Adding protein bars to your diet when you are trying to lose weight or pack on muscles is a great way to achieve your goals. Protein bars have become a popular addition to many fitness regimens that allows you to maximize your workouts for results.
But what should you look for when you are searching for a protein bar that’s right for you? Not all protein bars are created equally, so you may need to do a little shopping around before you settle on one or two that you like. Here’s a quick guide to what you should look for in a protein bar, no matter which you choose to add to your diet.
What’s the Calorie Count?
If you are serious about your exercise routine, you are probably on some sort of calorie restriction, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Protein bars are great because they can curb your hunger without giving you all of the unnecessary additives, but you really need to pay attention to the total calorie count of the bar.
Think about it: if you are on a 1200 calorie diet and a bar has 300 calories, you’re giving up a quarter of your allowance just for a snack. This may be good for you for a while, but you’ll soon find yourself wishing that you could eat better meals.
On the other hand, if you are trying to pack on mass and need all the calories you can get, then a four or five-hundred calorie protein bar is a great addition. The main thing to understand is your caloric goals and how much of those will be taken up by the bar you choose.
How Many Carbs?
Just as with the total calories in a bar, you need to be aware of the total amount of carbohydrates.
If you are trying to lose weight, you want to avoid any unnecessary carbs, so you want to find a bar that’s lower than 30 grams or so. And as with calories, if you’re trying to gain weight you can stand a little more in your bars.
Also, take into account when you eat the bar: if you eat it just before or just after your workout, then a few extra carbs won’t be that big of a deal since your body will use them right away.
Unless you enjoy eating things you don’t like, you don’t want to forget about the taste of each bar. Find one that you actually enjoy eating, especially if the protein bar is going to be a staple in your diet: there’s no reason to torture yourself with a gross protein bar for a few fewer carbs or calories. You may need to try a few different one out to find the one you like, but it will be worth it, especially if you eat seven or eight of them per week.
Remember these tips when you’re looking for a protein bar.