After exercise, try to eat within 30 to 45 minutes after your workout has ended. Post-workout snacks help your body replace water and sodium loss as well as aid in muscle recovery. Small snacks high in protein and carbohydrates are typically consumed after exercise, which may make energy bars a good choice.
If you are unable to carry around a small meal, an energy bar is a convenient snack after your workout. Energy bars are easy and practical and do not require any preparation before eating. Energy bar flavors may include peanut butter, fruit or chocolate chip. The protein in the energy bar will aid in muscle repair while the carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores.
When you choose an energy bar for your after workout snack, choose wisely. Energy bars may have loads of calories and sugar that can undermine your weight loss or weight maintenance efforts. Manufacturers that recommend you eat several bars after exercise could be adding 400 to 500 extra calories to your daily intake. Saturated fat content should be also reviewed. Look for low-fat and low-calorie versions if you wish to use an energy bar as a recovery snack.
In lieu of an energy bar, you may want to consider chocolate milk as the optimal post-recovery workout snack. Chocolate milk is inexpensive and fluid will replace loss nutrients quicker than solid food. Other potential post-exercise snacks include cheese and whole grain crackers, peanut butter on a whole wheat bagel and fruit yogurt.
If you have any food allergies, consult the ingredients in the energy bar. Many types contain common allergens such as tree nuts, soy, milk and wheat ingredients. According to the TeensHealth website, energy bars can also contain herbal ingredients that have not been evaluated by the FDA such as guarana, taurine and ginseng.