The Best Energy Bar to Keep You Going In Your Time of Need
Activities such as hiking and backpacking demand that you keep yourself energized and fueled with food. There can be long hours of strenuous activity and, in such circumstances, having energy bars can help you reenergize your body.
But it’s not only those activates, with today’s busy lifestyle it’s getting more and more common to skip breakfast, lunch, or forget to eat for the entire day. When you’re jammed packed with meetings back to back, or camping out in the woods, eating might not be the first thing that’s on your mind.
But your body still needs fuel and energy to go on
Apart from being easy to carry along with you, these ration bars are also an excellent source of gaining back the calories that you lose when backpacking around. They help you get your second wind and gain back stamina without making you feel heavy and stuffed.
If you’re truly in a survival situation, the last thing you want is for a heavy meal loaded with artificial chemical and processed food to make you sluggish and tired. Best of all, the fact that you won’t need to cook when using an energy bar makes it a great option for outdoor adventures.
Survival bars and energy bars are great for you, just load them up and you’re set to go right? Well, not exactly. Picking the right energy bar isn’t as easy as it might seem. You will need to choose something that doesn’t just add calories, there is so much more to take into consideration. Keep in mind, these bars are the only thing you have readily available, maybe for hours, maybe for days. Picking the right ones to keep your body going, is super important.
Here’s some detailed info that should help figure out what to look when selecting your energy bars.
The Right Ingredients
While some energy bars are a real power-packed source of nutrition, others might just be another tasty alternative for chocolate. Thus, going for an energy bar that has the right ingredients makes a lot of difference. There are a lot of things to consider, but if you just need to see quickly if the bar is suitable, look at the nutritional information on the label. That will give you an idea of how different one energy bar can be from another and how many artificial ingredients some companies pack into them.
The nutrition information table has the amount of protein, energy, carbs, and sugar listed on it. Look for a bar that has at least 20 grams protein, since that is what will keep your body running. If possible, find a bar with whey protein.
Another important thing to know is the net carb content, which is calculated by deducting the carb content from the fiber content of the energy bar. An ideal energy bar’s carbohydrate content should be less than its protein content. More carbs mean that it is more of a candy bar than a protein energy bar.
Types of Energy Bars
Energy Bars As A Replacement For Meals
When on backpacking trips, you can also use these energy bars as a substitute for a meal. However, it is advisable to have a full-fledged second meal if you’re just easting an energy bar for your first meal.
If you’re thinking about using energy bars as a replacement for a meal, look for ones that have a higher fat content. Anything more than 10 grams is ideal for a meal. Make sure that the fat comes from a useful source of medium chain triglycerides. Ingredients such as coconut oil, butter, and milk. They boost rapid oxidation, keeping you fuelled with energy throughout the day.
Endurance Energy Bars
Although usually consumed as a bar for workouts, endurance bars can prove to be great for meal replacements, too. These contain high amounts of carbohydrates and if you are going to be involved in physical tasks for the rest of the day, consuming an endurance energy bar can keep you fuelled for hours and hours. They are also used by hikers and mountaineers for just the right punch of power.
Activity Energy Bars
Looking for something that keeps your energy extended for a longer stretch of time? Activity bars are just the thing for you. These can be said to be the perfect combination of a typical energy bar and a meal replacement bar. It maintains the right amount of fat as well as enough proteins to keep you going for the rest of the day.
Commonly used by backpackers as their ultimate energy source for tough days, these are a must if you are heading out on an adventure trail or backpacking trip.
Organic Energy Bars
If you are looking for a healthier way to stay energized while you’re on a backpacking trip, you might consider going for organic energy bars. These are a great source of energy, and at the same time, they keep your body thoroughly cleansed and free of all the common food toxins such as gluten, soy, and excessive carbs.
These ration bars do not have any artificial sweeteners, and the ingredients are simple compounds. The only downside about consuming them is that they might not keep you energized for a long time. But if you are looking for something to hold you over right before you sleep or rest, these are a great pick.
The Energy Bar Terminology: Things you need to know when buying an energy bar
Some of these terms and content terminologies will help you choose the right energy bar for you. Since they are not very common, knowing their use and meaning will be helpful.
