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Protein bars are no longer reserved only for gym bros. Protein bars are now a favorite snack for late afternoons and can even be a meal replacement.
Choosing a protein bar is tricky every way you look at it. In an industry that registers hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, many protein bars qualify as candy. It’s not a wonder to find a protein bar that has sneaked in some sketchy ingredients thus sabotaging your better body goals.
We have researched hundreds of protein bars to identify the ones with proper ingredients. This means they are low in sugar, fat, and with 10-30g of protein. They are an ideal aid for muscle building as well as being great breakfast and lunch replacements.
It’s important to note that protein bars are not an everyday snack. They have a high caloric density, which can make them add inches to your gut before you even realize who is to blame.
As a staple in a healthy diet, choosing the amount of protein should be the first consideration when buying a protein bar. Aim for 12-30 grams of protein and less than 15g of sugar. If you want to lose weight, high fiber content is an excellent way to stay full for longer.
Grab the Quest Nutrition Double Chocolate Chunk Protein Bar. It is protein-dense and keto-friendly for all those keeping their carb intake on the low end. It is a low-sugar protein bar with only a single gram of sugar.
If you are looking for an organic snack, you will love the GoMacro Organic Protein Bar. It is plant-based with only 290 calories. You can easily opt this protein bar for lunch since it has complex, slow-burning carbs.
Most protein bars that are healthy don’t always taste edible. A common complaint is that they are dense and bland. To counter this belief, Quest Nutrition introduces its Double Chocolate Chunk. It is a protein bar that can please your sweet tooth while providing healthy nutrients.
Your first bite of this protein bar kicks your sweet senses into action. With 1g of sugar, Quest borrows its sweetness from Stevia, which is a natural sweetener.
The protein bar also has Erthytol, which is a sugar substitute with virtually no calories. As such, Quest has gone out of its way to ensure you are not eating any hidden sugars.
As for the protein, Quest Nutrition is made of milk protein and whey protein isolates. It also includes almonds, unsweetened chocolate, and cocoa, which together give it a total of 20g of protein. For dietary fiber, you get 14g from soluble corn fiber.
Because of the unsweetened chocolate and cocoa, you can hardly taste whey protein, which is usually overwhelming. It neither attracts moisture nor dries out. Hence, it remains chewy and is easy on your teeth.
Other ingredients of this protein bar include palm oil, sea salt, water, and calcium carbonate.
At 190 calories, this protein bar is just right as a pre or post-workout snack. It can also be taken as a light breakfast if you are short on time. We like that it is available in up to 29 flavors. So, if you are not for the double chocolate flavor, you can always indulge in your favorite flavors like cookies & cream, birthday cake, and many more.
In the recently changed formula, we have seen Quest Nutrition increase the amount of fiber. While it may be a good thing for those tolerant to corn, some people have found that it causes bloating. You may want to take it slow if you don’t know your corn tolerance levels.
Quest Nutrition Double Chocolate Chunk is your go-to protein bar as a pre and post-workout snack. It fills you up while providing the right ingredients to go an extra mile and build muscle in the process.
Based on all-plant ingredients, the GoMacro MacroBar is perhaps the only tasty vegan protein bar that most people like. It is gluten and soy-free and meets USDA and kosher standards.
GoMacro lets you indulge guilt-free in 11grams of all-plant-based protein. It contains creamy peanut butter, organic puffed brown rice, and organic fair trade chocolate chips. These ingredients give it a texture that is neither chewy nor crunchy. As such, you don’t have to chew for long before you swallow this flavorful bar.
Since the ingredients are cold-pressed and not baked, the natural structure of the components is maintained. As such, you get the full amount of fiber that you are supposed to get in every bite.
With GoMacro, you are at a loss with the numerous flavors as it is replete with choices. You can expect mocha chocolate chip, dark chocolate, granola & coconut, almonds, and even apple cinnamon.
GoMacro is certified organic and is non-GMO verified. You can be sure it is clean for all those looking to find a brand that sticks to clean living.
Packing 290 calories, the GoMacro MacroBar is an easy meal replacement and mostly breakfast. If you don’t enjoy eating toast or cereal for breakfast, this protein bar might be a perfect replacement.
