If you are trying to add muscle, lose weight, and have an overall healthy diet, you know that protein is a vital part of your plan. According to the CDC, the average sedentary man needs 56 grams of protein daily and the average sedentary woman needs 46 grams. If you're working out regularly, your daily needs can double or even triple. It might be time to find the best protein bars for you and your needs.
A quick and easy way to ensure you are getting the protein you need to reach your fitness goals is to incorporate a protein bar into your diet. However, with so many bars that are basically glorified candy bars, and so many different options out there, it can be difficult to pick the right protein bar for you. Here are some tips to help you find your protein bar soul mate.
Protein Bars for the Gym Rat
Is your number one goal gains? If you are a true workout buff, you need a bar that is high in protein, high in carbs, but low in fat and fiber. Since fitness and health are more than just a hobby to you, you need to get .77 grams of protein for every pound of your body weight. Your ideal bar will include a combination of whey and casein protein.
While whey absorbs quickly and provided an immediate supply of protein to your body, casein supplies your body with a steadier stream of amino acids. This provides you with a longer, slower release that will help promote growth and prevent muscle breakdown. Your perfect match:
PowerBar Protein Plus30 grams of protein per bar
The Best Bar for the All Around Athlete
You care about muscle gains, but it’s not your number one priority. You work out consistently, and you are looking to add a little oomph to your protein game. Since you are in the gym at least five days a week, you’re going to need to get .55 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. You need a bar that matches your healthy lifestyle but still keeps quality protein as the number one ingredient. Your perfect match:
Quest Protein Bars20 grams of protein per bar
The Right Protein Bar for the Health Nut
You work out. You eat healthily. You're all about a total healthy lifestyle. You believe that fitness is more about feeling good than getting big. For your active lifestyle, you are still going to need more protein than the average Joe, but nowhere close to the amount of your iron-pumping buddies. A bar for you will focus on healthy, balanced ingredients and contain at least 15 grams of protein. Your perfect match:
Almond Rise Protein bar17 grams of protein
Is This a Candy Bar or Protein Bar?
Regardless of whether you are pumping iron 6 days a week or taking a casual jog three days a week, it is important to remember that a healthy protein bar can be difficult to find. Don’t be fooled by flashy advertising and buzz words like ‘organic’ and ‘gluten free’.
Remember these three easy words and you won’t get stuck with a candy bar disguised as a protein bar. WHEY: You should seek out bars that have high-quality protein like Whey or Casein. Be sure that this is the first ingredient listed in your bar. INGREDIENTS: Speaking of ingredients, less is always more. Your brain doesn’t need to fumble with a list of 50 words you can’t pronounce, and your body doesn’t either. Keep it simple. SUGARS: Just stay away. Many protein bars contain alcohol sugars that can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Scan the label for HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). If it’s one of the first or second ingredients listed, pick another bar.
Final Words on Finding Your Perfect Protein Bar
Whether you are looking to build mass, maintain a healthy weight, or simply lead a healthy lifestyle, adding a protein supplement in the form of a bar is a smart move. Just remember to check that label and steer clear of long ingredient lists and added sugar to find the best protein bars for you.