Essential to athletics is nourishment before and after workouts, and granola and nutritional bars are the go-to snack. Often misunderstood, bars from Nature Valley to Cliff all look similar and advertise health. How do you know which is the healthiest? Do they sufficiently nourish girls before and after sports? Dragonwing girlgear Ambassador Abby uncovers the truth about bars. Before exercise, athletes need a snack that is 75% carbs and 25% protein to provide energy and repair and build muscle during activity. However, many popular bars are composed of more fat than protein. Before choosing a bar, make sure to read the label and look for the grams of protein, fats, and sugars. Erin Palinski-Wade, a registered dietician recommends the “rule of 5.” Having at least 5 grams of protein, fiber and unsaturated fat results in a filling pre-game food choice. Equally as important after a game or workout, eating a healthy recovery snack ensures maximum muscle restoration. Athletes need to stay hydrated and consume a similar healthy bar with protein and carbs. Post-workout, these nutrients repair muscles, replenish the body’s glycogen stores, and prevent muscle soreness. The best recovery snack choices either are or are composed of whole foods for their micronutrients and essential fiber. Often the ingredients lists for bars are long and unrecognizable. After being refined and processed, these ingredients lose many of the nutrients essential to muscle repair. Next time you’re in the grocery store, flip over your prospective bar to see if you recognize the first few ingredients. Bar companies such as RX bars, Dale’s Raw Foods and Kind Bars are great examples of bars with wholesome, healthy ingredients that provide great nutrients. Combining that with the rule of 5, the only section left to check is sugars. Many bars add refined sugar, which contains no essential nutrients, to compensate for the tarter taste of proteins. Our philosophy is to forego any bar with refined sugar. Sugar is a key factor in inflammation - so avoid it, especially after a game or workout. Let us know in the comments what bars you’ve found best for pre and post games, practices or workouts. ARTICLES REFERENCED

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.