So what is a protein Bar exactly?

It seems everyone and their brother are making protein bars not to mention all the ones that you are making at home for yourselves (and lets be honest; those are the best protein bars, right?)

The Best Protein Bars Guide

Picture
Name
Protein
Carbs
Calories
Rating
MET-Rx Big 10032g41g4104
MET-Rx Protein Plus Creamy Peanut Butter Crisp 30g33g3104
Quest Bar Apple Pie20g24g1704.5
QUEST NUTRITION Banana Nut Muffin 20g25g1704.5
Quest Nutrition Mixed Berry Bliss20g22g2004.5
Quest Nutrition Cinnamon Roll20g24g1704
Quest Nutrition Peanut Butter and Jelly20g21g2104

The fact that protein bars are extremely convenient is a godsend for active people who are looking for something to tide them over between workouts and meals.

As long as they are eaten occasionally, they can be beneficial to your fitness goals.

But eat too many of the poor-quality bars, and they might actually sabotage your efforts. Here’s what to look for.

Make sure it’s a protein bar

To be called a “protein” bar, it should have at least 15 grams of protein per bar.

Although carb content is variable, you should choose a bar that is relatively low in carbs to avoid blood and insulin spikes that will hinder your fat-loss efforts.

Energy bars are at the other end of the spectrum: high-carb, low-protein.

Energy bars such as PowerBar or Clif® Bars are useful for intense aerobic exercise that lasts more than an hour.

Meal replacement bars like Balance® Bar, or Nutribar® have a more balanced ratio of carbs, proteins and fats, and usually contain more calories than other types of bars.

Organic and raw bars like Lärabar® provide energy in as natural a method as possible. They are made with whole foods and are devoid of artificial sweeteners and inserted protein, and many consider the to be the best protein bars.

They are, nevertheless, relatively high in sugars and low in protein.

Look at the source of protein

best protein barsMost protein bars will have a “propriety protein blend” as one of the first things listed in the ingredients list.

Choose bars that use high-quality sources of protein, such as hydrolyzed whey, whey isolates and micellar casein.

Whey or soy concentrates are fine but are frequently used as fillers and shouldn’t be listed too high on the ingredients list.

Gelatin (or collagen) is often added to protein bars to improve texture. Since it is a type of protein, it contributes to the total number of grams in the bar.

Check the ingredients and ensure that gelatin and collagen are not listed too high up on the list.

Look at the Carbs

Just because a bar is high in protein doesn’t mean it’s low in carbs.

First off, avoid protein bars that list refined sugars, such as sucrose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and chocolate, as the first or second ingredient. These are no better than candy bars.

To make a protein taste good without using too much refined sugars, manufacturers often add artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols.

Sugar alcohols should be listed along with sugars and dietary fiber under the total carbohydrate listing on the nutrition label.

These are hydrogenated forms of carbohydrate that are colorless and odorless, and give the bar a pleasing moist texture. They are not as sweet as sucrose, have fewer calories and don’t cause tooth decay.

However, they may cause bloating and intestinal discomfort in some people since they are not completely absorbed by the gut.

They do contribute calories and affect blood-sugar levels, so they need to be accounted for by the low-carb dieter.

So what would you like to have in your fitness bars?

Look at the fat

Ever since manufacturers were pressured to remove trans fats from their products, they’ve replaced them with palm oil and palm kernel oil.

Although not all saturated fats are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, palm oil is. Be careful not to consume too much of it.

Benefat® is appearing as a lower-calorie fat replacer in many products.

SALATRIM is approved by the American Dietetic Association and the FDA. It has no known side effects and it does not affect blood-cholesterol levels or absorption of fat-soluble vitamins or other nutrients.

Many of the best protein bars will only have the best fats.

Use caution in choosing a bar

Nutrition bars are not subjected to any quality testing prior to marketing.

In 2001, the supplement-testing group ConsumerLab.com analyzed 30 brands of energy bars and found that 60% failed to meet their labeling claims.

Among the highest failure rates were protein bars (92% failed), often because they were under-reporting the amount of carbs and sodium contained in the bar.

So even if you’re super-skilled in reading nutrition labels and ingredient lists, you may not actually be consuming what you think you’re consuming.

Top 3 Best Protein Bars

Quest Protein Bar


Quest protein bars seemingly are the best by survey. They have multiple flavors and are high in good proteins while still being low calories and sugars. While not completely all natural ingredients are used they are still healthy choice when you are looking for a meal replacement or a snack between meals. In our chart above you can see the info of each of the bars. Many would consider Quest bars to be the best protein bars, but I’ll leave that opinion to you.

 

LARABAR Nutrition Bars


LARABAR is easily one the favorite nutrition bars out there. While Not necessarily a protein bar many people in the workout field swear by this delicious meal supplement. LARABAR is completely natural never using artificial ingredients and many of their bars are gluten free. Personally, I often have a LARABAR as snack or to replace a meal.

Detour Protein Bars


Detour protein bars is another top protein bar in the fitness and bodybuilding arena. These bars jammed-packed with wholesome whey protein isolates which gives you the best source of protein. Most bars only have about 170 calories and have few fillers or artificial ingredients. You should go out get some of these delicious and scrumptious bars that will satisfy all your protein needs.

A Final Word on Protein Bars

The best protein bars can charge the individual with a surge of energy.

Consuming a portion of a protein bar before one’s exercise routine will supply the athlete with an important dose of energy while consumption of the protein bar after the workout will restore depleted glycogen, hence creating energy.

For those who are searching for extra calories, it is especially important to eat only the best bars.

They may serve as a meal replacement when ones’ busy schedule does not permit cooking and eating a large traditional meal.

The best protein bars are delicious and satisfying while not being completely and counter-productively saturated with sugar.