Refueling with Protein Bars

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Shifting from training to recovery mode? If you can't grab a meal right away, grab a protein bar. They are convenient tools for repairing, rebuilding and refueling your body.

When choosing, consider carb content as much as protein content. While protein, which is made up of amino acids, is essential for repairing and building muscle tissues, carbs replenish depleted energy stores so you're ready for the next training session.

According to Dawn Weatherwax-Fall, RD, CSSD, owner of Sports Nutrition 2Go and former nutritionist for the Cincinnati Reds, male athletes need a bar with 300-350 calories, 20-30 grams of protein and 30 to 60 grams of carbs; female athletes should aim for 200+ calories per bar with 14-21 grams of protein and also 30-60 grams of carbs.

Combined with a piece of fruit, a whole wheat bagel or another high-carb food, one of these top protein bars is perfect for post-activity refueling.

Powerbar Proteinplus
Flavor: Cookies & Cream
Calories: 300 // Protein: 23g // Carbs: 38g // Fat: 6g
The lowdown: Contains 23 grams of protein from three sources: whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate and calcium caseinate

Clif Builder's Bar
Flavor: Vanilla Almond
Calories: 270 // Protein: 20g // Carbs: 30g // Fat: 8g
The lowdown: Each bar is packed with 20 grams of protein derived from soy and nuts

Detour Core Strength
Flavor: Caramel Peanut
Calories: 200 // Protein: 15g // Carbs: 20g // Fat: 7g
The lowdown: One of three new Detour bars targeted for specific activities; contains 15 grams of whey and soy protein

Muscle Milk
Flavor: Vanilla Toffee Crunch
Calories: 300 // Protein: 25g // Carbs: 28g // Fat: 11g
The lowdown: Lactose-free, each bar is loaded with 25 grams of protein and supplies 15 percent of your daily value of calcium

Labrada Lean Body Gold
Flavor: Caramel Cookie Twist
Calories: 330 // Protein: 30g // Carbs: 36g // Fat: 7g
The lowdown: Packed with a tri-protein blend of whey, soy and milk protein isolate

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