Featured__ To Protein Bar Or Not To Protein Bar?
When you can barely find the time to hit the gym, chances are you don’t have the time to pack a complete protein-packed post-workout meal. A protein bar can seem like a great idea for eating on the go – they’re easy and fairly inexpensive, and you’re supposed to eat protein after a workout, right?
While it is good to have protein after a workout for muscle recovery, a protein bar shouldn’t always be your go-to, especially if you’re just doing some light jogging or abs. Protein bars are marketed as being healthy, but most of them pack about 400 calories per bar – more than that scoop of artisinal ice cream you ate last Sunday. Most people don’t burn 400 calories during a light workout, so eating something that high-cal afterwards doesn’t make much sense. Plus, some protein bars have more sugar and saturated fat than a candy bar. You wouldn’t grab a donut as a healthy post-workout snack, would you?
There are lots of other ways to get protein after a workout, even on the go. If you want pure protein, bring some protein powder and a shaker bottle with you and make a protein shake. Shakes are more filling and generally contain about half the calories as protein bars. If you’re somewhere with refrigeration, try bringing some string cheese or greek yogurt – both packed with protein.
The notion that you need to eat immediately after a workout is also false. Your body will reap the benefits of post-workout protein just as well if you consume it 30 minutes after your workout than if you eat it right away. That being said, if you can wait until you get home from the gym and eat some grilled chicken instead of a protein bar, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of calories.
That’s not to say that there’s never a time for protein bars, though. If you’ve had a really grueling workout and won’t be able to eat for a few hours, a protein bar can be great to fuel your body and give you a burst of energy until you can eat a real meal.
Try to look at the nutritional labels when picking your bar. The most important thing to remember is if it’s more than 300 calories, treat it like a meal, not a snack. Choose protein bars low in sugar with natural ingredients that you’re able to pronounce. Bars with lots of nuts are great for keeping you feeling full for a few hours after your workout. We recommend Pure Organic bars, which are made from all organic ingredients and weigh in at just 190 calories per bar.
There’s a time and a place for protein bars, it’s just not all the time. You’re better off saving the calories for something you actually want to eat.