Are Protein Bars Good For You
Not all protein bars are good for you. The best protein bars provide a balance of protein, carbs, fiber, fat and other nutrients. In addition to being a convenient protein source, the benefits of protein bars include raised energy levels, increased calorie burning and decreased appetite. In combination with exercise and other healthy habits, eating protein bars can increase lean mass, power and strength.
Nutritionists dont recommendmore than oneprotein bar per day
Athletes often use protein bars to recover after an intense workout. Others eat protein bars to help stabilize blood sugar and reduce blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Protein is especially important for menopausal women because it works with calcium to increase bone strength.
Protein is an essential macronutrient everyone needs in their diet. All proteins break down into amino acids. Animal protein sources include meat, eggs and dairy, and plant proteins sources include nuts, beans and lentils. Plant-based proteins are considered to be incomplete proteins because they lack some essential amino acids, but complementary plant-based proteins can be eaten together to form complete proteins. Foods rich in animal proteins also often contain vitamins B12 and D, plus omega-3 fat, heme-iron and zinc. People with high plant-protein diets are at lower risk for heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Best For Weight Loss: Primal Kitchen Almond Spice
If you want to lose weight, you’ll want to keep your blood sugar balanced to remove thos dreaded spikes in blood sugar that can leave you hungry. “This bar has 8 grams of protein and minimal sugar, which helps keep blood sugar balanced by preventing a blood sugar spike ,” says King. “This flavor, specially, contains cinnamon. Cinnamon has been shown to improve fasting blood sugar levels, making it a great addition for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, insulin sensitivity, and those with PCOS experiencing blood sugar irregularities.”
Q: Should You Eat Protein Bars Before Or After Workout
A: Theyre great both as pre- and post-workout snacks as they provide energy to help power your performance and refuel and replenish your body after exertion. They are also a convenient snack to keep in your work or gym bag for when you are on the go and struggling to sit down for a quality, balanced meal.
You May Like: No Added Sugar Protein Bars
What Makes A Healthy Protein Bar
There are many different areas I looked at while looking into protein bars. After evaluating over 40 different brands, I found there were a few things that made a bar worthy of my approval. Here are some of the factors I considered:
Protein Content. Protein tends to be the hardest macronutrient for us to get in our diet because it requires preparation. For that reason I included bars that had a minimum of 12g of protein or more.
Ingredient Quality. This meant that the bar wasnt just a load of fillers but also had some nutrient dense foods like nuts, seeds, whey protein, etc. I tried to avoid bars with any artificial sugar or ingredients.
Added Sugar. This one is a bit tricky as sugar can be a really easy way for athletes to fuel their workout and isnt always a bad thing. For this, I tried to be mindful of overall health and not just the athlete in mind so we are looking at bars with 15g or less. I also did not intentionally exclude any bars that contained sugar alcohols but just know some people cannot tolerate these well as they may lead to digestive distress.
Taste & Available Flavors. Just because something is healthy doesnt mean it tastes good and vice versa. I narrowed down the bars that had decent nutrition content but then ALSO tasted good. Remember taste is relative so you may need to dig into a few options to figure out which ones taste best to you.
The Best Protein Bars We Tried
Misfits focuses on producing protein snacks, protein powders and dietary supplements that are 100% vegan and planet-friendly. Packaging is also sustainable.
Misfits protein bars come in 11 different flavors and boast a great nutritional value. A single serving contains nearly 5mg of iron and 30mg of calcium , as well as 12g of chicory root and beet fiber, both known for their great prebiotic properties. Taste wise, they are outstanding, and our favorite of all the protein bars we’ve tried. The chocolate brownie flavor in particular is deliciously rich, and so moreish it’s hard to restrict ourselves to just one. The new mint choc chip flavor is also a must-try â even members of our team who arenât keen on mint chocolate were won over.
