Also known as power bars, energy bars are most commonly used by athletes during competitions such as triathlons, prolonged obstacle course races, or other endurance events lasting several hours where energy stores need to be replenished quickly while on the go.
Ingredients can vary substantially depending on each bar, but in general energy bars will contain a higher proportion of carbohydrates that the quintessential “protein” bars. The average energy bar will usually contain approximately 50% Carbohydrates, 30% Protein and around 20% Fat, but again, these may vary depending on make and model.
Typically the carbohydrate sources used in energy bars consist of various types of sugars like fructose, glucose, maltodextrin, or dextrose, as these are fast digesting and provide for the quickest digestion and conversion to useable energy. Protein will typically be in the form of whey protein which is one of the fastest digesting proteins, and sits “light” in the stomach. Fats will be kept to a minimum as too many will slow digestion and nutrient absorption, the exact opposite of what you want when using an energy bar.