As they say, you are what you eat. If you’re trying to build a strong, lean, healthy body, you have to eat right!
And making sure you get enough protein every day is a huge part of eating right!
Protein plays a major role in recovering from exercise, and it’s the main building block for lean muscle!
But when you’re on-the-go and living a fast-paced lifestyle, it can be tough to get enough protein to meet your needs.
A protein shake is quick and convenient, but if you’re looking for a different option, a protein bar is great!
A protein bar is convenient, portable, and an excellent way to reach your protein goal. But as you’ll see, not all protein bars are created equal.
How Much Protein Does a Woman Need?
How much protein do I really need?
That’s one of the most common questions women ask me. The answer to that question depends a lot on your age, activity level, and current fitness goals, among other factors.
But a good rule of thumb is about 1g of protein per 1 lb body weight each day if you’re living an active lifestyle and working out on a regular basis. (If you’re not very active, your goal should be closer to 0.5g per 1 lb body weight each day.)
For instance, a 150lb woman who works out 3-5 days each week would want to aim for about 150g protein each day.
To get enough protein to support your needs, you’ll have to make an effort to target high-quality protein sources.
What If I Don’t Get Enough Protein
The symptoms of protein deficiency can be a little scary, and can include sleeplessness, poor bone health, and a weak immune system!
Luckily you likely won’t have to worry about severe protein deficiency if you’re eating a well-balanced traditional diet, although it’s a bit tougher if you’re vegan or vegetarian.
But even if you’re getting enough protein to meet your basic needs, you may not be getting enough to support your fitness goals. If you’re living an active lifestyle and working out regularly, you need a lot more protein than someone living a sedentary lifestyle.
If your daily protein intake is insufficient to keep up with your fitness goals, you might experience the following symptoms.
1. Poor Recovery From Workouts
Protein is made from smaller particles called amino acids, which play a major role in recovery from exercise. This is why you’ve always been told to drink a protein shake pretty soon after you’ve finished your workout.
Without adequate protein, your post-workout recovery could be negatively impacted in a major way. This could lead to prolonged soreness, low energy during your next workout, and diminished training results!
2. Loss of Muscle Mass
As you know, protein is the primary building block for muscle growth. When you workout, your muscle fibers are broken down. With good nutrition, rest, and hydration, they’re soon built back up a little bit stronger than before.
But if you’re working out regularly and aren’t getting enough protein in your diet, your lean muscle mass won’t be properly nourished and it can start to break down.
3. Decreased Strength
When you’re involved in a resistance training protocol, i.e. lifting weights, you should become progressively stronger over time. If you’re getting enough protein that is.
If you continue to push yourself in the gym, but your protein consumption is insufficient, you won’t see these increases in the amount of weight you’re able to lift.
In fact, you’ll probably notice small but steady decreases in your overall strength!
A Solution: Protein Bars
A great way to make sure you’re getting enough protein every day is to carry a protein bar with you!
Protein bars are a real lifesaver for those who don’t have time to stop and prepare a meal or snack.
But there are a LOT of protein bars out there, and unfortunately, some of them fall short in big ways.
Where Other Protein Bars Come Up Short
1. Some protein bars are super high in sugar and calories.
Even though they might provide an adequate amount of high-quality protein, some protein bars are better off left on the shelf due to being loaded with sugar and extra calories. Sugar is okay once in a while in moderation, but eating high-sugar bars too often can totally derail your fitness goals!
2. Some protein bars simply don’t taste good.
Some protein bars are way too chewy, taste chalky, or really don’t have much flavor. Let’s be real, if you don’t like your protein bar, you aren’t going to want to eat it! Late in the afternoon when the day starts to wear you down and you need that pick-me-up, you’ll be more likely to ditch a gross bar for a bag of chips or a candy bar.
3. Some protein bars aren’t really that high in protein
If you don’t get a good boost of protein from your protein bar, then what’s the point of even eating it? Yet some bars on the market fail to deliver in the protein department, offering just 10g or less. Everything you eat doesn’t have to be packed with protein in order to be valuable, but when you’re selecting a bar purely for the protein benefits, this simply won’t cut it.