Any fitness enthusiast will tell you how beneficial a protein bar can be to achieving your goals. From a busy mum, entrepreneur, or gym-goer, a protein boost can be extremely useful for sustaining your energy levels, increasing your daily intake of nutrition, and increasing muscle mass.
However, gone are the days that protein supplements consist of a dense, chewy texture, and a lack of great taste. Nowadays, you don't have to turn to dark chocolate to satisfy your cravings, as protein snack bars offer a huge variety of flavors including: mint, peanut butter, chocolate, and caramel to please your sweet tooth and make those cheat days guilt-free.
With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to differentiate between what is truly healthy and what will end up harming your diet. On top of looking at which options are best for your body, we have also discussed which bars are best tasting and provide good protein sources. You’ll be questioning if these are a protein bar or a candy bar!
Best Tasting Protein Bars in 2021
- Quest Nutrition Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar
- FITCRUNCH Protein Bar
- think! (thinkThin) High Protein Bar
- BSN Protein Crisp Bar
- CLIF BUILDERS Protein Bar
- Pure Protein Bar
- KIND Protein Bars
- RXBAR Chocolate Sea Salt Protein Bar
- LUNA BAR
- MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars
Quest Nutrition Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar
- No added sugar
- High in fiber
- High protein isolate content
Quest has created a delicious protein bar full of tasty goodness; 21 grams of whey isolate protein and milk protein isolate make up this bar, with only 4 grams net carbs, 1 gram of sugar, and a huge 14 grams of fiber. These nutrition chocolate protein bars are a great addition to any busy lifestyle. They will give you the protein you need to build muscle mass and the energy you need to push through your busy day at work or home.
With fantastic flavors, including mint chocolate, maple waffle, chocolate caramel, and chocolate chip cookie dough, it is no wonder why customers are praising the soft texture and realistic flavor. However, while some customers love the taste of these caramel treats, others report that a change in the recipe’s fiber means many people are experiencing stomach issues, meaning this may not be the bar for you if you have a sensitive stomach.
FITCRUNCH Protein Bar
- Low in sugar
- 6 layers
- High-quality protein blend
- Created by celebrity chef Robert Irvine
Fitcrunch protein snacks have been crafted with you in mind. Their ethos has been to create a collection of whey protein snacks that fits into your non-stop lifestyle and don’t compromise on great taste. With popular chef Robert Irvine behind the recipe of each snack, these treats have been created to provide a boost of energy with their high-quality whey protein content of 30 grams. All of their bars also provide a burst of your favorite flavors, including the childhood classic peanut butter chocolate and cream brownie sweetness.
Famously known to be one of the only 6-layer protein bars, this protein source is definitely one that offers more in regards to texture and taste than other brands. You don’t need to feel guilty when eating this candy bar style snack thanks to its low sugar content of 6 grams. With this protein bar, your body will be fueled for the whole day!
think! (thinkThin) High Protein Bar
- Zero sugar
- No artificial sweeteners
- Free from gluten
Think! snacks have been made to support a healthy diet and clean eating, with no artificial sweeteners or genetically modified ingredients. This is a protein bar that you can trust to serve your body right with its organic-based ingredients. Packed with 20-grams of protein from a blend of whey and soy proteins, you will be able to power your workouts and your day effectively with a Think! bar.
Delicious flavors, including Creamy Peanut Butter, Coconut Cake, and White Chocolate, make up some of their collection to satisfy your sweet tooth and curb those cravings. Customers love that there is zero sugar in these bars, and they praise the tasty flavors. Lemon being a zesty favorite and Maple, offering a "rich" flavor. Another popular option from this brand is the White chocolate, which offers just the right level of sweetness without too much carb.
BSN Protein Crisp Bar
- Customers love the flavors
- Low in sugar
- Ideal for bulking up
- Natural sweeteners
Our next recommendation is the popular BSN protein bar, which is free from gluten. Its recipe contains 20-grams of protein, including whey protein isolate and concentrate, as well as milk protein concentrate. This delicious combination of nutrients and flavors is gluten-free, with only 4 grams of sugar and 240 calories in each bar.
