It’s common to question, “Are protein bars good for you?“, mostly because they seem too good to be true. It’s important to know there are plenty of healthy varieties on the market, but not every bar is created equally. Depending on what you intend on using protein bars for, they can be very beneficial but in other situations, detrimental to your weight and health.
As with anything you eat daily, moderation is key when it comes to these high-protein and high-calorie snacks. There’s a lot to consider when shopping for protein bars, as we’ll explore.
The Benefits of Protein Bars
First, let’s go over the benefits of consuming protein bars in moderation. For many people, they are an essential part of their daily food intake.
1. Protein Supplementation
The vast majority of people are well below their daily threshold of protein which is required to build a healthy and lean physique. Even those who meal prep might find that it’s very difficult to meet the amount of protein they should be consuming daily, which is where these bars come into play.
Protein bars give you the ability to eat the perfect amount of protein daily to keep your metabolic rate at a healthy level.
2. Improving Satiety
Have you ever experienced overwhelming midday hunger? You’re surely not alone, which is why more people are beginning to buy protein bars in bulk.
Specially designed with hearty ingredients which help to make you feel fuller for longer, they are the perfect way to supplement a meal with less effort. With that said, they typically contain many calories, which is why they need to be consumed in moderation.
This is a benefit that contributes to satiety as well since the convenience of having a snack which keeps you full is ideal for many lifestyles. Instead of spending time preparing a midday snack or an entire meal, it can be far more convenient to unwrap a bar that you keep in your desk at work.
As day-to-day tasks become more strenuous and time-consuming, you might prefer to have a protein bar for breakfast while you’re rushing to work in the morning.
4. Highly Nutritious
Aside from protein, there are plenty of other nutritional aspects of protein bars that keep your body healthy and happy throughout the day. This includes an assortment of vitamins, iron, healthy fats, fiber, and carbohydrates. The more natural the list of ingredients is, the better the protein bar will be for your body.
Similar to protein shakes, protein bars are a fantastic way to make sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay active daily. They’re highly recommended for people with limited appetites but still need to maintain their health.
5. Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks
If you’re someone who likes to spend a lot of time in the gym, you are well aware of the nutrients your muscles need to repair and strengthen them. There are plenty of people who don’t enjoy the taste of protein shakes, and as such, these bars are a real lifesaver.
Jam-packed with everything your body needs to have the energy to power through a strenuous workout, they’re a fantastic pre-workout treat. You’ll also appreciate using protein bars as a post-workout snack.
With their heightened levels of protein, they nourish your muscles to speed up their recovery. This not only helps them to become stronger but will also assist you with getting back into the gym the next day.
As long as you pay close attention to the ingredients in your protein bars, you’ll find they are a phenomenal snack for everyone in the family, even kids. This can’t also be said for most protein shakes, as they may not have an approved list of items which your kids will enjoy.
Most protein bars are designed to taste similar to treats, such as brownies, which your children will love.
Parents who are also trying to get their kids to eat more nutritious things will find it simpler to supplement certain foods with protein bars. As these sugary treats are something your kids will reach for on their own, they’re a solution for picky eaters.
The Disadvantages of Protein Bars
Even though there’s plenty to love about protein bars, there is also an assortment of disadvantages to consider. With improper consumption, you could be doing your body more harm than good.
1. High Sugar Content
The first negative aspect of protein bars is they typically contain a lot of sugar compared to healthier sources of protein. Although they are convenient and easy to snack on, they can cause your body to store sugar as fat just as easily as a candy bar. In fact, there are plenty of protein bars which have even more sugar than candy bars, which is not ideal for your overall health.
2. Artificial Ingredients
As with any other type of prepackaged food, you can guarantee most protein bars are going to come with a long list of artificial ingredients. This may include preservatives, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, food coloring, and sugar alcohols. You will also need to pay close attention to ensure the ingredients don’t include artificial sugars, as these do your body more harm than regular sugar.
3. High-Calorie Treats
After your first bite, you’ll surely understand what the hype is surrounding protein bars, as most of them taste absolutely scrumptious. This may also mean they carry a hefty calorie count, which isn’t ideal in all situations.
It’s important to note that many protein bars have more calories than what an average meal should be, which can cause you to gain weight.
Similar to how you would take a daily vitamin or consume protein powder, you’ll only want to use protein bars as a supplement. They are not designed to be added to a full dinner as a dessert.
Are Protein Bars Good for You: The Verdict
Protein bars have the opportunity to be a fantastic addition to your diet, as long as you find a healthy formula and eat them as supplements rather than treats. Packed with nutrients, but also a lot of sugar, carbs, and calories, they have specific purposes in order for you to experience their true benefits.
The more natural the ingredients list, the better they are for you and your family and the less you can wonder, are protein bars good for you?