Best For Fiber: Exo Bar Chocolate Fudge Brownie
It might remind you of Fear Factor, but eating insects is the next big thing. And did we mention that they pack a nutritional wallop? In terms of high-protein snacks, crickets have about as much protein as chicken breast but with three times the calcium. And in this bar, they provide a big chunk of the protein in this bar.
Looking For The Best Protein Bars
Theres no question that protein is an essential part of a healthy diet: Research suggests that protein keeps you feeling full, helps muscle recovery after a workout, can contribute to weight loss, and may even lower blood pressure. A recent study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, found that replacing the calories in refined carbs with a daily 40-gram supplement of milk or soy protein lowered blood pressure modestly. All these benefits help explain why protein bars have become a diet staple in the United States.
Protein bars are a type of nutritional supplement that comes in a variety of brands and flavors chocolate, dark chocolate, almond, vanilla, peanut butter and chocolate, oatmeal, and more. Many protein bars have a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, making them a nice choice for a snack or postworkout recovery boost. Some protein bars are higher in sugar while others use sugar alcohols.
Similarly, Ericka Stachura, RD, of Boston, recommends dieters watch the sugar, protein, and fiber in protein bars. For a snack, look for protein bars with 200 calories or less, she says. For an on-the-go meal replacement, look for bars that have 200 calories or more. Serious athletes who want a postworkout recovery protein bar should look for bars with about 20 grams of protein. Its also a good idea to look for a short ingredients list to ensure your bar is minimally processed.
How To Make Healthy Protein Bars Step By Step Instructions
TIP: The mixture should be sticky enough that it binds together, but not so sticky that it becomes gooey. Add one tablespoon of additional almond milk at a time if you feel that mixture requires more moisture or a bit more oatmeal if its too sticky.
Keep scrolling to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full homemade protein bar recipe!
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The Best Vegan Protein Bar: Aloha
Protein source: Brown rice, pumpkin seed
Nutrition info: 230 cal, 14g protein, 10g fat, 26g total carb
Truthfully, itd be hard to pick an unwrapped peanut butter dark chocolate chip Aloha Bar from a lineup of other similarly flavored protein snack bars: It has a thick and chewy texture and smells faintly artificial. But it is the sole bar on our list that gets its protein source from pumpkin seeds, which are packed full of healthy fats and minerals like magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, and copper. Its also organic, non-GMO, and low sugar, sweetened with tapioca syrup and monk fruit instead of stevia or erythritol. If you like RxBars for their natural ingredients but are trying to stick to a vegan diet, Aloha Bars are a solid alternative .
What Foods Are High In Protein And No Carbs
A protein baror any fast food, reallyis a must-have for anyone whos trying to stick to a diet or just keeps popping their own granola bars. But not all bars are created equal. More and more bars are coming out with claims of high protein content, but a handful is really more protein-lite than they are actually full of protein.
Its unclear exactly how many calories youll get if you choose a bar that boasts a lot of protein and low carbs. Generally speaking, most protein bars include around 12 grams of protein, but more is usually better, especially when it comes to bars that dont have much else going for them. Here, find three types of protein-packed snacks that make for convenient, high-protein road snacks.
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Mens Health Lab Approved
Protein bars stamped with the esteemed Mens Health Lab Approved logo below have been put to the test by our panel of fitness enthusiasts and experts. They tried a variety of protein bars to find those that deliver on both nutrition and flavour.
Following a four-week trial period, testers provided in-depth feedback on taste, aroma, texture, ease of use, ingredients and how the protein bars affected their energy levels and performance in the gym.
The remaining protein bars on our list have been selected by Hope and Hobson, who know what to look for and what to avoid in a pre- or post-workout protein treat.
Here are our top recommendations:
Nutrition per bar: 241kcal, 20g protein, 11g fat, 23g carbs
PHD Smart Bars contains less than 250 calories and are high in protein sourced from milk and soy. The bars are low in sugar but high in saturated fat . Maltitol can cause laxative effect so go easy on these bars.