Unfortunately, this GoMacro MacroBar has more carbs than protein. It is not ideal if you want to cut carbs, gain muscle, and lose weight. This is especially so if you take more than one piece in a day.
Every vegan will fall for the GoMacro MacroBar. Seeing that it is clean and that it receives certifications to prove the same, the choice of different flavors is a nice bonus.
It’s true what they say, that the lower the number of ingredients, the closer it is to whole food. In a world of processed food, a protein bar with only three ingredients is a breath of fresh air. The Rise Bar Almond Honey Protein Bar offers three important ingredients bound to sate your appetite.
It’s quite evident that honey and almonds are the main ingredients of this protein bar. And, with the inclusion of the best protein-whey, you have yourself a healthy snack.
Whey protein isolate is a popular choice even for this protein bar since the body readily absorbs it. You will get the benefits of whey protein like reduced blood pressure, which adds to a healthy heart.
Almonds are its other main ingredient. They are high in nutrients without too many additional calories. You also get dietary fiber and vitamin C from this bar that sticks to essential components. Not to mention that it does not have any added sugar like sucralose except for the honey which also acts as the binder.
With honey, you get antioxidant benefits.
Rise Bar is also available in chocolatey almond, cacao banana, snickerdoodle, and mint chip. The vegan collection includes lemon cashew, sunflower cinnamon, and chocolatey nut. Note that the vegan collection uses pea protein isolate as the protein source.
Rise Bar Almond Honey has a total of 280 calories. It serves as a meal replacement or a post-workout snack. Most of the calories come from the fat, 140 to be exact. The remaining 140 calories are shared between the protein and carbs.
Its dietary fiber is quite small, so you may want to stick to breakfast since the bar will not stay long in the stomach.
There are complaints about the packaging of this bar since it has shown to leak oil from the carton. If you receive a leaky package, you will want to store it away from your gym clothes or surfaces from which oil is hard to remove.
Rise Bar has only three ingredients, which is evidence of its health claim. It is sweetened naturally, ridding you of the worry about hidden sugars and high-calorie content. You can eat the bar knowing exactly how many calories you are putting into your body.
FITCRUNCH is a peanut butter baked bar layered to provide high levels of protein for bodybuilding. It is the kind of snack you pick up after intense weightlifting to help feed your growing muscles at the moment they need it most.
Chef Irvine has had his share of this bar to bulk up and look good while doing it. You get to choose from the birthday cake, caramel peanut, and cinnamon twist, all with similar 16g of protein per piece.
FITCRUNCH follows through with only a few ingredients. It consists of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. Together, they make a protein-rich bar that is healthy, and sweet thanks to the peanut butter and chocolate.
FITCRUNCH is just the right size in six layers that make it crunchy and chewy. It combines its flavors such that you will satisfy a sweet tooth with only 3g of sugar without gaining a few inches on the waist.
This protein bar comes in two sizes. The snack size has 16g protein and a total of 190 calories while the meal replacement has 30g protein and 380 calories. Be mindful when ordering, because you could make a mistake and order the meal replacement instead of a snack.
FITCRUNCH is baked with gym rats in mind. As you can see, the FITCRUNCH is an excellent pre and post-workout snack, while the meal replacement is quite big on calories. You can safely eat the large-sized FITCRUNCH only if you lead a lifestyle that requires over 2,000 calories per day?
FITCRUNCH has only 1g of dietary fiber. It will take a few minutes to digest. You may be tempted to eat more than one, but, considering the number of calories, you should avoid doing it. Eating this protein bar requires some self-control.
If you are new to the protein bars created for muscle building, FITCRUNCH is a better option than many other bars on the market. This is because it balances out the ingredients such that you have a high protein content with a low carb content.
If you are an athlete who finds meal prep tedious and difficult, the Grenade Carb Killa might be a good choice. It is an actual high protein bar with 23g of protein.
Grenade Carb Killa is a high-quality product. The brand uses its proprietary baking technology to produce a 3-layered protein bar. It is chewy and crunchy without the need for refrigeration. As such, it will never go moldy as is the common complaint with many other brands.
Milk protein isolate is the main ingredient of this bar. It is a significant metabolism booster that not only helps with weight loss but plays a significant role in muscle recovery. It also has whey protein, milk, chocolate, and cocoa butter to bulk up the proteins.
