High calorie protein & nutrition bars are a convenient alternative to whole meals for the right individuals. Quality ingredients are paramount however, and many ‘weight gain’ bars have very low quality ingredients, contain fillers, preservatives, and generally unhealthy junk. The solution is building your own bar with minimally processed whole-food ingredients that packs in as many high-quality macronutrients and micronutrients as it can.
That’s where we can help!
How to Build a High Calorie Bar
Below are instructions on how to build your own high calorie protein bar at The Bar Shack. To keep things straightforward we’ve listed the same sections (in the same order) as you would see them on our interactive ‘build your bar’ web page.
Option #1 (Base)
Since the goal here is high calories, we want a base that contains the highest percentage of nut oils, and in this case it’s the ‘Soft & Nutty/Seedy’ option. Although this base is a little drier than the others, it contains significantly more fat which makes it higher in overall calories. Choose coconut nectar or clover honey as the sweetener as both contain more calories per gram than fiber syrup. Option #2 (Nut & Seed Butters)
When it comes to choosing a nut butter, good old fashioned PB takes the top spot. it’s highest in calories compared to any other option in this section, and as a bonus it tastes amazing with just about any other ingredients. Option #3 (Protein Powders & Flours)
The powder you choose isn’t going to have a significant affect on the overall calories level of your bar. With that being said, the vegan blend is higher in overall calories than the other powders (by a small margin). If you want to avoid the ‘earthy’ taste of vegan proteins, whey protein is the way to go, although it will drop the calorie count of your bars down a bit. Option #4 (Nuts & Seeds)
Pecans taste great and contain the most calories of any ingredient in this category, but they won’t have much of on affect on the overall calorie count of your bar since they only account for a small percentage of the overall ingredient profile of your bar. If you don’t want to add any nuts & seeds to your bar that’s fine as they are optional.
Option #5 (Dried Fruit) With it’s high saturated fat content, coconut is the best option in this category. It’s a very popular choice for all bars because of it’s delicious tropical flavor and slightly cruncy texture. It also adds some fiber to your bars which will help you feel full longer.
Option #6 (Flavor & Texture Enhancers)
Coconut oil and cacao nibs are the best choice here as they contain more calories than any other ingredients in their respective section. Cacao and coconut contain significant amount of saturate fats which help contribute to their higher caloric values.
Option #7 (Boosters) In this category chia powder has a slight edge over it’s competitors, but feel free to choose any ingredient listed here as the ‘boosters’ aren’t game changers in the calorie department. Final Calorie Count: 320 calories per 55g bar
Now we’ll get in to further detail about who should and shouldn’t include high cal bars in their daily meal plans.
Who Should Consider High Calorie Bars?
High calorie / weight gain bars a good choice if you fall into one of the following two categories:
1 – You are trying to gain body weight
If you are under weight or are trying to build muscle mass, you’ll need to increase your caloric intake every day. Without extra calories in your diet, your body won’t have the energy to build new tissue throughout the body. High calorie nutrition bars are an easy way to get a quick & easy high calorie meal that requires no preparation.
2 – You need a snack that will keep you full
Anyone looking for a snack to keep you feeling full for the longest possible time should consider a nutrient-dense high calorie energy bar. Many of our customers work in strenuous trades that are very physically demanding and find that eating one or two high calorie bars eat day is the only way they can meet the calorie requirements of their body.
Bars that are high in fiber and heart-healthy fats (coconut oil, nut oils etc.) will keep you fullest for the longest period of time, so we recommend you make sure you bars contain adequate levels of both.
Who Shouldn’t Consider High Calorie Bars?
High calorie bars aren’t for everyone. If you fall into one of the following two categories may want to avoid them:
1 – You are trying to lose weight
Obviously anyone trying to lose body weight and decrease their daily caloric intake should probably not consume high calorie bars. Too many calories in your diet will be counterproductive, and a 300-400 calorie protein bar could be as much as 25% of your entire daily calories. Low calories bars are the best option in this scenario, or of course you could also break a higher calorie bar in half.
2 – Young children with lower calorie requirements
We don’t recommend feeding high calorie bars to young children since their calorie requirements are much lower than that of an adult.
If you need more calories in your diet because you are extremely active or are trying to gain weight, high calorie energy bars are a convenient alternative to whole foods. Make sure the bars you eat contain no artificial ingredients or fillers-only high quality real foods.
If you are trying to lose weight or are someone who’s daily caloric intake is below average, high calorie protein bars may not be the right option for you unless you decide to break them in half and eat them at separate times.
Do you need a hand building your own custom high calorie nutrition bars? We’re only a phone call or email away and would be happy to guide you through the process.