Secretly Unhealthy Protein Bars & Smoothies

Good things don’t always come in small packages. Sports bars can provide you with the energy you need for an endurance event because they are packed full of carbohydrates and calories that are depleted during prolonged aerobic exercise. These bars are usually loaded with simple sugars and saturated fats and can contain over 300 calories. Choose bars with little to no saturated fat (<2 grams), high fiber (>4 grams), and moderate carbohydrate content with little sugar (<15 grams). Go for higher protein bars and those with the most fiber to help keep you full. Protein smoothies can be just as bad. Many smoothies contain more than 650 calories! Yes, fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. However, most smoothies consist of mainly fruit juice, which is loaded with sugar and has a fraction of the nutrients provided by whole fruits. Most smoothie shops even add additional sugar and/or frozen yogurts to help improve the taste. When you consume a smoothie after a workout one could end up consuming more calories than was burned at the gym! Receiving the calories of a meal without the satisfaction can lead to overeating later on. Ask for smoothies without added sugar or substitute a Truvia or Stevia. Avoid the dessert smoothies and those with peanut butter or chocolate. Choose mostly fruit with low fat yogurt or milk. Ask your favorite smoothie stand for a printout of their nutrition facts or look it up online before going.