bars: when to take?
Given their composition, protein bars can be recommended for use only when you die of hunger, and you absolutely do not have any other food available. Using a similar product as a component of the diet for a set of muscles is too expensive (normal whey protein is cheaper), and for weight loss – it is meaningless.
Whatever beautiful words are written on the packaging of a protein bar (ranging from “52% protein” to “0% added sugar”) – often they are intended only for an inexperienced customer who never reads the composition of the product. By its caloric content, most protein and bars (exactly like cereal bars) differ little from ordinary chocolate.
If I use sports bars, what should I look for on the label?
Read the ingredients
- Look for ingredients like whole grains, soy, casein (milk) or whey (milk) protein, dried fruit and nuts
- Try to avoid artificial sweeteners such as sucralose since you need carbohydrate (sugar) for energy
- Avoid sports bars that have trans fats. The words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list means trans fat
- Look for at least 10 grams of protein per bar
- Look for lower fat and fibre if you are eating a sports bar before playing a sport
A protein bar is nothing more than the usual high-calorie snack, carefully disguised as a “healthy product.” In reality, such bars are used on the shelf in the chemical laboratory, and not at all in the health food department. It is necessary to understand that such a product is the result of a very deep and serious processing of the original ingredients.
Moreover, the more protein and the less sugar in the composition of the protein bar, the more questions you should have to the list of dozens of synthetic components in its composition. Even if, in terms of calories and protein content, fat and carbohydrates, everything looks “normal”, it is worth resorting to such products in case of the most extreme need.