Protein bars are usually terribly underrated by most fitness enthusiasts, especially at the beginning. What people do not know is that they are actually a healthy and convenient way of getting protein into your body quickly; protein is essential for the building of muscle and shedding fat. Fun fact, someone who has an active lifestyle especially if they exercise, requires about two to three times more protein than a sedentary person. Being made from high protein sources such as whey and soy, protein bars are the best way for someone to get their intake up, when on the move.
There is quite a number of protein bars in the market and they all have different nutritional information, depending on the additions. Quest protein bars for instance, are made from a protein blend of milk protein isolate and whey protein isolate. This means that every 100g of the protein bar contains 33 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbohydrates, and a total fat content of 13 grams. They also contain nuts and such as almonds and other derivatives. Just like quest bars, most protein bars do not contain gluten, to avoid triggering any sensitivity that people might have to gluten.
One of the most important benefits of these bars is to raise the levels of protein in your body quickly, which is essential for everyone, since it helps with muscle growth, repair, and most importantly, maintenance. To better understand why protein bars are good for you, here are some of the benefits:
Increased lean mass
Lean mass refers to, for the most part, packing lean healthy muscle. Protein bars help you achieve this by increasing your body’s capacity to synthesise protein and effectively turn it into muscle mass. In a study done on the year 2000 among overweight police officers, it was found that when the diet was tweaked to be deficient in calories but with an increase protein intake, the group with a high protein diet had a spike in the amount of lean muscle mass when compared to their counterparts that were in the control group. The control group was on a normal diet with no increase in their protein intake.
A 2014 study also found that increasing your protein intake through protein bars solved the problem of elevating the protein content in the body needed to balance out normal muscle breakdown and increase lean muscle mass. It stated that protein intake directly increased muscle protein synthesis, which is a major contributor to increased lean muscle mass. The recommended amount of protein for this to work is a protein bar with about 20g of protein, with the best results being achieved by eating two a day.
Better recovery after a workout
Increased protein synthesis is essential to your muscles recover quicker after a high intensity workout. In this regard, your body requires a quick injection of protein, especially after a high intensity compound exercise, such as a heavy weight bench press. This is where protein bars shine, since they offer a quick injection of protein when it is needed. A study in 2005 found that when whey protein and leucine were incorporated into a post workout recovery diet, they were more effective than a carbohydrate rich diet.
Reduced body fat content
Protein helps you lose weight in three different ways; especially since with fat loss. First of all, the metabolism in your body creating a calorie deficit to prevent your body from packing body fat. Other ways it helps reduce body fat is by both reducing the amount of hunger you feel every day through increasing satiety and reducing the ghrelin levels, which id the hunger hormone. In fact, a 2011 study found that protein bars made from whey protein led to a significant weight loss and an improved muscle composition in overweight individuals.
Stabilise your body sugar
Having a stable sugar is important to maintaining your body’s health in various ways. In people that have problems with impulse control, it can help prevent overeating. In people with diabetes for instance, the maintenance of your sugar levels could mean the difference between life and death. A 1997 study found that whey protein was essential to stabilising sugar levels in the body soon after its ingestion.
Other benefits to the body
There are other benefits of protein bars is that their high fibre content can help maintain a safe levels of blood pressure especially in people with hypertension. They have also been linked to a slight reduction in blood pressure among people with weight issues as a study in 2012 found out. Protein bars, thanks to their high protein content, has also been linked to lowering the Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is known as bad cholesterol which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Finally, protein synthesis and calcium absorption have been linked meaning that protein bars, which are also rich in calcium, helps strengthen your bones.