Misfits bars could be a great choice for those who want to lose weight too. Not only are they low in calories and sugar, they are enriched with green tea extract, which may promote fat burning and aid weight maintenance, according to one Cochrane review . Though relatively small in size, each protein bar provides a 15g dose of pea and soy protein. The only downside to Misfits bars is the relatively high price tag. Also, many may not like the fact that theyâre sweetened with xylitol and stevia, which can give a bit of a bitter aftertaste.
Frustratingly, itâs worth noting that Grenade bars are not suitable for vegetarians as they contain hydrolysed beef gelatine.
Also Check: Why Does The Body Need Protein
Best Protein Bars To Buy
With so many protein bars on the market today, it can be difficult to actually decide on which one is best for our gains. A saturated market can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it can be daunting to constantly look through shelf after shelf in stores, or pages and pages on the Internet, to find the right bar. However, it can be also be helpful in that with so many choices the right protein bar is out there for you.
Weve put together two of the top protein bars so you can get started right away with two amazing products. Both companies are reputable and both bars taste fantastic while still providing great benefits.
Best Protein Bar For Bodybuilding: Transparent Labs UNCUT High Protein Energy Bars
Transparent Labs UNCUT High Protein Energy Bars are delicious and nutritious for all of those health and fitness needs. A 2:1:1 ratio of carbs, protein, and fats ensures you have plenty of fuel to power those workouts and daily activities. Made with real food ingredients, there are no artificial sweeteners, colorings, or preservatives to ruin the quality of this bar. Great flavors and quality care ensure all of your needs are taken care of with these protein bars.
- Made with real food ingredients
- From a reputable company in Transparent Labs
- Only available on their website
- Tend to be a bit dry
Price: $29.99/12 Bars
Best Protein Bar For Muscle Gain: Jacked Factory Authentic Bars
- Comparable to less expensive bars
Price: $29.99/12 Bars
Peanut Butter And Jelly
Taste Rating: 7/10
Ingredients: Protein Blend , Soluble Corn Fiber , Peanuts, Almonds, Water, Natural Flavours, Erythritol, Palm Oil, Sea Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Sucralose, Steviol Glycosides .
The best way to describe PB & J is that it is another experiment by Quest. They have tried to produced something that retains the nutty taste of peanut butter, the slight taste of salt and butter in it by giving it a treat of jelly. Now, not everybody is a fan of jelly. For those who dont like jelly, it might be best to try another flavour. But if you like both jelly and peanut butter, its for you. Keep these in the refrigerator for a few hours and then try them youll have the most delicious peanut butter and jelly combination ever.
You May Like: High Protein Low-calorie Foods
Zing Almond Blueberry Nutrition Bar
Best: Full of antioxidants, gluten-free, and full of belly fat-blasting resveratrol, Zing’s Almond Blueberry Nutrition Bar is one on-the-go snack you can feel good about. Add in the 11 grams of protein in each bar and you’re looking at a healthy snack neither your brain or your belly will regret the next day.
Best Vegan Protein Bar: Gomacro Macrobar
Blended with almond butter, coconut milk and plant-based protein, GoMacro MacroBars are made entirely from vegan-friendly plant sources. They use a protein blend made out of sprouted brown rice and pea proteins, and each bar contains around 11 grams of protein, making it a great snack or quick source of energy.
GoMacro bars are soft and chewy and available in 14 flavors, including Cashew Caramel, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, and Dark Chocolate and Almonds, among others. Accommodating numerous dietary needs, including dairy-free and low FODMAP, GoMacro MacroBars use high sourcing standards to guarantee their bars are organic and full of whole ingredients. While these energy bars have a lot of carbohydrates, you can rest assured that the carbohydrates come from clean sources, since these bars are USDA certified organic. Plus, all 12-pack purchases come in compostable trays, so theyre good for the earth as well.
