Submitted by Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, Registered Dietitian/Health Coach, Franciscan Wellcare
Energy bars can make a great quickie snack if you pick the right ones. Here is a summary of some of the popular bars out there!
They are extremely popular, and seem to be available everywhere. High in carbohydrates, Cliff Bars are an ideal pre-workout/pre-race snack. The bars contain 5 grams of fiber, which helps fill you up, and at least 10 grams of protein. Cliff Bars make for a great breakfast when you are in a hurry, especially if you add a piece of fruit or Greek yogurt.
Very similar to Cliff Bars, Power Bars provide a quick source of energy. They can be a great pick me up afternoon snack or pre-workout meal. Because Power Bars and Cliff Bars are meant to be consumed as pre-workout snacks, I do not recommend them for diabetics, or for those not physically active. (Too much sugar.)
These bars contain all natural ingredients and are made from nuts, fruits, vegetable proteins, and rice grains, which makes them gluten-free. They are excellent for people with allergies or on special diets.
Kashi Go Lean bars are made from 100% whole grains and have less added sugars than regular granola bars. Each bar has at least an ounce of protein. Kashi Bars are generally also better than sports bars for heart health reasons since Kashi bars are low in fat, yet high in fiber.
Containing fewer carbohydrates and an ounce more protein than Power or Cliff Bars, Balance Bars are an ideal pre- or post-workout snack. Balance also offers Balance Minis, which contain only 100 calories. Balance Minis are perfect for anyone who wants to watch their calories or who is trying to lose weight.