Do energy bars actually give you energy?
If you’re running to the gym before or after work and don’t have time to eat, certain energy bars can be a good source of fiber and protein, which will help get you through your spin class. But so will a peanut butter sandwich, a handful of trail mix, or a piece of fruit and some nuts. In other words, there’s nothing magic about the ingredients in energy bars that you can’t find in other foods.
Can energy bars help you slim down?
A lot of people think energy bars are great for weight loss. Not necessarily. The problem is, instead of using a bar as a replacement for breakfast or lunch, people end up eating it in addition to whatever else is on their plate, pumping up the calories in their daily tally. That’s because one lonely little energy bar isn’t as satisfying as, say, a cup of yogurt and some fruit. If you do want to swap out breakfast or lunch for an energy bar — and nothing else — grab one with at least 8 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber for maximum satiety.
What’s a better vending machine choice — an energy bar or an ordinary chocolate bar?
Go with the energy bar, as long as it meets the requirements above. If you opt for one with seeds, nuts and healthy fats, you’ll end up with more nutritional bang for your buck.
Are gluten-free energy bars a good idea for those with gluten intolerance?
That depends. People get hooked on the “gluten-free” label, but that’s not a reason to buy something. It’s still about the ingredients, and the fewer and more recognizable they are, the better.
What are your favorite energy bars?
I like Kind and Clif bars, which are tasty and tend to be light on the added sugar. But it truly comes down to the way you eat them. In general, even if you’re active, it’s a good bet that you probably need less calories than you think, so if you grab an energy bar every time you do a little exercise, you may end up gaining weight.