There was a time when only athletes used to eat energy bars. Only a few companies were making them, the TV ads had runners or body-builders getting their daily dose of energy from these ‘power’ bars. The energy bars market has evolved since then. From being marketed to only athletes, they’re now positioned as a much-needed snack for weight loss, fitness enthusiasts, pregnancy, children, and just about anybody.
But do energy bars do all that they promise to?
The answer is YES, but it all depends on why you’re having that energy bar and which one you’re choosing.
Most people think that eating an energy bar will give you an instant power boost and make you feel super energetic, but that’s not true. An energy bar will give you the same amount of energy as a healthy meal, but it’s just more convenient to have when you’re on the go and don’t have time for a full meal, or to fulfill your lookout for a pre or post-workout snack.
How to choose an Energy Bar?
Not all energy bars are created equal, so the key here is to read the labels very carefully! When it comes to buying energy bars, you need to be clear about your purpose first. Whether it’s for a meal replacement or weight loss, a snack or a part of a nutrition plan, you need to be choosing the energy bar accordingly.
Meal replacement bars
If you’re looking for a high energy bar as a meal replacement, then go for a bar with higher calories, of about 300 calories and more, that will give you enough energy equivalent to a complete meal. You should look for ingredients like whole grains, protein, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc. and avoid sugar and its substitutes.
A general rule of thumb is, the fewer and simpler the ingredients, the better.
Mid-day snack bars
If you’re looking for midday or midnight snack to tide you over until the next meal, then look for a bar that has fewer than 200 calories and is high in fiber, but at the same time low on saturated fats.
Whereas, if you’re looking for a pre or post-workout snack, then you need to choose a high energy bar that’s high in protein. Such protein bars should contain at least 10-20 grams of protein.
Bars for women are generally smaller with fewer calories and come fortified with added minerals such as folic acid, antioxidants, and calcium
Looking to buy energy bars online? We have a full assortment of healthy energy bars for you here.
Can Energy Bars actually help you slim down?
They definitely can, but only if you eat them smartly. If you’re consuming high energy bars in between meals, then you’re just packing on the calories and won’t end up losing weight. If weight loss is your purpose, then you should be either making breakfast bars a part of your breakfast or using energy bars as a meal replacement once in a while. The problem is that most people end up having their regular meals in addition to energy bars because a bar might not be as satisfying as a portion of grilled chicken. Ideally, your energy bar should have at least 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber to satiate you.
Energy bars are a great mid-day snack or pre/post-work-out snack and aid you in your quest for a healthy diet and lifestyle. They can serve as meal replacers as well, but that should be done once in a while. Full fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat have their place in our diet and no amount of energy bars can ever replace the nutrition that they provide.
So stock up on your stash of energy bars to keep in your bag or at your desk and enjoy them!