energy bars - Energy Bars: An Athlete's Friend or Foe? I....

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Energy Bars: An Athlete's Friend or Foe? I. What are "energy bars"? Definition and Contents: An energy bar is a convenient, fortified snack-food containing a blend of simple and complex carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. The primary source of protein in energy bars usually comes from milk and the fiber comes from grains and oats. Some bars also contain additional herbs, such as ginseng and guarana, "to help provide maximum energy" and to stimulate the central nervous system (http://s2.com.etj/ wn/sportsbars.html). Others include sodium and potassium phosphate to increase oxygen consumption capacity and to prevent lactic acid buildup in the muscles. The size of an energy bar varies with each brand and can range anywhere from one ounce to more than five ounces. The majority contain 100 to 300 calories and get most of these calories (at least 60 percent) from carbohydrates (Walsh 1997). The bars are usually easy to digest and come in a wide array of flavors and textures. They are advertised by most manufacturers as an "optimum energy fuel" and are used mainly as a way to replenish the body's energy stores as they are being depleted (http://s2.com/etj/wn/sportsbars.html). Who are they for? Where are they found? are most often associated with top athletes and endurance sports, such as bicycling and running. Recently, however, they have started to attract outdoor enthusiasts, participants of, and casual exercisers (McEvoy 1994). They are becoming so popular that even overweight individuals are eating them as a low-fat meal substitute (Runner's World 1994). Today they can be found almost anywhere: in sporting good stores, pharmacies, health food shops, and even several When do you eat them? Energy bars can be consumed before an event to ensure sufficient levels of muscle and liver glycogen (stored carbohydrate), during an event to stabilize or maintain blood sugar levels, or after an event to replace expended nutrients and to maximize recovery. Some people also eat them as a snack or meal replacement throughout the day. Specific times and amounts obviously vary for each person (http://s2.com/etj/wn/sportsbars.html). II. Two main types of energy bars:
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1. High-carbo group Most energy bars are placed in this group because they are high in carbohydrates and low in proteins and fats. Producers of these bars argue that a high portion of carbohydrates provides "a superior source of fuel for endurance performance and that the fewer fat calories you ingest in a pre-workout, the better". Several examples include PowerBar, Gatorbar and VO sub 2 Max (Lobb 1995). 2. Balanced group Other energy bars (such as PR Bar and CarboCrunch) contain a more balanced mix of nutrients that reflect the 40-30-30 diet philosophy. In these bars, only about 40 percent of the calories come from carbohydrates and the rest of the calories are divided equally between protein and fat (http://outside.starwave.com/magazine/0296/9602bfp.html). Manufacturers of this type of bar
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This note was uploaded on 03/08/2012 for the course ENG 111 taught by Professor Hickman during the Spring '08 term at Ivy Tech Community College.

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energy bars - Energy Bars: An Athlete's Friend or Foe? I....

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