Protein bars are perhaps the easiest and most convenient way to boost your protein intake for the day. This is great for those who play sports, work out regularly, or otherwise live an active and physically strenuous lifestyle. They’re also perfect for simply increasing your protein if you don’t eat meat or struggle to meet your protein requirements due to the time constraints of a busy lifestyle. The best protein bar brands will deliver a load of high quality protein without a ton of sugar or artificial ingredients.
Unfortunately, there are many protein bars out there that, while they may contain an attractive amount of protein, are unhealthy in other ways. Many bars are high in sugar, too high in fat, and contain a lot of artificial ingredients or preservatives. They do tend to taste pretty good, but this comes at the cost of poor nutrition.
The good news is that there are also plenty of protein bar brands that are much more conscious and care about the health of their customers. You just have to pay attention to the ingredients and don’t always trust the advertising. The following brands are some of the best on the market with healthy, natural ingredients, low sugar, and healthy fats.
The Best Protein Bar Brands
1. RX Bar
The RX Protein Bars are some of the cleanest on the market with only a small handful of healthy, natural ingredients. They have many flavors to choose from and all of them have a similar list of ingredients – three egg whites, a few nuts, and a date or two. That’s it – they’re simple, sweet, healthy, and full of protein!
Available flavors include mint chocolate, chocolate chip, banana walnut, peanut butter, vanilla almond, chocolate raspberry, and more. These bars are gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher-friendly! The bars have around 210 calories, nine grams of fat, 23 grams of carbs, five grams of fiber, 12 grams of protein, and 15 grams of sugar – but zero added sugar! This is one example – exact ratios may differ based on the flavor you choose.
These protein bars are a great snack or a partial meal replacement and they’ll give you a great little boost of energy! If you want a smaller little snack, they also have mini protein bars that are about half the size and offer six grams of protein each. These are great to throw in your bag before leaving the house or leave at work for a quick pick-me-up.
KIND has an amazing collection of simple and healthy snacks to help get you through the day. Their protein bars in particular are made from things like nuts, peanut butter, honey, some oils, and just a few other things. They offer 12 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs, six grams of fiber, and 18 grams of fat – most of which are healthy fats from nuts and oils.
Their flavors of protein bars include crunchy peanut butter, dark chocolate nut, almond butter dark chocolate, and caramel nut. You can also get a special online-only variety pack with the peanut butter, almond butter, and dark chocolate nut flavors in a box together. The bars in this box are also 25% bigger so you have a little more to enjoy.
Beyond protein bars though, they have so many great snack bars to choose from with varying flavors and benefits. Some are lower in protein but contain more fiber or vitamins, and some are made with yummy dried fruits in addition to their signature nuts. They also have different sizes, with the full-sized bars working as a more filling meal replacement and the minis being the perfect on-the-go healthy snack.
Bulletproof offers an amazing collection of products with a little of everything, from protein bars, to specialty coffee, to a strong and healthy greens supplement. Their main focus is on providing clean, healthy products for those who have chosen the keto lifestyle. Keto is a unique dieting choice with many benefits, but it’s not always easy. Bulletproof helps with that.
Their special collagen protein bar offers seven grams of protein and is only 160 calories. It has 12 grams of fat, only one gram of sugar, and an impressive eight grams of fiber per bar. They also contain only three grams of net carbs, making it the perfect high-protein, keto-friendly snack.
Other delicious and keto-friendly products include healthy chocolate bars, plenty of powerful and effective supplements, their signature Bulletproof coffee, and even a canned cold brew! Their coffee options also include pre-ground, whole bean, pods, and a selection of creamers and other mix-ins. Bulletproof is truly a one-stop-shop for all things keto.
Mosh protein bars are not only healthy, clean, and protein-rich but they’re made specifically with brain health in mind. Every single ingredient was thought-out and recommended by doctors and nutritionists to improve and support brain health in addition to proper nutrition. These ingredients include things like lion’s mane and ashwagandha, two things well-known to be good for the brain.
The bars are 180 calories with 12 grams of protein, no added sugars, four grams of fiber, and three grams of net carbs – making them keto-friendly as well! They also contain 100% of your daily recommended vitamin B12 content.
This is huge, especially for vegetarians and vegans as B12 is the toughest nutrient needed to meet without using animal products. It’s entirely possible of course, but you need to make a conscious effort and these bars are a tasty way to keep it up.
These bars are filling enough to serve as a great breakfast, especially on the go during your busy morning. They also work well as part of your workout recovery regime, or even just a quick snack that’s easy and quick to pack.
Aloha makes a fantastic plant-based protein powder, so it’s no surprise that this translates well into a great-tasting, healthy protein bar. The bars are entirely USDA certified organic, vegan, clean, gluten-free, and contain no artificial ingredients.
They have a ton of great flavors to choose from, including caramel sea salt, vanilla almond, chocolate fudge, peanut butter, and more.
The popular chocolate peanut butter flavor contains 240 calories, ten grams of fiber, only five grams of sugar, and an impressive 14 grams of protein. The ingredients list is short and sweet, with organic peanuts being first on the list, followed by an organic protein blend, organic chocolate chips, and a few other things.
Their other protein products include mini protein bars, protein drinks, and a great selection of protein powders. All are equally well-made, good-quality, delicious, and perfectly plant-based.
How To Choose A Great Protein Bar
While this list offers some of the best brands on the market in terms of both flavor and health, they’re far from the only ones out there. You’ll find plenty of great options, but you’ll, unfortunately, see some terrible ones as well. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell the difference when companies use tricky marketing and lots of buzz words.
This is why it’s important to pay attention to ingredient lists and not just flavors and what the package says. You must also consider your personal preferences and needs. Beyond favorite flavors, what are you going to use the protein bar for? Are you looking for a meal replacement, post-workout recovery, a healthy snack, or something else?
Meal replacement bars will often have more protein and more filling ingredients than a smaller bar meant to be a quick snack. Their differences don’t mean one is better than the other, it just comes down to what you want!
Follow these general dos and don’ts when choosing a protein bar to ensure you’re not only getting the most value for your money but ingesting something that’s truly good for you:
- The protein itself. Look for at least seven to ten grams of protein to consider it a protein bar, and pay attention to the source. Whey is a good all-rounder, while pea and brown rice are good vegan sources.
- Carbs. Don’t go overboard on the carbs – try to aim for 20 grams or less. A good keto-friendly bar should have five grams of net carbs or less.
- Fiber. Ideally, your protein bar will also contain fiber to help you feel full for longer. You want to look for at least three grams per bar.
- Sugar. Many protein bars contain more sugar than you think, especially if they’re available in all kinds of sweet flavors. Always check for sugar content and definitely don’t buy if sugar is a main ingredient.
Don’t Overdo It
Protein is not only necessary for the body but it’s a fantastic tool used to build and maintain muscle mass and strength. That said – you can always have too much of even a good thing! High-protein bars are a convenient way to increase your protein intake, but it’s also possible to have too much!
More protein than necessary will end up being quite hard on your body, especially the kidneys. Excess protein that your body doesn’t use can also end up turning into fat in your body, which is counterproductive to the healthy diet protein bars are so often added to.