- How IdealFit is Raising the Bar (When It Comes to Protein)
- How Much Protein Does a Woman Need?
- What If I Don’t Get Enough Protein
- 1. Poor Recovery From Workouts
- 2. Loss of Muscle Mass
- 3. Decreased Strength
- A Solution: Protein Bars
- Where Other Protein Bars Come Up Short
- A Simple Yet Satisfying Bar to Replace Your Soylent Habit
- What's Inside
- Taste Test
- Raising the Bar on the Protein Bar
- F-Factor Fiber/Protein Bars | Low Carb & Low Fat | No Sugar Added
- Raising the (Protein) Bar
- 9 Best Protein Bars for Every Diet
How IdealFit is Raising the Bar (When It Comes to Protein)
As they say, you are what you eat. If you’re trying to build a strong, lean, healthy body, you have to eat right!
And making sure you get enough protein every day is a huge part of eating right!
Protein plays a major role in recovering from exercise, and it’s the main building block for lean muscle!
But when you’re on-the-go and living a fast-paced lifestyle, it can be tough to get enough protein to meet your needs.
A protein shake is quick and convenient, but if you’re looking for a different option, a protein bar is great!
A protein bar is convenient, portable, and an excellent way to reach your protein goal. But as you’ll see, not all protein bars are created equal.
How Much Protein Does a Woman Need?
How much protein do I really need?
That’s one of the most common questions women ask me. The answer to that question depends a lot on your age, activity level, and current fitness goals, among other factors.
But a good rule of thumb is about 1g of protein per 1 lb body weight each day if you’re living an active lifestyle and working out on a regular basis. (If you’re not very active, your goal should be closer to 0.5g per 1 lb body weight each day.)
For instance, a 150lb woman who works out 3-5 days each week would want to aim for about 150g protein each day.
To get enough protein to support your needs, you’ll have to make an effort to target high-quality protein sources.
What If I Don’t Get Enough Protein
The symptoms of protein deficiency can be a little scary, and can include sleeplessness, poor bone health, and a weak immune system!
Luckily you ly won’t have to worry about severe protein deficiency if you’re eating a well-balanced traditional diet, although it’s a bit tougher if you’re vegan or vegetarian.
But even if you’re getting enough protein to meet your basic needs, you may not be getting enough to support your fitness goals. If you’re living an active lifestyle and working out regularly, you need a lot more protein than someone living a sedentary lifestyle.
If your daily protein intake is insufficient to keep up with your fitness goals, you might experience the following symptoms.
1. Poor Recovery From Workouts
Protein is made from smaller particles called amino acids, which play a major role in recovery from exercise. This is why you’ve always been told to drink a protein shake pretty soon after you’ve finished your workout.
Without adequate protein, your post-workout recovery could be negatively impacted in a major way. This could lead to prolonged soreness, low energy during your next workout, and diminished training results!
2. Loss of Muscle Mass
As you know, protein is the primary building block for muscle growth. When you workout, your muscle fibers are broken down. With good nutrition, rest, and hydration, they’re soon built back up a little bit stronger than before.
But if you’re working out regularly and aren’t getting enough protein in your diet, your lean muscle mass won’t be properly nourished and it can start to break down.
3. Decreased Strength
When you’re involved in a resistance training protocol, i.e. lifting weights, you should become progressively stronger over time. If you’re getting enough protein that is.
If you continue to push yourself in the gym, but your protein consumption is insufficient, you won’t see these increases in the amount of weight you’re able to lift.
In fact, you’ll probably notice small but steady decreases in your overall strength!
A Solution: Protein Bars
A great way to make sure you’re getting enough protein every day is to carry a protein bar with you!
Protein bars are a real lifesaver for those who don’t have time to stop and prepare a meal or snack.
But there are a LOT of protein bars out there, and unfortunately, some of them fall short in big ways.
Where Other Protein Bars Come Up Short
1. Some protein bars are super high in sugar and calories.
Even though they might provide an adequate amount of high-quality protein, some protein bars are better off left on the shelf due to being loaded with sugar and extra calories. Sugar is okay once in a while in moderation, but eating high-sugar bars too often can totally derail your fitness goals!
