It’s sad but true: In our busy, everyday lives, meals sometimes get skipped. Ideally, you should be eating something every two and a half to three hours. But when there just isn’t time to prepare a healthy meal, protein bars are a good occasional substitute. Of course, they’re not meant to replace real meals; but eating a protein bar is definitely better then eating nothing at all.
Remember, when you skip meals, your metabolism slows down, causing your body to burn fewer calories and to store fat. You also miss out on important vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients your body needs to function properly.
With so many brands and types of protein bars available, how do you choose? Before purchasing a box of bars, be sure to read the label. Pay close attention to the protein count and sugar content. Think about your dietary needs first, then try different kinds to find a flavor you like.
These are some of the best choices I have found for myself:
Oh Yeah! Protein Wafer by ISS Research
These light, crispy wafers supply 14 grams of protein and have only four grams of sugar. I like them in Peanut Butter Crunch or Peanut Butter and Caramel flavor.
Minis by Kind Healthy Snacks
These are smaller versions of the popular Kind bars, with only 107 to 155 calories per bar. They’re great to take along with you because they won’t melt!
Lean Body® Hi-Protein Meal Bar Replacement by Labrada
Each one of these bars has 25 grams of protein and 7 grams of sugar. It’s filling, and I love the Peanut Butter Cup flavor.
Vanilla Muscle Sandwich by Muscle Sandwich
This bar is strictly a treat for me. When I’m craving something sweet, I would rather eat one of these and get 13 grams of protein than eat an empty-calorie, high-fat candy bar or cookie.
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.