Maybe you want a snack to hold you over during your three–hour seminar. Or maybe you just want a pick–me–up you can keep in your backpack.There are tons of nutrition bars circulating around the aisles of Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and yes, our very own FroGro. But how does one ever choose which brightly–packaged option? We’ve done some research so you don’t have to:
Opt for a high–protein (> 10 grams), and high carb bar. Carbs actually help muscles absorb fiber, so aim for a healthy balance of fiber and sugar, but no more than 15 grams of sugar. Also be careful of processed ingredients; they may not add to the total sugar count but are shown to be associated with other health complications.
Think Thin Protein Bars
With about 200–250 calories per bar, 20 grams of protein, and less than 1 gram of sugar, Think Thin Protein Bars are a great pre– or post–workout snack.
Cliff Bar Whey Protein Salted Caramel Cashew
This bar has 250 calories, 14 g of protein, and 5 g of sugar, and tastes like chocolate caramel with a few cashews on top. We'll definitely be grabbing this before attempting to enter the 2nd floor of Pottruck.
The No Cow Bar (Lemon Meringue Pie)
If leaving your house seems like too much effort, this bar can be conveniently ordered on Amazon. Each bar has 170 calories, 1 g of sugar, and 21 g of protein, plus tastes legit like lemon meringues. I’m impressed.
Lara Bars make the top of my list because they come in a wide range of (delicious) flavors, only have about 2–3 ingredients each (usually a type of nut, dates, and a pinch of salt). Although they do tend to be high in sugar (each flavor has around 15 g), they have around 5 g of protein and are a good pre–workout energy boost. However, they may lead you have to a sugar crash if you have them during class.
If you want a light snack during class:
Look for nutrition bars with a lower calorie and sugar count, as protein bars typically are densely caloric. You should also be cautious of synthetic fillers, and look for bars that have more whole ingredients.
Not only can you find these everywhere, they come in a huge variety of (amazing) flavors and contain mostly nuts and dried fruit, but have less sugar overall than Lara Bars. These bars typically have more protein than sugar (about 7 g of protein to 5 g of sugar) and are loaded with healthy fats and antioxidants from the nuts and dried fruits.
These bars are topping many a nutritionists’ health list because of their short list of all natural ingredients and low–calorie count. Every flavor has about 100 calories, less than 2 g of sugar, and 5 g of protein. The downside is that these are on the more expensive side, upwards of two dollars a bar.
Also found on Amazon, Oatmega bars carry 170 calories, 5 g sugar, and 14 g of protein. The low sugar–high protein combo is sure to keep you focused during in lecture.
Health Warrior Chia Bar
The banana nut flavor only has 100 calories and is loaded with chia seeds, a superfood that is high in fiber and calcium. It has 5 g of sugar and 3 g of protein, so this is more of a light snack than a meal replacement.