Should You Choose Meal Replacement Shakes or Protein Bars?

When you are in need of a meal replacement, there are going to be many different options that are available to you.  In fact, a good meal replacement product is actually going to be pretty much the holy grail of anything fitness, diet and weight loss.  So if you are looking to shed some pounds or even gain muscle, the best meal replacement shakes or bars are more than likely going to be on the very top of your things to find list.  But when you factor in that meal replacement shakes and bars are not going to be something that is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it really makes you think about what is actually going into the products that you are putting into your body.  Since there is essentially no regulating agency to determine what can be put into the ‘health and fitness’ supplements that you are taking, it means that there can be anything in them.

So how are you supposed to figure out which of the supplements are actually good for you and which of them are the ones that you want to avoid?  And to take it even further, how are you supposed to know whether you should take a meal replacement shake or a meal replacement bar?  Here is everything that you will need to know in order to make the best choice possible when it comes to the age-old question, a meal replacement shake or a meal replacement bar?

Meal Replacement Shakes

When it comes to meal replacement shakes, they are going to be great for a very wide range of different dietary needs that you can fulfill with a very limited amount of effort.  Very similar to most food products, there are going to be those who will want to sort out the quality products from the lesser ones, meaning that you are going to want to read and interpret all of the ingredients that have been listed on the label.  So depending upon your fitness goals, there may be some extra components that you are going to want to look for in your meal replacement shake.

When you are looking at a meal replacement shake, the most important thing that you will want to look at is going to be the big three.  This means the top three macronutrients that are going to include fats, carbohydrates and proteins.  Not only are each of these three different factors going to matter a lot, but the source that they come form is also going to be a very big factor in how effective they are.  So, when it comes to meal replacement shakes, you are going to want to remember that:

  • You want a protein source that is easily absorbed by your body
  • Unsaturated fats are your friend
  • Unrefined carbs are going to help you get fit fast

Meal Replacement Bars

When it comes to meal replacement bars, they are actually going to offer some very similar benefits to meal replacement shakes.  The main difference is going to be that meal replacement bars are much more convenient to access.    On top of that, you are also going to have al little bit more pull in terms of what your ultimate fitness goals are.  For example, if you are looking to gain weight and tame your appetite, a meal replacement bar is more than likely going to give you everything that you need.  But at the same time, if you are trying to simply grab a quick bite on the go, you may be better off with a meal replacement shake.  So which one is going to be the best for you?

Strictly speaking from a purely nutritional standpoint, a meal replacement bar should be considered just as much as a meal replacement shake is.  You are going to want to find a protein that is very easily absorbed, some unsaturated fats, and just enough of unrefined cabs.  While these are normally going to be very easy to differentiate from some of their less healthy counterparts, you would be surprised at how difficult the task can actually be.  

To top it off, you are going to have to deal with the sugars which are extremely egregious, since they are able to appear in a very wide variety of different forms disguising sugar’s true nature.  These forms can include:

  • Juice from concentrate
  • Honey
  • Glucose
  • Agave
  • Molasses
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Crystal dextrose

While there are going to be tons of different sugars that are disguised in your meal replacement bar, these are going to be the main ones.  So if you see that your meal replacement bar (or even if your meal replacement shake has them), be sure that you drop that bar as quickly as you can, as the manufacturer of it is trying to take advantage of you by calling sugar a different name.  

When it comes to meal replacement bars and meal replacement shakes, it is going to be a huge decision on your part.  If you are comfortable substituting a shake for a meal, you may be more comfortable with using a meal replacement shake.  But if you are more comfortable with a easy to eat bar, there is a very good chance that you are more likely to be comfortable eating a meal replacement bar.  At the end of the day, it is all going to depend upon whether or not you are able to stick to the option that you have decided to take.  So, if you have decided that meal replacement shakes are the way to go, you are going to have great success with that.  But if you have decided that meal replacement bars are the option that you are going to take, then you are going to have great success with that method.  

As long as you are able to keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to become healthier, you are going to be great and achieve all of your fitness goals.

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