What Else We Tried
We considered many brands of protein bars while researching this guide, and there are several we almost included. These five are great alternatives that barely missed the cut:
GoMacro MacroBar: There’s a lot to like about the MacroBar: it’s available in 14 different flavors, it relies on plant-based proteins, and has a long list of certifications, including organic, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and more. The business is also owned by a mother-daughter team. It didn’t make our cut because the nutrition numbers are underwhelming 290 calories, 11g fat, 14g sugar, and only 11g protein per bar and there are reports of quality-control issues.
BSN Protein Crisp Bar: I’ve personally tried these and enjoyed them. They pack 20g protein into each bar and only have 230 or 240 calories depending on which of the 11 flavors you choose. There are only 2 to 4g of sugar in each bar but there’s also sucralose, which may not agree with your stomach.
FitJoy Protein Bars: Each FitJoy Protein Bar has 20g protein, which makes it ideal for post-workout snacking. Plus, with 12g fiber, it fills you up. There are four flavors to choose from, including the most popular Grandma’s Lemon Square. On the downside, it’s fairly expensive at $2.50 per bar, and there is a high sugar content: 5g sugar plus 7g sugar alcohol.
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Kind Protein From Real Food
KIND really has taken their products to the next level by making their protein bars with 100% whole grains, gluten-free ingredients, no genetically engineered ingredients, added super grains, and very simple, whole foods. Youll find 12 grams of natural protein, and only 8 grams of natural sugar in each protein bar. I recommend Crunchy Peanut Butter.
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.
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The Most Filling Protein Bar: Quest Protein Bar
Protein source: Whey
Nutrition info: 180 cal, 20g protein, 7g fat, 24g total carb
Quest Bars remind me of the three-course chewing gum from Willy Wonka because they freakishly taste like whatever food theyre trying to imitate. I have sampled almost every Quest Bar flavor, and though Ive had brief obsessions with the chocolate sprinkled doughnut and mint chocolate chunk varieties, I find the double chocolate chunk the most reliable.
Because theyre both high protein and pretty ubiquitousyoud be hard-pressed not to find at least one flavor of Quest Bar at a grocery or convenience storetheyre also the best option for when youre at the airport and want a snack that has a bit more substance than a bag of Cheez-Its. They have more protein per serving than almost any bar on this list, and because more than half of the total carbs are from fiber, theyll keep you full for a long time. They dont have the purest ingredients , but if your vice in life is artificial sweeteners, then theres a lot to love here.
The Best Protein Bars: The Tastiest And Healthiest Options
They aint cheap and can contain more calories and sugar than chocolate bars. Choose wisely with our experts guide and top picks
Protein is so much more convenient these days. Where once gym-goers had to tuck into a couple of rotisserie chickens to refuel their muscles after a hefty workout, they can now mix up a protein shake or, more convenient still, tuck into a protein bar.
These are now widely available, involve zero preparation, and the best protein bars taste good enough to seem like a treat as well as a way to help build muscle. However, there are downsides, mainly involving the diamond-hard texture and artificial flavour of some, and you cant assume all are a healthier snack bar some very much arent.
Frank recommends being sensitive to price as well, because on a cost-per-calorie basis protein bars can be surprisingly expensive. Of course, go too cheap and the taste and especially texture will suffer. Whether or not it can be used as a brick cannot easily be conveyed through the label, says Frank. It will ultimately require some taste testing to find out which ones can break a window when thrown.
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Is A Protein Bar Good For Weight Loss
Youve heard the rumors. Youve seen the headlines. All roads lead to one thing protein bars are the new diet. But should you choose to drink a shake or eat a bar? Why yes, if youre trying to lose weight and are serious about losing weight! But before you buy, there are a few things to consider. Protein bars make great snacks for weight loss because theyre convenient, easy to pack, and low in fat and sugar. The protein in the bars also keeps you full longer, so you wont be tempted to go back for seconds. However, there are two major drawbacks.
