You should never skip breakfast. Your body needs to be revitalized after a long sleep, and you will regret missing out on having enough nutrients to make it through the day.
Even if you do nothing more than eating a banana with your coffee, you should always take in some nutrition to get you going.
If you’re crunched for time right as you wake up, though, you may want to consider the benefits of eating a breakfast bar.
What is a breakfast bar?
By “breakfast bar,” we don’t mean a physical bar where you can eat breakfast, but a food item that can be consumed on the go.
Breakfast bars differ depending on who makes them, but they usually have a grain base, often oats, with some additives thrown in to give the bar flavor, usually a fruit.
These bars are individually wrapped and can work well as a breakfast substitute if somebody is in too much of a hurry to eat a full breakfast.
Not all breakfast bars are equal
They can work well, but not all breakfast bars do work well as a substitute for a full breakfast. Because there is no standard for what makes a breakfast bar, companies can put anything they wish into a bar and market it as a breakfast bar.
Many of these bars, while still convenient, will contain heavy amounts of simple carbs without many other redeeming factors. They’ll help you feel full for a little bit, and you may even enjoy the flavor, but you will start to feel hungry soon, and these bars will not complement a healthy lifestyle.
That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for the nutrition label, to see what to expect with your breakfast bar.
What to look out for with a breakfast bar
The best indicator that a breakfast bar is healthy is the ingredients list. If the first ingredient listed is something like “high fructose corn syrup,” that means that the bar is mostly sugar, and shouldn’t be considered as a breakfast replacement. Sure, it’ll taste great, but you’ll feel hungry very soon, and all that sugar will take its toll on your health sooner or later.
When choosing a bar, you should also choose a bar with a good protein source listed among the ingredients. While protein is not as important in the early morning as carbs, the protein will still help to keep you fuller longer and will help with any muscle rebuilding that needs to happen through the day.
Keep an eye out for bars that have nuts, seeds, and egg whites as ingredients, as these are all good sources of protein.
Many bars also contain a variety of fruits. Some bars will attempt to emulate fruit flavor with artificial ingredients; the best bet is always to choose bars that contain real fruit.
Also, keep an eye out for the nutrition facts label. It’s best to consume a bar with a higher amount of carbs than protein and fat, but that amount should be maybe twice the amount of carbs to fats or proteins; a 2:1 ratio is ideal because that ensures that a decent amount of protein is contained, and the body won’t be overloaded with carbs.
What else to remember with breakfast bars
Because breakfast bars will often contain a high amount of fiber, be sure to drink a glass of water to aid in digestion. While you may be tempted to drink just coffee with your breakfast bars, your body will appreciate the extra hydration that comes with just a glass of water.
And, while a good breakfast bar should keep you going up to lunch, it’s not a bad idea to have some light snacks prepared so that you don’t make bad lunch decisions. A piece of fruit works well, as does a handful of mixed nuts.