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Energy Bars Healthy Or Not?

Article by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

The Truth About Protein Bars, Energy Bars & Energy Juice

Protein and Energy Supplements Claims

Over the past few years, protein bars, energy supplements and energy juice have spouted up in many sections at your local market place.

Manufacturers would have us believe that they are the fountain of youth - that these energy-busting supplements can make an old worn out geezer feel like a spring chicken again.

Are they really as good for you as the manufacturers claim?

How does their health benefits compare to the official American Food Pyramid?

And most importantly, do they pose more health risks than benefits?

Let's get energized!

Purpose of Protein Bars, Energy Supplements

Protein bars and energy juice spin around two chief marketing wheels:

1. They replace important nutrients lost while exercising and;

2. They provide ingredients that will accelerate OR assist the dieter with weight loss.

Protein bars, energy supplements and energy juice tend to be very high in calories and may wipe out any calories that you have burned during exercise.

Exercise, Not Just for Burning Calories

But exercise is about more than burning calories; it's about creating a stronger, more fit body - among other things. And replacing nutrients and lost fluids can be crucial in some circumstances.

Protein bars, energy bars and energy juice can also help energize the dieter after exercise.

The recommended foods in the official Food Pyramid will accomplish the same health benefits, but special products - such as Gatorade replenish and refuel faster.

Healthy Choices for Most Dieters

We give energy bars, protein bars and energy drinks two thumb's up. Just be sure to take note of the calories contained in the bars of your choice and to add that number to your total daily calorie intake.

However, if you're using these type dieting supplements as snacks, that's not a healthy solution. You can better meet your body's energy needs via lower caloric foods and drinks.

Vitamin B Health Risks, Overdose

Below we've posted the nutritional facts for a protein bar by MARS SNACKFOOD US and GATORADE.

Note that the protein bar is packed with B-Vitamins. These serve as quick energy boosters. It also contains caffeine which stimulates alertness - and take note that it is a drug.

Be careful that you don't over-consume vitamin and mineral-enriched foods and drinks because too much of some can create serious health issues. In the case of the B-Vitamins, they directly impact our nervous system.

Nutrition Facts for Snicker Marathon Protein Performance Bar, Caramel Nut Rush

Vitamins, Minerals

Units

100 g

1 Bar

Energy

kcal

415

332

Protein

g

25.00

20.00

Total Fat

g

12.50

10.00

Carbohydrates

g

50.50

40.40

Fiber, total dietary

g

12.5

10.0

Sugars, total

g

28.75

23.00

Calcium, Ca

mg

625

500

Iron, Fe

mg

10.13

8.10

Magnesium, Mg

mg

175

140

Phosphorus, P

mg

375

300

Potassium, K

mg

188

150

Sodium, Na

mg

238

190

Zinc, Zn

mg

6.56

5.25

Vitamin C

mg

75.0

60.0

Thiamin

mg

1.875

1.500

Riboflavin

mg

2.125

1.700

Niacin

mg

25.000

20.000

Vitamin B-6

mg

2.500

2.000

Folate, DFE

g

850

680

Vitamin B-12

g

7.50

6.00

Vitamin A, RAE

g

652

522

Vitamin A, IU

IU

2188

1750

Vitamin E

mg

16.88

13.50

Vitamin D

IU

150

120

Vitamin K

g

10.4

8.3

Saturated Fat

g

6.250

5.000

Monounsaturated Fat

g

2.645

2.116

Polyunsaturated Fat

g

2.892

2.314

Cholesterol

mg

6

5

Caffeine

mg

3

2

One bottle of Gatorade contains as many calories as a sugary soda.

Keep in mind that the body bases weight on energy calories consumed - not vitamins and minerals, although they are essential for optimum health. Gatorade Sport's Drink is produced by Pepsico Quaker.

Note the inflections on the electrolytes content - potassium, sodium and calcium.

Nutrition Facts for Gatorade G Performance O2

Vitamins, Minerals

Units

100 g

1 Fluid Oz

8 Fluid Oz

1 Bottle

Energy

kcal

26

8

63

158

Protein

g

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Total Fat

g

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Carbohydrates

g

6.43

1.96

15.69

39.16

Fiber, total dietary

g

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Sugars, total

g

5.24

1.60

12.79

31.91

Calcium, Ca

mg

1

0

2

6

Iron, Fe

mg

0.05

0.02

0.12

0.30

Magnesium, Mg

mg

0

0

0

0

Phosphorus, P

mg

10

3

24

61

Potassium, K

mg

15

5

37

91

Sodium, Na

mg

39

12

95

238

Zinc, Zn

mg

0.01

0.00

0.02

0.06

Vitamin C

mg

0.4

0.1

1.0

2.4

Thiamin

mg

0.011

0.003

0.027

0.067

Riboflavin

mg

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

Niacin

mg

0.220

0.067

0.537

1.340

Vitamin B-6

mg

0.022

0.007

0.054

0.134

Folate, DFE

g

0

0

0

0

Vitamin B-12

g

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Vitamin A, RAE

g

0

0

0

0

Vitamin A, IU

IU

0

0

0

0

Vitamin E

mg

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Vitamin D

IU

0

0

0

0

Vitamin K

g

0.2

0.1

0.5

1.2

Saturated Fat

g

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

Monounsaturated Fat

g

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

Polyunsaturated Fat

g

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

Cholesterol

mg

0

0

0

0

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