The bars are small snacks or nutritional contributions, that is, they can be compared to a small meal. Depending on their composition and the moment of their consumption, they will provide proteins, fats and carbohydrates, in bigger or smaller proportions.
For example, the meal replacement bars can complete our diet, since they are easy to carry around and will allow us eat them anytime, anywhere.
There are also satiating bars, whose purpose is to avoid eating other types of food, that may jeopardise our objectives or goals: to lose, maintain or gain weight.
The protein bars are specially aimed at people who practice sports, who 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 of a high resistant nature.
Depending on you nutritional requirements, you must choose the bar that best adjusts to your requirements.
Why eat Bars?
They provide nutrients
They are easy to carry
They can be eaten anywhere
They help us to meet our nutritional goals
They avoid eating between hours
Since they are 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 can 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 consume energy bars. However, we may include a protein bar at the end of the workout.
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 the best choice. On the other hand, if we are trying to maintain weight and not gain it, the satiating bars will provide a greater amount of fibre, which will help to reduce the appetite between meals.
When should I eat 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 looking for an energy contribution, as well as a protein supply
During workout: energy bars will be the best choice in order to maintain the energy supply
After workout: protein bars, to help with the recovery and to begin regenerating the muscle tissues
Depending on our objectives, we will eat satiating or meal replacement bars at any another time.
Meal Replacement Bars
The meal-replacement bars will provide practically the same nutrients as a meal, but on a smaller scale. Usually the serving will be 1 or 2 replacement bars to match the calories of a meal.
These satiating bars are ideal to take with us if we are on the move and do not have anything to eat, in this way we will continue to provide the necessary nutrients. They can be used as a 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, specially sugars, with a good amount of proteins and micro-nutrients. Among the top selling brands of replacement bars we can find: Quest, Amix Nutrition, Quamtrax, Gold Nutrition, Meridian, Prisma Natural.
The energy bars tend to be rich in carbohydrates. They are ideal for times when we need an efficient energy supply. The format of this type of bars is usually small so that they are much easier to transport and carry with you during the execution 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 we will be able to maintain the intensity once again.
Their priority is to produce bars that are allies for the athlete and sportspeople and that at the time of greatest need, they can make use of them and recharge their energy.
The protein bars are those that provide a higher proportion of proteins in regard to any other type of macronutrients. They are aimed at people who perform activities where there is a greater breakdown of muscle fibres as a consequence of the type of exercise, like weightlifting. Thus, for these sportspeople, it is advisable to consume from 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 regeneration and growth of the muscles. On the other hand, other athletes can apply the same criteria if they are going to suffer muscle breakdown, even if they are not focussed on the same activities, they only have to reduce the daily amount.
Brands of Protein Bars
The manufacturers pursue the elaboration of appetising and nutritious protein bars for such a demanding public, who controls down to the smallest detail of their diet, and who, above all, seek a high protein and low calorie intake, especially avoiding sugar.