There’s nothing better than biting into a tasty protein bar after an intense workout, or when you’re on the go and don’t have time to grab lunch. With a delicious taste that’s packed with energy that keeps you going all day, the best protein bars provide convenient nutrition in a way that’s easy to eat anywhere.
But not all protein bars are created equally. Different protein bars vary in their nutritional qualities. Some bars taste good, but they’re packed with energy-busting sugars and unhealthy fats that leave you crashing fast. Instead, look for the following four nutritional qualities that the best protein bars have:
- Fiber. Combining protein and fiber in your protein bar packs a punch that’s great for all-day energy. Fiber improves digestion and makes your meal bulkier, and there’s also evidence that it reduces your hunger. The best protein bars add fiber along with protein for a powerful nutritional combination that increases your energy and makes you feel fuller, faster.
- Complex Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates give you energy that helps you power through the afternoon, and complex carbohydrates, which are in whole grains, don’t wear off quickly like simple sugars. They give you a feeling of vigor that can last for hours. Look for protein bars that uses whole grains as a base, such as whole wheat flour, and that limit the simple sugars.
- Healthy Fats. Fats have a bad reputation, but healthy polyunsaturated fats, like the ones in olive or canola oil, are a nutritional powerhouse. These good fats, when eaten in moderation, have vitamins and antioxidants that lower your cholesterol and keep your heart healthy. On the other hand, stay away from bars with high saturated or trans fats that raise cholesterol.
- Fortified Nutrients. Eating on the move doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the vitamins and minerals you’d normally get from fruits and vegetables. Ideally, buy a protein bar that has around 35-50% of your daily nutrients, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and zinc. But if you eat a lot of protein bars, be careful that you don’t get too much of a good thing. Regularly eating more than your daily needs of essential nutrients can hurt your body and be counterproductive.
When you’re searching for the best, most nutritious protein bar online, the best way to make a good decision is to educate yourself. Before you buy a protein bar, look at the nutrition information to make sure you’re grabbing the healthiest meal replacement or snack. That way, you can be sure that not only does the protein bar you’re eating taste good, it’s good for you too.