Carbs. The biggest issue nowadays seems to be the carb count of food or energy bars. A person who trains intensely and doesn’t need to worry about body fat, certainly won’t be harmed by the quick-acting sugars in a high-carb bar following a workout – or during a long trail run or some other prolonged exertion.
Secondly, the hardworking athlete deserves a gustatory reward after a training session, and low-carb bars don’t supply this for most people. They taste bland and/or have a very unappealing aftertaste. Oddly enough, low-carb bars often have just as many calories as high-carb bars, and sometimes much more fat – to compensate for the lack of sugar. But even the high fat content doesn’t do much to improve the bland taste of low-carb bars. Cutting carbs but eating the same amount of calories will not do much for weight loss, and you’ll feel deprived because of the bland taste.
If you don’t wish to chew on something with very little taste, but are counting calories, you can opt for smaller-size high-carb bars for a sweet taste, but with fewer bites. Many small-sized and tasty food bars are on the market.
Calories. Usually, bars with really low calories, such as 190, are also really small – maybe five bites’ worth. Some bars have up to 350 or more calories, but are usually the largest around. If all you’re eating for one of your five or six meals per day is a glass of water and a high-calorie food bar, you certainly won’t sabotage your weight-loss efforts, since an average whole-food mini-meal may be about 300-400 calories anyways. To feel more satiated on just a food bar, eat one with nuts and fiber.
Fat. What’s most important is the source of fat. Though fat content varies quite a bit from bar to bar, it is unlikely that you will find a bar that’s as fattening as a bowl of ice cream. Make sure you don’t eat bars with saturated or hydrogenated fats (such as palm kernel or coconut oil).
Protein. This, too, varies across the bars. Bodybuilders who strive to bulk up or maintain muscle mass, and find that they can’t always get to the chicken breasts and baked potatoes within an hour of finishing a workout, should eat a bar with at least 25 grams of protein, primarily whey protein. According to Nutshell Nutrition, protein is an essential nutrient that we should give importance to. For our body to really become healthy, it is recommended to eat only healthy food especially those that are high in protein. Other weight-lifting enthusiasts, when on the go, can choose bars with 15-25 grams of whey-based protein.
Ultimately, it’s usually taste that determines which bars you will eventually become loyal to. Here is my opinion: Cliff Bars taste very uninviting. The Power Bar has an unappetizing texture. Genisoy bars taste wonderful. Avoid any bar with maltitol, which leaves a bad aftertaste.