My training for the Boston Marathon is coming to an end. It has gone by way too fast but at the same time I am so ready to keep on tapering and then race as hard as I can. With each training cycle I always learn a few things and I thought I would share a few today! 1. To eat more iron. A few months ago I started eating way more iron. Maybe it was the placebo effect but […] http://ift.tt/1CZYDWm
With every new discovery—be it a product or a cause—there comes a following, and with that it can be difficult to separate those hopping on the bandwagon of a fad, trying to make a profit off of the overeager consumers, and the more authentic proponents of the idea. With the recent surge of dietary supplements and substitutes (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan) it can be hard to find the greatest common factor among convenience, nutritional value, taste, and cost. The bar (typically granola) seems to be the point of intersection for most of these, but how many of the bars marketed as meal-complementary and diet-friendly commodities really serve the consumer what he thinks he’s getting? The ideal bar—that is, the healthiest bar that dares not sacrifice nutrition for taste—will be made up mostly of complex carbohydrates featuring whole grains, will avoid shortcuts to good taste such as simple sugars, starches, and trans fats, will pack a good amount of protein (approx 10g), and will be supported by some good fiber (approx. 4g) and any number of essential vitamins and minerals.
With so many brands soliciting our consumership it can be hard to make sure you get the most out of what you buy—to make sure you buy the right product. So, here’s some help; below is a list of some of the approved-of big names and a small blurb making each one unique. It’s important to observe that many bars forfeit certain health benefits in the building up of another.
The amount of protein is impressive (a whopping 13g), but the caloric value and sugars weigh it down. However, having as much sugar as many competitors, the slightly harder to find Zing bars end up being a better choice for a pre- and post-workout snack. The 14g of sugar come from agave nectar which is produced through a process similar to that which makes corn syrup so thick and sweet.
They come in a slew of flavors, and have an attractive, even calming wrapper, and it’s a surprise that the candy-like taste comes from a lower-than-average dose of sugars (a little less than two peanut butter cups) with some saturated fat. It’s one of the better tasting bars and features an injection of Vitamin D. The drawback? It’s a little small.
Perhaps the most ubiquitous and long-standing, Clif Bars make the list because of their ability to nearly replace a small meal. Its 250 calories are made up of 10g of protein, 5g of fat (only 1.5g of which is saturated fat), 5g of fiber. Unfortunately, its heavy size comes with roughly 20g of sugar.
Smaller than the typical bar, this soy-based product undercuts its competitors with low sugar (~12g), and only 4g of fat. With such a small bar, there’s also a lower amount of protein at 4g, but it maintains the average 4g of fiber.
Having a good coach or mentor is just as crucial to a successful workout and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With today’s modern technology allowing for the convenience of wearing your inspirational coach on your wrist, the opportunity seems too favorable to pass up. Still, as with any nascent commodity it is important to survey the available products to find the best—whether it be most versatile, longest lasting, or simply best for you through tools for more personal customization. With careful review and an appeal to science, it appears the technology may be jumping the gun; with many techniques used by new products not heavily backed by scientific authority, the consumer may have to be more cautious about being roped in to the flashy applications that purport only to want to help.
What is popular is not always right, and certainly not solely by virtue of that. Kelsey Dallas of Deserter News notes that these more social smartphone applications and convenient fitness bands have “revolutionized the art of fitness”1 but the question remains: have they done so for the better? In what way have they positively influenced the user? One study done at Northwestern University reported positively in what they call behavior changing techniques—methods of promoting good fitness that shape the user’s habits over time.
Consumers avidly seek out the best apps and using them in attempts to modernize fitness and inspire themselves to better personal health but the overflowing presentation of acquired stats about the body (for example, blood pressure, steps taken, and calories burned) remain superfluous and do not motivate the user to keep up healthy routines as much as the companies offering them hope. However, easy motivation might, and the study in Chicago revealed that the more social apps which open others to the encouragement of friends bring back far more positive clinical results. In this day and age, the trend moves closer and closer to societal integration and interconnectedness. What remains all the more hopeful for the future of these apps is that the growing craze around them will push companies to keep improving what they offer such that consumers not get tired of stalling, unproven technologies. Much is left to explore in an already promising domain.