If you’re training for your next big mara-thon, bodybuilding competition, or just getting ready for bathing suit season, sup-plement bars are an effective complement to your nutrition. But as with all supple-ments, not just any bar will do; you should customize your choice of supplement bar to your fitness goals. That’s easy to do with the Parrillo Supplement Bars, which come in three different formulations: Sports Nu-trition Barstm) Energy Barstm and Protein Barstm, each designed for specific athletic requirements. Here’s what you need to know about these supplements – and how to use them in your personal sports nutri-tion program .If You’re a Bodybuilder orStrength-Trainer:Use the Protein Bars mainly to aid in post-exercise recovery. With 20 grams of pure protein and 30 grams of slow-release carbs, the Protein Bar provides a 60-40 ra-tio of carbohydrates to protein, considered optimal for post-workout nutrient replen-ishment by nutrition experts. To aid recovery, consume one of these bars right after your workout – the period in which your muscles are most receptive to producing new glycogen.
That’s when blood flow to muscles is much greater, a condition that makes muscle cells thirsty for nutrients. Taken right after a workout and again one hour later, this amount (in the form of a carbohydrate/protein bar), will help reduce the breakdown of muscle protein if you train withweights.Consum-ing protein and carbs after a workout actu-ally speeds up the body’s glycogen-mak-ing process, better than just carbs alone. Another benefit of this post-training snack is that it helps trigger the elevation of key hormones (insulin and growth hormone) involved in muscle growth, especially in the period right after exercise. Insulin is a powerful factor in building muscle, and growth hormone increases the rate of pro-tein production by the body, spurring on muscle-building activity.
It also promotes fat burning. (1,2) For mass-building, have a bar with your meals to boost calories. It takes an ad-ditional 2500 calories a week to manufac-ture a pound of muscle. Increasing your calories by about 240 a day with one or two of these bars is an effective way to achieve that caloric surplus.Finally, if you’re a competitive bodybuilder, this bar great to use on the day of your contest to avoid looking or feeling too full.If You’re An Endurance AthleteUse Energy Bars with meals or as a pre-exercise snack to boost calories for extra energy. With 35 grams of slow-release carbohydrates,14 grams of high-quality protein, and 5.5 grams of energy-produc-ing CapTri, the Energy Bar is a perfect pre-workout or pre-run energizer. You can also use this bar for carbohydrate-loading, in addition to other carb sources, to keep your glycogen reserves well-stocked for competition .
The Energy Bar is an excellent supple-ment if you’re an ultraendurance athlete who competes in events lasting several hours or more because of the extra car-bohydrates it provides. What’s more, this bar offers advantages in certain sports, such as long-distance cycling because they’re easy to eat as you’re riding . If You’re Getting in Shape with Aero-bics and Weight Training You need more calories to fuel your mul-tiple modes of exercise, and the Sports Nutrition Bartm can certainly fill the bill. With 240 calories, 11 grams of quality protein, 37 grams of slow-release carbo-hydrates, and five grams of CapTri, this bar is a tremendous source of fuel that won’t turn to body fat. It has no sucrose or fructose, and almost no sugar, so it can assist in fat loss.
A few important footnote here regarding fructose (found in many bars on the market): Research shows that fructose actually impairs athletic perfor-mance. Besides its tendency to convert easily to body fat, fructose isn’t even converted to muscle glycogen fast enough for use by working muscles. (3) As recommended for bodybuilders, strength trainers, and endurance athletes, it’s best to eat your Sports Nutrition Bar with meals as a source of additional calories; before exercise for extra energy; or after exercise for recovery. And the benefits of using the product this way are worth it: greater energy levels each time you exercise and better muscular devel-opment . Using Supplement Bars Wisely These products should be used only as a supplement to your diet, not as a substitute for meals. Use them primarily for increas-ing your caloric intake and feeding your muscles. The best way to fuel your body is always by eating a nutrient-dense diet of a variety of lean proteins, starchy car-bohydrates, and fibrous carbohydrates.
(1) Chandler, R.M., Byrne, H.K., Patter-son, J.G., Ivy, J.L. 1994. Dietary supple-ments affect the anabolic hormones after weight-training exercise. Journal of Ap-plied Physiology 76: 839-845.
(2) Zawadzki, K.M., Yaselkis, B.B., Ivy, J.L.. 1992. Carbohydrate-protein com-plex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 72:1854-1859.
(3) Pacelli, L.C. 1990. Carbohydrate drinks: are they ergogenic? The Physician and Sportsmedicine 18: 50 .