Why So Many People Feel Hungrier After Eating a Protein Bar

Protein bars have been billed as a meal-on-the-go, and some even carry claims such as “proven to help reduce appetite.” Now, many Americans are saying they actually feel hungrier after eating a protein bar than they did before. Gym lovers and nutritionists advise clients to eat protein bars because protein is more satiating than fats and carbs. Medical experts now believe that the culprit is sucralose, a sweetener used in most popular protein bars. Consuming something sweetened artificially may lead to seeking more food, even triggering binges. That explains the dozens of fitness forums where people have sought answers to why their appetites appear to be turbocharged after eating a protein bar. Despite their popularity and promise to beat hunger on the go, protein bars with sucralose can actually increase cravings for sweets. Sucralose can be found everywhere from baked goods to drinks to chewing gum. A growing body of research shows that artificial sweeteners like sucralose do not activate the food reward pathway in the brain because they don't provide calories like sugar does.