2. Some protein bars simply don’t taste good.
Some protein bars are way too chewy, taste chalky, or really don’t have much flavor. Let’s be real, if you don’t your protein bar, you aren’t going to want to eat it! Late in the afternoon when the day starts to wear you down and you need that pick-me-up, you’ll be more ly to ditch a gross bar for a bag of chips or a candy bar.
3. Some protein bars aren’t really that high in protein
If you don’t get a good boost of protein from your protein bar, then what’s the point of even eating it? Yet some bars on the market fail to deliver in the protein department, offering just 10g or less. Everything you eat doesn’t have to be packed with protein in order to be valuable, but when you’re selecting a bar purely for the protein benefits, this simply won’t cut it.
A Simple Yet Satisfying Bar to Replace Your Soylent Habit
The trends that led to food bars—those portable meal substitutes that pack energy and nutrition into a few inches of pressed granola—are something de Tocqueville would have relished: busier lifestyles and the importance of convenience; the blurring of meals and snacks; an emphasis on portion control amid an obesity epidemic; and a shift to urban dwelling, which means smaller kitchens and less cooking. The guys at Soylent think the tech world runs on chalky sludge shakes. But really, it's food bars that fuel the Valley's code slaves.
Supermarket aisles teem with the damn things, with one industry report noting more than 2,000 brands to choose from.
One of the latest, Rxbar, comes from a Chicago startup by the same name that prides itself on selling a healthy comestible made with only a handful of high-quality ingredients.
The minimalist ingredient list and protein-forward composition make Rxbars a favorite among workaholics and workout-types. The taste? Not so much.
The first thing you notice about Rxbar is the packaging. Un every other food substitute clogging the shelves at Whole Foods, these things stick out a goth in a snowstorm. The packaging defines “bare bones.” If the Amish made food bars, the wrappers might look this.
The small and inconspicuous logo eschews the usual nut-n-berry-meets-rainforest motif in favor of an ingredient list featuring sans-serif type on a monochromatic matte background. Rxbar makes no claims that its product is a “superfood,” but dutifully lists the same final ingredient in each of its eight products: “No B.
S.” A marketing gimmick, yes, but a good one.
The company makes a big deal about all the things you won't find in an Rxbar. No added sugar. No dairy. No soy. No gluten. No GMOs. No preservatives. They aren't organic, but they are Kosher. Paleo and Whole30-compliant, too. Rxbar uses egg whites instead of whey to jack up the protein quotient, making these suitable for the lactose intolerant. Vegans are luck, though.
Peel back the wrapper and these things look something cooked up in someone's kitchen and sliced with a pizza cutter. Actually… Back in 2013, the company founders whipped them up with a five-quart mixer at home.
They marketed the bars to the CrossFit crowd (as in: “Rx the WOD, bro!”).
The business expanded as college students, health food enthusiasts, and suburban moms embraced RXbars, but the product retains the garage startup vibe.
The wrapper of each bar lists just four ingredients, a combination of egg whites, nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans) or peanuts, and dates. Flip that bar over, though, and you realize that's disingenuous. The back side of the label lists additional ingredients. The coffee chocolate bar, for example, includes cacao, coffee, sea salt, and natural coffee flavor. So much for “No B.S.”
Still, Melissa Wdowik, director of the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center at Colorado State University, gives the Rxbar marketing department a pass.
For something made with so few ingredients, the nutritional data ticks all the right boxes: In 200 calories, you get 12 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, 13 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of fiber.
“This bar will satisfy,” Wdowik says, “but without the usual rise and fall in blood sugar.” She also praises Rxbar for not scrimping on the ingredients, and for using egg whites—”the gold standard for protein.”
Cheap bars use cheap ingredients. If you see soy protein isolate and chicory root listed first, the manufacturer boosted the protein and fiber numbers with junk. And beware of bars packed with vitamins. That typically camouflages cut-rate ingredients. Zero grams of sugar raises another red flag.
It often means bars use sugar alcohols erythritol (virtually calorie-free) and malitol (about half the calories of sugar). The first is poorly metabolized, the second is poorly digested and can trigger flatulence. Rxbars skip such consumer chicanery.
