East Jefferson General Hospital

The November issue of Muscle & Body Magazine has a really informative piece on a topic that many may find confusing – sports nutrition bars. The author is correct to point out that when sports bars first started to hit the workout world, they were pretty tasteless and sometimes hard to stomach. Lately, however, as the industry has evolved, not only do they taste great, they can pack quite a nutritional punch.

In addition, as the nutritional bar manufacturers began seeing increased product demand there has been an explosion of brands, flavor varieties and more importantly, combinations of nutrients that can benefit the body depending on your individual goals. Some sports bars are good for overall nutrition while others may boost your energy or even help your muscles recover post-workout. Whether you are a serious athlete or someone who is looking to improve your health through good nutrition, there is probably a sports bar that is right for you.

Selecting the right bar is important for you to maximize your workout. If you do want to add sports bars into your diet, I recommend that you do your research and look for brands that are trusted. In addition, make sure you read the nutritional information on the back of the label so that you know it is supporting your individual needs. For example, those who are doing plenty of weightlifting will need a bar composed of different ingredients than if you are a runner looking to recover after distance training. Remember to also drink plenty of water and fluids to help the bars break down in your system.

Muscle & Body Magazine does a good job of breaking down the type of sports bars that are suited to different goals. Their top five nutritional sports bars are:

  • Endurance Bars – these bars are designed to help with athletic events or workouts that last longer than 60 minutes. Carbohydrates quickly break down in the system.
  • Low-Carb Bars – are a good option for those who are trying to lose weight and for diabetics. Usually contain higher levels of protein.
  • High Protein Bars – Packed with much higher amounts of protein, these bars are particularly good post-work for muscle repair, but can be eaten before a workout as well.
  • Soy Bars – can help to reduce cholesterol and boost heart health. They are particularly good for vegetarians since the protein does not originate from animals.
  • Probiotic Bars – These bars can contain higher levels of omega-3 and antioxidants and can help with the digestive process.