With the increasing amount of energy bars hitting shelves it can be quite a challenge to choose the right one. Which energy bar will actually help increase my energy? What are the best nutrients to look for?
First, we must look at how energy is produced. The human body produces energy inside cells called mitochondria. These little power plants combine sugar, fat and amino acids with minerals and B vitamins to produce ATP, the universal energy molecule. ATP fuels our metabolism and provides us with the energy we need to live our lives to the fullest.
To help you get the most out of your ATP production, here are the top five ingredients you should be looking for in an energy bar.
Beware of the many energy bars on the market that promote little to no sugar and stay away from chemically produced sweeteners such as sucralose. Without sugar, the body cannot produce ATP. All energy bars should contain a source of natural, preferably organic, sugar. It is also important to be aware of added sugar versus sugar from food. Our recommendation would be to look for whole food sources. Dates, agave and honey are all excellent choices.
Contrary to popular belief, fat is essential to healthy energy levels. Fat contains the highest concentration of calories (9) per gram, and provides the biggest boost to ATP production. Look for energy bars with organic nuts and seeds, such as peanuts, almonds and chia seeds.
3. Amino Acids
Individual amino acids are broken down from dietary protein and used to generate ATP. Choose energy bars made with only biologically complete proteins, which contain all 9 essential amino acids such as pea, brown rice and whey.
Two very important minerals to look for are calcium and magnesium. These minerals help produce ATP but most energy bars contain very limited, and in most cases negligible quantities. Algae calcium is an excellent source of essential minerals, including magnesium. Choose an energy bar that provides at least 10% of the daily value of each.
5. B Vitamins
The B-complex vitamins, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and pantothenic acid (B5) are some of the most overlooked nutrients required for energy production and are essential to almost every biological process in the human body. Look for energy bars that deliver B vitamins from organic ingredients like guava, holy basil and lemon extracts. Stay away from isolated and synthetic chemicals.
Finding an energy bar that provides all of these ingredients might seem impossible and that’s where we come in. Pick up a +PlusBar today.