So THIS Is the Right Time to Eat a Protein Bar

Posted by Healthy Truth on Jun 22nd 2019

Protein bars are a quick, convenient way to get in much-needed protein, which can boost protein synthesis, help you develop muscle mass, and keep fat off. Although nutritional supplements can never take the place of whole foods in a healthy diet, there are times when a bar is a perfectly fine alternative to food.

There are numerous health and performance benefits linked to a high-protein diet. Yet despite this, protein consumption across the world is down. It’s important to consume the recommended amount of protein on a daily basis.

Some Benefits of Eating Protein Bars

  • Protein bars will help increase lean mass.
  • Protein bars will boost strength and power.
  • Protein bars will contribute to a reduction in body fat.
  • Protein bars will boost your recovery after workouts.
  • Protein bars control appetite.
  • Protein bars regulate blood sugar.
  • Protein bars will improve heart health and cut down the risk of diabetes.
  • Protein bars that are full of fiber will help control blood pressure.
  • Protein bars will help lower LDL and cholesterol levels.
  • Protein bars can fortify bones.

How Much Protein You Need?

The Dietary Reference Intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight, which comes out to about 56 grams a day for the average sedentary and 46 grams for women with similar activity levels.

Depending on the level of workouts you perform, you need to ensure you are getting enough protein (10-20 grams) to be able to fuel muscle growth. You can go for between 1.5 – 2.5 grams of protein per kg of body weight. If you are attempting to get this from food alone, then add in a protein bar.

Due to the higher need for protein, while exercising at a higher intensity, studies have stated that an athlete needs twice as much protein per day as a sedentary person.

When Is the Best Time to Eat a Protein Bar?

An easy answer to this question before or after a workout. Studies have shown that having small amounts of quality protein after exercising can be effective for your muscles. After workouts, the body needs amino acids to repair any muscle damage and also aiding muscle growth.

A recommended 10-20 grams of protein after a workout can be sufficient to give your muscles the nutrients they need. Most quality protein bars available fall within this range.

Other important questions that we get are “can I eat a protein bar before a workout” and “can I eat a protein bar for breakfast?” Generally, protein supplementation pre- or post-workout boost physical performance.

In a recent study, researchers studied the difference between consuming protein pre- versus post-workout and discovered similar changes among both groups when it comes to hypertrophy, muscle strength, and body composition. They discovered that the decision is a matter of personal preference, convenience, tolerances, availability, and some other factors.

In other words, you’re free to pick whether you want to consume protein immediately before or after you exercise.

How Do You Pick the Right Protein Bar?

If you're going to add protein bars in your diet — as a regular between meals, a go-to option when you don't have time for a proper meal, part of a weight-loss or weight-gain regimen — reading and understanding the ingredients labels on the different types of bars is important for choosing the healthiest choices for you.

Here are some guidelines to consider:

Protein Type

The protein in bars usually comes from dairy or plant sources. Some of the most common are:

  • Whey
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Rice
  • Peas
  • Hemp

However, there are a lot of studies showing that dairy such as milk and whey have negative effects on the body, so it’s highly recommended you stick to plant sources

Protein Content

For a pre- or post-workout snack, go for a bar that contains around 15-20 grams of protein. If your favorite bar is available under these parameters, you can have a handful of nuts to make up the difference.

The body can absorb between 20 and 40 grams of protein at a time. If you regularly eat more than that, not only will you not benefit, the unused calories can contribute to weight gain.

Calories

If you're looking for a bar to eat between meals, stick to one that contains around 250 calories. A protein bar that subs for a complete meal can have 300 to 400 calories, although it’s not necessary to consume that many calories in one snack.

Fat

Ten to 15 grams of total fat is good and no more than two grams of saturated fat is perfect. Stay away from unhealthy fats like partially hydrogenated oils.

Fiber

This element is also very important. Fiber is filling, so the more fiber in a bar, the more likely it is to keep you satisfied and filled until your next meal or snack. Don't settle for fewer than 3-5 grams of fiber in a protein bar.

Sugar

Stay away from protein bars that rival candy bars in terms of sugar content. Some get their sweetness from as much as 30 grams of added sugar when the ideal is almost five grams or less. Artificial sweeteners (such as sorbitol, erythritol, and maltitol) aren't very good options because they often lead to bloating and gas, and they aren’t processed well in the body.

The Bottom Line

So what’s the moral of the story? Is there really a “best” time to eat a protein bar? The answer can just be that there really isn’t a “bad” time to eat a bar. What actually matters is making sure you’re fueling your body properly to help encourage growth, help in recovery, and support your lifestyle needs.

Give Healthy Truth Protein Bars a try. At 270 calories, you get 14 grams of high-quality plant-based protein. Made from the cleanest ingredients, our bars are plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free and sprouted. Plus, they taste delicious!

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