1. Genetically Modified Organism
GMO is a term used to describe a species of plants and animals that have gone through a genetic transformation through a DNA transformation or gene slicing. They do not occur on their own in nature and are a threat to the agricultural industry too. Many of these GMO species is used in spices, flavorings, and vegetable proteins.
Veganism is a type of diet/lifestyle, and the term is used to describe a person who has eliminated the consumption of food derived from animals such as meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. It is a diet which is considered completely healthy to thrive on. There are vegan energy bars available for such people.
3. Dairy Free
Dairy Free is a term which means that a product is entirely free from milk and any of its derivatives. Lactose Intolerance is a condition in which a person cannot consume any dairy products. Dairy Free energy bars are specially meant for such people. However, anybody can consume it if they plan to avoid dairy products.
4. Gluten Free
Gluten is a mixed protein, which can be found in grains such as rye, wheat, and barley. It is considered to be fattening, does not provide any substantial energy, and can be harmful to the body. Gluten is a common ingredient in many processed foods. Ever since it gained popularity, a large number of people have given up the consumption of food that contains gluten. Although it can be quite tough to find a food product free from gluten, there are several healthy replacements for it.
Energy bars whose protein sources are not grains are usually gluten free. It is safe to avoid gluten and consume a gluten-free energy bar.
We commonly misunderstand the word “organic” to stand for something that is grown on farms and eaten in its natural form. However, for a product to be organic, it should be grown on a farm where no pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used. That’s the reason why organic energy bars are expensive.
All these factors will help you pick out the right organic bar to get you through your backpacking days.
Best Energy Bar Product Reviews
Bobo’s Oat Bars All Natural
Carbs: 23g (21g net carbs)
Flavor: Peanut butter and jelly
Although Bobo’s offers Oat Bars All Natural in a variety of flavors, we are only going to focus on the peanut butter and jelly bar. A perfect pick for any backpacker, this particular brand offers the things that most people are looking for – it is dairy-free, non-GMO, gluten-free, good for vegans and kosher. That means it’s good for you regardless of your diet regimen. Plus it has an amazing shelf life of seven months. But you can also freeze it and extend that period.
The only downside of these bars is that they lack in nutritional value. The high carbs, low protein and moderate fat might not be good enough to sustain you for long. But they are very tasty, so you might as well consider them as fillers rather than meals replacements.
Risebar High-Protein Bars
Carbs: 24g (21g net carbs)
If you love whole foods you should consider putting this energy at the top of your list. Made from either pea or whey protein, this easy-to-digest bar is very rich in protein. It will furnish you with the energy you need when on a backpacking adventure.
You will certainly love the nutritional value that this bar offers. For starters, Rise uses a maximum 5 simple ingredients that are easy to digest and absorb. The five are whey protein isolate, honey, cinnamon, almonds and vanilla extract. That, together with the high calorie count, makes it a perfect munch when you are running low on energy.
Additionally, it is soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO. You can literally use it as a meal replacement as it will keep you going for a couple of hours before hunger kicks in again. But be sure to keep your carbs intake in check because these bars are also very rich in it.
Bonk Breaker High Protein Bar
Carbs: 25g (22g net carbs)
Flavor: Peanut butter and jelly
Just as is the case with the Risebar above, this bar has a high protein content of 15g. And that is a good thing because protein will offer you the fuel that you need to stay on course. But don’t overeat it because it also comes with a high carb offering.
The bar was developed by two athletes with the objective of providing a simple food that can match the nutritional needs of backpackers and people with an active lifestyle. If you try it you will agree that they did meet their objective spot on. In fact, it is so good that professional athletes
With only 9 ingredients, the bar is a certified USDA organic treat, gluten-free, non-GMO, good for vegans, dairy-free and soy-free. Those features make it a perfect pick for pretty much anyone, regardless of their dietary regimen.
Probar Meal Bar, Superfood Slam
Carbs: 46g (40g net carbs)
Flavor: Superfood Slam
The genius idea behind this Probar bar is combining proteins and superfoods. All the ingredients used are plant-based. The proteins are in fact nuts (like cashews, almonds and peanuts) while the superfoods include a variety of healthy picks like flax seeds, raspberries and acai berries.
