The Truth About Protein Bars

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Lots of protein bars promise to keep your energy up and give you nutrition on the go. Are they a healthy choice for you? Let's unwrap the facts.

Is a protein bar as good for you as a meal? No. Nutritious food is always the better choice. No time to cook a meal? Grab a simple snack, like carrots, celery, low-fat cheese, or whole-grain crackers.

That said, it's OK to have a bar once in a while. It can be healthier than fast food or other processed snacks. It can also give you fuel for a workout.

If you want to build muscle, should you buy the bar with the most protein? Nope. Extra protein in your diet isn't a magic bullet for bigger biceps. To do that, you need to lift heavier weights over time. It's actually a good idea to choose a bar with less than 15 grams of protein.

Pick one that had up to 40 grams of carbs, low sugar, and high fiber. Eat in about an hour before you hit the gym. Have another one midway through a workout that takes two hours. And that is the chewy truth about protein bars.