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Protein bars are a popular snack among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. They a great option to provide that extra boost of protein needed to support your fitness goals.  

Things can get a little confusing when there are so many protein options out there; it’s not just about which bar you choose, but also when and how often you should eat them. In this article we’ll help you understand when you should eat protein bars and how often depending on your goals. 


When is the best time to eat protein bars? 

The best time to eat your protein bar is post workout. After your workout it will deliver protein to your muscles and help with muscle recovery and growth.  

 It is generally recommended that if you are going more than 4 hours between meals, a protein bar is a great way to get a ‘protein top up’. If you are planning on working out, you should eat your protein bar one to two hours prior – this will ensure that you have metabolised everything your body needs and you can workout without having just eaten.  

 Post workout, you have a one hour window to ingest your protein so that your muscles can use it straight away. This is known as the ‘anabolic window’ and is thought to be the optimum time to get the most from your supplement. If you miss this window, don’t fret. You’ll still get the benefits in terms of recovery. 

 In summary, a protein bar after your workout will help you get the best out of your supplementation.  


Who should eat protein bars? 

 You probably know that for people looking to build muscle, protein bars are an excellent addition to the diet. But it’s not just for weightlifters! 

 Endurance athletes can also benefit from eating protein bars. For example, after a long run protein can help your muscles rebuild and repair with more efficiency. Eating one before your run can give you a healthy boost of energy, especially if it’s high in carbohydrates.  

 Aim to eat 20-30g protein every 3-4 hours to maximise muscle growth and repair. 


Can you have a protein bar with other supplements? 

 You can mix and match your protein supplementation depending on your needs. You may opt for a protein bar pre workout so that you don’t have a shake sloshing around your tummy, but a post workout protein powder will work just fine.  

 You can also opt for Rego powders which contain an optimum ratio of carbohydrates and protein to help drive fast recovery.  

Written By

Jessica Redman - Head Coach and Founder of Work That, Trustee at CIMSPA

Jessica founded an online personal training platform called ‘Work That’ and was previously Co-founder of ‘GRL GYM’. She is currently on the CIMSPA board where she is aiming to help drive forward knowledge about the benefits exercise has on mental health. Jess believes in using exercise to help people feel good, relive pain and enjoy an active lifestyle.