We are calling this idea ‘genius’ because of one thing – the bar has a way of satisfying your hunger while at the same time providing you with lots of fuel. Just a little serving will do the trick. That is because while the bar is moderate in protein, it is high in calories and fat.
But don’t worry about the calories. If you are backpacking you will certainly burn them all because you will be expending lots of energy. These bars are also gluten-free, USDA organic and non-GMO.
Taste of Nature Organic Snack Bars
Carbs: 19g (15g net carbs)
Looking at the calorie count of this bar you can tell immediately that it doesn’t make a good meal replacement. But don’t let that deter you from stocking it up because it is one amazing snack. It has the right amount of fat that you need for your body fuel. That said, the carbs are a bit high so you might want to keep track of your intake.
The bar fits the bill for most diet plans. It is a certified organic food, non-GMO, good for vegans and gluten-free. There are no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. That goes to show just how much the manufacturer cares about your health.
If you don’t like the almond flavor you can make your pick from the seven other flavors available.
Amazing Grass Organic Green Superfood
Carbs: 35g (28g net carbs)
This energy bar is yet another option that combines amazing ingredients. There’s a mix of organic grasses, nuts and handy antioxidants (in the form of fruits and veggies). All the ingredients are sourced from organic farms across the US. And that’s not all, the plant-based bar is gluten-free, non-GMO, USDA organic and vegan.
The one thing that might concern you is the fact that it is high in carbs. That is because there’s a lot of agave nectar and dates. Both are rich in sugar, albeit the natural type. Other than that, this product passes easily as one of the best superfoods for energy.
Gomacro Organic Macro Bars
Carbs: 35g (32g net carbs)
Flavor: Granola + Coconut
These award-winning energy bars are made from whole foods. They are rich in essential nutrients that are proven to boost your immunity system. That’s certainly something you need in your diet, especially if you are backpacking.
When it comes to health matters these bars fit the bill perfectly. They are gluten-free, vegan, USDA organic, non-GMO and soy-free. You can see they make a great pick for pretty much anybody. The only problem is that they are high in carbs and so the energy they provide might not be sustainable.
Kate’s Real Food Stash Bars
Carbs: 14g (9g net carbs)
Flavor: Peanut butter dark chocolate
This bar beats all the others in one thing – the flavor. The touch of peanut butter and dark chocolate used here will tingle your taste buds in a way that no other energy bar can. But that’s not all, the bar is a healthy choice too. It is USDA organic, kosher and non-GMO.
With its 1 year shelf life, you can be sure that it will still be edible the next time you fish it from your stash (but don’t ignore the expiry date). The primary ingredients are hemp and flax seeds. Flax seeds will provide you with antioxidants and omega-3 while the hemp seeds are a good source of amino acids.
Overall, the bar has a good balance of proteins and carbs. It would have been better if the proteins were bumped up a bit but the 9g still make for a healthy bite.
Clif Bar – Crunch Granola All Natural Chocolate Chip
Carbs: 28g (25g net carbs)
Flavor: Chocolate Chip
A Clif bar is more of a light snack than a meal replacement. Of course you can tell from the nutritional value that it offers. The one thing that has probably caught your eye is the sharp contrast in protein and carbs content. With protein at only 3g and carbs at 25g, this bar is bound to offer you a surge in energy, but that energy won’t last for long.
The good news is that it is organic, kosher dairy and non-GMO. Plus it crunches when you take a bite. Well, it boils down to personal preference but you have to admit that a crunchy munch makes for a great snack.
Larabar Gluten Free Snack Bar
Carbs: 26g (23g net carbs)
Flavor: Peanut butter chocolate chip
As is the case with a few bars that we have seen so far, this offering from Larabar is rich in carbs at the expense of proteins. You already know what that implies – a high dose of sugar-induced energy. Although it will keep you active for a while, the energy won’t last. Larabar should probably have taken the protein content a notch higher.
That said, this gluten-free, non-GMO bar is a great snack. It is good for vegans and is dairy-free. So don’t be afraid of stocking it up, as long as you don’t rely on it as a main meal.
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