The body requires protein as one of the foundational blocks in order to serve the basic function of developing muscle mass. Muscle protein synthesis are carried out in the liver which is a storehouse of several such essential components which build muscle mass.
Protein bars aimed for building muscle mass should be higher in calories as well as in good quality, bioavailable protein. This is because higher amount of calories carry that protein sparing action which provides good satiety feeling as well as protein is saved from being utilized for supplying energy for bodily needs.
Higher amount of calories can be obtained through essential fats from nuts & oilseeds; and through a combination of simple & complex carbs such as oats, granola & dried fruits. A protein bar offering 30-40 gms of protein & approximately 400-450 calories is a good pick for individuals opting for gaining muscle mass.
Proteins & Weight Loss
Usually, protein works magic in a weight loss plan because it increases satiety & provides feeling of fullness for a longer period of time. This ensures that we don’t binge of high calorie snacks to satisfy those in between hunger pangs. So, in this way, proteins help us maintain compliance to a ‘low calorie’ diet.
Another advantage of proteins in weight loss is that if helps us maintain our muscle mass and inducing more of fat mass to be lost through the whole process.
Choosing protein bars for weight loss have to be done wisely. Opt for a protein bar with calories in the range of 200-250 kcals. The protein content should not be less than 15 gms, so proteins in the range of 15-20 gms per bar.
Fibre is also equally important for ensuring satiety along with the proteins. So the bar should contain minimum 3-5 gms of dietary fibre. This shall abstain us from going for another same bar. Be wary of food components such as inulin & oligosaccharides as they can cause bloating in some individuals, and mask the weight loss results.
The market today is flooded today with several bars carrying the tag of ‘protein bars’ but in actuality they are loaded with refined sugars & harmful fats. Also, several protein bars which do contain good amount of proteins are often not chosen by consumers since they taste quite bland.
But, the bottom line discretion which we need to use is that of choosing protein bars containing total sugars, whose calories should be less than 1/3rd of the total calories of each bar. This amount of sugar is acceptable.
Also, choose proteins bars which contain mostly natural ingredients & minimum additives & preservatives.