While you can make your own protein bars at home, not all of us are thrilled at the idea. Most of us take protein bars for convenience. More often than not, time is of the essence thus for a quick protein fix, we rely on ready-made protein bars for sustenance. Not all protein bars are equal though—for one, some are way too high on the sugar while some taste rather bland. We’ll make choosing delicious protein bars an easier feat for you by giving you this handy guide.
- Why go for protein bars?
Answer: One of the primary benefits of protein bars is that they are convenient and readily available. They come in a good range of flavors and they can serve as a snack and even as a meal replacement. Protein bars have an excellent level of carbs and protein which makes them beneficial snacks before and after workouts. They provide a nice burst of energy and are great sources of dietary fiber as well. Lots of protein bars are good sources of nutrients from calcium, iron, potassium down to certain vitamins and minerals. Some protein bars aid in weight loss since they help curb appetites and prevent eating between meals. Lots of protein bars are dense in calories too which means it’s a great addition to your diet in case you want to gain weight. Because of their exceptional amount of proteins, protein bars are also ideal for people who want to gain muscle.
- What makes a healthy protein bar?
Answer: Healthy protein bars are composed of first-rate protein isolates and concentrates plus quality ingredients like whole foods. They also contain natural sweeteners instead of regular sugar. There are no artificial ingredients included in wholesome protein bars. The best ones come with healthy fats sourced from various seeds and nuts instead of vegetable oils. Healthy protein bars are very low or do not contain artificial or isolated fibers like chicory root or soluble corn fibers. Lastly, the best ones do not make use of sugar alcohols since taking in a sizable amount of this ingredient can lead to gastrointestinal conditions.
- What factors should I consider when choosing the best protein bars?
Answer: First, you need to check the calories that the product offers. The amount of calories you require will depend on your situation or regimen—do you want to lose weight, gain weight or acquire muscle? High-quality protein bars contain at least 8 grams of protein, have a maximum of 13 grams sugar per serving and at least 3 grams of fiber at a minimum. When it comes to carbs, you must get a protein bar depending on your training objectives. As for the fat content, 4 grams is fine but then again, this will also depend on your training goals. Lastly, factor in the cost—protein bars are not exactly cheap since they are believed to be nutritional supplements. Just take protein bars only when required or use it as a substitute for your protein powders.
Our Top Picks
Grenade Carb Killa High Protein and Low Sugar Bar
- Delicious Birthday Cake flavor
- Available in various tasty flavors
- Uses European chocolate
- Rich in protein
The Grenade Carb Killa High Protein and Low Sugar Bar might be mistaken as a dessert. Even a pastry due to its deliciousness. However, do not be fooled since this one is high in protein yet low in sugar, therefore a health food that supplements your training and fitness goals. Great to take as a snack or as an energy booster following a workout. The bar offers 23 grams of protein per serving and only less than 2 grams of sugar so if you are craving for the stuff, just get this one instead to satisfy your fix.
RXBAR Chocolate Cherry Protein Bar
- 12g of high-quality protein
- 4 to 5g of fiber per serving
- 100% gluten-free
- Excellent flavor selection
Gone are the days when protein bars used to taste like, well, health food. The newer batch of protein bars are now packed with flavor and scrumptious to boot, like this chocolate cherry flavor from RXBAR. This option comes with 12 grams of quality protein, free from gluten and contains 4-5 grams of fiber per serving. If you need something to chow on and get energy before a workout of after a workout, this is the snack you should take. It looks like a candy bar, tastes like a candy bar but it’s a hundred times better than a candy bar.
No Cow Protein Bars
- 22g protein
- 180 calories
- 5g fat
- Vegan and non-GMO
If you are on the hunt for a vegan option, these No Cow Protein Bars will do the trick. Tasty and satisfying, is it made from a pea protein and brown rice blend for excellent amino acid servings. It does not contain whey protein so it’s practically free from lactose. The blend is low in sugar too but high in protein content at 22 grams. This is a naturally-sweetened snack bar and this chocolate-glazed doughnut flavor hits the spot perfectly. Does not contain gluten, refined sugars and soy.
ALOHA Organic Plant Based Protein Bars
- 14g USDA-certified organic plant protein
- 5g sugar
- Ideal for vegans, paleo and celiacs
The ALOHA Organic Plant Based Protein Bars contains 24 grams of carbs thus this one is actually ideal for people who want to gain muscle. Carbohydrates assist proteins to penetrate into muscle fibers deeply for optimal muscle gain. The bars are also free from dairy, stevia, gluten, soy, sugar alcohols and artificial ingredients. What it contains though are beneficial organic whole food ingredients from its almonds down to the organic vanilla flavor. If you want a snack that is significantly healthy, you can always have this one.
EPIC Uncured Bacon Protein Bars
- 8g protein per serving
- Savory snack
- Free from antibiotics
- Gluten-free and paleo-friendly
Most protein bars are on the sweet side so if you do not have a sweet tooth but appreciate the convenience of protein bars, these Uncured Bacon protein bars from EPIC will satisfy your protein fix. It is made from antibiotic and hormone-free pork sources and gives 8 grams of protein per serving. This is a snack that does not contain gluten as well and friendly to paleo practitioners too. It is sweetened with a smidgen of maple sugar and rich in vitamins and minerals. If you are craving for a hotdog, get this one instead.
Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bars
- 12g protein
- Sourced from grass-fed cows
- 2g naturally-occurring sugar
- Has Brain Octane MCT and XCT oils
Get strength amid workouts by scarfing down a Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bar. The protein included on this bar was sourced from collagen which is also attributed to stronger hair, skin, nails, joints and better stomach health. The bar also includes Brain Octane MCT and XCT oils which helps in preventing longstanding weight gain issues. It does not have added sugars or palm oils. Intake of this bar leads to imbibing excellent amino acids to support better skin, joint, gut and bone health.
Tasty protein bars are more than welcome in every fitness enthusiast’s diet. They serve as healthy snacks that provide sufficient amounts of protein for extra energy and overall optimal body functioning. These delicious treats deserve a place in your kitchen or gym bag so have a few of these items on hand for a quick protein fix.