Message Boards » Food and Nutrition

TOPIC: Protein Shake vs Protein Bars

Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
June 30, 2012 8:59 PM
This is possibly a silly question, but is there any real different between the two? Is one more beneficial than the other.

Also never having had them before, what are some good brands to buy and are there really any difference between them all?

I've also heard conflicting stories about when to have them, ie - before a workout, straight after a workout or within an hour of working out? Thoughts/opinions.

June 30, 2012 10:40 PM
I make my own shakes because you never can tell exactly what some companies try to hide in their "healthy" products. Making my own smoothies, I control and KNOW exactly what's in my food and can avoid some of the less healthy stuff.

You would be more likely to get fiber and/or grains from a protein bar (depending on the car), but if you're making your own (bar or shake), you can change that as well.
June 30, 2012 10:50 PM
For me it is all about control.

Even though you CAN make your own protein bars, I think most people are more likley to make their own protein shakes. Which means that protein shakes can become more controled than say a pre-made protein bar. I used to buy the "OH-Yeah" protein bars, which were pretty good, but they have a lot of "other stuff" in them that I didn't need that just added calories.

But you need to see what works best for you. So maybe you want to try some protein bars and see how they work for you... just read the label and make sure you are getting the nutrients you want. My local Lindberg Nutrition store allows you to buy 10 for 15 bucks so you can mix and match flavors and brands. Check you local store.

As far as shakes go, same as I said with the bars, I tend to steer clear of them. I have bought some from time to time for convience, but I rather make my own shake.

Shakes made at home need a protein source. I use Whey Isolate... either chocolate or vanilla in mine. My favorite brand is Allmax Isoflex Whey Protein. I mix that in with different things to get the desired shake. Pre-workout/ post-workout might be just almond milk and a scoop of whey. A meal replacement might be almond milk, peanut butter, scoop of whey and a banana.

In the end, as I have said, you have to see what works for yhou. If you don't care too much about "clean" foods, than pre-made bars and shakes might be great for you. Try some out.

Good luck.
June 30, 2012 11:00 PM
Just eat foods that are high in protein.
July 1, 2012 12:24 AM
Great question! I am a triathlete and ultra runner and I use both. I make a protein shake every morning after my workout. If my workout is less than 1.0 hours, then I usually only have a banana or something before hand. If it's longer, then I'll have a shake beforehand. I use whey protein, with hemp and chia seeds thrown in to the blender. Sometimes I add just a little peanut butter. I eat bars as snacks as needed throughout the day, but usually no more than 1 per day.

The other benefit to shakes is they are easier for your body to digest. When you eat something that is hard to digest, this stresses your body. Whether you're trying to drop weight, or compete, the goal is to cut unnecessary stress. So I tend toward things that are easily digestible.

There is some research to suggest that eating within 20 minutes after your workout is key, because you need to replace your glycogen stores. Eat something light immediately, with a focus on carbs, then aim for your full breakfast 1 hour after your workout

You shouldn't need to eat during your workout unless you are exercising for more than 1.5 hours at a time. I try to consume about 200 calories each hour if I'm doing a long run or bike ride. There is some debate whether these should be all carbs or a carb/protein blend.

There is also research to suggest that mixing multiple types of protein (i.e. whey, soy, hemp) is beneficial.

I forget the formula for the grams of protein you need each day, but it's not hard to reach, even on a vegetarian diet so I doubt you would need a protein shake AND a protein bar, unless you are seriously trying to bulk up. I am 145 lb. male who trains competitively and I aim for 60-100 grams of protein per day.
July 1, 2012 12:35 AM
It is a lot easier to find a decent protein powder than it is to find a decent bar. Most "protein bars" are candy bars with some extra protein. Bars are a lot more expensive unless things have changed a lot since I last looked years ago. I use optimum nutrition and Universal Nutrition for most of my supplements including protein. They aren't anything magical, just read the labels and decide what you want. I stick with lean protein since I mix it with 2% milk for fats and carbs.
July 1, 2012 1:39 AM

It is a lot easier to find a decent protein powder than it is to find a decent bar. Most "protein bars" are candy bars with some extra protein. Bars are a lot more expensive unless things have changed a lot since I last looked years ago. I use optimum nutrition and Universal Nutrition for most of my supplements including protein. They aren't anything magical, just read the labels and decide what you want. I stick with lean protein since I mix it with 2% milk for fats and carbs.

This this this
July 1, 2012 1:44 AM
it really depends on the effect you want from them. protein shakes are better if you are trying to watch your fat and carb intake whereas protein bars are better for meal replacement as they often have the same nutritional value as a meal. i'd also say that the bars are better prework out whereas the shake is better post workout.
July 1, 2012 2:17 AM
I prefer shakes because I find them more filling
July 1, 2012 2:51 AM
shakes have fewer calories and fewer carbs
July 1, 2012 3:13 AM
i bought some detour lean muscle bars and they are so yummy.
i have usn diet fuel twice a day too. its very filling. i have 1 scoop per shake as its too thick with 2
July 1, 2012 3:40 AM
I have been reading about protein bars and protein shakes. I don't lift weights, but I do walk 2 miles daily at 4.2 miles per hour on a 10% incline.

