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Nutrition/Energy Bars

Written by Mr. WellCultured, Monday, August 22nd, 2011 in Q&As

What do you think about energy bars like Clif Bars, Tiger’s Milk, Power Bars, Calorie Mate, etc?

They are vaguely tasty, but don’t eat them unless you need them.

Clif bars (and similar bars like Powerbars) are usually made to provide quick shots of calories and fat for those who are exercising or otherwise who need the extra nutrition. For example, Clif bars are typically consumed by those hiking or biking long distances, or by those doing long distance endurance running of some kind. Chances are, your average joe has no need for such a shot of energy — he can get his nutrition by a normal (and more well-balanced) meal of some kind. In fact, given that energy bars don’t usually have much in terms of vitamins and minerals, a healthy meal will almost always be healthier than an energy bar.

The above paragraph should not imply I have something against all nutrition bars. Protein bars — particularly cheaper ones — can be really great meal replacements or pick-me-ups, especially if you weight lift hard. Pure Protein‘s whey protein bars have about 190 calories, 2 grams of sugar and 20 grams of protein — a ratio that’s pretty damn good compared to the average Clif bar’s ~250 calories, 21 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein. Protein bars are a decent option if you want to spread out your protein consumption over the span of a day or otherwise anticipate going without a meal for a while. Nonetheless, do remember that like any other form of protein, protein bars should be consumed in addition to, not in replacement of, a balanced diet.

Long story short? Find protein bars, not energy bars, and eat them sparingly. No matter what, don’t skip meals.

(But you could always live in the jungle and eat Calorie Mates).

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