If you are striving to build a strong, muscular and lean body, then protein bars are NOT going to be a good idea no matter how many companies tell you that they are! It’s just logic. How can a candy bar with crap inside be good for you? You think it’s healthy or nutritious because it has the word “protein” in there?
Let’s have a look at some of the most common ingredients found in most protein bars:
Milk - The milk argument is a long one! Many people believe that drinking what’s meant for baby cows is good for humans. Others are very much anti-milk. Many people are lactose intolerant. This is why when they have milk, they have reactions such as gas, intestinal issues and skin/joint issues.
Maltitol - Basically a sugar alcohol! Can cause diarrhoea, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.
Calcium Caseinate - The “allergic” part of milk that sits in your stomach and takes ages to get digested because the stomach doesn’t know what the hell to do with it!
Bovine Collagen - Derived from cows, this ingredient can actually be good for you if taken in sufficient quantities. However, it is not added to protein bars for its health benefits. It is added as a filler and chewy agent!
Palm oil - Better than butter in terms of saturated fat but it is still something that is not exactly conductive to a “toned” and lean body.
Cocoa Butter - Generally used for external skin products. Cocoa butter can be ingested. Is it good for you? Maybe. Some people say it is a good fat. Others say it is still a fatty food.
Humectant - An anti caking and moisture-enhancing agent. Can cause diarrhoea and even nausea. Used in artificial products and not exactly “natural”.
Glycerol - Some people have a severe reaction to this substance which can be an irritant to the upper respiratory tract. Short term, most people can take it. Long term (the way people get hooked on protein bars), it can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and bloating.
Cellulose Gum - Again, short term, this ingredient is fine. Long term, studies have found that Cellulose Gum can cause inflammation inside your body.
Artificial Sweeteners - The clue here is in the word "artificial"!
The above are just some of the ingredients used in protein bars. LA Muscle has previously manufactured protein bars and we have tried to make them as healthy as possible. However, the caveat remains that a protein bar is an unnecessary addition to your diet if you are trying to keep lean, in shape and be “healthy”.
If you have trouble eating or cramming in the calories and you want to get massive and you don’t mind the farting, bad breath, skin and intestinal issues that come with the majority of protein bars, then they can be an option.
Personally, I would never eat a protein bar unless I was dying of hunger and there is nothing else around. I would certainly never make it a long term part of my “healthy” gym regime.