Protein bars have been a popular product for years for many reasons. Convenient, affordable, and loaded with important nutrients, these bars are an excellent way to help obtain the required amount of daily protein, particularly when you are on the run.
However, one question always seems to be unanswered: when is the best time to eat a protein bar? Is it after workout? During breakfast? Perhaps as a snack, between meals?
A simple answer is “after workout”. Eating small amounts of protein after exercising is ideal as studies have shown that high quality protein can be most effective for your muscles after exercising. After a workout, the body needs amino acids to help repair any muscle damage caused from the activity, as well as helping muscle grow. A recommended 10-20 grams of protein after a training session may be sufficient to give the muscles the nutrients needed.
Additionally, eating protein bars for breakfast can be helpful too as early hours are the best time to obtain protein. So, if not the best time, early hours are a great time to eat protein bars as a recommended healthy breakfast should contain protein-dense foods. Making things even more interesting, eating protein bars prior and during workout time can also be beneficial. Consuming up to 40 grams of protein and around 60 grams of carbs in the 30 minutes before you start your workout, or even while training, may provide benefits as it can provide a boost of energy often needed during your exercise.
In conclusion, one may say the best time to eat a protein bar is right after workout and that is likely the “best answer”. On the other hand, it seems like there is no “bad time” for protein as breakfast, early hours, as a snack, prior workout, during workout, and even late hours, all have some benefits to your health. Nutritional supplements should never take the place of whole foods in your diet but protein bars are an excellent and perfectly acceptable alternative to food and sometimes an essential compliment to your diet.
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