Wonder Bars or Wonder Bread?
Are energy bars really better than candy bars (or a slice of Wonder bread)? A recent study tested the glycemic index of two popular energy bars to find out.
According to the hype, energy bars are supposed to give quick energy without a sugar crash for powering athletic activity.
Kent State University researcher Steve Hertzler found that PowerBar, a high-carbohydrate energy bar with a high ratio of complex to simple carbohydrates, produced a faster energy peak, occurring 30 minutes after eating, than either Snickers candy bars or Wonder bread, which both peaked after 45 minutes.
PowerBars also produced a steeper decline in blood glucose after peaking than either the candy bar or the white bread.
Ironman PR Bar, a moderate-carbohydrate energy bar that blends 40 percent carbohydrates with 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat, peaked after 30 minutes with a lower, more sustained energy boost.
A high-carbohydrate energy bar may be appropriate for athletes wanting quick energy for short-duration exertion, says Hertzler, but a moderate-carbohydrate energy bar may be better for fueling endurance activities, or for anyone with diabetes.
Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2000; 100, 1, 97-100
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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