Protein
Bars

THE PREMISE

We all need protein.

Protein is an essential macronutrient necessary for growth and the maintenance of health. For some people, adding more protein to their diet may be of benefit to help avoid age related muscle loss, to maintain a healthy state, or to build muscle when training. The premise of a protein bar is to provide a convenient food, highly enriched in protein, to supplement your normal diet. That seems simple enough.


ONE LITTLE PROBLEM

Nobody knows what a
protein bar actually is.

Yes, you did read that correctly! The FDA has not established the specific attributes of what defines a "protein bar" and any "bar" with any amount of protein can be labeled as a "protein bar" as long as its protein content is specified properly in the Nutrition Facts on its wrapper. This fact, along with the current popularity of protein supplementation, has led to an abundance of "protein bars" and related products with a huge range of protein enrichment. Furthermore, some of these "protein bars" are loaded with sugar and fat and are not the most nutritionally sound snacks.

SOME SIMPLE MATH

Introducing the protein
enrichment index (PEI).

We developed a simple measure of how much a food is enriched in protein, relative to total calories, that we call the PEI. This handy tool allows easy comparison of one protein bar to another, and importantly to all the other foods that are normally part of your diet. The PEI ranges from 0 to 100, where a food with PEI=0 contains no protein enrichment (0% protein) and a food with PEI=100 contains pure protein (100%). Every food is somewhere in this range.

PEI = (Protein (g) / Calories) x 400

Interactive PEI chart.

The interactive chart below contains a wealth of information about the protein enrichment of many common foods and popular protein bars; it also allows for easy comparisons. We selected a wide range of representative foods and bars for the chart; there are hundreds of protein bars currently on the market so they all can't be shown here. The purpose of this illustration is to allow you to better understand some of the potential sources of protein in your diet, not to recommend for or against any particular foods or protein bar brands.

NOTES & TIPS: The data are divided into 3 distinct groups: Common foods, Protein bars sweetened with non-sugar alternatives (Other*), and Protein bars sweetened with sugars found in nature (Sugars). Each circle represents an individual food/bar, shown from low (red) to high (green) PEI. Mouse over or click on each circle to see the underlying data for each.

*includes bars sweetened with some combination of artificial sweeteners (e.g. Sucralose), high intensity sweeteners such as Stevia, and / or one or more sugar alcohols (e.g. Maltitol, Erythritol). Some Common Foods contain added sugars or other sweeteners which are not specifically noted. Protein bar flavors are indicated in (parenthesis) CWB-Chocolate Walnut Brownie, PB-Peanut Butter, CP-Chocolate Peanut, CWF-Chocolate Walnut Fudge, SM-Smores, CF- Chocolate Fudge, WCR-White Chocolate Raspberry, CCRP-Chocolate Caramel Pecan, TCC-Triple Chocolate Chunk, CB-Chocolate Brownie, CPB-Chocolate Peanut Butter, CM-Chocolate Mint, WBC-Wild Berry Creme, CCCD-Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, BC-Birthday Cake, PBCK-Peanut Butter Cookie, S-Strawberry, CC-Chocolate Chip

GOT PROTEIN?

click a circle to see data

COMMENTS: Protein bars sweetened with sugars found in nature tend to have low to medium PEI values, substantially lower than that of Broccoli, while protein bars sweetened with artificial sweeteners, Stevia, and/or sugar alcohols showed the highest PEI values. Note the clear difference between the PEI range of bars that use natural sugars vs. those that don't.

Importantly, the SOBAR is the ONLY protein bar sweetened with sugars found in nature, with NO high intensity/artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols, with a high PEI (38.1). As the chart illustrates, IT IS IN A CLASS BY ITSELF!

SOURCES: USDA online food database and protein bar manufacturers. For your reference, the chart and its underlying data can be shared or downloaded.

ANOTHER CAN OF WORMS

Not all proteins are equal.

As we saw above, the amount of protein enrichment in both foods and protein bars can vary widely. In addition to this, the SOURCE of protein in the food matters because they differ in something called "Protein Quality" (PQ). A common measure of PQ, adopted by both the US FDA as well as the WHO, is called the PDCAAS (the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score); this takes into account the type of amino acids and their amounts in a protein as well as the digestibility of it. This gets pretty complicated quickly! The PQ is important because you have to eat more of proteins with low levels of essential amino acids and poor digestibility, as compared to proteins with high PQ, to get the same benefit.


The PDCAAS of some
common protein sources.

Protein Quality Chart

COMMENTS:  Proteins that score highly on the PDCAAS have sufficient amounts of all necessary amino acids as well has high digestibility. Some proteins that score low, like Wheat gluten, are limited in one or more amino acids. However, mixing multiple protein types together can make up for deficiencies through complimentarity.

SOURCES:  FAO/WHO Food and Nutrition paper #51, Boye J et al, Br J Nutri, 2012, 108, S183-211, Freitas J.B et al, Food and Nutri Sci, 2012, 3,857-862, PDCAAS Wikipedia entry.

