Protein bars are an important tool for the bodybuilder. A good protein bar is a convenient way to get that much needed protein in between meals or on the road. The supplement market has been inundated with protein bar choices. The hard part for the average bodybuilder is sorting through all the choices and figuring out which is the best choice for them.
Most protein bars have certain aspects in common. They have all three of the major macronutrients in them; fats, protein, and carbohydrates. The variable factor is how much of each is contained in the bar. All the bars contain calories, as well. The amount can vary from 100 to 700 or more calories. Finally, all bars are marketed by companies trying to make money, therefore they will all claim to be the best on the market.
When looking for the best bar for your needs, it is important to understand your needs. Most bodybuilders fall into one of three categories. Some lifters need a lot of additional calories to offset a very fast metabolism. Other bodybuilders may need to limit the total calories to lose body fat. The third group is strictly looking to increase overall protein intake, without a lot of extra calories or other nutrients.
The protein bars vary widely by nutrient content and calories. Some bars are designed for the bodybuilder looking to control overall calorie intake. They are made with fewer calories and usually have fewer carbohydrates and fats. The protein intake may be lower, as well. There are some good bars with fiber and complex carbohydrates, limited fat, and a higher protein content that still keep the total calorie level below 250. These bars generally are not as sweet as others, and usually do not come in as many flavors.
Some protein bars have a great ratio of nutrients within a moderate calorie bar. They have an adequate amount of fats and carbohydrates along with a good protein amount. These bars often parallel the nutrient breakdown of the normal diet. These bars are so complete they can serve as a meal, when needed. These bars usually run around 300 to 500 calories.
Other bars may have more calories due to increased carbohydrates and fats. The fats give the bar a better consistency and the carbohydrates make the flavor better. Some of these bars come in extravagant flavors like Strawberry Smoothie, Mint Chocolate Chip, or Cookie Dough. They generally have calorie counts above 300, with some over 700 calories. The best high calorie protein bars get their calories from complex carbohydrates, some fats, and protein, with only enough sugar to flavor the bar.
A bodybuilder who needs extra calories may find the higher calorie protein bar convenient in this quest. Eating a protein bar between meals to increase calories may help boost muscular gains. It makes an easy way to get those extra calories. The bodybuilder who is looking to reduce overall caloric intake may use a complete protein bar to replace a meal or two during the day. This will ensure adequate nutrients without the extra calories often consumed in a regular meal. The bodybuilder who is simply looking to increase protein intake may seek a bar with very few carbohydrates and fats, and lower caloric content. This allows the bodybuilder to increase total protein without increasing overall caloric intake by a lot.
When searching for the best protein bar it is important to know your needs and how the right bar can feed that need. Whether you are trying to bulk up or get ripped the protein bar can be a great tool. Finding a bar that is low in simple carbohydrates and high in protein, and balanced in overall nutrients, will take you a long way toward your goal of developing the best physique possible.
My favorite protein bars are Detour bars because of the taste and high amount of protein (30 grams per bar). Luckily I have a GNC close to me that sells them for $24 for 12.