Protein Bar or Candy Bar: Can You Guess Which Is Which?

STACK Expert Justin Ochoa compares the ingredients in protein bars with those in candy bars. Can you tell which is which?

According to the Nutrition Business Journal, the U.S. supplement industry is a $37 million enterprise. It includes sports nutrition such as protein powders, protein bars, pre-workout drinks, etc. One segment of the industry that is booming right now—protein bars.

People are more rushed than ever, so speed and convenience make any product attractive. Athletes and non-athletes alike are munching on protein bars more than ever, and honestly, that may not be a good thing.

I understand there is a time and place to eat a protein bar, but it's in everyone's best interest to rely primarily on real food. A huge elephant sits in the room devoted to protein bars: They aren't that great for you.

Most protein bars are glorified candy bars. Only one thing separates the two: protein. To drive this point home, I checked out five popular protein bars and compared their ingredients to five popular candy bars. The twist: I added protein to the ingredients list of the candy bars. The protein bar ingredients were not altered. The graphic below shows the two ingredient lists side-by-side. Take the test and see if you can identify which is which!

The moral of the story: protein bars are aggressively marketed and branded as healthy options, but in reality, they can be as unhealthy as candy bars. If you're looking for quick and convenient protein sources, try snacking on real food like canned tuna, nuts, avocado or Greek yogurt. They may not have a "Chocolate Caramel Crunch" flavor, but they deliver way more nutrients and enhanced results!

Take the quiz below!


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: PROTEIN | PROTEIN POWDER | PROTEIN SOURCES | GREEK YOGURT | YOGURT | CANDY | NUTRIENTS | SPORTS NUTRITION | AVOCADO | PROTEIN BAR | CANDY BARS