Springfield, MO -

You might get overwhelmed these days with the variety and number of choices when it comes to protein or energy bars in the local supermarket. On this week's Fit Friday, Pamela Hernandez of Thrive Personal Fitness helped KY3's Paul Adler sort through all the choices.

Here's what Pamela wrote:

Protein bars can be a quick way to get some fuel on the go. But with so many choice
how do you know which one is right for you and your goals?

I recently taste tested a wide variety of bars and picked my favorites in the three categories:

• Meal replacement bars: These bars are higher calories and meant to be lunch
or dinner on the go. Just like you want your plate to be balanced, you also
want your bar to have a combination of protein, carbs. My favorites in this
category are bars by Clif and ProBar. The Chocolate Mint Builder bar has 20
grams of protein plus only 270 calories, leaving you room in your calorie
budget for a piece of fruit on the side. The ProBar Meal bars generally are a
good source of protein plus healthy omega 3s. Some varieties are also gluten
free.

• Energy bars: These are bars for quick energy before or during a workout or
on highly active days. They need to be higher in carbohydrates to prevent
you from hitting the wall but make sure those carbs come from natural
sources like dates or honey. I love LaraBar ALT because their ingredients
are simple and they have 10 g of plant-based proteins, making them a great
choice for a vegan diet. Bonk Breakers, the running staple, are also a tasty
choice. Check out their IronMan series for added protein.

• Snack bars: When those 2:30 pm hunger pangs hit, these are the bars you
want to have in your desk drawer. Snack bars should be higher in protein to
satisfy you but low in sugar if you still have hours of sitting ahead of you. Nut
based KIND bars are a great choice with their blend of protein and healthy
fats. Designer Whey makes great tasting bars with only 160 calories but 15 g
of protein. NuGo Slim bars are another great choice because they contain no
artificial sweeteners. They contain real sugar but only 2 g. All of them have
varieties that will satisfy your chocolate craving too.

Rather do your own protein bar? Check out one of my DIY protein bar recipes!