Here’s What You Should Look for in a Workout Snack

I was at the grocery store the other day just looking for a pre-workout (healthy) snack. There was a whole wall of “healthy” workout bars to choose from. Different sizes, flavours, high protein or high carbs, so many choices to choose from.

But how do know which is the best bar for your workout?

To learn more, I spoke with Clif Bar nutrition ambassador, Abby Langer. Abby shared with me which pre-workout snack is best for short or longer workouts and how to keep those bars fresh.

How to choose the best healthy bar for your activity?

You want to look at how strenuous your activity is going to be and how long you expect to be active. Long lasting, higher carbohydrate bars are fantastic before and during longer, more strenuous workouts. For a typical 60-minute gym workout or short run, a trail bar will do the trick. A combination of carbohydrate, protein, and fat and lower calories fill that snack void and can provide energy for shorter workouts.

Which ingredients should you look for ‎?

For longer workouts, you want to look for a higher carbohydrate bar, because carbohydrates are a main source of energy for our bodies.

Shorter workouts don’t need as many carbohydrates, but we still want to ensure that the energy that comes from the bar lasts through the workout. The nuts and fruits in a trail mix bar are a low glycemic, delicious, portable option that are perfect for a pre-gym snack. You also want to look for bars that contain whole grains and organic ingredients to provide the best nutrition to your body.

Which ingredients should avoid?

You don’t want bars that contain trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors and synthetic preservatives. You may also want to check for ingredients that are genetically modified.

When is the best time to eat a healthy bar?

Two to three hours before an activity to get the most energy from the bar. If you’re involved in sustained activity, you may need nutrition during your workout as well.

Any other tips to store the bars?

Store the bars in a cool, dry place.

Should you drink water with the bars?

Water will help with digestion and also hydration, which is very important for performance. We always encourage people to drink water before, during and after activity.

Any other tips?

Get out and play, and have fun!

Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to enjoy life to the fullest. Let’s have the very best 2015!

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About Sacha DeVoretz