I started eating healthier last June. I was a healthy eater before, I just ate too many carbs. I was having low blood sugar issues and that doesn't feel good. I started eating more protein, moderate fat and less carbs. I basically stopped or at least drastically stopped eating sugar, white flour, white potatoes and white rice. I have always eaten 100% stone ground whole wheat bread, but now if I go out to eat, I rarely eat a white bun. If I am at someones home, I will eat it, I just prefer not to if I can help it.

I lost weight without "trying" by just dropping the sugar and white products.

I like having protein bars for snacks if I am not at home. I also like having shakes for something different occasionally or for convenience. I have tried two RTD shakes and my protein powder (Designer Whey) should be here tomorrow-UPS. I can't wait to try a shake with it. The Dashing Dish website has some great looking protein shakes, I hope people check it out.

I have been trying different protein bars, so I know what I like. I keep a detailed list of the the brands and flavors I have bought along with what type of protein they are (soy or whey). I also have a 5 star rating so I don't forget. Everyone's taste and texture issues are different, so of course opinions will widely vary.

The Detour Lean Muscle Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch is my only 5 star for taste and texture. I like the Quest Bars but they are expensive (for snacks) but a good quality protein bar, with out junk/fillers. I tend to need protein bars for when I am not at home and the Quest bars are best warmed up, so unless a microwave is available I wouldn't want this. The texture takes getting used too, but I will buy them again.

I like to keep something at my desk at work "in case of emergencies". I bring my lunch everyday because I have to eat with the students. I just like knowing I have something there if I need it. I also keep a can of almonds at my desk. I also keep a protein bar in my purse-I just like knowing I have something if I need it.

Good luck on finding a protein shake/powder and protein bars that work for you.
July 1, 2012 4:15 AM
I make my own of both so as to not have the added sugars and sodium.

I put protein powder in my coffee when I get up to BREAK my FAST. Then do my workout. Then have a balanced meal after my workout within one hour.

For good ideas on making your own.....

Good luck!!

Just remember..."If you think you can, you're right! If you think you can't, you're also right!" ~ Henry Ford
July 1, 2012 4:19 AM
To me not really....I just find myself full for a longer amount of time if I eat a bar than drinking a shake:)
July 1, 2012 4:27 AM
At home it is always shakes or smoothies more control can make one and have 3 portions for pre and post workout also much less expensive than bars
for ease of use if I am out for the day on the road or traveling its bar because they can be dropped in my bag and out the door I use LaraBars no chocolate if left in the car dont turn into a melted mess like some other bars with chips or choc coating
July 1, 2012 4:49 AM
If your goal is more protein for the fewest calories, protein shakes are more calorie efficient. Shakes are more versatile by adding your own ingredients you can change both the flavor and other macros- add peanut butter for flavor and fat, etc. I use them mainly post workout but also use vanilla flavor as a substitute for milk in my cereal. I don't find them particularly filling though.

Protein bars are good for when on the move. I keep them in my car to help prevent my hunger from stopping at a drive through. I also use them when on vacation and have less control over what I'm eating. The quest bars are very high in fiber. I usually eat two of those per day when travelling. There are a couple of protein bars that might be just glorified candy bars,but it helps to solve my junk food cravings. I figure it's better than eating a regular candy bar. For pure "taste like a regular candy bar"- try the snickers protein bar and supreme protein bars. They are available at wal-mart.
July 1, 2012 4:36 PM
I've only been using protein powders and bars for the last 3 weeks, but I'm already seeing some fantastic results!

For breakfast, I use the Musashi low carb soy isolate (choc flavour) powder in a morning shake, which I blend with 2 cubes of ice, 1 cup tap water and 1 shot of espresso for a boost. I eat lots of boiled egg whites (boil the whole eggs, then just tip the hard yolks out when ready to eat) and I'll have another shake with espresso shot about 45 mins before a work out. Just use it in a shaker with cold water when you don't have a blender handy.

Protein bars are delicious if you can find the right one, but they contain sugar and more carbs than the powders, so if you need the additional energy boost during the day, try to only have the bars before noon. For bars, I use the ProteinFX low carb variety (99-119 calories per 30g bar).

Try to eat lots of lean meats and fresh fish (tuna, salmon, kingfish) and increase your water intake. With this regime and 4-5 gym workouts per week (mix of weights and cardio) I've shifted almost 5kg in 3 weeks. The loss will slow down, but it's a healthy regime and I'm feeling so much better about myself inside and out - it's just a 'cleaner' way to eat.

Good luck!
July 1, 2012 4:41 PM
Whichever you go with check your labels.
I'm "tired" of the number of supposed "protein" items you pick up that have more carbs than they do protein.

So I opted for whey powder from the bulk food store, just loose powder I can buy as much or as little as I want. I control how much I use of it at a time, and goes in whatever I want... mashed potatoes, pancake mix, oatmeal...
July 1, 2012 5:01 PM
Shakes - fewer calories and carbs and more protein.
Bars - more convenient and you get to chew something.

If you are going to have more than 1 a day you should go with shakes. The sugars (and calories) in most bars add up quickly. I usually only do bars on days where I forget lunch and already have had a shake for breakfast (yeah, so at least 2 days a week because I am too lazy to cook).

Message Boards » Food and Nutrition

Posts by members, moderators and admins should not be considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy.