Ingestion of nutrition bars high in protein or carbohydrate does not impact 24-h energy intakes in healthy young adults

Appetite. 2012 Dec;59(3):778-81. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.08.012. Epub 2012 Aug 20.


Sales of nutrition bars increased almost 10-fold to $1.7billion over the past decade yet few studies have examined the impact of bar ingestion on dietary parameters. In this crossover trial, 24-h energy intakes were assessed in free-living college students ingesting a high-protein (HP, 280kcal) or a high-carbohydrate (HC, 260kcal) nutrition bar upon waking. Fifty-four students entered the trial, and 37 participants completed the three test days. Daily energy intakes ranged from 1752±99kcal for the non-intervention day to 1846±75 and 1891±110kcal for the days the HP and HC bars were consumed respectively (p=0.591). However, for individuals who reported high levels of physically activity (n=11), daily energy intakes increased significantly compared to the control day for the HC bar day (+45%; p=0.030) and HP bar day (+22%; p=0.038). Macro- and micro-nutrient intakes differed significantly across test days in the total sample mirroring the nutrient profile of the specific bars. These data suggest that young adults adjust caloric intakes appropriately following the ingestion of energy-dense nutrition bars over a 24-h period. Moreover, nutrition bars may represent a unique opportunity to favorably influence nutrient status of young adults.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breakfast*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritive Value
  • Reference Values
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Micronutrients