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How to Choose Energy Bars

Sports Energy Products Explained: Bars

If you're a fan of longer workouts, or are in training for a big race, you can't exercise without refueling your energy. Sport drinks offer energy plus hydration, and gels and chews offer bite-sized energy in convenient packages. There are also energy bars. You can eat them before, during, or after your lengthy workouts, and they're better than sport drinks or gels because not only do they contain carbs for energy, but they satisfy your hunger too.

Many companies make energy bars these days including Clif, PowerBar, and Balance. If you're confused about how to choose one keep reading.

Choose bars that contain 200 to 250 calories and about 40 grams of carbs. Opt for ones that are low in fat, fiber, and protein, since they can delay digestion. Try out different bars for the particular activity you're doing. For running it's recommended that a bar have about five grams of fat, five grams of fiber, and 10 grams of protein. You may prefer more protein say if you're going on a long hike, or more fiber if you're biking. A little trial and error will help you figure out which ones work best for you.


When using energy bars as your source of fuel, eat one for every hour you exercise. Break them into bite-sized pieces prior to heading out, so you can snack on them throughout the 60 minutes. Be sure to sip four to eight ounces of water every 15 minutes with each bar.

If you have a favorite energy bar, share it in the comments section below.

Join The Conversation
SaucySassy SaucySassy 7 years
You do NOT need a bar for every hour you exercise, that is ridiculous. Those bars ( I like them alot too espec luna lemon or clif builders lemon and clif blueberry), have about 25 grams of sugar in them. eating one for breakfast is good.
tylergrl33 tylergrl33 7 years
I tried a couple of Clif bars, but unfortunately the ones I had gave me an idea of what birdfood must taste like. This is coming from someone who is an extremely strict, healthy vegetarian. The Clif Z Bars are great. They're organic and a healthy alternative to a lot of bars out there.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
I like Clif and Luna (of course they are manufactured by the same people). I think they have delicious flavors, and they have quite a few that are in the 160-180 calorie range.. not too bad.
xxjosiexx xxjosiexx 7 years
As someone that has wheat issues, I really recommend Balance bars. They're gluten free (as are many Lara bars), have really simple ingredients and taste delicious. I recommend Cherry Pecan :)
stumbler02 stumbler02 7 years
I really don't like the taste of most bars, especially Clif and Luna. But I like Heart Thrive Cookies (150-180 calories apiece) and I really love Gnu bars (especially Banana Walnut flavor). 140 calories and 12 grams of fiber!
wolfjinx25 wolfjinx25 7 years
I'm not a huge fan of bars but I definitely like EAS AdvantEdge Cookies & Cream because it has 17g of Protein and 2 g of Sugar.
heyjen19 heyjen19 7 years
I'm a big fan of the clif bars -- chocolate chip is delish! I look forward to long runs just to have one as a reward when I'm finished!
lydialee_home lydialee_home 7 years
I like the Luna minis. Sometimes I cannot finish the whole bar and hate to get a ziplog bag with me. With the minis, I have no problem finishing the whole piece by myself and each one is only 80 calories!
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
I agree, Mila, the lemon zest is AMAZING
josephje josephje 7 years
ZonePerfect bars and Luna bars really gets you through a 45 minute intense workout. There are always promotions on ZonePerfect bars, so there are just as good and you can get more for less money than Luna bars.
Mila_83 Mila_83 7 years
Luna Lemon Zest!yummy!180 ccal (4.5g of fat,10g protein and 3g of fiber) and did I mention?Its delish!!!:)
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