What are the best protein bars for women?
As a busy woman, life can often feel like circus. Between juggling work, family and the usual #momlife tasks like chores, carpools, and sports practice on repeat… life can feel crazy.
For many women (myself included) we’re often so busy concentrating on everyone else, that we fail to take time meet our own needs…. especially when it comes to nutrition.
Sometimes I honestly just don’t have TIME to spend prepping meals in the kitchen. Some days I’m lucky to get a shower… let alone time 30-40 minutes to prepare a meal.
One quick and easy way to get enough essential protein daily is by adding a protein bar to your diet.
On days that I’m running errands, in a rush, or just need a quick grab & go meal or snack option, my “emergency” stocks of protein bars (in my pantry, purse, and yes, even my car!) are life savers.
Not all protein bars are created equally, though.
In fact, some bars have just as much sugar (or even more!) than a candy bar. There are so many protein bars available on the market today it can be hard to choose the best protein bars for women. In order to find the best protein bars for women, you first need to know what makes protein bars for women healthy.
Here’s what I look for…
Best Protein Bars for Women: 4 Rules
Best Protein Bars for Women: Rule 1- High Quality Protein
I’ve been shocked to see how little protein some so-called “protein” bars actually contain so when you’re looking for the best protein bars for women, always be sure to look for a good protein content first. Ideally your bar should have at least 12-20g of protein per bar. As you know, there are countless benefits to getting enough protein. Protein helps keep you fuller for longer and helps to balance hunger and cravings. In addition, women need protein for recovery after exercise and for building muscle. Too little protein will delay your recovery and increase muscle soreness. Protein is also important for fat burning, as it has a high thermic effect. The thermic effect of protein simply means that it requires a lot of energy to break it down…. in fact, up to 30% of the calories you consume from protein are used in the digestive process.
In general, when selecting the best protein bars for women, the more protein, the better but only if that protein is good quality. Learn more about protein 101 here.
Best Protein Bars for Women: Rule 2- Low Sugar, Moderate Carbs
Some protein bars contain as much sugar as a Snickers bar so, if you want to find the best protein bar for women, you need to look at the label and be sure it’s not packed with sugar. In general, I try to find bars that have no more than eight grams of sugar per serving. Protein bars with very low sugar will help prevent your blood sugar from increasing rapidly and that will also prevent your body from producing an excess of insulin. Insulin promotes fat storage and blocks fat burning managing blood sugar and insulin is very important.
Lower to moderate carbohydrate protein bars are generally better for women who are trying to lose weight or burn fat. Excess carbs are quickly and easily converted to fat and can often cause ongoing carb cravings. At the same time, if you’re looking for a pre or post workout meal, the proper balance of carbohydrates to protein is important speeding up muscle recovery. When eaten after exercise, carbohydrates are directed to your muscles and liver and converted to glycogen for fueling your next workout. That’s why the proper balance is key.
Best Protein Bars for Women: Rule 3- High Fiber
Fiber is important for keeping your digestive system healthy and also making you feel fuller for longer. A high fiber bar protein bar is one of the best protein bars for women.
And if you’re wondering how to tell if your protein bar is actually healthy (or just a glorified candy bar), you need to look at the FIBER!
For fat loss, our first priority is to limit carbohydrates. But the key here is that we are concerned with hormonal carbohydrates (sugar, starch, etc) rather than total carbs. The carbohydrates that come from fiber help keep us full and actually impact hunger in a positive way, so when you’re looking at the carbohydrates, we use the label reading tool.
- Find the total carbohydrate grams.
- Subtract any fiber grams.
- Subtract total protein grams.
The number you have left should be low. For fat loss, the lower the better. Negative numbers are best.
Best Protein Bars for Women: Rule 4 Low in Saturated Fat, Free from Trans Fat (< 3 grams) and are free from trans fats
Low fat proteins bar are not necessarily the best protein bars for women. Some dietary fat is essential for your body and optimal health. However, high amounts of saturated fats contain a lot of unwanted calories and do nothing to promote health and fitness, so when you’re looking for the best protein bars for women, you’ll want to look for bars that are low in saturated fat. In addition to being low in saturated fat (less than 3g is deal), you’ll also want to look for bars that are free from trans fats. Trans fats are processed fats that are very unhealthy and should be avoided whenever possible.
Choosing the best protein bar for women doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you follow the rules above you’ll easily be able to find the best protein bar for you!
P.S. Over the years I’ve tried just about every protein bar on the market. I’ve choked down more dry, chalky protein bars than I can count (YUCK!)….
That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to the brand new PEScience Bars!
These protein bars have a delicious taste and texture. They’re yummy, convenient, affordable and effective! With 12 bars in each box, they’re made to fuel and refuel your active body on the go, and they feature PEScience’s premiere blend of protein that your body needs to tone lean muscle.
Want to learn more? Keep reading, and take advantage of the latest sale below! I can’t wait for you to try them!
Why PEScience Protein Bars
There are WAY too many dry, chalky, nasty protein bars out there. Many are full of fillers and weird ingredients, and almost ALL of them are made for guys to get big and bulky.
And they’re not just the best protein bars for women… here’s BeyondFit Dad giving an official taste test!
Perfected Taste & Texture
PEScience spent over 2 years developing the Select Protein Bar formula, tweaking it until it reached perfection. These bars have zero protein aftertaste, the perfect balance of flavor, and a texture that will have you thinking its some kind of dessert.
Each bar delivers 19g protein while keeping the sugar low, fiber high, and net carbs in the low teens.
Grab a Select Bar for a snack, to take on-the-go, or to use to create an endless number of recipes.
Whey + Casein
In typical Select Protein fashion, each bar is made with a blend of whey and casein protein to deliver both fast and slow digesting proteins. This makes the Select Protein Bar perfect for anytime.
More and more bars, cookies, and snacks popping up on the market are using cheap proteins with low biological values such as gelatin, hydrolyzed beef, and soy. While those might be easy to flavor, they aren’t going to do much in your diet.
Fiber content in protein bars has been an interesting topic of discussion the past 8 years. Some manufacturers have gone as far as falsely labeling their bars as having higher fiber than they really contain. Some have been forced to reformulate, but some are still getting away with it.
New fiber regulations have been announced, and the ingredient many companies are/were labeling as a fiber has been deemed not a fiber, but rather a regular carbohydrate. Rest assured, Select Protein Bars really do have 12g of fiber coming from chicory root and soluble corn fiber.
If your diet is too low in fiber you may experience some bloating the first few times you eat a Select Protein Bar, but good news, you will soon be on your way to getting enough fiber in your diet. Due to the high fiber content, I don’t recommend exceeding more than 2 bars in a day, as each bar contains 48% of your fiber daily value.
PEScience keep the sugar low in all Select products, so the bars are no different. Only 2g per bar! However, the taste is so unbelievable that you might find yourself double and triple checking the sugar content as you chow down.