The health food market in the United States is a billion-dollar market and growing. Energy bars are marketed as an alternative food to fuel our bodies, and they are the go-to snack for many people before and after a workout. However, a lot of people grab an energy bar for a quick mid-afternoon snack or for their go-to breakfast bar.

However, not all energy bars are created equal. Just because an energy bar is described as healthy on the packaging does not exactly mean it is really healthy. Most bars contain little to no nutritional value. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has asked some makers of bars to remove the word “healthy” from their packaging altogether.

Some bars contain a lot of sugar to make it palatable. Any bar which contains high fructose corn syrup is not good for your health, and will do anything but give you energy. Foods with added high fructose corn syrup contain empty calories and are linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and high triglycerides.

So which bars are best for nutrition and energy? That is for you to decide. When choosing an energy bar, make sure you read the nutritional information. Check where the sugars come from (for example, natural sugars are better than added sugars). Check the packaging for the total number of protein, sugar, sodium, and carbohydrates. Also, check for any added nutrients such as natural caffeine and amino acids. Adding more nutrients to your daily routine can be beneficial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and we’re all for that.

When choosing an energy bar, make sure to select one that is low in saturated fat and added sugar. Protein and fiber are also important for post-workout recovery since they help build back muscle. Combined with caffeine, your muscle-recovery will be a breeze. Energy bars containing fruit or nuts are also a good option as long as they have little added sugar.

Eat Your Coffee is the ultimate place to find naturally-caffeinated snacks with real, ethically-sourced ingredients.