Is a protein nutrition bar really full of nutrition?
What's the best protein bar? People ask me all the time about the best protein nutrition bar, diet bar, or best energy bar. In all honesty, I stay away from these products.
It wasn't always this way. For many years, I used to drop a popular protein nutrition bar into my backpack, and never thought twice about eating it on the way out of the gym.
I mean, what was the big deal? I'd lifted hard, and had done my interval running workout outside in the early morning Florida humidity.
The bars were advertised with 12g of protein and only 190 calories. I figured that would be a muscle-building shot of nutrition until I could get home for my usual breakfast of oatmeal and fruit.
It wasn't until one day when I was waiting for my girlfriend that I happened to start actually reading the ingredients in small print on the back. The first thing that jumped out at me was...12 grams of sugar!
Say what??? Now, I was really starting to pay attention.
NOT the best protein bar
Yikes...the first ingredient was isolate soy protein (...uhhh, that would be processed soy protein.) This was NOT starting well at all.
Next came cocoa...processed with Alkili. Oh man.
Then we had corn syrup and sugar. Now there's a back-to-back combo for sheer muscle building. (Somebody please kick some sense into me.)
Following that little piece of disclosure came some tapioca starch, and then my favorite...hydrogenated oils. (Wow, I needed some of that deadly trans fat since I had just run so hard.)
We finished up with some bleached wheat flour, artificial flavors, and a few more hydrogenated refined oils. Oh yeah, there was also a consoling notice that stated "Less than 2% natural flavors."
I could not believe what I had been putting in my body almost every day for three years. No wonder I couldn't see my abs. What ever benefits I was receiving from my workouts, and making good food choices the rest of the day were being completely negated by my so-called protein nutrition bar.
What's even worse was that if I had to go to a meeting before going home that morning for breakfast...I'd just make sure to toss another one of those killer energy bars into my backpack.
I might as well just grabbed a frosted bagel with margarine. This was a nutritional disaster.
The best protein bar might be...no bar at all
Since that day, I have been taking either a banana, apple, or navel orange instead of an energy bar/protein nutrition bar. I also drop about 10 almonds in a sandwich bag and this seems to work much better.
A friend of mine said there were some simple diet bars at the Nature's Finest Health Food Store here in St. Petersburg, FL, but I haven't gotten over there to check them out. I'll do that and report back.