Are Protein Bars Good For Your Brain & Body? We Asked A Nutrition Expert To Weigh In

Dr. Nicole Avena, our Chief Science Officer, has a PhD in neuroscience and psychology from Princeton University and has expertise in brain health and nutrition. 

Today, we’re picking her brain on protein bars, prebiotic fiber, sugar, and spilling the secret to getting that sweet, but not too sweet taste our Brain Boost Plant-Powered Protein Bar customers crave.

Interview: We Asked A Nutrition Expert What Makes A Protein Bar Healthy?

BrainMD: What makes Brain Boost Plant-Powered Protein Bars different?

Dr. Avena: Most protein bars, even those marketed as “healthy,” are loaded with sugar, void of nutrients, contain artificial dyes or sweeteners, and can cause trouble for your brain. Brain Boost Bars are different because they are sweetened with allulose, stevia, and monk fruit. Brain Boost Bars have 12 grams of healthy plant-based protein per serving and 11 grams of fiber to help keep you full. We were intentional about what we included — cocoa, almonds and MCT oil powder, which add antioxidants and polyphenols to support brain health.

BrainMD: Brain Boost Bars taste great! Can you tell us how you achieved that sweet, but not too sweet, taste in our bars?

Dr. Avena: Unlike the sugar-packed “healthy” protein bars you see on the shelves, Brain Boost Bars are unique in that they contain no added sugar. It took three years to get the formula just right because we wanted them to be perfect — amazing taste, soft & chewy (never chalky) texture, packed with protein, and good for your brain! To get the sweetness level right, we included three plant-based, low-glycemic sweetener alternatives: stevia, monk fruit, and allulose. Research regarding both monk fruit and stevia suggests promising evidence that they have a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, meaning there will be less of an impact on blood glucose levels. With this in mind, stevia and monk fruit, when compared to table sugar, can be an option for those who love sweets but want to be mindful of their blood sugar levels.

BrainMD: Every bar contains 12 grams of protein. Can you tell us more about this impressive blend of plant-based protein?

Dr. Avena: It was important to us as a company to develop a vegan-friendly protein bar with a complete amino acid profile. After many iterations, we selected an ultra-clean blend of pea protein, brown rice protein, and pumpkin seed protein. Each of these protein sources has a unique amino acid profile. When combined, they create a complete, high-quality protein, providing all 9 essential amino acids. Like all BrainMD products, Brain Boost Plant-Powered Protein Bars are manufactured in facilities that have been certified to meet a variety of exacting quality standards regarding pesticides, microbiological contaminants, and heavy metals, including arsenic – a must for products made with rice-derived ingredients. 

BrainMD: Brain Boost Bars contain 11 grams of fiber. Why is this significant?

Dr. Avena: Brain Boost Plant-Powered Protein Bars are designed to satiate hunger, satisfy taste buds, and supply your brain and body with a healthy source of nutrition. When it comes to fiber, we’re incredibly proud of the carb-to-fiber ratio we were able to achieve. Brain Boost Bars contain 11 grams of digestive-friendly prebiotic fiber per serving (more than 1/3 the daily value for fiber!) and only 6 grams of net carbs. If you’re looking to add more healthy, plant-based protein and fiber to your diet, Brain Boost Bars are the perfect way to go.

BrainMD: In addition to people looking to incorporate more protein and fiber into their diet, who else can benefit from our Brain Boost Bars?

Dr. Avena: If you’re looking for a high protein snack, Brain Boost Bars are a great option! With essential amino acids and additional nutritional components of a healthy diet, adding these bars into your daily routine can benefit not only your brain, but your entire body.

BrainMD: How do you incorporate Brain Boost Bars into your life?

Dr. Avena: Brain Boost Bars are the perfect brain-healthy snack. I like to have one after I work out, and my kids love it when I throw them in their lunch boxes!


Thank you, Dr. Avena! Is there a question we haven’t answered? Please share it in the comments. 

At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients and standardized herbal ingredients to support your overall well-being. For more information about our new Brain Boost Plant-Powered Protein Bar and full list of supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.