Advertisement

How should I choose a healthy protein bar or shake?

Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
There is a time and place for protein bars (e.g., traveling, post-gym, a back-up plan for emergencies), but the whole-food route is always a better option when it's available. It's important to consider what else is in there aside from artificial ingredients. In an effort to make protein bars, shakes, and powders as powerful -- and marketable -- as possible, as well as to differentiate their brand, manufacturers routinely add herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

As such, a final consideration should be a review of these ingredients, an assessment of their quality, an assessment of any possible contraindications with medications, sleep patterns (if you are having a protein drink or bar at night that has stimulating ingredients it could keep you awake) and individual sensitivities. For example, I recently couldn't figure out why I was having shaky hands and my pulse was racing. Then I realized I had been sampling a sport protein powder for work and it was giving me the same issues that I have with caffeine. The culprit? An intended energizing combo of maca root and other potent stimulant herbs!
 
Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged

More About this Book

Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged

       From celebrated dietitian Ashley Koff and fitness trainer to the stars Kathy Kaehler comes Mom Energy, an exciting new way for moms to tap into their own natural and renewable sources of...

Continue Learning about Protein

Hidden Dangers of Protein Powders
Hidden Dangers of Protein Powders
People seem to love to use powders (and pills)—even when they’re downright dangerous. Think of Lance Armstrong taking erythropoietin to boost his red ...
Read More
Should I consider eating bugs as a source of protein?
Mother Nature NetworkMother Nature Network
There are reasons to consider eating bugs as a source of protein. Swansea University in the UK, is t...
More Answers
What are medium-fat meats?
Manuel VillacortaManuel Villacorta
Medium fat meats contain up to 15% fat. This is the highest fat-content beef, and what we typically ...
More Answers
The Diabetes-Smart Plate
The Diabetes-Smart Plate

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.