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There is a lot we don’t know about protein-packed energy bars. For instance, they aren’t just for instant post-workout protein needs but formulated as perfect meal replacements for time-strapped – or plain lazy – deskies like you and me. Celebrity fitness instructor Vinod Channa, who has been training Bollywood actors like John Abraham, Riteish Deshmukh and Shilpa Shetty, decodes the ingredients, proportions, directions and myths about protein bars.

What are protein bars?

Protein bars are made with grains, natural proteins like curd whey and sweeteners, and come in various flavours, like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and so on. These bars also contain high amounts of fibre as that is needed to digest the heavy protein. Channa says protein bars are the easiest sources of carbohydrates, protein and essential vitamins both for gym regulars who need instant protein intake after a workout to build muscle, or those who have to skip their regular meal for lack of time. These bars then replace chicken or eggs in your daily diet and also supply the requisite vitamins and fibre.

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How many bars can I eat in a day?

There is no one formula that fits all when it comes to protein intake. Protein consumption depends on the intensity of workout and what you want these proteins to do for you, says Channa in the video. It depends on the measure of weights you lift, your Lean Body Mass, and the bulk of muscle you want to build. That’s why those who work out or athletes should consult their instructors on what is the right amount of protein for them.

Normal people – with average daily activity – can eat a bar a day if they’ve missed a meal or even have one between meals. Channa says these are a far healthier snacking option compared to junk food as they fill you up and also give you essential nutrients.


1) Protein bars contain steroids and are synthetic: Channa says energy bars are in fact made with natural nutrient supplements like grains and whey, which is converted into powders with various flavours added. These bars can easily replace your daily chicken or egg intake when there is a time crunch at work or between meals. He advises to go for a trusted brand in the market.

2) Protein bars cause kidney and liver ailments: Since these bars are simply replacers for other protein sources in your diet, they affect the body just like chicken or egg would. In short, they are completely safe, and this he vouches from personal experience of having “survived on protein bars”.

3) Zero sugar bars are zero cal: Channa says some bars may have zero sugar but they contain artificial sweeteners like fructose, sucralose (a majority of ingested sucralose is not broken down by the body, so it is noncaloric), and often also contain maltose (or corn syrup)-derived sweeteners that add calories. Further, grains used as fibre in these bars also contribute calories.