Cliff Harvey PhD
It used to be that sports nutrition bars were little more than candy bars in a different package and without the taste… no wonder Snickers bars were considered one of the healthiest options back in the late 90s! And while some bars could still quite rightly be in the candy aisle, the sports supplement market has evolved rapidly over the last few decades and there are literally hundreds of sports and general supplement bars now available. These range from your classic carbohydrate-rich bars targetted at endurance athletes, to general meal-replacement bars and protein bars for recovery and repair.
Know what type of bar you need
It’s important to know what type of bar you need. Find a bar that fits the purpose. In other words, don’t use a high-carb bar if you’re following an LCHF nutrition plan or a low-carb bar that doesn’t meet your requirements on the bike if you’re following a more traditional higher-carb strategy for your training and events.
Here’s what to look for in a bar for on the road:
- Moderate amounts of natural carbohydrate
Carbohydrate requirements vary between individuals. Many athletes are now choosing lower carbohydrate approaches, especially for endurance events, but there is still a benefit for most athletes from having some amount of carbohydrate during training. To ensure the best results these carbs are best sourced from natural, ‘nutrient-dense’ (see below) sources.
- High ‘nutrient density’
Many of us may struggle to get all the vitamins and minerals we need day-to-day. Most refined and processed foods have a high calorie-nutrient ratio. Choose bars higher in vitamins and minerals and lower in added refined carbohydrates.
- No fillers
A lot of products contain ‘fillers’ that serve limited functional roles in the body and are merely included for taste, texture or ‘bulk’. Whilst not all of these are bad we should try to prioritise those foods that have more killer and less filler!
We have a wide range of healthy, tasty nutrition bars for almost every health and performance need! [Bars for endurance, energy, beauty, healthy joints, protein, general health and more!] Check them out here.