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The Complete Guide To Protein Bars

The Complete Guide To Protein Bars - theskinnyfoodco

What Is Protein?

Protein is one of the four macronutrients found in food. Macronutrient simply means large molecule. A macronutrient is any nutrient that has a significant effect on the metabolism, growth, development, and maintenance of healthy body tissues.

Macronutrients are divided into two categories: non-essential and essential. Non-essential include carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. Essential includes proteins, vitamins, minerals, water, fibre and fatty acids.

Proteins consist of strings of amino acids, linked together, forming an intricate chain of molecular structure. They play a vital role in our bodies; they help us grow and repair tissues, build muscles and bones, and regulate important biological processes such as blood clotting. Some proteins can also act as enzymes, catalysing chemical reactions within the cell. 

How Much Protein Do We Need?

According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For adults, this amounts to 56 grams of protein per day.

A gram of protein contains 4 calories. Therefore, 56 grams of protein equals 112 calories. Since 1 pound of protein weighs approximately 454 grams, 56 grams of protein translates to roughly 2 pounds of protein.

For children ages 6–23 months, the RDA for protein is 3.2 grams per kilogram of their body weight. Children need slightly less protein than adults do. For kids ages 24–36 months, the RDA is 4.4 grams per kilogram. Kids require even less protein than toddlers.

What Are Protein Bars?

skinny food cos classic protein bars selection of 6 unique flavours

Protein bars are a great snack option for those who want something quick and portable. They contain various ingredients including protein powder, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Many protein bars contain added sugar, but some are naturally sweetened.

Protein bars are designed to help increase your daily protein content, by offering a higher dosage of protein per bar than that of a typical snack. They're intended to be eaten on the go when meals and lunchtime preps are not available. 

There is a large variety of protein bars available on the market, each with its own individual purposes, some are designed for weight loss, whilst others target muscle mass. You may also be able to find a wide variety of vegan protein bars or plant-based protein bars, gluten-free protein bars and protein bars that avoid all artificial sweeteners and sugars.

When Should You Eat Protein Bars?

While many people eat them throughout the day, there are specific times of the day when they should be eaten. Protein bars are best consumed before workouts, after workouts, and during long runs or hikes.

It is recommended that the best time to eat protein bars is pre & post-workout. However, consuming at either time can result in different effects. 

Eating your protein bar & protein snacks prior to working out can help improve performance and energy, whereas consuming post-workout targets muscle pain, muscle growth & muscle repair

For more information regarding consuming protein bars, take a look at our guide to protein bar consumption, and read all about the best times to use protein bars.

Which Protein Bars Are Best?

There are many different kinds of protein bars out there. Some contain sugar, while others do not. Some are gluten-free, and some aren't. You might even find vegan protein bars. But what exactly makes one protein bar better than another? Let's take a look at those differences.

Vegan Protein Bars: 

The best ones contain pea protein powder which has many health benefits including being one of the most complete proteins out there. It’s also a great source of iron, zinc and magnesium. Pea protein is also easy to digest so it doesn’t cause stomach upset like some other forms of protein.

Some of the best cruelty-free protein bars include: 

  • KetoKeto - These protein bars are great because not only are they a high-quality meal replacement with added protein, but they're also suitable for both vegans & those following a ketogenic or Keto diet. They come in a variety of unique  flavours from Cherry Bakewell to Banana Bread 
  • MyVegan Carb Crusher - at 15g of protein and only 1.2g sugar, the Carb Crusher bars are highly sought after. They provide a high source of protein, in a variety of popular flavours - MyVegan is more of a chewy protein bar than a crisp bar, for those interested in chocolatey bars. 
  • Xite Protein Bars - Using Plant protein, these extra protein bars pack 18g of protein into their popular salted caramel and white chocolate chip flavours. 
  • Skinny Food Co's - Skinny Bars -  Did you know our own branded protein bars have the perfect balance of protein, and flavours &  are 100% vegan friendly? Available in 6 unique flavours they're perfect for your high protein diet, pre & post-workout snacks & all-around daily intake. 


 Gluten Free Protein Bars

Now, this is where it becomes slightly tricky, finding the best gluten-free protein bars can take a while, as many protein bars contain wheat in their healthy snack ingredient list. However, Both Skinny Food Co's Skinny Bars & Xite Protein Bars are completely gluten-free sources of protein.   

Additional gluten free bars include:

  • NOCOW Bars
  • N!CKs Protein Bars

Protein Bars VS Protein Powder 

protein powder in scoop

Another popular way of consuming protein is through protein shakes & blended protein drinks, these are also a popular form of bulking after a workout, or substituting meals. 

Just like the bars, there are a wide variety of alternative powders such as Vegan Protein Powder, Keto Protein Powders & other alternatives to fit most diet types. 

Before looking at the differences between powders & bars it's good to look at the common similarities. 

  • They both contain Whey protein - it just differs in the amount 
  • They both target similar goals, whether that's weight loss, weight gain, muscle mass improvements, digestive health improvements etc
  • Quick to consume & prepare 

But what are the key differences? 

  • There's no doubt that it's actually easier to make homemade shakes than it is to make homemade protein bars. Making protein shakes requires protein powder, your favourite oat milk or milk alternative & a blender, whereas homemade protein bars require a bit more time, baking & prepping. 
  • Shakes actually make you hungrier - Because you're not physically eating anything, more people report feeling hungrier after a shake than after a protein bar. This is due to the density of a protein bar rather than a protein shake. This can be combated by adding full-fat milk to your favourite protein powder, however, this drastically increased the fat & calorie content.
  • Protein Bars hold more nutrients - due to their nature, protein shakes are typically less in nutritional value than any type of protein bar, this is because, alongside pea protein isolate, whey protein and other protein sources, the bars also include fibre, healthy fats & vitamins that help stimulate and energise your body throughout the day. 




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