We all know what energy bars are, and we are sure that the vast majority of us have used them on more than one occasion. We want to get closer to this food because there is still a lot of ignorance regarding its use and its usefulness and effect in the organism. For this in this post we will do a review for what are the energy bars and the different types that we can find.
This post is the first in a series of several and for them we are going to approach what is an energy bar. As its name indicates, it is thought to endow our body with energy. But there are different ways to do it, because we can find the bars that give us instant energy for an imminent exercise and those that bring us more in the long term and that are focused on taking away hunger and avoid eating more between hours.
The energy supply of the bars
The main task of energy bars is to increase the body’s caloric density at times when we need extra energy or in those where it is necessary to substitute a meal for lack of time to carry it out. Keep in mind that your caloric intake is 3 to 5 kilocalories per gram of product, which means that a full bar can give us an average of 150 calories, although it will depend on the weight of the bar. Among the nutrients that contribute mainly we highlight the carbohydrates, fats, proteins and vitamins and minerals found in lesser amounts.
Two types of bars: Those containing simple hydrates and those containing complexes
Within the bars we can find those containing simple carbohydrates. That is, they are those that provide simple sugars and the body assimilates quickly. In this case the energy they supply is instantaneous. They would be used in this case for times when we need an extra supply of energy, such as before starting an intense activity in which the demand on the part of the organism will be high.
On the other hand we have bars that contain complex carbohydrates. This type will make the organism take much longer to assimilate and take advantage of them, so it will keep us for longer with energy. This type of bars will be much more useful when it comes to avoiding hunger between meals. A good way to substitute an intermediate meal.
Contribution of fats and vitamins
Do not forget that the bars also give us fats that can be of different types and is something that we must repair. Many of them carry palm oil which is not recommended. Therefore it is necessary that we keep in mind the composition of the same and the origin of the fats that will contribute us. We must not forget their vitamin, mainly vitamin C and B, which will help us to optimize the use of energy that we provide.
The use of bars rich in carbohydrates
Once explained all this we must differentiate between two very defined types of bars. First we are going to stop at the carbohydrate bars. In this case, we can decant, as we have seen previously, by which they give us instant energy or in those that bring us slow. In both cases the main ingredient is rich in carbohydrates.
As for the composition of these bars of hydrates we can find ingredients such as oats, muesli, corn, wheat … In short, its composition is based on cereals. The difference is whether they are of integral origin (that offer us a contribution of slow energy) or are refined (that make an immediate energy contribution). This will depend on the final effect of the bar, ie whether its energy input in instantaneous or slower. Be that as it may, these types of bars are designed for the performance of sports with a high aerobic component like cycling, running, aerobics …
The use of sticks rich in protein
On the other hand we have at our disposal the protein bars. It is still a type of food with a high carbohydrate content, but the proportion of proteins is higher, since it oscillates between 5% and 20% of its composition.
In the elaboration of these bars, other ingredients such as soy, dried fruits or nuts are usually used. All of them will provide us with energy and proteins of vegetable origin and easy to assimilate by the organism. These types of bars, even if they contain carbohydrates, are better suited for anaerobic exercises such as bodybuilding, gymnastics, bodybuilding, strength work …