• Proteins are quite popular lately, and they can be found in many forms on the market: powders, drinks, sports bars, etc. But are our protein needs really that high? Are protein bars, also known as sports bars, good nutritional choices?

    Our Protein Needs

    Proteins contribute to muscle protein synthesis, antibody production, and many internal processes. They are therefore essential for the human body’s functioning.

    Contrary to the common belief, the protein needs of active people is not significantly higher than that of a sedentary person. But, according to official recommendations, the needs of a sedentary person are of 0.8g of protein per each kg of the body weight, while those of an active person are of 1.2g per kg. 

    For example, if a woman weighs 70kg, she should consume a minimum of 56g of protein every day (70kg X 0.8g/kg = 56g). Then, she will simply need to spread her proteins through the day so that she can maximize her feeling of satiety and meet those needs.

    GOOD TO KNOW: If you consume excess protein, you could overload your kidneys in the long run. Once again, the key to success is always moderation. 

    The Proteins in Protein Bars

    Considering all these factors, sports bars on the market are often too rich in protein (they sometimes contain more than 20g!) and are therefore inessential if you already eat 3 balanced meals daily.

    Make sure the latter always contain a source of protein (for example, eat dairy products, meats, or their substitutes). A bar containing fiber and protein is however an excellent snack option to satisfy your hunger until your next meal. 

    Instead of sports bars, you could also make a protein oatmeal, some protein buckwheat crepes, or even a protein smoothie bowl! They are all great alternatives to shop-bought products! Plus, they are delicious!

    Nutrition criteria of bars

    For a 30g portion: 

    • Must not contain more than 6g of fat, including a maximum of 2g of saturated fat.
    • Must not contain more than 140mg of sodium.
    • Must provide at least 5g of protein.
    • Must provide at least 2g of fiber.
    • More than half the carbohydrates must not come from sugar.
    • Must have a good list of ingredients, ideally including whole grains or whole wheat as the first ingredients.

    Psst! Try to avoid bars coated with chocolate or yogurt. They usually contain a lot of sugar!