And at just over two bucks a pop, they offer outstanding value.
Rxbars come in eight flavors. Chocolate sea salt is the best-seller, but the others enjoy loyal followings. The company plans to introduce three more next week: chocolate peanut butter, mixed berry, and chocolate chip. Grazers craving a tasting menu can order the Variety Pack of 12 bars for $27.
Despite the variety, these things taste remarkably similar.
You can tell them apart, but the differences are nuanced—more sniffing vapors than inhaling smoke—because the “natural flavors” come from the essential oils in the ingredients, not a laboratory somewhere off the New Jersey Turnpike.
Rxbar pours those flavor oils into the same matrix of egg whites (for speedy absorption by the body), nuts and peanuts (for healthy fat and mouth feel), and dates (for natural sweetening and binding), so everything ends up tasting more or less the same.
As a result, Rxbars rate no better than OK on the tasty spectrum. A Kind Plus bar would crush them in a blind tasting, but offers just 4 grams of protein compared to the robust 12 grams in Rxbars. One Rxbar will quell hunger pangs on a long flight or bolster the standard yogurt-and-banana lunch.
Without all the preservatives and stabilizers, the chocolate peanut butter bar sheds oil Gouda in the Sahara, chocolate chip tends to stick to your teeth, and mixed berry is exceptionally chewy. In fact, every Rxbar provides a mandible workout.
When it comes to ingesting calories, though, chewing is good. It triggers the digestive process and sends a satiety signal to the brain that prevents overeating.
If you can't be bothered, fine—slurp down another chalky Soylent and keep coding until the singularity arrives.
“,”author”:null,”date_published”:null,”lead_image_url”:”https://media.wired.com/photos/59265f0f7034dc5f91beb2de/191:100/pass/RXBar_HP.jpg”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”https://www.wired.com/2017/04/review-rxbar/”,”domain”:”www.wired.com”,”excerpt”:”The minimalist ingredient list makes the Rxbar a no-brainer.”,”word_count”:916,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}
Raising the Bar on the Protein Bar
As promised, this week I am sharing a couple of recipes of homemade protein/energy bars. They are a fantastic alternatives to the store-bought, sugar-laden, artificial ingredient-containin’, protein bars.
Yesterday I ran the house forgetting my home-made over the weekend protein bar. The day at the gym was long enough for me to get hungry before dinner. I stopped at the local Walgreens in hopes to find a replacement.
15 minutes later after reading through the ingredients of every single bar they had on the shelves I walked out empty-handed. All of them contained too much sugar, processed stuff, and artificial coloring.
Thank God our staff at the gym keeps snacks raw nuts handy.
PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE BARS (anytime)
This bar is great for any time of the day due to it’s lower carb content, while providing you with good fats and lots of protein.
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 4 scoops of chocolate protein powder
- 2/3 cup of flax meal
- 4 Tbsp of chunky natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup of water
Mix everything together in a large bowl and start stirring. At first, it will seem there’s not enough water, but keep stirring, and it will eventually become a sticky blob of dough. If you have to, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, and put them together into separate pieces of plastic wrap, shaping into a bar within the wrap. It’s easier to shape them by laying plastic wrap in one side of a small casserole dish, pressing the dough into the natural shape of the dish.
Put the bars in the fridge, or store them in the freezer. Mine don’t last long enough to be stored in the freezer though.
F-Factor Fiber/Protein Bars | Low Carb & Low Fat | No Sugar Added
Our *NEW* line of high-fiber, high-protein products are here! Yes, bars, and not just any ol’ protein bars, these bars really raise the bar for what we’ve come to expect of a protein bar—especially one that’s vegan. F-Factor Fans, meet the new and improved F-Factor Fiber/Protein Bars!
Delicious, healthy, convenient, and now **VEGAN** too, F-Factor Fiber/Protein bars are the perfect snack, and a complete game changer in the bar space.
With 20 grams of fat-fighting fiber to boost metabolism AND 20 grams of muscle-building protein, F-Factor Fiber/Protein bars effectively satisfy hunger longer than your standard protein-only based bars.
