Power bars are more popular today than ever. Each of them promises energy, nutrition and taste. Kevin Murray, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon, weighed in on the value of sports drinks and power bars.
”Some power bars taste good because they have loads of hidden sugar, making them more like a candy bar than their granola-based cousin,” cautions Dr. Murray, who has participated on the medical staff of the San Francisco 49ers, Cirque de Soleil, 2004 Olympic trials, and NCAA championships, as well as caring for many PAMF patients.
Here are some tips to buying power bars:
The sugar content should be less than 18 grams.
Power bars often contain too much fat. Buy power bars with no trans fats or hydrogenated oils - and less than 3 grams of low saturated fats.
Pick bars with a fiber and nutrient boost (at least 3 grams of fiber). Many contain two servings of fruit and some have healthy nuts.
Beware of hidden calories. Some bars have between 180 and 380 calories depending on the brand, so the bar gives energy, but is not a light snack.
The best competition for power bars is good old fresh fruits, vegetables and unprocessed nuts. Granola is as good, but bananas are better.