Protein bars are a healthy snack, no doubt. But how do you choose which is best for you? Would you prefer a plant-based one or one with minimum sugar? Would you go by a unique flavor, or by a familiar one? These are the questions that can send you down a rabbit hole when trying to decide which bar to pick off the supermarket shelf. Look no further, here are the top 12 protein bars in the market today. We have elaborated on what works and what doesn’t work for each bar so that you don’t have to.
1. Quest Protein Bar
Quest protein bars are available in some unique flavors such as Chocolate sprinkled doughnut and Maple waffle protein. They are adorable to look at, and taste like a real treat. The fact that these bars have almost 21g of protein packed in a single bar, makes it a winner. And guess what, there is no catch to it – these are one of the tastiest snacks out there.
There are about 19 different flavors. For chocolate lovers, Quest has a generous number of options, like Caramel chocolate chunk, White chocolate raspberry, mint chocolate chunk, and many more. The good news is that each bar has less than 2g of sugar. Your quest for tasty low-sugar protein bars can end here.
Quest bars have 14g of fiber each. As they say, fiber is key to a healthy bowel, and this bar gives all that and more. They are a tad too expensive than other bars, though.
2. One Protein Bar
This bar has a minimalistic white wrapper with tempting images of butter pecan, a cinnamon roll, or a blueberry cobbler on the wrapper. They are the many flavors that the One bar is available in. In total, the brand offers 17 different ones. Each bar will give you 20g of protein, and around 8g of fiber.
It contains no added sugar but has 5g of sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohol is a healthier alternative to your table sugar. While they taste exactly like sugar, they don’t account for as many calories as sugar does. So altogether, a single bar of One Protein bar will add a total of 220 calories to your diet.
For those who are wary of the high calories, One also offers mini 80-calorie bars in limited flavors. These are packed with 7g of protein each. That apart, they also have a line of One Plant vegan bars that are made with plant-based protein. Whatever be your preference, this bar can be ‘the one’ for you.
3. Kirkland Protein Bar
Kirkland’s protein bars are designed to taste just like a bar of chocolate. But unlike a ‘general’ chocolate bar, this one has a negligible amount of sugar. A natural sweetener like stevia is used to give it a pleasant sweet taste. In comparison with other protein bars, this has a large number of proteins, about 21g per 60g of the product. Even the content of fiber in the bar is quite high compared to other brands.
With this bar, it is one good news after another. Kirkland’s protein bar is just as 6g of fat, and also contains calcium, iron, and potassium. The only downside to this brand is probably the severely limited number of flavors. While other brands would have you spoilt for choice, with Kirkland, you have to decide between chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate brownie.
4. Think Protein Bar
Think high protein bars have an impressive amount of protein in them, about 18 to 20g in each bar (65g serving size). However, it is packed with 250 calories each, which is a little more when compared to other protein bars. To solve this exact issue, the brand also has a low-calorie bar with just 150 calories. The protein blend for these bars comes from a combination of soy, whey, milk among others.
For those who are strictly vegan, the brand offers three vegan options: chocolate mint, peanut butter chocolate chip, and sea salt almond chocolate. Instead of milk protein, these bars use pea, brown rice, and pumpkin proteins.
What more, the brand has even accommodated the interests of kids, with a slightly low-protein version of their bars. These bars are packed with 7g of protein. And the best part is they are tasty, despite having less than 45 percent of sugar than some of the other granola bars in the market. All parents out there, you are welcome.
5. Snickers Hi-Protein Bar
If you love Snickers, you will love this. This bar has all that peanut caramel chocolatey coating that you love a Snickers bar for. The difference is that, with this one you get a protein boost. Each bar would add 20g of whey protein to your diet. These bars have 3g of added sugar, but you will be happy to note that they are not artificial sweeteners but naturally sourced. They have a good amount of fiber, around 8g for every 57g of serving, which ensures good bowel movement.
While this has the familiarity of a good old Snickers bar, what it lacks is a lack of creative flavors. There is really just the one – peanut caramel chocolate flavor. This is surprising because its competitors seem to be unstoppable when it comes to broadening their range of flavors.
6. No Cow Protein Bar
There is often a misconception that vegan and vegetarian diets lack protein. But have one No Cow protein bar a day, and you are guaranteed 20g of protein – all from plant-based sources such as pea and rice protein. Packed in minimalist wrappers, this bar is available in a range of delectable flavors such as lemon meringue pie and mint cacao chip. However, their classic chocolate chip cookie dough protein bar seems to have the maximum reviews from consumers.
