Disclaimer: no pictures in this post. What's up with protein bars? For the past couple of years, they have been everywhere. From quick marts to health food stores such as Wholefoods. So are they good for you? Are they a good alternative to candy bars? They are 'healthy', quick, and a lot of brands are delicious. So what's the catch?
I used to be addicted to protein bars, but I quit them all together. I honestly would rather just grab a banana or a persimmon than eat something that contains ingredients I can't even pronounce. Don't be fooled by the label, yes they're high in protein, but that does not necessarily mean that they're healthy! Usually, they contain at least as much sugar (not the good kind) as they contain protein if not double. Also, definitely, stay away from the "zero/low sugar" bars since they are usually loaded with artificial flavors and artificially sweetened. Lastly, they're expensive as fuck.
Personally, protein bars left me craving more and never really satisfied. I still scan the shelves when I go to the grocery store and see if there's a new protein bar and when I do find one, it's usually the same crap for the exception for a very few protein bars out there. However, no matter how 'clean' they are, it's probably better to just reach for a fruit or a veggie.
only 3% of people in the US are protein deficient while 97% are fiber deficient!
But what if you're trying to build muscles? Don't you need more protein? No, it's really hard for anyone to be protein deficient as long as they're consuming enough calories; that are not mostly from processed junk food. Whole foods contain carbs, protein and fat. Even fruits contain a certain percentage of protein. So you really shouldn't be worrying about your protein. In fact, surveys show that only 3% of people in the US are protein deficient while 97% are fiber deficient! So drop the protein bars and get your veggies and fruits in! And for the love of food don't ever think about fiber bars. Just don't even go there.
Human breast milk contains only 6% protein for calories
More on protein: You still not sure that veggies and fruits will give you enough protein? Then let me tell you this. Human breast milk contains only 6% protein for calories and that is less than what most fruits and vegetables provide. If we only need 6% of protein when we're infants; which is the time we are growing most rapidly then I don't see a possibility for us to need more at any time of our lives. Even when you're building some massive gains! Check out this
Check out this video for more info.
Once more, if you're still worried about your muscles then let me tell you this. I went from eating over 100 grams of protein (I weigh about 55 kg or so) to eating a plant-based diet without any protein powders and haven't noticed any muscle loss. I have actually gained muscles. I can see my core muscles more now and my shoulders are really showing. Sorry, I don't have any pictures to show. To be honest, I'm not very comfortable flexing in front of the mirror and showing people yet, but just google "plant-based athletes" and you'll see. Bottom line if you want my opinion, don't spend your money on that crap. Just eat whole foods until you're satisfied and get your training in. It's really that simple and cheap.