Rivaling the highest fiber bars on the market, F-Factor Fiber/Protein bars help you to fill up, without filling out.* Never go into a meal feeling ravenous again!
Delicious, healthy and convenient – meet more than half of your daily fiber needs with just 1 bar!
Coming in under 200 calories each (170-180 calories depending on flavor), with just 4g net carb, these bars are no Kälteen bars, that’s for sure!
The net carb here is kept low by the whopping 20g of belly-filling fiber in each bar. Fun fact: you can meet more than half your daily fiber needs with just ONE bar! All-natural, soy free, dairy-free, gluten free, non-GMO, vegan and Kosher, too, these bars are also free of artificial sweeteners, using only natural sources.
BUT HOW?! THE DEETS
The main source of protein in the F-Factor Fiber/Protein Bars is a brown rice protein concentrate, so yes, these bars are suitable for anyone following a vegan diet, and/or dairy-free.
The fiber is comprised of both a soluble corn fiber, which is a prebiotic, low viscosity soluble dietary fiber that helps support regularity and promote beneficial probiotics within the intestinal tract; and a chicory root fiber.
Free of artificial sweeteners, F-Factor Fiber/Protein Bars utilize natural sources monk fruit and stevia leaf extract for sweetness.
The F-Factor Fiber/Protein bars are currently available in two delicious flavors: Chocolate Brownie and Peanut Butter.
Snacking is not optional on F-Factor, it’s mandatory—and F-Factor Fiber/Protein bars make snack time easier than ever. This is because you can bring them with you anywhere you go; from your desk drawer to your carry-on luggage to your gym bag, the F-Factor Fiber/Protein bars are a tasty, filling, convenient, and of course, #FFACTORAPPROVED way to stick to your diet.
Each box contains 12 bars.
WHERE TO GET
Right HERE! To purchase a box of the Chocolate Brownie bars, click here, and for the Peanut Butter, click here. At this time, our products are available for shipment in the US and Canada.
Shop FIBER/PROTEIN Bars
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Raising the (Protein) Bar
As a college student constantly on the go, protein bars are my favorite portable snacks. I prefer those made with all-natural ingredients, but not all bars are created equal when it comes to flavor and nutrition. Here’s what I think of bars that you can find at nearby grocery store.
Photo by Hannah Lin
Builder’s Bar is the Clif Bar company’s answer to the high-protein bar craze. The bars come in several flavors Cookies n’ Cream, Chocolate and Crunchy Peanut Butter, and they are extremely dense and chewy.
The metallic protein powder flavor is very apparent, giving the bar an unpleasant aftertaste that overshadows the otherwise yummy, indulgent flavors.
On the plus side, these bars are full of protein and will keep you full for a long time, so if you can handle the taste of protein powder, give these a try.
Nutrition Facts:270 calories per bar8 grams of fat2 grams of fiber22 grams of sugar
20 grams of protein
High protein content, but poor flavor and texture
Photo by Hannah Lin
Clif Bar is the original natural protein bar, and for a good reason. The bars come in every flavor imaginable, including seasonal varieties Iced Gingerbread and Spiced Pumpkin Pie.
Clif bars are dense, filling and calorie-rich. The flavors are true-to-life in that the bars actually resemble what they are supposed to taste .
After a tough workout or as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, Clif bars hit the spot.
Nutrition Facts:230 calories per bar3.5 grams of fat5 grams of fiber24 grams of sugar
9 grams of protein
Yummy flavors, hearty texture and good nutritional stats, but high sugar content
Photo by Hannah Lin
Clif Z-Bar is designed for children, but that didn’t stop me from trying them.
These soft, chewy bars have a rich, oaty texture and come in several sweet, kid-friendly flavors Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie and Iced Oatmeal Cookie.
They are low in protein but fortified with vitamins and minerals. Z-bars are delicious and satisfying crumbled into yogurt for breakfast or as a healthy dessert.
Nutrition Facts:130 calories per bar4 grams of fat3 grams of fiber11 grams of sugar
3 grams of protein
Yummy flavors, but low protein and high sugar content
Photo by Hannah Lin
Larabar is available in many flavors, from fruity Apple Pie to nutty Cashew Cookie to indulgent Chocolate Chip Brownie. They contain nothing but dates, nuts and natural ingredients that vary by flavor.
Larabars are high in healthy unsaturated fats and fiber, but also high in sugar due to the dates.
The small size of each bar is a bit unsatisfying, but nevertheless they’re a delicious treat best savored as a snack or a healthier dessert.
Nutrition Facts:190 calories per bar10 grams of fat5 grams of fiber18 grams of sugar
4 grams of protein
Simple ingredients, but high sugar content and small size
Photo by Hannah Lin
KIND Bar comes in many varieties, but for comparison purposes, I tested the Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein bar. KIND bars are packed with whole nuts and fruit, giving them a granola bar- texture.
This bar tasted more peanuts than creamy peanut butter, but the dark chocolate added light sweetness and richness. It’s high in protein and low in sugar, making it a great choice for a filling component of an on-the-go meal.
Nutrition Facts:200 calories per bar13 grams of fat, 9.5 unsaturated3 grams of fiber10 grams of sugar
7 grams of protein
Try your hand at homemade granola bars with this recipe.
By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier
9 Best Protein Bars for Every Diet
There’s no question that protein is an essential part of a healthy diet: Research suggests that protein keeps you feeling full, helps muscle recovery after a workout, can contribute to weight loss, and may even lower blood pressure.
A recent study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, found that replacing the calories in refined carbs with a daily 40-gram (g) supplement of milk or soy protein lowered blood pressure modestly.
All these benefits help explain why protein bars have become a diet staple in the United States.
Protein bars are a type of nutritional supplement that comes in a variety of brands and flavors — chocolate, dark chocolate, almond, vanilla, peanut butter and chocolate, oatmeal, and more.
Many protein bars have a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, making them a nice choice for a snack or postworkout recovery boost.
Some protein bars are higher in sugar while others use sugar alcohols.
The only problem, says Jessica Janc, a certified sports nutritionist with the National Association of Sports Nutrition, is that not all protein bars are created equal — many protein bar brands are so loaded with sugar, they’re more delicious candy bars than dietary supplements.
The key, Janc says, is selecting a protein bar with the right building blocks — protein should be at least half the amount of the bar’s carbohydrates. “For instance, if the bar has 24 grams of carbohydrates, I would want it to have at least 12 grams of protein,” Janc explains.
“I the sugars to be below 7 grams and the fat to be below 12 grams.”
Similarly, Ericka Stachura, RD, of Boston, recommends dieters watch the sugar, protein, and fiber in protein bars. “For a snack, look for protein bars with 200 calories or less,” she says.
“For an on-the-go meal replacement, look for bars that have 200 calories or more. Serious athletes who want a postworkout recovery protein bar should look for bars with about 20 grams of protein.
It’s also a good idea to look for a short ingredients list to ensure your bar is minimally processed.”
But what if you indulge in several pure protein bars each day, could you be getting too much protein? According to the Mayo Clinic, most Americans get twice as much protein as they need. Even without protein bars and other dietary supplements, athletes are getting more protein than is needed.
This happens because calorie requirements are higher for athletes, who burn lots of calories, and eating more food increases the intake of protein. In addition, it’s not uncommon for athletes to intentionally seek out higher levels of protein because they think it will help them build more muscle.
For the average person, the least amount of protein you need each day in order to stay healthy is 0.8 g per kilogram (kg) (or 0.36 g per pound). With a typical diet, that amount is easy to get without even thinking about it.
People who exercise regularly need a little more, at about 1.1 to 1.5 g of protein per kg of body weight while those who lift weights or are training for a marathon or cycling event need 1.2 to 1.7 g per kg. Excessive protein intake is considered about 2.
5 g per kg of body weight daily.
For women ages 40 to 50, protein needs increase to about 1 to 1.2 g per kg of body weight. This is because women at midlife begin to lose muscle mass (sarcopenia) with aging. Experts believe added protein may help prevent this health condition. For those who already have sarcopenia, 1.2 to 1.5 g per kg per day may be needed.
Read on to find out about the best protein bars for every diet.