Power Bars

November 12, 2012

Power Bars

Power bars are sold everywhere these days. They make big promises. Some claim to boost your energy levels, while others provide nutrients and claim to increase your alertness. However, you should analyze their benefits and side effects before consuming them.

Composition

There are several varieties of power bars and nutritional bars in the market today. However, as with any food you consume, it is important learn about the composition and nutrient value of the bars before you include them in your diet every day. Read the labels of the bars. Many of them contain significant amounts of corn syrup, sugars and hydrogenated oils that are rich in trans fats and saturated fats. They also contain additional vitamins, minerals and proteins, which give you instant energy as well. However, the proteins will not benefit you if they have been processed and modified.

Power bars that claim to boost alertness may contain caffeine. Others may contain ingredients such as guarana and taurine, which have not been tested or approved by the Food and Drug Administration for safety and efficacy. Herbal supplements such as ginseng may also be found in some bars.

Apart from understanding the composition of the bars, you should also check its calorific value, and see where those calories are coming from.

Benefits

The benefits of Power bars are obvious. They will give you energy and provide essential vitamins and minerals. They are often rich in proteins, and are especially great for vegetarians and vegans who do not get enough proteins from their diet.

Power bars are great for snack, and may also provide energy to individuals who do not have time for a good breakfast. It can increase your alertness as well, and improve your performance at work and in sports. They are definitely better than candy bars and French fries.

Side Effects

Many experts and nutritionists do not recommend the use of power bars due to the side effects associated with them.

  • The refined sugars and processed fats found in the bars may increase your risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, unless you combine them with a good exercise regimen.
  • There are many types of “well-being bars” and “protein bars” in the market nowadays. However, you should make sure it is healthy and balanced. Remember that the bars will never substitute wholesome and healthy snacks and meals.
  • The bars often have a chemical taste due to the presence of processed nutrients in them. The manufacturers try to cover it up by adding excessive sugars, which make the bars unhealthy.
  • Caffeine and other chemical additives may lead to serious side effects such as upset stomach, headaches, insomnia and nervousness.

The Right Bar

If you like the idea of power bars providing you quick energy and nutrients, read the nutrient label carefully. Go for bars which have nuts, seeds and fruits as their main ingredients. Oats are also healthy for you, as they are rich in whole grains. Simpler the composition of the bar, healthier it will be. Do not go for caffeine-based bars that claim to increase energy or alertness.

Larabars containing a blend of crushed nuts along with a variety of fruit are a great option as well. They have a natural flavor, and do not contain any added chemicals.

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