These protein snack bars are light, crispy, and ultra-convenient. They are best for someone looking to bulk up, improve muscle growth, and recovery time. Users love the flavors this bar offers them, with Chocolate Crunch being a popular choice, along with Candy Cane. This is a great flavored snack bar that features natural sweeteners and extracts.
CLIF BUILDERS Protein Bar
- Low glycemic index
- Contains essential amino acids
If you are looking for a bar that can get you through the day, replace a meal, and assist your muscle growth, this is the snack you’re looking for. Made with 20-grams of soy protein, and essential amino acids that can help your body recover from a hard workout and sustain your energy levels. CLIF bars offer a great range of flavor options, including Cinnamon Nut Swirl, Mint Chocolate, and Chocolate Peanut Butter, to combat unhealthy cravings.
It is important to note that some of these bars can have calories up to 280 per bar, based on their flavors, meaning they may not be ideal for those on a calorie-restricted diet. However, despite this spike in calories, these bars have a low glycemic index, meaning they digest slowly, so your energy is prolonged. In addition, these tasty bars are free from genetically modified ingredients and are gluten-free.
Pure Protein Bar
- High in protein
- Low in sugar
- Great range of flavors
The next recommended protein bar comes in the form of this Pure Protein bar; with 20g of protein and gluten-free, the customers love the taste, saying it isn’t too sweet. In this variety pack, you can pick from Chocolate Salted Caramel, Chocolate Deluxe, and Chocolate Peanut Butter, for a guilt-free treat to satisfy any craving!
Pure Protein also offers other flavor variations, including Birthday Cake. With around 190 calories to 200 calories in each bar, this snack is perfect for mums on-the-go who need a boost of energy and fitness fanatics trying to bulk up. These snack bars do contain sweeteners to provide their great taste, including vanilla extract. This makes them satisfying without the guilt!
KIND Protein Bars
- Wholesome ingredients
- Low glycemic
- 0-grams of trans fat
KIND is a revolutionary brand that emphasizes the need to be ‘kind’ to your body and care about the ingredients you feed it. The KIND protein bars have been designed with 12 grams of soy protein and succulent dark chocolate and whole almond nuts to stop your cravings in their path. Each bar has a low glycemic index and is a great source of fiber, meaning you will feel energized for longer and be able to tackle whatever life throws at you.
While this bar is gluten-free and has no genetically modified ingredients, it only has 12-grams of protein, meaning it isn't the best option on the market for those looking to bulk up and increase muscle mass. Instead, this KIND bar is best for people who live busy lives and need a quick, convenient boost of energy so they can feel fit and prepared for anything throughout the day.
RXBAR Chocolate Sea Salt Protein Bar
- Real ingredients
- No added sugar
If you're looking for a transparent, honest company, RXBAR is best for you! Keeping it simple, RXBAR list their ingredients on the front of the packaging, so you know exactly what is going into your body. Their Chocolate Sea Salt bar is a perfect example of the real ingredients content they use with chocolate for flavor, egg whites to form the protein, dates to bind the mixture together, and a collection of nuts to add a distinctive texture.
This combination is loved by customers, especially with the 5-grams of fiber and 12-grams of protein, which makes a gluten-free recipe. RXBAR offer a huge range of wholesome ingredients and flavors including, Coconut Chocolate and Mixed Berry. These bars are best for anyone who needs a quick surge of energy to keep their busy day going or simply to be enjoyed as a guilt-free snack.
- No artificial colors
- No high-fructose corn syrup
Luna bars are another popular protein bar in the industry, known for their plant-based soy protein content, low-glycemic index, and gluten-free recipe. These bars are great for a range of people due to their delicious taste and various health benefits. They rely on natural ingredients like sunflower seeds to provide a sweet flavor that won't ruin your diet.
Luna customers love the lemon and chocolate chip flavors the most, thanks to the use of natural sweeteners that feature low calories. These snack bars are a great option for anyone looking to stay away from artificial ingredients. Try one of twelve flavors for a vegan treat you’ll love - Luna bars will give you the boost you need.
MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars
- Meal replacement
- Contains vitamins and minerals
- No artificial colors or flavors
MET-Rx bars can power any workout, providing you with essential nutrition to get you through your day and workout. With one of these meal replacement bars, you will get up to 32-grams of protein to fuel your muscle growth, recovery, and to sustain your energy levels for longer.
Users of this protein snack bar describe the variety of flavors as "sensational," but it is important to know that this recipe does contain high amounts of sugar. This is why they have such a satisfying flavor and are more guilt-free than your standard candy bar. The high content of protein makes these an effective supplement to your workout and gym routine.
Best Protein Bars Buyer's Guide
Anyone who has tried a protein bar before knows that once you find a good one, you stick with it as it'll become a staple in your pantry. The market is full of great bars that can supply your body with the nutrition its needs; whether you're after a boost of protein, energy, or vitamins, there will be a bar out there that meets your requirements.
Tons of flavors flood the market, including your classic candy bar favorites such as: dark chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter. We have created this buyer's guide to aid your search and break down what factors you need to be looking out for in order to find the best tasting protein bars.
Which is the Best Protein Bar?
The best protein snack bar needs to be effective, meaning if you buy a bar that is designed to assist your workouts, then it needs to have a high protein content to do that. Effectiveness can also depend on what your goals are; for example, if you want a bar to grow muscle and buy a snack with less than 10-grams of protein, it won’t provide your body with the needed nutrition to grow your muscles.
You may have seen some brands advertising their protein snacks as having a “low glycemic index.” This can be vital to the effectiveness of a meal replacement bar as it means your body will digest the food slowly, which will prolong your energy levels compared to the alternative bars.
In addition to the effectiveness of these candy alternatives, it is important to note that while some snacks might taste great, the calories may be very high. We advise looking for a snack that is about 190 calories to 200 calories as a maximum intake.
Sweeteners – Artificial vs. Natural
With any protein bar, the taste can be a huge factor in its success. To sweeten a protein bar, manufacturers will use either artificial or natural sweeteners; while both come with pros and cons, it is important to know how these can affect your body and which sweetener is best for you.
A common example of an artificial sweetener is Sucralose, which is found in many foods nowadays and in some of the best protein bars on our list. Popular for a reason, this sugar substitute has zero calories making it a desirable option for many companies who want to make a healthier alternative. However, as with any artificial product, there is some controversy around the use of artificial sweeteners and how it can harm us.
The FDA has approved 5 artificial sweeteners, including: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and Sucralose. The FDA ruled out cancer for the most part, but it is highly debated that these sweeteners are causing our bodies harm. With this in mind, it is a personal choice to consume these and there is no definite conclusion about the harm they can have.
Alternatively, natural sweeteners, such as: agave nectar, date sugar, maple syrup, and many more, are considered to be a safer option overall. Some foods, such as whole fruits, are highly nutritious with high fiber and a low glycemic index.
It is worth noting that large quantities of concentrated sugar can have a negative effect on the body, no matter what type of sugar it is.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Healthiest Protein bar on the Market?
As a guideline, the best tasting protein bar will be full of natural, whole ingredients and will avoid the use of artificial additions. Alongside this, it is important to keep the sugar and sugar alcohols to a minimum too.
If you're on a keto diet, you may be wondering how many calories is considered perfect. We suggest that any protein bar with 190 calories to 200 calories is a good amount, any less is a bonus!
Are Oatmega Protein Bars Healthy?
Oatmega bars are a good option for anyone looking to increase their protein by a small margin. However, primarily these bars are best for keeping energy levels up and to keep you powering through your day. These are a great option if you’re conscious about health implications; they don’t contain artificial sweeteners, but do include 14-grams of premium whey protein, 5 grams of sugar, and Omega-3 to fuel your brain and body.
What's more, aside from great nutritional value these bars come in some delicious flavors such as chocolate coconut and mint chocolate. They taste just like your favorite candy bars and will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth!