Top & Best Protein bar: How to choose the best in 2021
Today we are going to talk about a product that has been gaining more and more followers: the protein bar.
Allied to the protein supplementation of those who practice intense physical exercises, the protein bar is ideal to be used as a quick snack and, thus, to prevent the loss of muscle mass.
Amid so many options of bars, we will show in this article what you should take into account before buying the protein bar that will meet your expectations and needs.
First, the most important
- The protein bar, in addition to helping with protein maintenance that prevents muscle loss, is ideal for consumption between meals.
- It is different from cereal bars, but can be harmful if consumed in excess.
- We will show you what are the characteristics that differentiate one type from another and how to choose the ideal protein bar.
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The best protein bar options
The protein bar needs to have ingredients in adequate amounts to have the expected effect. Knowing this, manufacturers have invested in options for all purposes. Therefore, below, we will present you the best protein bar options available on the market today.
- Quest Bar Quest Nutrition, 1 unit
- Pro Premium Probiotic Cream Crunch, 12 units
- Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites, 12 units
It may seem simple to choose the protein bar. But there are factors that differentiate one type from another and that can influence the result of its effectiveness.
For this reason, we have created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need to make the best decision when purchasing the protein bar.
What is a protein bar?
Currently, there are several products that allow supplementary protein intake.
In addition to the famous Whey Protein supplement, protein bars have gained increasing popularity, as they can be used in snacks and throughout the day in a more practical way.
The idea of the product is to guarantee an increase in daily protein consumption, especially between main meals.
That’s because, in addition to preventing the loss of muscle mass, proteins also improve our immune system.
Therefore, they are widely used by those who practice intense physical activities.
The fact is that protein bars can provide more than 20g of protein per serving.
This amount is about 10 times greater than what is offered by common bars, such as cereal, for example.
In terms of protein, the protein bar therefore compares to foods that are richer in this nutrient, such as dairy products and meat.
Made in different flavors, they are very practical for you to fit into your routine.
In addition, the bar usually has other ingredients, such as fibers, to further enhance its benefits.
What is the difference between the cereal bar and the protein bar?
The cereal bar is a source of carbohydrates, made with cereal flakes such as rice, oats, corn and barley, in addition to vegetable fat or oil, dried fruits, oil seeds, among other ingredients.
But if your goal is to have a quick snack and without much concern with protein replacement, the cereal bar will be enough for you to eat good amounts of whole grains, vitamins and fiber.
But, although the cereal bar offers energy to the body, when consumed in excess it accumulates in the body in the form of fat.
So we also suggest that you avoid those that contain glucose syrup, inverted sugar and corn syrup as ingredients.
Now, if you are an athlete and need to replace or increase your daily protein dose, the protein bar will be the best option.
This is because, the composition of a protein bar has its base made, in general, of whey protein, known as Whey Protein.
Generally, this bar is composed of a low amount of carbohydrates and fats, and a high content of essential amino acids (BCAAs).
However, as the demand for protein varies from person to person, it is recommended that a nutritionist accompany you so that the athlete’s goal is achieved.
While conventional bars contain about 1 or 2 grams of protein, the protein bar provides 8g to 20g.
But, just as with the cereal bar, with the protein bar you also need to pay attention to the excess.
That’s because excess protein can be harmful, leading to kidney and liver problems.
The fact is that, in both cases, there may be restrictions on use for people with diabetes, kidney problems, obesity, fructose intolerance and food allergies, among others.
The following are the main differences between the cereal bar and the protein bar:
|cereal bar||Protein bar|
|Composition||Whole grains, vitamins and fiber||High BCAA content|
|Fats and sugars||The amount varies||Reduced quantity|
|Too much||You can put on weight||May cause health problems|
Does the protein bar help you lose weight?
The results of the consumption of the protein bar are not obtained directly with its ingestion.
As with other supplements, an interaction between diet, training and rest is required. But the protein bar can help with weight loss.
In general, according to experts, even those that do not have a high level of quality in the ingredients are still better than snacks.
As its intake is slower and requires more chewing, the protein bar provides satiety, that is, reduced the desire to eat.
In addition, this type of bar can also be more effective than prolonged fasting.
Still, we recommend that you keep an eye out, as some bars may contain sugar and excess saturated fat, thus losing their effectiveness in the goal of losing weight.
When (and how much) to consume the protein bar?
The protein bar comes in the right dose. Just open and eat! So it is ideal to be part of your diet at different times of the day.
Here are some examples of when you can consume the protein bar:
- Intermediate meals: The protein bar is a practical and healthy solution to be consumed between main meals and to ensure a good protein intake.
- Before training: The protein bar contains essential nutrients to energize your muscles and prevent catabolism (loss of lean mass).
- Post-workout: If you can’t have a complete meal after your workout, protein bars are an alternative to avoid losing muscle mass.
Experts only warn that the protein bar cannot be used as a meal replacement or used as a complete meal.
Ideally, the use of the protein bar should be sporadic.
According to experts, you should not exceed the maximum consumption of 2 to 3 protein bars per week.
What are the advantages of the protein bar?
As we have seen, the protein bar is versatile, as it can be used at any time of the day. And it’s practical, because just open the packaging and eat.
Another advantage of the protein bar is that it is a way of maintaining protein consumption, especially between main meals.
The fact is that protein supplementation helps to prevent catabolism, replenishes energy, contributed to hypertrophy and, of course, works as a healthy, quick and practical snack.
In addition, nowadays, there are the most diverse flavors of protein bars.
In addition to the benefits related to metabolic functions, the protein bar also offers advantages for your daily life.
The protein bar is healthier than chocolate and more practical than Whey Protein, for example.
The downside is that if you over-consume it can cause kidney and liver problems.
Not to mention that some brands have, in their composition, fats and sugars beyond the recommended.
The following are the main advantages and disadvantages of the protein bar:
- Extra source of protein
- Helps prevent muscle wasting
- Versatile and practical
- Quick and healthy snack
- Variety of flavors
- Too much is harmful
How much does the protein bar cost?
The price of the protein bar varies depending on the manufacturer brand and the ingredients used.
In general, you will find the bar unit costing between R $ 6 and R $ 20 a unit.
But it is very common to find boxes that contain between three and 20 units. Package prices vary between R $ 8 and R $ 150.
Where to buy protein bar?
You can buy the protein bar at bakeries, supplement stores, department stores and hypermarkets like Lojas Americanas and Extra.
We recommend that you make your purchase at online stores such as Amazon Brazil.
Thus, you guarantee more options to choose from and still purchase the protein bar from the comfort of your home.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to consider when choosing the protein bar
There are so many types of protein bars available that it is difficult to know which one is best for you. So it is essential that you understand what differentiates one from the other.
We have selected for you the main factors that must be taken into account before purchasing the protein bar:
- Sugars and fat
Next, we’ll explain each of these factors so that you can make the best decision when investing in the protein bar.
The first factor that you should note before purchasing the protein bar is information about the ingredients that make it up.
It is unanimous among experts that protein bars that have too many ingredients are nutritionally worse than those that have only basic ingredients.
Run away from names like interesterified oils, hydrogenated vegetable fat, fructose syrup, inverted sugar, artificial sweeteners, stabilizers, anti-humectants, flavors, dyes and flavor enhancers.
Also, keep an eye on the first ingredient listed, in general it is this element that comes in the greatest amount in the protein bar.
And in this case, as we will see below, the ideal is that the primary ingredient is protein.
In addition, we suggest that you choose the bar that has cereal and dried fruits as a carbohydrate source.
As mentioned above, the first ingredient on the list expressed in the protein bar is the one that is in the highest proportion.
For a bar to be considered protein, the first name on the list must be a product that is a source of proteins such as “isolated protein” or “concentrate”.
You can also find bars whose source of protein is of vegetable origin.
The main sources of protein used in the bars are Whey Protein, Albumin and Casein. But you can also find bars whose source of protein is of vegetable origin, such as soy, peas and rice.
These versions are ideal for vegetarians. Other bars also make a mix of animal and vegetable protein.
But in addition, it is essential to consider the amount of protein in the bar.
In general, you can choose bars that contain between 10g and 30g of protein. The choice will depend on your needs and goals.
Sugars and fat
We also recommend that you pay special attention to the type and amount of sugars and fats present in the protein bar.
Depending on the choice, your bar may end up not being effective for your purpose and even harmful to your health.
The tip is: make sure the amount of protein is greater than that of sugar. The best option is to invest in those that have cocoa or are sweetened with honey.
Also keep an eye on the amount of total fat and, especially, saturated fat.
A good protein bar should not have saturated fats.
Finally, take into account the size of the protein bar before making your purchase.
Most bars tend to be between 35g and 60g. The fact is that this choice will reflect on the amount of protein, carbohydrates and other ingredients present in the product in addition to, of course, the price.
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