Never get bored with only one flavor as Grenade Carb Killa is available in Cookie Dough, Caramel Chaos, Chocolate Crunch, Jaffa Quake, White Chocolate Cookie, Chocolate Cream, and Peanut Butter. Every bar gives you milk-coated crunchy crispies that keep your taste buds happy.
The milk coating also helps to keep out any whey protein taste.
Grenade Carb Killa is good as a snack and a pre-workout snack. It packs up to 220 calories in most flavors, except the Caramel Chaos, which has 210 calories. It is nutrient-rich, but with 7g of fiber, you may not be able to hold off to the next meal before snacking.
Grenade Carb Kill has way too many ingredients to qualify as clean. Some of its ingredients include soybean oil, sucralose, palm oil, glucose, and sweetened condensed milk. It has too much sugar and may as well qualify as a candy protein bar.
It is pricier than most protein bars, but if your days are spent on the trails and in the gym, you will be grateful you brought the Grenade Carb Killa. It is packed full of protein that will curb the cravings and keep you going in endurance exercises.
PROBAR-BASE leaves out the BS (bad stuff) and gives you a plant-based protein bar. With a total of 20g of plant protein, it can be part of a vegan and gluten-free diet plan.
If you are looking for a dairy-free brand, PROBAR-BASE is another interesting brand. It derives its protein from soy protein isolate, ground peanuts, partially defatted peanut butter flour, and omega blend which consists of chia seeds and flaxseed.
The combination of unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, tapioca starch, tapioca syrup, and dried cane syrup gives it plenty of taste and nutrients to go with it. You will find it quite satisfying thanks to its 5g of fiber. It has only natural flavors enhanced by sesame oil and salt.
As you can see, you can identify the ingredients and relate them to the benefits they give the body. This includes its clear cardiovascular benefits associated with other plant protein sources. It is cholesterol-free and contributes to the amount of protein you should include in your daily caloric intake.
Every 70g has 290 calories. It is ideal as a pre and post-workout meal, or a meal replacement since it has a dependable amount of fiber to keep you full. It is also ideal if you want to gain muscle, lose fat, and if you have special dietary requirements like a dairy and gluten-free diet.
This protein bar does not manage to be completely clean. It contains Palm Kernel Oil that requires a complicated extraction process using a hydrocarbon solvent.
Since it is a plant-based protein bar, we are not surprised by the high carb content of the PROBAR-BASE. Luckily, it serves the purpose for athletes who need a nutrient-rich protein bar that can serve as a meal replacement.
Pure Protein is a renowned brand for its wide variety of protein bars. With the variety pack, you get three flavors which include Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Deluxe, and Chocolate Peanut Butter.
With only 3 grams of sugar, Pure Protein is right at the top of the best protein bars for weight loss. It has 20g of protein derived from milk protein and whey protein isolates. It also has a small level of whey protein concentrate which brings up the level of pure protein to around 90%.
It is clearly a clean protein bar since we can identify most of the ingredients and state them without twisting our tongue. It includes cocoa butter, almond butter, milk fat, and whole milk powder plus natural flavors. It provides you with your daily protein need. So, you don’t have to worry about the numbers on the scale since you will be gaining muscles the right way.
The three flavors of Pure Protein are sure to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. It comes in a convenient size that will fit in any gym bag. Thankfully it does not melt or leak any oil such that it will have a chewy texture even after sitting in a warm gym cabinet.
Pure Protein Bar is made to complement your fitness goals. Chocolate Peanut and Chocolate Chip both have 200 calories while the Chocolate Deluxe has 190 calories. With its 3g of sugar, it does not cause the body to go into a sugar crash right after it leaves the system. As such, you will not find yourself craving sugary food, which can often lead to overeating.
Pure Protein, unfortunately, has a high sugar alcohol content. Although it has fewer calories than plain sugar, it might upset your stomach.
Pure Protein presents a naturally sweet protein bar while maintaining its health benefits. With 20 grams of protein, it fuels your workout and aids in the quest to maintain lean muscle and perform to the fullest.
A sports nutrition company MusclePharm backs the Combat Crunch bar. With their extensive knowledge about what entails a pro athlete diet, we feel they have hit the nail on the head with this protein bar.