This protein bar also has the highest amount of fiber in each, compared to the other bars listed in this article. 16g of fiber per 60g serving is a pretty good amount to consume to ensure a healthy bowel. They taste sweet, but surprisingly have astonishingly low amounts of sugar. Just 1g or so. There is no added sugar, it probably comes from the monk fruit – which is mentioned as an ingredient. It’s an Asian fruit that is believed to be 250 times sweeter than sucrose.
7. Fulfil Protein Bar
We bet that your desire for a tasty snack will be fulfilled with this one. But in this review, we don’t go just by the taste, do we? So let’s break the nutrition of this bar down for our easy understanding. Each bar is relatively smaller than the others. The serving size is just 40g, while other brands are usually in the 50 to 70g range. Coming to the protein content, this bar has 15g of protein per serving. The number is less. However, given the serving size is also small, this is a pretty decent percentage.
There aren’t many flavors to try out, just a limited number of four – all chocolate based ones. They are good, but given the protein bar market is bursting with new and unheard flavors, the lack of choice in this brand, is a downer. Yet another downside is the lack of enough fiber. They have less than 1g per bar, which is dangerously low compared to other brands. Having said that, with each bite you get a ton of vitamins such as Vitamins A, C, E, B6, and B12, apart from Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Calcium, Iron, and Potassium — all good stuff for the body.
8. Aldi Protein Bar
Aldi sells its own protein bars under the brand name Milville. These bars are less expensive and easily accessible in Aldi stores. The bars are relatively small, with a serving size of 40g each. They are the perfect snack size, packing just 190 calories. Each bar has 10g of protein, and 5g of dietary fiber. The fiber content is impressive for the small size of the bar. However, Millville also has a larger size bar called Elevation by Millville. These bars pack 20g of protein per 68g of serving.
The nutrition fact sheet for the bar doesn’t mention if the 3g of sugar per 40g of the bar is added sugar, or naturally sourced, or from the ingredients. The flavors are the classic ones like the dark chocolate peanut butter, or peanut, dark chocolate, and almond. They are chewy and have just enough sweetness.
9. Robert Irvine Fit Crunch Protein Bar
The popularity of this bar rides a lot on the name it is associated with. After all, Robert Irvine is a top celebrity chef with his own shows on Food Network. So if he can tie his name to some protein bar, it must be good right? The brand offers two types of protein bars which differ based on their size, protein content, and calories. The bigger one has a serving size of a whopping 88g, is packed with over 380 calories and 30g of protein. It is a meal by itself. And the fact that they manage to make it taste good with just 6g of sugar is good news. The smaller one has a serving size of 46g and contains 190 to 210 calories and 16g of protein.
The fiber content in these bars is very low, just 1g or so. Each bar, however, has several layers, with different textures and tastes. This makes it a very interesting bar to munch on, after a workout, or as a midday snack break. The brand offers eight different varieties, but chocolate peanut butter seems to be the favorite among consumers.
10. Aloha Protein Bar
This is a vegan protein bar made with brown rice and pumpkin seed protein. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free. Compared to other bars, this has less protein per serving. Only about 14g per 56g. But it includes a whole lot of fiber derived from tapioca. Most brands often use sugar alcohol as an alternative to sugar. While it is definitely healthier than sugar, it might not suit everyone. This bar works especially for those who are allergic to sugar alcohols.
Everything in this bar is organic and clean. The brand offers close to seven flavors such as vanilla almond crunch and chocolate fudge brownie. However, the most popular one seems to be the peanut butter chocolate chip one.
11. RX Protein Bar
This bar presents all its ingredients right up front on its wrapper. It leaves nothing to your assumption. The flavors that these brand offers are also relatively simplistic. Some of them, for example, are simply called Pecan, Mixed Berry, Blueberry, and so on. The ingredients are simple to understand. For example, the Pecan flavor, as mentioned on the cover of the bar, is made of egg whites, cashews, pecans, and dates. And that’s it.
The amount of calories in an Rx protein bar is 210 calories, which is about the same as other bars. However, the protein content per 52g of serving is 12g, which is less in comparison. These bars are sweeter than the other ones and pack nearly 17g of sugar in each bar — though none of it is added sugar, which is good.
12. Clif Builders Protein Bar
This protein bar delivers what it promises, and that is a high content of protein. Clif Builders is a large bar that you should pack when going to your gym. With 20g of protein, it can guarantee to pick your energy levels up. Also, it would be wise to consume this if you have a work-out plan after. Each bar is 290 calories, and has 29g of carbs! The fat content of 11g is also on the higher side.
While it tastes amazingly good, let’s also caution you that there is an excessive amount of sugar in it – around 17g of added sugar per bar. However, it is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, Vitamin E, Phosphorus, and Magnesium.