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Protein/energy bars

Are protein bars/energy bars truly a good snack? It seems like it's just a disgusting candy bar for the same amount of calories. I understand that they provide more protein than, let's say, Snickers, but I'm not quite sure they are much better for you than a Snickers.

I'd like to hear about some of the energy bars people like the taste of and what benefits they receive from them. Do they really get energy out of them?


Thu. Feb 9, 2:49pm

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Yes, watch the sugar content in some of the bars.

I usually eat the Kashi Go-Lean bars, although some of them have the consistency of spackling putty...

Usually, I use these if I'm in a hurry and just need a quick "snack" to tide me over until the next meal, OR for a pre or post-workout snack. I recently found some Kashi GoLean Bars that are "low glycemic index", and supposedly doesn't cause the blood sugar to spike. They are satisfying, but can leave you with jaw cramps because they need to be thoroughly chewed.

On the other hand, Pria bars are so "candy-bar" and light tasting that I would be afraid of eating a whole box at a time (luckily for me, however, I prefer salty to sweet when it comes to snacks).

At any rate, I think they are good if you are consuming immediately before or after a work-out, otherwise, you might be better off eating a piece of fruit or something else that's less calories and more filling.

Thursday, February 09, 2006, 2:56 PM

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Balance bars and Zone bars are two really good options - they have way less sugar than the others because they are "balanced" in terms of their macro nutrients. (Obviously balanced means different things to different people, but their claim is that a split of 40-30-30 percent of calories from carbs/protein/fat is the best combination to keep you feeling full the longest.) And the flavors are ok...certainly not good enough for me to ever want to eat more than one in a sitting, but also definitely good enough for me to choose one of them over empty snacks at my 3 o'clock snacky. They also take quite a bit of chewing, which forces me to slow down and not just reach for another.

For me, even on an empty stomach, they can keep me full and not craving other food for just about two hours. I eat them in the afternoons at work to avoid being starving when I get home. That way I'm more likely to get to the gym. I also carry one in my bag so that if I'm ever caught without a meal, I can eat one to tide me over until I can get to some food. (Try finding something healthy to eat when you have 10 minutes before your train leaves - hard!)

All that said, I agree with the above poster - not all bars are created equal, and one of the biggest differences to pay attention to is the amount of sugar in them. If there is too much sugar, you will be hungry quickly, and what's the point of that?

Thursday, February 09, 2006, 3:10 PM

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i know this suggestion isn't a protein bar but how about some granola with dried fruit and nuts mixed in, and you could exclude the fruit if you wanted something with less sugar.

if you just want a good yummy snack bar, the peanut butter oats and honey bars by quaker are soooo good. and they're a lot cheaper than the protein bars.

Thursday, February 09, 2006, 4:08 PM

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Most of them, including the Kashi-Go-Lean ones, are so sweet that they make me want to gag when they are in my mouth (I _don't_ have a sweet tooth.) and upset my stomach. But I do really like the PowerBar Protein bars. Not too sweet, and they have some umami taste to them. I don't use them as a snack, but as a meal substitute when I'm stuck someplace that only meat meals are available. (I'm a vegetarian.)

Thursday, February 09, 2006, 4:22 PM

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what is umami?

Thursday, February 09, 2006, 5:55 PM

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