Tag Archives: benefits of protein

  • Quest Low Carb Protein Bars vs. Clif Bars

    What are Quest Low Carb Protein Bars?

    Quest Low Carb Protein Bars are the high protein, high fibre supplement that has changed the way the industry looks at on-the-go nutrition. Considered one of the cleanest protein bars in the industry, Quest Low Carb Protein Bars are ideal for anyone looking to supplement more protein in their diet for fitness or weight loss.

     

    Highlights:

    • 20 to 21 grams of protein per bar
    • 14 grams of fibre
    • Focus on Whey Protein Isolate, making these bars ideal for post-workout and to break a long fast
    • Avoids common fillers and artificial ingredients that you'll find in other protein bars

     

    Why You Should Use Quest Low Carb Protein Bars

    One of the best reasons to use Quest Low Carb Protein Bars is for fitness gains and results. Quest uses a high-quality whey protein isolate, providing you with 20 to 21 grams of protein per bar. Compare that to only 9 to 10 grams of protein offered by Clif Bars.

     

    Whey isolate will provide you with the amino acids you'll need to protect muscle mass, promote muscle growth, and boost recovery. (1-6)

     

    Quest also provides 14 grams of fibre per bar, which is rare of a protein supplement. This extra fibre will help you meet your daily needs for the nutrient and it will help with the digestion and assimilation of the protein.

     

    Best of all, Quest Low Carb Protein Bars have very low sugar content, making them perfect for weight loss or low-carb lifestyles. Clif Bars, on the other hand, are high in carbohydrate content with 22 grams of sugar per bar.

     

    Things to Watch Out for With Quest Low Carb Protein Bars

    Quest recently released a line of protein bars that utilize the artificial sweetener, sucralose. If you are sensitive to this sweetener, you'll want to stick with their original bar line-up.

     

    What are Clif Bars?

    Clif Bars are the popular meal supplement bar that is ideal for those who are very active but may not necessarily be inside of a gym. Hikers, for example, love Clif Bars due to its moderate protein and high carbohydrate and healthy fat content.

     

    Highlights:

    • 9 to 10 grams of protein per bar
    • High carbohydrate content at around 40 grams per bar – Ideal for endurance activities
    • Many flavours are vegan friendly and organically sourced
    • Considered some of the best tasting bars in the industry

     

    Why You Should Use Clif Bars

    Packing around 250 calories per bar along with a lot of flavour, Clif Bars make an ideal on-the-go snack for anyone who is highly active. Perfect for hiking or long workouts, Clif Bars provide you with a decent amount of protein and a lot of carbohydrates, which help to fuel your body.

     

    Quest Bars, on the other hand, have a very low net carbohydrate intake, which is ideal for fitness-specific goals but may not be the best choice when you're on a trail for 5 hours, for example.

     

    Clif Bars are also an ideal option for those with a vegan or environmentally focused lifestyle as many of the bars are vegan-friendly.

     

    Things to Watch Out for With Clif Bars

    Clif Bars focus on soy protein, which may be great for some but problematic for others. Diets high in processed soy have been shown to cause a number of potential issues with hormonal imbalance, especially for men. If you are trying to avoid soy, you may want to stick with Quest Bars.

     

    Conclusion

    Quest Low Carb Protein Bars and Clif Bars are two great nutritional supplements but for very different reasons.

     

    Quest Low Carb Protein Bars are ideal for anyone looking to protect and promote muscle mass growth and for those on a low-carb diet.

     

    Clif Bars are for someone who is very active and needs carbohydrate-based fuel to sustain their energy levels. Hikers and bicyclists would benefit most from these bars.

     

    Are you a fitness enthusiast who also loves to hike? Buy both and use them accordingly: Quest Low Carb Protein Bars after a workout and a Clif Bar during a long hike.

     

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002
    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
  • The Benefits of Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat for Weight Loss

    If you're seeking to lose weight, chances are that you've considered a low-"something" or high-"something" diet. Three of the most common diets include low-fat, low-carbohydrate and high-protein diets. While all can be effective at losing weight, they may not always be the most sustainable approaches to weight loss.

    Within this article, we are going to take a brief overview of all three macronutrients, protein, carbohydrate and fat. We will discuss how each of these nutrients can assist you in losing weight and how a healthy balance between these macronutrients can assist you long-term sustainable weight loss.

