What are protein bars and protein shakes?
They are simply bars and shakes that just have a higher amount of protein then say a chocolate or cereal bar.
Protein bars and shakes are a pretty portable source of protein. It doesn’t go off if its not in a fridge, it doesn’t need to be cooked and although it is quite processed it is a slightly better alternative than having a chocolate bar or a bag of sweets.
I love these ready-made bars and drinks, and I easily have them a couple of times a week. They are convenient when I am low on my protein or don’t have time to have a proper meal. But like everything else I don’t have them every day, its case of everything in moderation.
When is the best time to have them.:
1) When you are too low on your protein
2) When you don’t have time to eat post training
3) When you are craving something sweet because lets be honest with their protein and low carb quantities they are the lesser of two evils
4) Try and have them on training days.
5) When it’s the healthiest / most nutritious option around you.
When not to have them:
1) If you’ve already hit your protein for the day then don’t have one for the sake of it or because they taste good. Your body only needs so much protein so having it in excess is a lot of stress on the kindneys.
2) Real foods always win: if you can eat your protein through pure nutritious foods it will always be the better option.
3) Protein bars and shakes get your protein in but they also up your sugars ect. Sugar is in no way or form bad for you but once again make sure its not going over the amount your macros allow for.
4) Do not have them as meal replacements. Basically if you can sit down and have a meal do so. Its only if you have nothing else on you they can work as a healthier replacement.
5) Check your protein bar before you eat it. Protein bars are made for different athletes some may be very high calories as they are for endurance athletes or for people trying to put on mass. Therefore you could pick up a protein bar that in actual fact is 400 calories which may not necessarily be the healthiest / smartest option for someone trying to loose weight.
There is no bad food, but you are still responsible for what goes in your mouth. Your body needs everything in moderation so don’t fill it up with processed foods / bars / shakes because it fits your macros try and get a balance of everything. Find what works for you. We are all so busy in this day and age and sometimes convenience needs to come first but don’t neglect your micronutrients that you wont get from protein bars and shakes.