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Health On-the-Go: An Energy Bar for Every Occasion

Living on a college campus provides many an occasion for energy bars. For example, waking up five minutes before class starts leaves little opportunity to “jumpstart your metabolism,” as they say breakfast does, other than to scarf down something, while walking about 5 miles per hour. Say hello to your new staple, the energy bar!

But, there are so many, you say, and a lot of them are no healthier than a candy bar. Navigating the nutritional world without your Contemporary Topics teacher to tell you that pop tarts are bad and apples are good is difficult, I know. But, you’ll make it through! I’ve done some research to find out which energy bars are best for which occasion. Just like you wouldn’t wear crocs to the dining hall (…or would you?), there are certain energy bars you wouldn’t eat, say, right before you go on a run. Here’s the lowdown:

1. You want a protein bar, but not one that tastes like chalky protein isolate.

Occasions: post-workout, strength training, high protein diet


Zing® (recommended flavors chocolate peanut butter and almond blueberry)

Perks: all organic, 13g protein, gluten & soy free

Downside: not widely available

Balance® Bar “Bare” (recommended flavor: blueberry acai)

Perks: yogurt covered, 15g protein

Downside: also not widely available

On the contrary, if you’re looking for really high protein bars and don’t care if they are basically just protein isolate, try (1) Quest® Bars or (2) Balance Bars.

2.   If you’re an endurance athlete (as opposed to strength training, sprinting, etc.), and need something that will sustain you.


Clif® bars – They’re designed for you!

Perks: excellent flavors like carrot cake, coconut chocolate chip, and black cherry almond, just to name a few

Downside: can be high in sugar

Other Clif varieties, i.e. Mojo ® and Crunch ®, which have some more texture like granola and nuts

3.   You’re hungry for dinner (but aren’t going to the dining hall for two more hours), and you don’t want to eat anything too caloric or filling.

Try… (all about 100 calories)

Clif mini ®

Kind mini ®

Health warrior Chia bars, esp. peanut butter chocolate

Extra perk: low sugar and ch-ch-ch-chia!

4.   You’re trying to eat just whole foods, but you sometimes don’t have time to sit down and eat nuts or fruit. Or maybe you just don’t feel like eating bird food.


Kind ® bars

Perks: gluten and dairy free, very few ingredients

Downside: low protein

Another alternative: Think Thin Crunch ® fruit and nut bars

5.     Just your general “in a rush” energy bar (but still healthy!)


Luna (recommended flavors Lemon Zest and Chocolate Dipped Coconut)

Perks: tons of vitamins and minerals

Downside: high carb, high sugar

Another alternative: Kashi ® crunchy chocolate almond

Hope this helps you next time you can’t choose an energy bar! Or, maybe it just gives you more options…as if we needed more decisions!


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Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4


An avid writer since I learned to form complete sentences, I write off the cuff to entertain, to humor, and to inspire. As a freshman on the Notre Dame campus, I'm here to offer a fresh (no pun intended) perspective on college life and provide prevalent information on how to get into the collegiate scene.
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