Read Also: Premier Protein Strawberries And Cream
Here Are The Best Protein Bars For Women Who Want To Lose Weight:
- Best overall for women: Tropeaka Protein Energy Bars
- Curb your sweet tooth: Justins Dark Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Bar
- Outdoor workouts: CLIF Bars
- Low calorie snacking: Alani Nu Fit Snacks Bars
- Budget-friendly: No Cow Protein Bars
- Breakfast replacement: Protein Coffee Energy Bars
It should be noted that we are of course biased in our view, but we want to highlight in this article why you wont go wrong with the Tropeaka Protein Energy Bar and why its loved by tens of thousands of people around the world.
Let’s take an in-depth look at each and compare their ingredients, key features, flavors, affordability, and more so you can find the best protein bar for you.
Quaker Protein Baked Bars Peanut Butter Chocolate
Worst: This bar’s oatmeal base may make it seem like a good option, but its health benefits are undeniably dampened by the intense amount of sugar it contains, with 13 grams per bar. This granola bar also contains xanthan gum, an additive that has been shown to increase the water in the intestines of animals by 400%, potentially leading to bloating. To relieve the discomfort this bar may cause, turn to the 40 Foods That Beat Belly Bloat!
Recommended Reading: Can Protein Shakes Make You Lose Weight
Q: Can Protein Bars Make You Gain Weight
A: If consumed in moderation, i.e. as pre- or post-workout snacks, protein bars cannot make you gain weight in fact, they may help you lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight and body composition. This is because theyre rich in protein which is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass, as well as helpful for making you feel full and satisfied. However, like any other food eaten in excess, protein bars can contribute to weight gain.
Meet The Treats: Alohas Protein Bars
Allow me to introduce the ALOHA Protein Bar Lineup, ordered from my most favorite flavors to my least:
Peanut Butter Chocolate ChipOkay. For anyone who has had the soul-crushing experience of biting into the offensively-flavored cardboard that is the common protein bar , its entirely fair if youre approaching this review with a healthy amount of skepticism. However, ALOHAs Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip is the real, all-natural deal.I was genuinely surprised that this not only tasted like a snack Id want to eat, but also felt satisfyingly indulgent like chewing on a soft-baked cookie or brownie, rather than the chalky, gritty, power-bar texture we all know and dread. This bar was such a departure from the norm, and it deserves to be in a league of its own.Sure, its incredibly healthy, but perhaps for the first time in protein-bar history, that wont be why you want to eat it. It just tastes great, and thats more than enough to keep me hooked. Light, punchy, salty peanut butter, rolled in rich, smooth chocolate You just cant go wrong with a classic combination like that.
Don’t Miss: Why Would You Have Protein In Your Urine
Ginnybakes Health Bar Love And Nuts
Best: Keeping it simple has enabled Ginnybakes to create a nutrition bar that’s as healthy as it is delicious. Coconut, dates, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and agave nectar combine to create a satisfying snack that doesn’t have to rely on artificial ingredients for its great taste.
How We Test Protein Bars At Live Science
All of the protein bars in this guide have been tried and tested by the Live Science team. Firstly, we looked at the ingredients list and nutritional values, to judge who the bars would be suitable for in terms of health goals and dietary requirements, as well as any artificial ingredients or nasties. We then judged the taste and texture, including only products that passed out taste tests. We also looked at the size of the bar in terms of its value for money.
Don’t Miss: Best Protein Shakes For Diabetics
Who Shouldnt Take Protein Supplements
Children shouldnt take protein supplements unless directed by a dietitian. The NHS advises that consuming too much protein in the long term is linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, and may worsen existing kidney problems. Some people find protein bars difficult to digest its best to include them gradually into your diet, and see how you get on. Although allergens should be stated on the label, anyone with allergies should be cautious about using a new supplement, as there is an obvious risk of cross-contamination in factories. Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or being treated for existing medical conditions should consult their GP before starting new supplements.
