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What to Look for When Choosing Protein Bars and Powders

Protein powders and bars can be a great way to supplement your diet if you’re low on protein and need to grab something quickly. Plus they can be a great way to satiate a sweet craving. However, not all bars and powders are created equal. There are a lot of products on the market that may look and sound good, but in reality, you might as well eat a candy bar. Read on to find out what to look for when choosing protein bars and powders!

When you are looking for a protein supplement, you are looking for just that…protein! But a lot of bars and even powders are filled with fat and carbs and not nearly enough protein to be deemed a protein supplement. Let’s take a look at a few examples…

-Arbonne protein shakes: These shakes come in at 160 calories, 3.5 F, 15 C, 20 P. Initially when you look at this label you may not think it looks too bad…20 grams of protein and only 160 calories. But when you reach for a protein shake, it’s generally just to get some more protein in your diet. if you’re looking to boost the protein in your diet, why would you want to drink a shake that also has 15 grams of carbs? Those carbs could go towards eating real food instead! And who doesn’t want to be able to eat more food?! We prefer protein powders that are primarily protein with just a few grams of carbs/fat. Check out our favorite PEScience for a good quality protein with a good macronutrient profile.

-Kind protein bars: Ah, yes. Kind bars. If you have followed us for any length of time, you’ll know how we feel about these. The Kind dark chocolate protein bar is 250 calories, 17 F, 17 C, and 12 P. Hmm. That’s strange. I thought it was called a protein bar? Then why does this bar have more fat and carbs than protein?! They should call it a fat/carb bar! Plus, it only weighs 50 grams so that’s not a lot of food for 250 calories. There are much better choices out there.

-Robert Irvine Fit Crunch bar: They should probably just call this a candy bar with added protein powder. There are 380 calories in this bar! 16 F, 27 C, 30 P. Sure there’s a good amount of protein, but 380 calories could be an entire meal that will fill you up much longer than a little protein bar. We suggest choosing bars which are 200 calories or less so you can “spend” more calories on other whole sources of food which will fill you up. We absolutely love Built Bars for their macronutrient profile and taste as well as Quest bars. (FYI, if you didn’t know, we have a special code for Built Bars to save you $$! Use code theangrynutrition to save you 10% off your order.)

We could go on forever naming products on the market calling themselves “protein” supplements which clearly are not. Rule of thumb; if something is called a “protein” bar or powder, protein should be the star. Sure, bars will have some fat and carbs in them obviously, but there should not be more carbs and fats than protein in them. A bar should also not take up a quarter of your daily intake. That’s a sure fire way to be starving later on. So we suggest going with a bar that is no more than 200 calories and at least 15 grams of protein. As for shakes, we suggest ones that are at least 20 grams of protein with no more than 3-4 carbs and 1-2 fat. 

Thanks for reading! Hope this helps you when you’re in the market for some quick grab and go protein bars and powders! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or to talk further with us about your goals!

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