Protein supplements in the form of a chewable bar can be very useful for meeting one’s protein and caloric needs. However, before I continue to delve a little deeper into that topic, I wanted to first make a point of highlighting that there really is no substitute for a good quality whole food snack. For example, a couple of organic rice cakes topped with avocado and shredded chicken or smoked salmon, would be much more satisfying and probably a lot easier on most peoples stomach’s than some protein supplements can be.
However, todays world is a fast paced, ‘on-the-go’ world where time is seemingly becoming less and less available. I get that, and I too will occasionally utilise a good quality protein bar for a hit of protein and calories in between my main meals. Id like to stress the term GOOD QUALITY.
Like anything that comes to you in a packet or box, we should always be checking the ingredients list. If you aren’t in the habit of doing that, I would highly suggest you create that habit. If something has a paragraph worth of ingredients listed, that’s alarm bells!
Let’s look at a brand which is extremely popular. I won’t name names but it is renowned for lo-carb products and rhymes with napkins 🙂
Below is the ingredients list of their version of a coconut chocolate flavour protein bar. Now if you are not aware, ingredients lists must be listed in what is most abundant in the product, to what is least abundant. So first up is coconut. Ok cool, we have some whole food there. Rejoice! After that, it’s not great. A little further down you have whey protein isolate, the source of protein in the bar. Other than that, the list would not look out of place in a science lab. But hey, its only 170 calories! Do you know why? Because it’s all empty shit! Nothing worthwhile putting into your body.
Now we have a look at a good quality, nutritious protein bar like Blue Dinosaur (below). This is their chocolate flavour. Just six ingredients and ALL are actual foods! Ingredients that will serve a purpose, not just empty fillers to keep calories low.
So when it comes to choosing your convenient ‘go-to’ for a snack between meals, be sure to choose wisely! As I stated earlier, the first option should always be to have a healthy, nutritious whole food snack prepped and ready for when needed throughout the day as we don’t want to become too dependant on the simplicity of grabbing a bar. And when it comes to the protein bar supplements, always read the ingredients list. If there are words that are hard to pronounce or contain almost the entire alphabet, leave them be!