WHAT ARE MY PROTEIN NEEDS?

The latest research.

The Power of Protein:  Infographic.

COMMENTS: Protein needs change as we grow older and can depend on activity level, illness, sex, and other factors. Using tools such as the PEI, as well as having an understanding of the PDCAAS, can help guide you to good sources of protein to fortify your diet.

*Daily protein intake needs are calculated for an average 200lb man or 160lb woman based on the recommended gram per kilogram of bodyweight per day.

SOURCES*: infographic adapted from that of Abbott Nutrition (https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/193336.php); also Nutri. Health Aging, February 2019, pp 1-10.

Protein
Bars

THE PREMISE

We all need protein.

Protein is an essential macronutrient necessary for growth and the maintenance of health. For some people, adding more protein to their diet may be of benefit to help avoid age related muscle loss, to maintain a healthy state, or to build muscle when training. The premise of a protein bar is to provide a convenient food, highly enriched in protein, to supplement your normal diet. That seems simple enough.

Which are the high protein foods?

ONE LITTLE PROBLEM

Nobody knows what a protein bar actually is.

Yes, you did read that correctly! The FDA has not established the specific attributes of what defines a "protein bar" and any "bar" with any amount of protein can be labeled as a "protein bar" as long as its protein content is specified properly in the Nutrition Facts on its wrapper. This fact, along with the current popularity of protein supplementation, has led to an abundance of "protein bars" and related products with a huge range of protein enrichment. Furthermore, some of these "protein bars" are loaded with sugar and fat and are not the most nutritionally sound snacks.

SOME SIMPLE MATH

Introducing the protein enrichment index (PEI).

We developed a simple measure of how much a food is enriched in protein, relative to total calories, that we call the PEI. This handy tool allows easy comparison of one protein bar to another, and importantly to all the other foods that are normally part of your diet. The PEI ranges from 0 to 100, where a food with PEI=0 contains no protein enrichment (0% protein) and a food with PEI=100 contains pure protein (100%). Every food is somewhere in this range.

How to Calculate the PEI

(Protein (g) / Calories) x 400

Interactive PEI chart.

The interactive chart below contains a wealth of information about the protein enrichment of many common foods and popular protein bars; it also allows for easy comparisons. We selected a wide range of representative foods and bars for the chart; there are hundreds of protein bars currently on the market so they all can't be shown here. The purpose of this illustration is to allow you to better understand some of the potential sources of protein in your diet, not to recommend for or against any particular foods or protein bar brands.

NOTES & TIPS: The data are divided into 3 distinct groups: Common foods, Protein bars sweetened with non-sugar alternatives (Other*), and Protein bars sweetened with sugars found in nature (Sugars). Each circle represents an individual food/bar, shown from low (red) to high (green) PEI. Mouse over or click on each circle to see the underlying data for each.

*includes bars sweetened with some combination of artificial sweeteners (e.g. Sucralose), high intensity sweeteners such as Stevia, and / or one or more sugar alcohols (e.g. Maltitol, Erythritol). Some Common Foods contain added sugars or other sweeteners which are not specifically noted. Protein bar flavors are indicated in (parenthesis) CWB-Chocolate Walnut Brownie, PB-Peanut Butter, CP-Chocolate Peanut, CWF-Chocolate Walnut Fudge, SM-Smores, CF- Chocolate Fudge, WCR-White Chocolate Raspberry, CCRP-Chocolate Caramel Pecan, TCC-Triple Chocolate Chunk, CB-Chocolate Brownie, CPB-Chocolate Peanut Butter, CM-Chocolate Mint, WBC-Wild Berry Creme, CCCD-Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, BC-Birthday Cake, PBCK-Peanut Butter Cookie, S-Strawberry, CC-Chocolate Chip

GOT PROTEIN?

COMMENTS: Protein bars sweetened with sugars found in nature tend to have low to medium PEI values, substantially lower than that of Broccoli, while protein bars sweetened with artificial sweeteners, Stevia, and/or sugar alcohols showed the highest PEI values. Note the clear difference between the PEI range of bars that use natural sugars vs. those that don't.

Importantly, the SOBAR is the ONLY protein bar sweetened with sugars found in nature, with NO high intensity/artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols, with a high PEI (38.1). As the chart illustrates, IT IS IN A CLASS BY ITSELF!

SOURCES: USDA online food database and protein bar manufacturers. For your reference, the chart and its underlying data can be shared or downloaded.

ANOTHER CAN OF WORMS

Not all proteins are equal.

As we saw above, the amount of protein enrichment in both foods and protein bars can vary widely. In addition to this, the SOURCE of protein in the food matters because they differ in something called "Protein Quality" (PQ). A common measure of PQ, adopted by both the US FDA as well as the WHO, is called the PDCAAS (the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score); this takes into account the type of amino acids and their amounts in a protein as well as the digestibility of it. This gets pretty complicated quickly! The PQ is important because you have to eat more of proteins with low levels of essential amino acids and poor digestibility, as compared to proteins with high PQ, to get the same benefit.

