mETTLE nUTRIONAL BAR
Health and Wellness

NUTRITION BARS: HEALTHY OR HYPE?

Nutrition bars go by many names, including “meal-replacement bars,” “energy bars,” “protein bars” and “sport bars.” Walkers, runners, cyclists, marathoners and triathletes alike love it. They’re loved for their taste and comfort, as well as benefiting from their nutritious quality. But even those health snacks can be unprofitable if you do them over. But what makes those bars best for an athlete? What is The Energy Bar Composition? While definitions are not well defined, “energy bars” appear to claim to contain more carbohydrates whereas “diet bars” (also known as “weight loss” bars) typically claim to contain less carbohydrates. Usually, ‘meal replacement bars’ are the biggest of the snack bars – weighing 70 to 90 grams – and have proportionally higher levels of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, while ‘protein bars’ are simply higher in proteins.Some bars are combinations (such as a “meal-replacement, protein bars”) while others do not claim any specific purpose. Bars can also contain vitamins and minerals or other ingredients that are only allowed in dietary supplements, such as ephedra, which must therefore be classified as supplements instead of foods. Its best to carefully read labels before picking up the nutritional bars. The nutrition bars are generally designed to provide a compact source of energy, carbohydrates, and protein. While bar size and composition vary, the carbohydrate content is usually about 30-50 g per bar. Most bars have a low fat content (2-3 g per bar) and fibre.Sport bars’ protein content varies from minimal (1-5 g) to substantial (10-15 g or more). Most sports bars are filled with vitamins and minerals and the daily recommended intake of micronutrients is usually provided by an intake of 1-2 bars. All this means that while other solid foods are not well tolerated, they’re perfect for consuming during exercise or directly after exercise.

What Kind of Nutritional Support can They Provide?  Nutrition bars are designed to help people fulfill their nutritional needs in different sporting situations:

  • They have a more concentrated carbohydrate source than sports drinks and provide significant boost to fuel consumption during or after exercise.
  • They provide a source of solid food which is easily chewed and digested to help relieve hunger during sustained exercise (i.e. cycling).
  • They have a readily consumed carbohydrate and protein source for recovery after exercise.
  • They provide the athlete who is traveling or living in a situation where there is limited access to a variety of nutrient-rich foods a good source of protein and micronutrients.

All of these bars are meant to serve as a general snack, or as a replacement for regular meals. Substituting with nutrition wholesome foods such as chocolate bars, rice, nuts, toasted muffins, sandwiches and low-fat nuts yogurt will keep you from fulfilling essential requirements for a variety of nutrients not included in the sports bar. Eating too many heavily fortified snack bars may potentially also lead to a mineral overdose. You consume megadoses of vitamins and minerals as you eat multiple highly fortified energy bars a day, plus take a multivitamin and mineral supplement, and eat highly fortified breakfast cereals.Although most likely you can excrete the excess vitamins in your urine, your body can develop mineral imbalances-related health problems. Don’t be misled into believing that a nutritionally balanced meal is identical to the energy bars. They are for nutritional purposes, not meal replacement purposes. We can not take the place of the normal vitamin, protein, and mineral sources. While many of the nutrition bars in vegetables and fruit have been fortified with minerals and vitamins, they do not contain the natural flavonoids or phytochemicals present in the food supply. These also do not provide an equal amount of fiber from a regular balanced meal that you will receive.

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