If you have too much self-respect to snap into a Slim Jim, yet bemoan how tough it is to toss a burger into your gym bag, the free market has heard your cry. A slew of new bars that use animal protein — mainly beef and bison — are your new meat outlet. A cut above their jerky brethren, these options from the heartland are typically organic, gluten-free, and contain no added sugar, giving them a solid Paleo/CrossFit following. Nutrition-wise, they’re a good travel snack or a stopgap between meals, says Heidi Skolnik, nutritionist for the New York Giants, Knicks, and Mets. “Some of the appeal is a sweet vs. savory thing,” she points out. “It can be part of your post-strength training recovery as long as you’re getting enough carbohydrates.” Depending on the workout, your body composition, and how meaty your meat bar is, this might mean having an apple and some cashews, too.
So what is out there? We did some serious investigating to find out.