When we reach for a protein bar, it’s not typically for a light snack. Protein bars serve a purpose. They are great in a pinch, when we are starving but there is no time or access to a full meal. They are excellent for refueling pre- or post-workout. They satiate us and assist in building the muscle we strive so hard to get in our Pilates sessions, weight-lifting classes, or yoga flows.
Because we seek them when we are depleted, they shouldn’t be so one-note. When looking for a protein bar, look for multitaskers, aka ingredients that fulfill more than one purpose. It’s so much more than protein; it’s total nourishment in a time of need. Keep an eye out for these key ingredients to fulfill our bodies’ demands on multiple levels.
Prebiotic fibers like cassava flour, chicory, or quinoa are literally food for our good gut bacteria, making our probiotics more efficient, and our guts assimilate the protein and other nutrients on a more optimal level. Because total wellness really begins in the gut, this ingredient is not to be overlooked, especially if looking to replace meals with a protein bar.
Some people handle whey just fine, and that’s cool. But have we all checked the source and quality of said protein? Plant proteins like pumpkin seeds, pea, and hemp are super clean and nutritious, containing not only protein but trace minerals like magnesium and silica, a skin-loving compound.
Because it’s not practical to try and chug a hundred different adaptogenic lattes a day, why not squeeze it into your protein bar? Adaptogens like maca will help with endurance and energy levels (and also libido, just saying), while cordyceps will help with focus and stamina. Reishi mushroom is excellent for managing stress, and physical activity is a type of stress, meaning it affects cortisol levels, so it is crucial to mitigate that post-workout.
Now that we’ve got prebiotics covered, getting a few extra good bugs will help fuel the gut to prime our digestion to absorb all this goodness. Bacillus coagulans is a type of bacteria to look out for, as it remains stable at room temperature.
Because our bodies are always taking a beating, anti-inflammatories like turmeric are an excellent addition to any protein or superfood bar blend. It enters the bloodstream better through digestion with other food, too, rather than taking it in a capsule.
Shop the Poosh team’s favorite protein bars below.
R.E.D.D. Bar Oatmeal Plant-Based Protein Bar - 12 Pack
R.E.D.D. Bar Peanut Butter Plant-Based Protein Bar - 12 Pack
R.E.D.D. Bar Salted Caramel Plant-Based Protein Bar - 12 Pack
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