Protein Bars

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 03, 2007 3:54 AM GMT
    I'm shopping around for protein bars. Saw some at GNC but $25 - $35 for a 12-pack of bars is way too expensive for my budget. Anyone know of high protein (at least 20g per bar), good tasting, low cost protein bars?
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    Jul 03, 2007 5:50 AM GMT
    Don't know about bars, but if your looking for a quick bite, PB&Js are great. Use lots of peanut butter and wheat bread of course.
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    Jul 03, 2007 10:47 AM GMT
    If you've got a Trader Joe's nearby, check them out. They usually have bars at a fairly decent discount. Good luck!
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    Jul 03, 2007 12:07 PM GMT
    I buy Clif Builder bars. They have 20 g Protien, but you might want to check the other nutrition information to see if it falls in line with what is acceptable for you.

    I buy them at Target for about $1.15 each. You should be able to get them for less than $1.50.


    About PB&J, I heard that the combo of the Jelly and PB cancel eachother out, don't know where the link is that I read that, but food (mmmmm) for thought.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jul 03, 2007 9:20 PM GMT
    Protein bars all have a lot of saturated fat, too, and I doubt it's from great sources. I don't really understand why they need that fat in there. Probably as a binder, or for the texture. It's not really clear to me.

    My friend said she once went on a trip through Europe once and was poor and trying to stay really fit while she was there, so she bought a ton of protein bars and ate a lot of them, and when she got back her cholesterol was through the roof!

    I used to eat more of them myself, but lately I tend to eat more deli meat, tofu, and nut butters (cashew butter or peanut butter on toasted whole wheat with an underripe banana sliced up on it -- so good!)

    In fact, I hear one of the original Ironman triathletes used to rely entirely on PB & banana sandwiches for workout energy, and mocked people who ate protein bars. "Come on, just make a sandwich!"

    The bars are convenient, I'll give them that, but even the Clif builder bars are 240 calories for only 20g protein. And when I eat I either want a lot of protein or something that tastes good. If I want a lot of protein I'll have a 200 calorie, 50g protein Isopure shake. If I want something that tastes good, I'll have something else. Protein bars don't really fit either niche for me.
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    Jul 03, 2007 9:28 PM GMT
    I agree with several of the posters, including liltally. I don't like the idea of working so hard to be healthy and then eating bars full of processed chemicals. It's ironic to me that places like the Vitamin Shoppe and GNC are full of products that are in addition to being pricey, probably not all that good for you.

    The laxative affect that some people get is caused by sugar alcohols. (I unscientifically group them into the general category of "fake sugars", and try to avoid the lot of them).

    There are a few brands of bars labrada produces that are somewhat healthier. Clif bars are among the best also, and are made with a focus on actually being healthy.

    Don't overlook the owl975's comments about PB&J sandwiches. I am very partial to Trader Joe's or Wild Oats brand peanut butter (pure peanuts, great taste, no additives). With some good oat or flax seed bread and some blueberry preserves or banana, you can get a solid 25g of protein, and no more calories than most protein bars. And you can actually enjoy eating it, too.
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    Jul 04, 2007 2:28 AM GMT
    Should I stick to protein shakes and PB&J's then?

    No Trader Joe's nearby. :( What's some good PB I can get at the supermarket? I reluctantly get Skippy...
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jul 04, 2007 4:12 AM GMT
    Just check the ingredients label on peanut butter, and make sure it's just peanuts and maybe salt.

    Skippy, Jif, etc. are hydrogenated -- they bubble hydrogen gas through it -- so that they don't need refrigeration and the oil doesn't separate. But hydrogenated oils are considered extremely unhealthy by most science I've read. Also, I think they add sugar to those brands too.

    Basically, if you open your jar of peanut butter for the first time, and there's a big layer of oil on the top that you have to spend 10 minutes tediously mixing back in with a strong knife, leaving your arm exhausted afterwards, then you probably got the right kind. :)
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    Jul 04, 2007 4:25 AM GMT
    Bingo. :) And the stuff often actually tastes like real peanuts too. ;-)
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    Jul 04, 2007 5:27 AM GMT
    I LOVE the natural stuff. Don't know why I switched to regular PB. Guess I'm switching back. Thanks for the info guys!
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    Jul 04, 2007 8:04 AM GMT
    Slightly off topic, but for maximum muscle growth, I have heard and read that soy protein and products are generally bad, as they effect (lower) testosterone levels in males.

    As far as bread for a Natural PB sandwich, I come with a hearty recommendation for organic hemp seed bread, made by French Mills. Aside from completely acceptable ingredients for overall health, they also carry 14 grams of protein in 2 slices. And I think it is da bomb with some peanut butter.

    -Kevin
  • atxdavid

    Posts: 15

    Jul 06, 2007 10:05 AM GMT
    Great info here, but I'd like to throw in a twist ... much like ATXClimber's friend who used protein bars on a trip through Europe, I use them when I travel on business, which is every week Mon-Thu or Mon-Fri. If it comes down to a protein bar or a slice of pizza at the airport, I like having the protein bar.