The Best Protein Bars For 2022 Are:
- Best overall Grenade carb killa chocolate chip salted caramel, box of 12: £34.20, Grenade.com
- Best dark chocolate Tribe nut butter triple decker Doisy & Dam, box of 12: £22, Wearetribe.co
- Best for cycling Clif Bar white chocolate macadamia nut: £1.75, Ocado.com
- Best vegan protein bar Misfits mint chocolate chip bar, box of 12: £20, Misfits.health
- Best for ultramarathons Tribe raspberry protein flapjack, box of 12: £22, Wearetribe.co
- Best plant-based protein bar Trek Power millionaire shortbread: £1.75, Ocado.com
- Best recovery protein bar Veloforte forza protein bar, box of 12: £29, Sigmasports.com
- Best tasting protein bar My Protein flapjack, box of 12: £18.99, Myprotein.com
- Best crunchy protein bar Beachbar chocolate almond crunch, box of 15: £39.79, Teambeachbody.com
- Best white chocolate Barebells white salty peanut, box of 12: £22.99, Barebells.co.uk
- Best nutty protein bar Kind dark chocolate orange almond bar, box of 12: £15, Kindsnacks.co.uk
- Best flavours Bulk macro munch protein bar, box of 12: £16.24, Bulk.com
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Are Protein Bars Good For Weight Loss
If youre looking to lose weight, even the best protein bars could be both helpful and detrimental. To drop the kilos, you need to burn more calories than youre consuming. Generally speaking, this means youll be eating smaller portions and cutting on the snacks. The majority of protein bars sit at around 200kcal with around 22-25g of protein per hit, which, for some guys, is a significant amount of calories for a single serving of protein. A tin of tuna, a chicken breast, two large eggs or a scoop of protein would provide a similar hit of the muscle-builder with fewer calories.
On the flipside, some protein bars are marketed as meal replacement bars, which can be eaten in place of a full meal, helping you eat fewer calories at mealtimes. It is, of course, down to preference. Whilst protein can aid satiety and leave you feeling fuller for longer, weight loss comes down to overall diet, says Hope.
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.
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Aloha Organic Protein Bar
- Flavors: peanut butter cup, lemon cashew, peanut butter chocolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate espresso protein + caffeine, chocolate mint, coconut chocolate almond, chocolate fudge brownie, vanilla almond crunch, caramel sea salt,
These protein bars are vegan, gluten-free, and organic. Plus, theyre made using a blend of pumpkin seed and brown rice protein.
Aside from providing 14 grams of protein and 610 grams of fiber per serving, ALOHA Protein Bars are relatively high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
Monounsaturated fatty acids can help increase HDL cholesterol and reduce blood sugar and triglyceride levels in those with type 2 diabetes (
Best Overall: Rxbar Chocolate Sea Salt
If you want to feel like you’re eating a decadent salted brownie while meeting all your protein needs, you’ve met your match with an RXBAR. Dubbed a favorite by many of the experts we spoke to, Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian, particularly likes the simplicity of ingredients: “RXBAR does a nice job of making bars out of recognizable ingredients. They are very straightforward on their packaging and tell you that each bar contains dates, nuts, egg whites, and flavors. My personal favorite is the Chocolate Sea Salt, and I find that the 12 grams of protein really keeps me full.”
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Grenade Carb Killa Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Box Of 12
Grenades Carb Killa franchise is well-known and for good reason. Perfect before a spin class or post-strength workout to aid your muscle recovery , this delicious, triple-layered, chocolate-encased bar with salted caramel and soft nougat filling is packed with 20g protein and just 1.4g sugar . Plus, Carb Killa bars are certified with the Informed Sport programme so theyre suitable for use by drug-tested athletes.
Were slowly making our way through all 14 of the epic flavours we really rate the white chocolate, salted peanut and birthday cake flavours but we just keep coming back to the salted caramel. We cant believe something this delicious has hardly any sugar in so if youre looking for a high protein option, this is truly a tough bar to beat.
How To Choose The Right Low Sugar Protein Bar
Here are some factors you should consider before buying a protein bar with low sugar. Also, you should consult a doctor before buying them.
Jenni Hackworth, a nutritionist, says, The less ingredients the bar has, the better it is. Look for protein bars with natural whole foods. Also, the less sugar and other carbs, the better it is. You may check the label of the bar to decide which is the best for you.
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