You know exercise is good for your body and maybe you’ve even experienced that lovely rush of feel-good endorphins, but have you ever wondered how to boost the effects of that workout with the right nutrients? Those wonderful effects of exercise aren’t just about the activity itself, it’s also about how you prepare, how you cool down, and what types of nutrients you consume.
This is especially important for those of you who enjoy a good morning workout!
While it’s a great way to get your mood elevated and your brain churning first thing, you also have to consider how you’re going to support your body for the remainder of the day.
Exercise puts a good amount of stress on the body, this is actually why it’s so good for your health! It diverts blood from the “liver and digestive system to your skeletal muscles,” builds up lactic acid around your muscles, and activates a whole mess of hormones including cortisol, glucagon, epinephrine, and testosterone.
Of course, with all of these good stressors comes wear and tear on the body.
Your muscles experience micro-tears that need to be repaired, you deplete glycogen stores that should be replenished, and your body goes into a state of rest and calm. If you’re working out first thing in the morning, using the proper post-workout-nutrition plan can help your body heal and replenish energy reserves to give you a boost for the rest of the day.
What does this mean?
Consuming the appropriate amounts of those fabulous three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat. Getting all three of these elements into your post-workout morning meal is an important part of making that exercise more effective and preparing your body for the day. While there are lots of plant-based foods, if you’re running from the gym to the job then you may need to supplement a whole meal with a filling protein bar.
Luckily, there are lots of options that meet the right quota!
You want to find a vegan-friendly, plant-based protein bar that also combines a moderate amount of carbohydrates to replenish those glycogen stores, as well as a bit of healthy fat to slow digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer.
Here are a few options to get you started!
A 12-pack box costs $27.89.
- Dairy-Free, High Plant-Based Protein, 1g Sugar, High Fiber, Keto Friendly
- Certified Gluten-Free and Kosher, Non-GMO Project Verified, Soy Free, Vegan
- Made with pea and rice protein, stevia, and monk fruit
- Smooth peanut butter mixed with 100% raw cacao nibs for a chocolate crunch? There’s no wonder why this is our top seller. There’s a reason why PB is king. See for yourself. No Cow. No Bull. No Whey!
- One box contains 12 – 2.12 oz (60g) plant-based bars
These ONE Chocolate Peanut Butter Plant Protein Bars have all the goodies without the dangerous added sugars! ONE promises their product is non-GMO, dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free. It offers a whopping 12 grams of plant-based protein and only one gram of sugar. This means you’ll get all the benefits of muscle and energy-boosting protein without the nasty blood sugar spikes from most bars. As ONE says, this is a no-regret protein bar! A 12-pack box costs $27.99.
Amazon Customer says “This bar exceeded expectations, by far. It’s tasty, great macros and really enjoyed eating the whole bar! I’ll stock up now that I know it’s so good. Bravo ONE Brands!!”
3. ALOHA Organic Plant-Based Protein Bars
These ALOHA Organic Plant-Based Protein Bars offer a loaded 14 grams of USDA certified organic plant-based protein! Yet, there’s a ton more to love about these bars. They also have 13 grams of fiber, zero artificial ingredients, and only four grams of sugar. Plus, they’re vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, soy-free, dairy-free, and stevia-free. So, what’s actually in them? You’ll get 100 percent real, whole foods including organic brown rice protein and organic pumpkin seed protein. A 12-pack box costs $22.16.
Barbara Hock says “I have no idea what the old recipe tasted like, but I love how full these bars keep me. They cut down on cravings and help with digestion. I like that they aren’t very sweet and that there are only 14 net carbs. Definitely going to be something I eat every day.”
4. IQBAR Brain + Body Protein Bars
These IQBAR Brain + Body Protein Bars offer a double whammy as they are both vegan and keto-friendly! Along with 12 grams of plant-based protein and three grams of net carbs, these bars are gut-friendly with six to eight grams of prebiotic fiber, all wrapped up with less than one gram of sugar. IQBAR promises nothing funky in their bars as they are non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, sugar alcohol-free, kosher, and clean! How do they stand out? IQBAR includes six brain-boosting nutrients Lion’s Mane, MCTs, Omega-3s, flavonoids, vitamin-E, and choline. A 12-count box costs $24.99.
Michele Hope says “I didn’t like the peanut butter ones, which is a flavor I usually go for. I loved the chai ones. I suggest getting a variety box each flavor is so different. Customer service is awesome! This is an “old school” American company with common sense values. They care about the product and the customer, a rarity these days. For those of you who do not realize how Keto works, saying that these are high in carbs. when something has over 5 grams of fiber you take that amount and subtract it from total carbohydrates leaving you with the amount of carbohydrates that will be digested. This is why complex carbohydrates are always healthier than sugary carbohydrates. This bar is only like 4 complex carbs, the fiber is something needed in any diet. This is also a whole food. I researched it after purchasing them.
Keto was confusing for me when I first started it and I actually did it wrong first two weeks, there is more to it than eliminating carbs and sugars from your diet, or at least getting carbs down to a level that will put you in ketosis. Complex carbs are the best choice when having so few carbs in your diet as Keto requires.”
5. Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Bar
Looking for a little slice of heaven after your morning workout to get you fueled for the day? These Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Bars will do the trick! They offer 10 grams of organic plant-based clean protein sourced from brown rice, pea, and chia seeds, along with three grams of organic dietary fiber. Plus, they’re super low sugar with only five grams per serving! These bars are also vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free, non-GMO, kosher, and free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. A 12-count box costs $17.99.
Zach says “After trying some much-lauded No Cow bars recently, I was really put off by their chalky texture and taste. Every single one of their flavors tasted awful. Thankfully, I stumbled across these Orgain Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bars a few weeks ago and am in love. Even though these bars are dairy-free, gluten-free, low-sugar, and soy-free, they taste amazing! I think they taste better than most Clif bars, but with way less sugar and no dairy content. I highly recommend these and hope to keep ordering them regularly.”
6. MusclePharm Organic Plant-Based Protein Bar
These MusclePharm Organic Plant-Based Protein Bars are 100 percent vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO. If that wasn’t good enough, they also offer a whopping 15 grams of protein per bar sourced from USDA-certified organic whole brown rice and pea protein. Plus, you’ll get your daily dose of dietary fiber! This product is free of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides! A 12-pack box costs $21.98.
SoCal BodyBuilder says “As a bodybuilder with 38 years in this sport, I have typically rejected any plant-based protein bars in the past, as they just never tasted right, and did not contain enough protein calories to be worth bothering. THESE, however, taste as good as, or better than, even a regular candy bar to me! Almost unbelievable for a plant-based product without “bad chemicals”. I’ve probably been using these for 3 years now, and have not found the urge to try others, if that means anything!”
This R.E.D.D Vegan Oatmeal Protein Bar contains a healthy 10-gram dose of plant-based protein sourced from hemp, pea, and pumpkin seed. These bars are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and kosher. Plus, they are super low in sugar with only five grams or less per bar! On top of that, you’ll get your daily dose of gut-friendly prebiotics and probiotic and adaptogens such as Reishi mushrooms, Cordyceps, and Chaga mushrooms. Keep in mind, not all R.E.D.D protein bars are vegan, so make sure to purchase the oatmeal flavor, which is vegan-friendly. A 12-pack box costs $30.99.
