Just as the name implies, meal replacement bars are designed to take the place of a standard meal. With these bars being loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, and other nutrients, a person would get everything needed when sitting down to a normal meal is difficult or impossible.
Of course, exact nutrients, as well as calorie content varies for each brand but overall, meal replacement bars are manufactured using much the same concept.
Virtually anyone can benefit from meal replacement bars, but athletes depend on them regularly and for very specific purposes. Also called nutrition bars and energy bars, the types and level of nutrients provide a boost of fuel for enhanced workouts and performance levels. Athletes experienced increased energy, better stamina, and improved focus that makes it possible to achieve more.
However, along with novice and professional athletes that enjoy the benefits of meal replacement bars, other people also consume them but for a different reason. While it would be best for a person to consume three larger or six smaller meals a day, there are times when this is nearly impossible. Typically, someone with a busy life and a lot of responsibility might have a hard time finding time to sit down to an actual meal. However, because the body still needs proper nutrition, meal replacement bars would be an excellent alternative.
Schedules that interrupt normal eating might be due to a heavy workload and long hours at work, carrying a full course load in college, being a single parent with small children, caring for elderly parents, supporting and participating in kids??? activities away from home, and the list goes on. Rather than deprive the body of nutrition, it would be far better to eat a meal replacement bar than to do completely without.
Other Factors to Consider
Although high quality meal replacement bars are formulated with the right vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients, they are developed to serve very specific purposes. Again, for athletes, they offer a boost of energy and stamina whereas for everyone else, they ensure the body is provided with necessary nutrition when sitting down to a normal meal is impossible.
It is easy to see that meal replacement bars offer a number of benefits but along with the good, there are some serious factors that should be understood to include those provided below.
– At no time should meal replacement bars be used in lieu of more than one meal a day
– These bars are not designed to be used every day. In addition to not consuming more than one meal replacement bar in any given day, these bars should only be for occasional use.
– Because meal replacement bars are high in nutrition but also low in calories compared to a standard meal, some people have used them as regular meals for all meals and over long periods as a way of losing weight. In truth, this practice is dangerous to the body and something that should never be done.
– Most meal replacement bars are sweet but the type of sweetener varies. In fact, because of being so sweet and being made with unhealthy ingredients, they are thought of more as a candy bar opposed to a nutritional bar.
– Before buying just any product, it would be essential to read labels and understand ingredients. The goal is to find meal replacement bars made with natural ingredients of high quality such as oats, carob, honey, spices, and so on.
Buying the Best Product
As with other healthy food products, some are worth buying and others not but because of creating marketing, distinguishing the two can be difficult. This is why taking the time to research ingredients used but also manufacturing companies is imperative rather than take claims on the front of packaging to heart.
Guidelines have been established by experts showing how the best meal replacement bars should be formulated. The following is a list of those guidelines on a per-serving basis.
Calories ??? Caloric value should be anywhere from 220 to 230
Fat ??? Meal replacement bars should contain five fat grams or fewer
Protein ??? Between 10 and 15 grams of protein would be ideal
Fiber ??? The best products should have three to five grams of protein
Recommended daily vitamins and minerals should fortify any meal replacement bars being considered