Choosing the Right Protein Bar

Protein, that essential nutrient our body can’t survive without. In fact, proteins are one of the building blocks of body tissue. They are also a source of fuel, like a component in petrol to keep a car engine running.

This underscores the importance of getting the required amount of protein into our body via the food we eat. Whether or not you’re in a fitness program, you should have your own daily dose of these essential nutrients.

However, for certain reasons, we can’t consume the recommended amount of protein on a daily basis. It can be because we can’t prepare our meals to include a good amount of these nutrients or the food we buy just doesn’t contain the amount we need. Don’t worry, though, as there’s a literally handy solution for that: protein bars. They’re convenient (since you can put them in your bag or even your pocket and take them with you wherever you go) and they can be an active replacement to your meals.

Of course, not all protein bars are created equal. In order to get the right one, here are tips:

Consider the carbs-to-protein ratio – The rule of thumb is, if it’s a protein bar, it should contain at least 15 grams of protein. Anything lower than that means you should have second thoughts on getting it. You also want to make sure that the protein content is higher than the carbs. Be sure to check the package to read how much protein is in the bar compared to the carbs.

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Check the protein source – When reading the label, be sure to also check if the bar contains high-quality sources of protein, including hydrolyzed whey, micellar casein, and whey isolates. Secondary sources would be whey or soy concentrates. There are cases wherein gelatin or collagen is added to the bar to improve its texture. Don’t forget to check the ingredients to find the protein types, which are usually arranged from highest to lowest in concentration.

Check the sugar, too – We all know that too much sugar can translate to more fat. The irony is that many of the protein bars you’ll find out there are loaded with sugar. Stay away from those that contain refined sugars, such as corn syrup, sucrose, and high-fructose corn syrup. If these ingredients are present, that protein bar is practically just another candy bar.

These are some of the things you have to remember when choosing an excellent protein bar (and if you want to know when to use protein powders, learn from relevant sources).

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Protein Shakes are Effective – Fact or Fiction?


Photo Credit: rbbaird (flickr.com)

History tends to repeat itself. Decades ago, steroids were the forefront of bodybuilding. Every bodybuilder used it, even Governor Arnold admitted to using it at some point. When it became illegal to carry or use steroids without a prescription, people started looking for other ways to building muscle quickly.

This came in the form of protein powders, which indirectly influences bodybuilding through repairing and developing muscles at a rapid rate, allowing the bodybuilder to put more work into building mass. To put it simply, it provides a benefit in physical activity. Today, protein powders have little to no side effects when used correctly and carefully, but it is still under fire from critics who believe it as the second coming of steroids.

There are a lot of factors why this is so. First, protein powders aren’t tested by the FDA. This leaves the protein product manufacturers freedom to put whatever they want on the label, whether they’re accurate or not. They can also freely make claims to the effectiveness of their product.

This misinformation is often the root of anti-protein stances. But if you really look at it, most of the anti-protein powder people receive their information from hearsays and secondhand stories. Not that it’s any different for the pro-protein stance.

For instance, a lot of bodybuilders who use protein powders attribute their results to the products. What they usually fail to mention is that they know exactly what protein powders are capable and incapable of. They also know how to use it to maximize effectiveness.

If you’ve seen protein supplements that advertise themselves as “100% protein” or something similar, these bodybuilders themselves actually careful enough to not believe the hype. If you ask them why, they’ll tell you to look at the label and you’ll see that there are a lot of other ingredients to make the protein powder. Simply put, it’s not 100% protein at the slightest. Manufacturers simply tend to exaggerate their adverts to boost sales.

A similar, yet more serious, topic that reflects this back-and-forth debate is the legalization of marijuana. Anti-weed factions often say it is a gateway drug, but then you see a lot of stoners who have not used any other drug.

This stalemate will go on for a long time. But is the effectiveness of protein shakes fact or fiction? The fiction is in the marketing strategies. Protein shakes are rarely what they’re advertised to be. The fact is that it is effective, but only if coupled with exercise and a healthy diet.

Related Links:

Weighty Medicine: Pumping Iron Comes of Age (huffingtonpost.com)

When the Gym Isn’t Enough (nytimes.com)

What are Protein Shakes Good For?

muscleWhen trying to lose weight, you start with the basics. You observe a proper and healthy diet. You exercise. From there you can go two ways. If you just want to lose weight, then you may want to focus more on the dieting part. If you want to achieve a certain physique, then you may want to focus on the exercising part. With exercise, you can just achieve a desired shape, or you can build muscles.

Results in building muscles don’t come as fast as just losing weight, however. For the most efficient results, you’re going to need to add a few things to your workout, such as dietary supplements.

There are two types of supplements. There are those that make you lose your appetite while supplying you with nutrients you’re missing from eating less. There are also those that contribute to weight gain, such as protein shakes, which are used more for bodybuilding.

Before, protein shakes were used only by athletes and were most effective when paired with an athlete’s workout regimen. Today, protein shakes are no longer exclusive to athletes, and people started throwing in various other ingredients so as act more like meal replacers.

Protein shakes are supplemental drinks that help in building mass. These drinks contain high amounts of protein, as well as other ingredients, that help build muscle. Since protein builds muscle, the drink has become synonymous with bodybuilding. They provide the necessary protein that you otherwise get from meat minus the fat. Protein shakes are typically consumed after working out.

There are different types of protein shakes. Most of them are flavorless and are best mixed with milk. You can also create your own shake. There are a lot of recipes for homemade protein shakes that you can find online. Most of them involve the usual protein powder and adding flavorings, fruits, and whatnot. Make sure to have done your research before buying any workout supplement.

While some shakes act as meal replacements, intake of such drinks are not advisable if you don’t exercise at all. Without exercise, protein shakes will only make you gain weight and have a body type totally opposite of what you aimed for with the supplemental drinks.

Protein powders are not usually cheap, but if you spend time doing your research, you may just bump into a good choice. There are various online stores you can purchase them.You can buy protein shakes at NutritionWarehouse.