    However, as others here have pointed out, they're full of chemicals and seemingly unnecessary fat. Lots of them are also covered in a chocolate-ish coating, which can melt in the summer.

    So, what would folks here recommend as a travel-worthy substitute for someone trying to keep fit on the road?
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    Jul 06, 2007 10:51 AM GMT
    I personally like protien bars that have a low fat to protien ratio. PB tends to have limits on portability and peanut butter (even all natural) still is high in fat. Since I already get enough fat in the rest of my diet (chicken, salmon, egg, milk etc.) I avoid peanut butter as a 'regular' source of protien.

    I'll only choose a protien source thats (by volume 3:1 protien to fat ratio. I'm not eating them because they tast good however. If I want something that tastes good, I'll have that.

    One thing that you have to keep in mind is that, generally, when your considering excersize and weight control, fat is fat. Good fats are safer as far as cardiovascular health is concerned but when it comes to weight, fat is fat.

    I will qualify this by mentioning that since I'm not a kid in my twenties, fat intake has far more of an effect on me than someone younger. So if your 25, as Miss Emily Litella would say* "Never mind".
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jul 06, 2007 11:07 PM GMT
    www.dpsnutrition.com cheaper than any store including shipping!!!!
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    Jul 06, 2007 11:29 PM GMT
    costco usually has a fairly good deal on protein bars from "premium nutrition." Not the best tasting, but not the worst either.

    (Not sure what to say about the above posts, so the science professor in me just sheds a silent tear.)
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    Jul 06, 2007 11:40 PM GMT
    If you have a SuperTarget nearby, you could try Detour bars. They have all sorts of flavors. They even have specific ones that are lower sugar, low glycemic, low fat, etc. I don't think any of them have 20 grams of protein, but they're much lower cal than most of the other ones (around 140-180) depending on which one you get. I don't rely on them for that much protein, but they're certainly a better snack than a snickers. Oh, I almost forgot the most important part. They're cheap! I usually find them on sale for 89 cents or so.

    Good luck!
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    Jul 07, 2007 3:11 AM GMT
    not sure if it's still goin on, but Quik Trip stores in the midwest are selling EAS protein bars with 24 g of protein on sale for a buck each. They are 2 for $2, regularly 2.69. i bought four boxes of them cause you can never find a decent protein bar cheap.
  • sfnicolas

    Posts: 121

    Jul 07, 2007 4:11 AM GMT
    I vote for cashew butter and 100%-fruit jelly sandwiches! (or sunflower butter also--TJ's has it all for real cheap.) I gave up protein bars a couple years ago for a lot of the reasons mentioned above--sugar, high fat, lots of gas, etc. So far, so good...knock on wood...
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    Jul 07, 2007 4:49 AM GMT
    I don't really eat protein bars much anymore, but when I did, I ate Odyssey Bars. There peanut/caramel one tasted almost like a snickers, and has 30grams of protein. You can buy a 12 pack for around $20-$25. Unlike most bars, they aren't gritty, and don't leave a weird taste in your mouth...
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Jul 07, 2007 4:25 PM GMT
    check out Honey Stingers protein bars. Made with real PB, whey protein and sweeten with organic honey, which is a medium CHO. All naturall ingredients, calories 350, 140 from fat and retails for $1.99
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    Oct 07, 2007 5:47 PM GMT
    I too tried the protein bar thing to replace breakfast, but stopped also because of all the high sugar content.

    I do not get anytime to go to a gym, so I replaced a lot of meals instead. I eat nothing but fruits and nuts for breakfast and snack times. And I drink 1 Vitamin Water for breakfast, and drink nothing but water for the rest of the day.

    I looked at the Honey bars and they do not really let you look at the ingredients of each product on their website.
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    Oct 07, 2007 5:53 PM GMT
    From Costco:

    Premier Protein Bars, sold as two boxes, 12 count each, with 3 flavors:

    Yogurt
    Peanut Butter and Chocolate
    Double Fudge Chocolate

    30 grams of protein each

    $20 (per two boxes)
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    Oct 07, 2007 5:58 PM GMT
    They only have 10 grams of protein per bar but the best balanced bars (protein, calories, TASTE, etc.) that I've found are the high protein South Beach bars...there are several flavor options including chocolate and peanut butter...
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    Oct 07, 2007 6:43 PM GMT
    Thanks for the great info, everyone. I like Clif Builder bars, and usually manage to get boxes of 12 on sale for 15 bucks at Fred Meyer (Kroger).

    I love natural peanut butter, but have to be careful because of fat content. To make it easier to mix, I store the jar upside down overnight after bringing it home from the grocery store. That takes care of some of the mixing. After I've got the stuff thoroughly stirred, I keep it in the refrigerator so it doesn't separate. I like it on Thomas' Bagels, which have 2g fat, 12g protein, and 8g fiber.
  • jhelling

    Posts: 168

    Sep 04, 2009 11:13 PM GMT
    I just bought a box of the Labrada Rock n Roll bars. They're delicious and pretty healthy in terms of where the nutrients are coming from. Esp. in that the carbs come mostly from sources other that sugar and that they are pretty low in saturated fat.