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Energy bars are supplemental bars containing cereals and other high energy foods targeted at people that require quick energy but do not have time for a meal. They are different from energy drinks, which contain caffeine, whereas bars provide food energy.
The first energy bar in the American marketplace was Space Food Sticks which Pillsbury Company created in the late 1960s to capitalize on the popularity of the space program. Space Food Sticks were developed by Robert Muller, the inventor of the HACCP standards used by the food industry to ensure food safety. They are currently being made by Retrofuture Products in Port Washington, New York.
Distinction between energy bars and energy drinks
Energy bars, like all food, supply the body with physical energy, as measured in calories or joules. Energy drinks, by contrast, are intended to improve mental energy by stimulating the central nervous system, usually with moderate to large doses of caffeine or other stimulants, though many also supply physical energy in the form of sugar. Both energy bars and energy drinks may contain added vitamins.
Energy in food comes from three main sources: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. A typical energy bar is likely to supply about 200–300 Cal (840–1,300 kJ), 3–9 g of fat, 7–15 g of protein, and 20–40 g of carbohydrates.