The Aloha Way: Protein Gets Personal
Not to be deterred by my own biased tastebuds, I turned instead to ALOHAs vibrant, welcoming, and creative community of fans. And while I enjoyed my experience with ALOHAs products, this, to be completely honest, was where I truly fell in love with ALOHAs brand.Not only does ALOHA encourage a healthier lifestyle, it does so without being prescriptive. You dont have to be vegan to enjoy the brands vegan products, and you dont have to say no to your other cravings and vices to enjoy the benefits of a healthy snack. ALOHA is all about finding whats best for you and discovering new, natural ways to fuel your personal wellness journey.From fan-developed recipes to the brands own flavor-pairing recommendations, ALOHAs collection of versatile protein products invites customers to find new, exciting, and creative ways to enjoy all that the brand has to offer. In the spirit of this concept, I developed a recipe of my own, using one of my least favorite bars from this review to create a simple, healthy, crave-worthy breakfast that might just be my new go-to.Check out my next review for a closer look at ALOHAs protein drinks, and discover my recipe for ALOHA Salted Caramel Apple Oatmeal!
Read Also: Easy Ways To Add Protein
The Nutritional Criteria For Protein Bars Explained By Our Experts
When selecting a protein bar, its important you know your needs, first and foremost. Is this a snack? Is this a potential meal replacement given your lifestyle?
I try to make sure it contains about 180-250 calories per serving, at least 10 grams of protein and minimum 4 grams of fiber, Maeng notes. I also look at the net carb and look for products that have 15 grams or less of net carb to minimize blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can impact their energy levels as they go about their day.
On the same token, carbohydrate plays an important role in muscle building and repairing so you shouldnt just look for low carb protein bars. Try to look for bars that use carbohydrates that are higher in fiber such as dates, seeds, whole grains, and nuts, Maeng adds.
Q: Can Protein Bars Replace Meals
A: Protein bars that are rich in protein and fiber can indeed be eaten in place of a proper meal from time to time. Theyre great to have on hand on busy days and when youre hiking as they can provide you with a burst of needed energy, plus help satisfy your sweet tooth. However, nothing can replace a full, healthy meal that, aside from all the macros, also contains other nutrients your body needs, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The same can be said for protein shakes which are designed to complement a healthy diet, not replace meals.
Recommended Reading: Protein Hair Treatment For Black Hair
Health Warrior Superfood Protein Bar Honey Almond
Best: A soy-free formula packed with healthy sources of fiber, protein, and fat, like chia seeds, peas, quinoa, oats, and almonds, this tasty bar is one you can feel good about eating. Perhaps the best thing about Health Warrior’s formula is that it eschews both sugar and artificial sweeteners, opting for just honey and brown rice syrup to keep it sweet.
The Best Protein Bars
Our favourite flavour: Chocolate brownie
Most whey bars try for a fluffy or chewy centre and dont quite pull it off, making them at best a functional snack you eat for the protein rather than the enjoyment. Optimum Nutrition instead goes for a body of crispy rice puffs on a chocolate base and the result is aces. Its not the honey-sweet Rice Krispie bar you are probably hoping for, but its become our go-to when stomach rumbles strike in the afternoon.
The fine details: Theres a solid 20g dose of protein and just 1.8g of sugar, plus 16g of carbs, which is no bad thing if youre planning on cycling home from work later. However, theres a fair whack of saturated fats 5.3g, about a quarter of your recommended daily limit.
Our favourite bar: Eroica
This is an excellent all-round protein bar, especially for endurance athletes or anyone not especially worried about their carb and sugar intake. Its one of the only bars that comes close to being as delicious as Velofortes Forza bar, since its also made from natural ingredients like nuts and candied peels, and it contains more protein at 20g per double-bar pack. However, its expensive those all-natural bars go easier on your stomach than they do on your wallet.
Our Favourite Bar: Double Dark Choc Nut
Our favourite bar: Forza
Our favourite bar: Chocolate chip salted caramel
Our favourite bar: Chocolate
Our favourite bar: Brilliant Birthday Cake
Our favourite bar: Chocolate caramel
Our favourite bar: Hazelnut & Nougat
Read Also: Best Whey Isolate Protein Powder