Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in our series on fitness and nutrition by UMHS staffer Govinda Rampersaud (who recently lost 100 pounds through a strict diet and exercise regimen).
Top Protein Powders & Energy Bars
By Govinda Rampersaud
Not everyone has time to prepare their meals ahead of time, or has time to get a good meal, especially busy students at American and Caribbean medical schools. I’m going to give you my top picks of protein powders and bars that will help you get a meal in on the go. But before I do, I want to make it clear that supplements are for convenience’s sake. You should eat real,whole food as your main source of nutrition, and use supplements as an added benefit or for an extra boost.
Energy bars and protein bars are two different things. You will notice energy bars have more carbohydrates and sugars than protein bars, but less protein. This is because carbs are energy for the body. That’s why they are called energy bars. But if the carbohydrates are not used, they will be stored as fat. Protein bars are high in protein, low in sugar and carbs. These simply provide the body with as much protein as possible, and not make you gain a lot of weight.
There is no right number of how much protein your body can absorb. It depends on many factors like age, weight, height, and body type, so everyone is different. Protein cannot be stored, so it’s used right away, stored as fat or discarded as waste. Depending on your body type and whether you’re actively working out or not, most people cannot process more than 30 grams of protein at one time, so protein bars that have 40 to 50 grams of protein usually just give you gas.
For more information on protein intake and individual needs, visit the blog post “How Many Grams of Protein Can Your Body Absorb in One Sitting? at http://www.livestrong.com/article/487366-how-many-grams-of-protein-can-body-absorb-in-one-sitting/
Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey – My number-one choice when it comes to protein powders. A host of flavors, and an all-natural version is available. Goes down easily, amazing when blended with fruit and peanut butter, and you get more than 20 grams of protein per scoop.
AllMax Nutrition Iso Flex – A great protein powder for a post-workout meal. Tastes great and goes down smooth as well,no after taste. Also, it is enriched with vitamins and amino acids to give you that extra boost and faster recovery.
ZeroCarb Isopure – High in protein per serving, no carbs, and mixes well with fruit. My choice when I want a good amount of protein in a rush.
True Nutrition – This is for the hardcore gym addict that wants to customize his or her protein powder down to every ingredient. The amount of protein and various micro nutrients per serving is customizable.
Clif Bar Energy Bar – Made with organic ingredients, with a variety of flavors that will fill you up. Has a good amount of fiber, and other nutritional benefits.
Quest Bars – Perfect bodybuilder protein bar, with high protein and fiber, with not too many calories. You can also get it Stevia-sweetened (made from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana) if you want to avoid artificial sweeteners.
Pure Protein Bars – All naturally flavored. I usually get this when I want a big snack that will satisfy me between meals.
Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bar–This protein bar, made by the same company that manufactures the classic granola bars, is filling even though it might be half the size or smaller than other bars. Great for someone with an active lifestyle.
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