    Macronutrients - Fats, Carbohydrates and Protein

    All three macronutrients are essential for good health. The three macronutrients we are discussing here are proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

    By definition, all three of these molecules are required in large mounts in your diet for the proper functioning of your body, as:

    Macro refers to large (as in large amounts of consumption relative to other nutrients like vitamins and minerals)

    Nutrients are a necessity in our diet, as it relates to the term nourish - for without nourishment one would be malnourished.

    It is short-sighted to eliminate any one of these from your diet, as this could lead to some serious health complications and impact your weight loss results.

    Protein and Weight Loss

    Over the past decade in particular, protein has been associated as the "ideal" macronutrient to assist in weight loss. Protein certainly is important to assist in losing weight, as protein rich foods contain vital amino acids (the constituents of protein molecules) that are responsible for correct hormone production, energy levels, recovery, boosting the metabolism and muscle development - just to name a few functions.

    Why is protein so spectacular at assisting with weight loss? Well, natural protein rich foods are generally quite filling (such as meats, fish, poultry and legumes), while being relatively low in calories (as protein only contains 4 calories per gram). The body also requires a lot of energy to convert protein molecules into fat, so the net calorie effect from consuming protein rich foods is relatively low.

    Muscles are also very rich in amino acids, so in order to develop muscle tissue you do require a good quality source of protein intake. If you're seeking to lose fat tissue, it is quite beneficial to develop muscle tissue. This is because muscles are highly energy dependant, so a greater amount of muscle tissue will assist in burning additional calories throughout the day.

    Keep in mind though, too much protein can lead to a calorie overload, so it is important to keep your protein intake in perspective.

    Carbohydrate and Weight Loss

    Carbohydrates (or colloquially "carbs") have been assigned a negative connotation ever since the Atkins diet (a low-carb diet) was released. Carbs have been associated with fat gain and it is a common belief that consuming carbohydrates will automatically serve to cause fat gain. This is simply not true.

    Carbohydrates are just as dense in calories as protein - 4 calories per gram. So just as with proteins, too many of them can create a calorie overload and cause weight gain.

    However it is not wise to eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, as, just like proteins, they serve to perform several vital functions within the human body. Carbohydrates are required to enhance energy levels, facilitate correct brain function, encourage recovery after exercise and speed up your metabolism. A deficiency in carbohydrate can cause anything from lowered energy levels, to causing medical condition called "ketosis", to death. Carbohydrates are necessary to survive and must be included in your diet.

    The quality of carbohydrates is often measured via two mediums; their molecular complexity or their glycaemic index:

    The molecular complexity considers how large the carbohydrate molecule is - complex carbs are much larger molecules than sugars, which are simple carbohydrates. It is generally recommended to consume complex carbohydrates.

    The glycaemic index is a more reliable measure of the quality of a carbohydrate, measuring it's rate of absorption into the human body. The higher the GI, the faster the carbohydrate is absorbed. So aim for low GI foods, which will absorb slowly into your body. The exception is following an intense bout of exercise, when you should aim to consume high GI foods for enhanced recovery.

    A side note on the relationship between molecular complexity and the glycaemic index. They are not related. Complex carbs can have a range of GI's, as can sugars. A complex carbohydrate is not necessarily more likely to be lower in GI than a sugar.

    Fat and Weight Loss

    In the 1990's, fat was crowned the macronutrient to avoid at all costs. There was (and still is) low-fat everything on supermarket shelves.

    Fat is a critical nutrient, just as carbohydrates and proteins are. Fat is responsible for a number of mechanisms within the human body relating to energy levels, hormonal balance, cholesterol levels, metabolism, brain function, disease prevention and nutrient transport within the human body. A deficiency in fat can have some serious side effects, so it is important to include some good quality sources of fat into your diet.

    Examples of good sources of fat are from foods such as fish, nuts, avocado, seeds and olive oil. Generally, you should be aiming to consume moderate amounts of mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. As a general rule of thumb, aim to avoid trans and saturated fats.

    So if fats are so important for your health, why are they so commonly restricted from diets? Simple - fat is quite dense in calories - 9 calories per gram. This is more than double that found in carbohydrates and proteins! So fat is required in much smaller amounts that protein and carbohydrate due to the energy density of a fat molecule. However, by no means should fat be eliminated from your diet altogether. This is because fat can not only assist in weight loss, it is also a necessity for your health and wellbeing.

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