by Rajiv Leventhal
Alternative energy sources, such as energy bars, provide a convenient way to meet an individual’s nutritional needs on an occasional basis, according to www.Fitness.com. A person with a busy lifestyle may decide to eat an energy bar instead of skipping a meal or eating fast food. Energy bars also make an appropriate snack for a long-distance walk, run or bicycle ride to help avoid an energy deficit. Since energy bars do not require utensils, preparation or refrigeration, people can store them in the car, gym bag or carry-on luggage for a quick snack or occasional meal replacement.
Aside from providing needed energy during a long workout, energy bars can suffice as an occasional meal-substitute. Most energy bars contain some vitamins and minerals, and they tend to be more nutritious than a candy bar, a bag of chips or nothing at all. Those that contain nuts, seeds and whole grains offer a healthy dose of protein and fiber.
And sales have been energized as well. According to Nutrition Business Journal, the value of the Sports Nutrition and Weight Loss (SNWL) market was up by nearly $2 billion in 2010, showing a sales increase of nine percent over the previous year. In the past 13 years, the SNWL market has seen a remarkable compound growth rate of 10.2 percent.
Further, a recent Packaged Facts report stated that in the energy/nutrition bar category, new flavor and ingredient introductions along with improvements in taste and mouth-feel have made the future of these products look a lot more interesting. Manufacturers are targeting broader consumer dietary needs, including new nutrient options, and leaving out problem ingredients. Among the functional ingredients that manufacturers are using to vary the nutrition bar formula are CoQ10, L-carnitine, omega-3, resveratrol and vitamin K2. Below are a few examples of energy bars that are available on the market today.
Low-Glycemic Energy Bars
Granola Gourmet (Santa Clarita, CA) 4Real Energy Bars are clinically proven to be low glycemic, and are therefore ideal for people with diabetes, athletes or anybody interested in stable, sustained blood-sugar levels, the company stated. They have been tested on people with type 2 diabetes to determine their glycemic index (GI) value by scientists at GI Labs, who developed the concept of the glycemic index. On a scale where a GI of 70 or more is considered high GI and 55 or less is low GI, Granola Gourmet’s Energy Bars had GI values of only 19 to 25. The bars come in four flavors (Ultimate Berry, Mocha Fudge, Fudge Brownie and Cran-Orange) and are free of wheat and dairy, are very low in sodium, and are kosher and vegan.