Sports Energy and Nutrition Bars

| September 30, 2013 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

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Sports Energy  and Nutrition Bars

The makers of energy and nutrition bars have come up with a great product idea, especially if you are on the go or simply don’t have time to take a food break.  So those of us at BloomerBoomer.com have been trying some energy bars lately but where to you find out if they are any good for you?

We found one good source you should take a look at from www.eatsmart.org

What to look for when shopping

When shopping for an energy bar, read the nutrition facts label to select a bar for your unique needs:
• Choose a bar based on your caloric requirements. The calories in energy bars range anywhere from 120 to 300 calories per bar. The longer and/or more intense your workout, the more calories you need.

  • Consider the amount of carbohydrate in the bar. High carbohydrate bars are good for fueling before, during and after a workout. Choose a bar that provides 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per bar. For prolonged exercise, eat one bar an hour, with plenty of water.
  • High-protein bars are good for people who may not eat enough protein in the day. Choose bars with a protein source of whey, casein, soy and/or egg.
  • Other things to consider about energy bars
  • • Energy bars work best as a snack before or after physical activity. They are not designed to provide all the nutrients you need from other foods.
    • Limit the use of energy bars as meal replacements. Relying on them may lead to a deficiency of fiber and other nutrients found in whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • On occasion if you must use an energy bar as a meal, pair it with whole foods such as a piece of fruit, cheese and crackers or a glass of milk.
    • Choose an energy bar with whole ingredients such as oats, fruit and nuts.
    • Use an energy bar that tastes good to you.

PROS and CONS of Energy Bars 

Pro: Energy bars can be a quick, tasty source of energy before, during or after your workout.

Pro: Energy bars can be a rich source of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Con: Energy bars are packed with certain vitamins and minerals. Relying heavily on energy bars in your diet may cause a mineral imbalance.
Con: Energy bars do not provide you with fluid for your workout.

Questions for a Dietitian

Q: Are there any other ingredients in nutrition bars that I should look out for?

A: Some products may contain sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol, an alternative to sugar, which may cause diarrhea in some people. Also be aware of products that contain saturated fat such as palm kernel oil.

If you need more answers check out the National Institute on Aging.  They have a publication called, What’s on Your Plate?  You can find it at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/whats-your-plate

 

 

 

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