Protein Amino Acid Wheel

The PDCAAS of some common protein sources.

Protein Quality Chart

COMMENTS:  Proteins that score highly on the PDCAAS have sufficient amounts of all necessary amino acids as well has high digestibility. Some proteins that score low, like Wheat gluten, are limited in one or more amino acids. However, mixing multiple protein types together can make up for deficiencies through complimentarity.

SOURCES:  FAO/WHO Food and Nutrition paper #51, Boye J et al, Br J Nutri, 2012, 108, S183-211, Freitas J.B et al, Food and Nutri Sci, 2012, 3,857-862, PDCAAS Wikipedia entry.

WHAT ARE MY PROTEIN NEEDS?

The latest research.

The Power of Protein: Infographic

COMMENTS: Protein needs change as we grow older and can depend on activity level, illness, sex, and other factors. Using tools such as the PEI, as well as having an understanding of the PDCAAS, can help guide you to good sources of protein to fortify your diet.

*Daily protein intake needs are calculated for an average 200lb man or 160lb woman based on the recommended gram per kilogram of bodyweight per day.

SOURCES*: infographic adapted from that of Abbott Nutrition (https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/193336.php); also Nutri. Health Aging, February 2019, pp 1-10.

SUMMARY

We all need adequate protein in our diets to maintain our health, counteract age related muscle loss, and to build muscle when training. Based on an assessment of your current diet, you may decide to boost it with additional protein by choosing to eat more of protein rich foods, protein bars, or protein supplements.

Protein bars represent a convenient way to add more protein to your diet, especially when you are on the go. However, currently marketed protein bars vary widely in their degree of protein enrichment (PEI) as well as in their protein quality (PDCAAS). When selecting a protein bar you need to make sure what you are eating meets your preference for amount and quality of protein, taste, calories, sugar level, and overall ingredient mix.

The SOBAR is a great choice for your protein bar due to its unique balance of high protein quality and enrichment, fantastic taste, and a low glycemic mix of sugars. Containing both a prebiotic and Alco-HOLD, you will have to give them a try!

Summary

We all need adequate protein in our diets to maintain our health, counteract age related muscle loss, and to build muscle when training. Based on an assessment of your current diet, you may decide to boost it with additional protein by choosing to eat more of protein rich foods, protein bars, or protein supplements.

Protein bars represent a convenient way to add more protein to your diet, especially when you are on the go. However, currently marketed protein bars vary widely in their degree of protein enrichment (PEI) as well as in their protein quality (PDCAAS). When selecting a protein bar you need to make sure what you are eating meets your preference for amount and quality of protein, taste, calories, sugar level, and overall ingredient mix.

The SOBAR is a great choice for your protein bar due to its unique balance of high protein quality and enrichment, fantastic taste, and a lower glycemic mix of sugars.

CONTAINING BOTH A PREBIOTIC AND ALCO-HOLD, YOU WILL HAVE TO GIVE THEM A TRY!

The information covered on this page is provided for general use purposes only and should not be understood as medical advice nor is it provided to make health or nutrition claims about the SOBAR. It is recommended to seek the advice of a physician or other health provider before beginning any significant changes to either your physical activity or diet.

The information covered on this page is provided for general use purposes only and should not be understood as medical advice nor is it provided to make health or nutrition claims about the SOBAR. It is recommended to seek the advice of a physician or other health provider before beginning any significant changes to either your physical activity or diet.

WARNING

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. EATING A SOBAR OR ANY OTHER FOOD: (1) DOES NOT PREVENT ALL ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU CAN STILL BECOME INTOXICATED. (2) WILL NOT SOBER YOU UP OR LOWER YOUR BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL IF YOU ARE ALREADY INTOXICATED. (3) CAN SLOW ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU MAY EXPERIENCE A DELAYED EFFECT FROM THE ALCOHOL CONSUMED.

GET SPECIAL OFFERS AND NEWS

The SOBAR is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The FDA has not evaluated any statements made on this website.

Some images used were obtained from www.unsplash.com and pixabay.com and used here with permission.  

WARNING

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. EATING A SOBAR OR ANY OTHER FOOD: (1) DOES NOT PREVENT ALL ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU CAN STILL BECOME INTOXICATED. (2) WILL NOT SOBER YOU UP OR LOWER YOUR BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL IF YOU ARE ALREADY INTOXICATED. (3) CAN SLOW ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU MAY EXPERIENCE A DELAYED EFFECT FROM THE ALCOHOL CONSUMED.


GET SPECIAL OFFERS AND NEWS

The SOBAR is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The FDA has not evaluated any statements made on this website.

Some images used were obtained from www.unsplash.com and pixabay.com and used here with permission.