Combat Crunch bar is loaded with 20g of protein. It is a healthy snack to kick in your energy levels in intense activities like cardio and weight training. The bar contains whey protein and milk protein isolates and almonds. It also has its fair share of carbohydrates standing in at 25g.
We like to think of it as the better of the protein bars as it has a low carb level such that it will not spike your sugar level. It is baked using MusclePharm’s proprietary technology that delivers a soft texture in Combat Crunch.
The chocolate peanut butter cup is not the only flavor. You can also choose from chocolate chip cookie dough, cookies ‘n’ cream, cinnamon, twist, and five more flavors.
If you participate in competitive sports, you will be glad to know that this protein bar has been tested for banned substances. It is certified by Informed Choice and can, therefore, be taken as a snack after intense training.
Combat Crunch Bar is for everyone who needs a quick snack as well as those who want one for muscle recovery. It is also good as a form of energy boost during workouts. It is for the athlete on the go who doesn’t have time to come up with a perfect lunch without risking calories that could slow them down.
MusclePharm includes some complicated ingredients in some of the flavors like the Cinnamon Twist. Obviously, it contains flavors that are not all-natural, which makes us like it a bit less.
Every athlete knows the importance of keeping up with a proper diet. MusclePharm Combat Crunch aims to achieve the right protein content to maintain your energy levels. And, it does exactly that, but without any illegal substances. It is filling, tasty, and flavorful to meet most athletes’ needs.
Most protein bars don’t hit the mark on nutrition value, but RXBAR is not one of them. With the ingredients clearly marked on the wrapper, you can be sure you are getting the real deal in this particular brand.
RXBAR is a no B.S. protein bar. It essentially brings together three egg whites, two dates, four cashew nuts, and four almonds in every piece. It makes a total of 12g of protein in a 52g bar. It lacks added flour, sugars, and any processed protein in a bid to bulk up on the protein.
Two more ingredients make up the RXBAR protein bar. They include blueberry and natural flavor to make it tasty and give it a particular flavor. You will even see the blueberries sticking out such that the taste is just right within the expected flavor.
Because of the complex ingredients, this protein bar is a bit chewier than the rest. It is a nice pick if you are headed to the outdoors with nothing else to do other than hitting the trails. The dates bind the bar so that it does not come apart while the nuts provide texture and consistency.
At 52g, RXBAR is calorie-dense with 210 calories. It can be your snack option before lunch, or it can make up your pre or post-workout snack. It has a low fiber level compared to other whole food protein bars, but it still manages to stay longer in your stomach. As such, it curbs overeating and actually helps to satisfy cravings.
RXBAR has a small protein content at 12g, but it has many calories. It is easy to overeat this protein bar, especially if you take it after strenuous exercise.
RXBAR is the only real natural food protein bar that sticks to its main ingredients. Though pricey, it deserves every dollar spent since it is filling and healthy. It appeals to everyone looking for something straightforward that doesn’t hide the ingredients.
Good protein bars are packed with nutrition, taste great, inexpensive, and easy to carry around. They are popular with people on the move, dieters, and athletes. But, there are plenty of different protein bars on the market, and not all of them are created equal.
If you are looking for the best protein bar, you need to be aware of a few factors. You don’t need to spend your time doing the research, we have done it for you!
While an official classification doesn’t exist, there are some key differences between protein bars.
Looking at the ingredients can sometimes be a tedious task. But, it is an important part of finding a healthy, tasty protein bar. There are a couple of things you should look for in a protein bar. After you have learned what those things are, you will be able to do it without any problems.
Before you can purchase a good protein bar, you need to know which things to avoid. The first thing you need to avoid is sugar alcohols. Protein bars with sugar alcohols can make you bloated and cause gastrointestinal issues, so simply avoid them.
You should also ignore the protein bars with trans fats. Trans fats have no benefits and they are only harmful to your health.
Never buy protein bars with synthetic preservatives and additives. If you notice that you can’t pronounce an ingredient, then it is probably a synthetic preservative.
Our advice is to ignore the protein bars with corn syrup, fructose, saccharose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, or fruit juice concentrate. If you want to eat healthy protein bars, you should avoid the above-mentioned ingredients.