Robert I. Hedges says “I eat a lot of energy and protein bars. I travel a lot and often they’re the only food I get for hours. I have tried a lot of different bars and my previous favorites have been from Quest, but the Quest bar consistency and freshness vary substantially from batch to batch. I decided to try the Redd Peanut Butter Superfood Energy Bar on a whim, not expecting much. I had never heard of them before, but with the first bite I knew I had found a new favorite. I have now been through four boxes and am not tired of them yet, nor have I experienced any quality difference between batches. The bars are 230 calories and have 10 grams of protein; they’re gluten-free and have 36 mg of caffeine (which is about a third of a cup of coffee), so they provide a minor energy boost. (I am fairly caffeine sensitive so I don’t eat them before bed.)
They contain 11 superfoods and 23 vitamins and minerals, and are stunningly delicious. A bar is filling and has a chewy, soft consistency and delicious taste making them the most palatable energy bars I have ever eaten. If there is a downside it’s that they contain 29 grams of carbohydrate per bar (14 grams of sugars) which is higher than I generally like to consume. Another drawback is that they are somewhat more expensive than most protein or energy bars, but in my opinion the nutritional balance and taste more than justifies the price. I think these bars are great and continue to reorder them. Give them a try; I think you’ll love them!”
8. Garden of Life Vegan Organic Sport Protein Bars
Garden of Life doesn’t just create awesome supplemental vitamins and minerals, they are also in the game of food products. These Garden of Life Vegan Organic Sport Protein Bars follow all the clean guidelines that Garden of Life upholds as they are certified USDA organic, non-GMO Project Verified, NSF Certified for Sport, Informed-Choice for Sport Certified, certified Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. Along with protein, these bars are high in fiber to make sure you feel full longer! A 12-pack box costs $27.99.
Denver MASSAGE THERAPIST says “The main failing of this bar is its chief virtue in my book. It does not taste super great so I am not tempted to overindulge like I would a more candy-like bar. THE GOOD: The grams of sugar are a lot less than grams of protein. No oils that promote inflammation. No soy. I prefer bars where the grams of protein are about 1 tenth the number of calories. At 20 grams of protein to 260 calories, this one comes closer than most. THE BAD: As noted above, the nonaddictive flavor is its one failing but one which I find desirable. If you want great taste then go for candy and buy a snickers bar.”
9. Papa Steve’s No Junk Raw Vegan Protein Bars
You may notice that these bars have a smidgen more sugar than the others, so how do they make the list? These Papa Steve’s No Junk Raw Vegan Protein Bars use zero refined sugars meaning the six grams of sugar is naturally sourced and paired with high levels of nutrients meaning they are digested slower and cause less of a blood sugar spike. These bars are handmade with local, organic ingredients including raw almonds, raw hemp seed, pea protein, organic gluten-free rolled oats, dried wild blueberries, and tapioca fiber. They offer 12 grams of protein, 14 grams of fiber, and nine grams of healthy fat! On top of that, they are vegan, non-GMO, raw, gluten-free, trans-fat-free, and sugar alcohol-free! A 10-pack box costs $34.99.
chilldoc says “Delicious raw bar! You can tell they are handmade. Only 200 calories per bar. A little more expensive, but you get what you pay for! So happy to have found these!”
10. GOOD TO GO Soft Baked Bars
These GOOD TO GO Soft Baked Bars are not only vegan, but also low sugar, high fiber, and rich with healthy fat! They don’t have any of those nasty ingredients such as GMOs or gluten. What makes these bars stand apart? While being healthy, they are also just like dessert! These bars offer a delicious, cake-like texture-based around almond flour and other organic, simple ingredients and crafted in a zero-waste bakery. They’re the guilt-free, protein-boosting snack you need to start your day! A 9-pack box costs $23.94.
captainthreshold says “The raspberry lemon bars are totally delish! They remind me of coffee cake with the light fruit flavor and dense texture. And we all know coffee cake is not something that is part of the low carb lifestyle so this little bar is a real delight. As with all keto-friendly products, it’s a bit expensive but worth it since you don’t have to invest the time and energy to make your own keto-friendly sweets. I will definitely be buying these again.”
This is a good time to reconsider our intake of animal products to stay healthy. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals, and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
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- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
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