Should I Eat Protein Bars or Protein Shakes?

 

Protein, protein, protein. This is all you ever hear people talk about when you start talking about “eating healthier” or “working out more”. Nowadays though there are so many different ways to consume this macronutrient. Why is taking in protein, and a good amount of it, so important any ways? Well that’s what I’ve come to help clear up for you. Hopefully by the end of this easy read you’ll have a better understanding of protein and the best ways to consume it!

Protein Options:

 

I think it’s safe to assume that we all know we should be eating some protein. It’s part of a healthy diet as we are told and what our muscles are made up of. The drop off or area of confusion is just how much of it we are supposed to be consuming a day. Especially when it comes to our individual goal and what we are each trying to do. To add on top of that, should we only consume wholefood protein or are protein shakes and bars safe to digest. Can I just make protein shakes and consume that for my protein? Can I snack on protein bars every time I need a snack? Is that a safe way to consume protein? There are so many options in today’s world of the different ways we can all get in our protein.

Well let’s first start here. You should be eating about your weight in protein every day. Example, if you weigh 150lbs you should eat 150 grams of protein every day. This does a few different things for you. Keeps you fuller longer and less likely to snack on other things. Also the protein helps your muscles and can help aid in weight loss too if you’re trying to lose some weight (lose body fat).

Now I’m going to say this once and I hope it sticks with you. The best way to consume protein, like many other macro and micronutrients, is through whole foods! Your body gets so much out of eating a piece of chicken or lentils, then just the protein, which does wonders for your body. So the more you can consume your protein through whole foods the better. The downfall of eating protein through whole foods is that one, it can cause you to become full a lot quicker and two, you can become burnt out on that protein (chicken, beef, lentils) very quickly. Which is why man starting to make supplements for it.

 

photo with chicken breast, steak, milk, seeds and fish grouped together

Protein Shakes:

Almost every person you see who goes to the gym you’ll see carrying around a shaker bottle with protein in it or you’ll see get a protein shake after their workout. That’s because it’s so easily available and if made right, like having dessert after your workout. That’s one of the reasons I would recommend a protein shake as a second way to get in those protein numbers. It can be a good thing to make it feel like you’re treating yourself after you’ve put in that time and energy at the gym! Plus you have more control on how many carbs and fats go into the shake by the ingredients you add to it.

You can decide if you want to add fruit and berries to it, milk, almond milk, water, peanut butter, your favorite flavor of protein powder. You are the one in control of the ingredients put in. As we all know watching those calories is a great thing no matter what your goal is.

chocolate protein shake made from scratch in a clear cup

Protein Bars: Should I Use Them In My Diet?

 

Finally, we get to the protein bar. I’ve always ranked this as the last resort of getting in your protein for the day. Yes, for the most part they are a better alternative in snacks compared to chocolate or candy bars.  Many of the protein bars on the market today do have a lot of carbs and extra fats added to them though. Unless you find healthier ones but then you’re usually not going to enjoy the flavor of the protein bar. Now I’m not saying stay away from protein bars or that they’re bad for you. I’m simply suggesting that make that the last option as a way to hit your protein numbers for the day.

group photo of many different protein bars and protein cookies
After all, whatever your goal is, you do want to make sure you’re getting in your protein number, which should be about your weight in grams, every day! As always the only thing I really suggest is to go see a nutritionist for whatever your goals may be because no matter if you’re trying to gain weight or lose it, it all begins with the food (nutrition) you’re putting into your body!