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What Is the Truth About Energy Bars?

October 19, 2011

What Is the Truth About Energy Bars?

The market for energy bars is huge and it is growing. These bars promise to do many things for you. Some promise to give you energy for a workout. Others promise to keep you awake. Still other versions pack in the protein so you can build muscle mass faster. Should you eat them? Is there any downside to doing so? It can be hard to tell especially since the FDA does not control the claims these products make.

Inaccurate Labeling

Before you buy meal replacement bars for the protein content, realize they may not have the amount of protein in them that you think they do. One of the ways they do this is by counting products like gelatin and hydrolyzed gelatin as true forms of protein when they are not. These products, which you generally get from the addition of pig’s feet and cattle hide to these bars, are not a complete protein and do not work in your body like others do.

High Sugar

In order to keep all of that fiber and protein together many of these energy bars have a very large amount of sugar in them. This causes an immediate rush of blood sugar levels in your body, which cancels out anything good they could be doing for you. Many products do not list sugar on the labels as “sugar.” Rather, they hide behind names like brown rice syrup.

Most Don’t Boost Energy

Perhaps the most shocking detail about these energy bars is that they do not really boost your energy levels. This is a trick that only the experts notice. To an average person, the use of the term “energy” may mean that these bars will energize you, giving you more ability to do things. However, from a nutritionist’s point of view, energy is just another term for calorie. In other words, these products do not contain any real ability to keep you awake and working harder.

Even Sugar Free Causes Problems

Read the labels of the energy bars you are eating. What you may not realize is that many of them contain products that seem to be good for you but really are not. Many of those claiming to be reduced sugar or even sugar free bars seem to be a good option for those trying to avoid carbs. However, the sugar alcohols used in them actually cause significant side effects such as gas and bloating. Many can also have a significant amount of calories in them. That is because sugar substitutes, such as malitol, have high calorie levels.

For many men and women turning to the energy bar, it may come as a shock that these bars really do not have the means to provide you with the nourishment your body needs to rock in the gym or to keep going well into the night. In fact, any of the meal replacement bars or diet bars out there are not going to give you the nutrients your body needs to perform as you would like it to.


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