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Top 10 Protein Bars in 2019

best-protein-bars-for-women-and-men

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In order to help you find a good product we’ve researched & compared the best protein bars on the market right now.

10 Best Protein Bars Compared

1. Quest Nutrition Quest Bars

Quest Nutrition Quest Bars

Quest Bars are simple, effective and healthy nutrition bars made by Quest Nutrition. They use high-quality, bioavailable proteins and fiber-rich carbohydrates to deliver the perfect blend of pre-workout energy and post-workout protein. Their use of quality sources make these bars great for bodybuilders, while their high fiber content make them good for meal-replacement bars as well. Using very few ingredients, Quest Nutrition has developed one of the healthiest protein bars available.

Highlights:

  • Contains 21g protein per bar
  • Uses high quality, bioavailable proteins
  • Uses a blend of whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate
  • Available in 19 delicious flavors
  • Simple, healthy ingredients
  • Excellent source of fiber
  • Aids in post-workout recovery
  • Only 1 gram of sugar per bar
  • Gluten free
  • Natural ingredients
  • Very low net-carbs (non-fiber carbohydrates)
  • Added fiber keeps you feeling full and improves digestion

What’s in it: One bar contains:

  • 21g protein blend, consisting of whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate. This blend of high-quality protein absorbs and digests quickly, giving your body a quick boost of the amino acids needed to build and repair muscles, while milk protein digests slowly for sustained release protein.
  • 17g fiber, to help fill you up and keep your digestion system healthy. Almost all of the carbohydrates in Quest Bars are fiber.

Who makes it: Quest Bars are made by Quest Nutrition, a large manufacturer of health foods and supplements. Quest’s stated mission is to revolutionize food and make clean eating fun. Throughout their many years in the industry, Quest Nutrition has released many innovative, healthy and effective products – but Quest Bars are their most popular product, by far.

Full Breakdown: Quest Bars Review

Where to Get It
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2. Rise Bar Non-GMO

Rise Bar Non Gmo

Rise Bars are available in a variety of different flavors. The original snickerdoodle bar provides 20g protein per bar and is made of only 5 all-natural non-GMO ingredients. These delicious bars contain no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. At 310 calories per serving, these substantial bars are the perfect snack pre or post-workout, or to tide you over between meals.

Highlights:

  • 5 all-natural non-GMO ingredients
  • 20g protein per bar
  • No added sugar
  • Delicious tasting
  • Good value

What’s in it: One bar contains:

  • 20g protein
  • 310 calories
  • 15g fat
  • 24g carbohydrates (15g sugars)
  • 40mg sodium
  • 390g potassium

Who makes it: Rise Bars are made by Rise, a company founded by an athlete who wanted to bring a delicious, all-natural protein bar to the market. Rise uses 3 fundamental ingredients – almonds, honey and whey protein, to create delicious bars that are packed full of energy, protein and goodness.

Where to Get It
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3. MusclePharm Combat Crunch Bars

Musclepharm Combat Crunch Bars

Combat Crunch Bars are high quality, protein-rich nutrition bars made by MusclePharm. Containing 20 grams of high quality protein, very low sugar, and only 210 calories, Combat bars make a great high-protein snack for before, during, or after your workout.

Highlights:

  • 20g protein per bar
  • Uses whey protein isolate for fast protein when you need it
  • Uses milk protein isolate for extended release protein
  • 12g dietary fiber per bar
  • Only 210 calories per bar
  • Only 5g of sugar, 28g carbs and 7g fat
  • Uses high quality MusclePharm protein powders
  • Aids in post-workout recovery
  • Available in 6 delicious flavors
  • Good value for money
  • Simple ingredients

What’s in it: One bar contains:

  • 20g protein blend, consisting of whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate and soy protein isolate. Whey protein absorbs very quickly, giving your body a quick boost of amino acids to fuel muscle growth, while milk protein absorbs over time, giving your muscles a steady stream of protein.
  • 12g dietary fiber to help make you feel more full and aid in digestive health.
  • Very low sugar, calories and fat, Combat Bars contain the protein and fiber you need to perform at your best.

Who makes it: Combat Bars are made by MusclePharm, one of the best-known names in the fitness supplement industry. MusclePharm was founded in 2008, but in their relatively short time in the industry, they’ve grown to become a dominant force in the supplement world. MusclePharm has received a number of prestigious awards and recognitions, and continues to produce high-quality, innovative and affordable products.

Where to Get It
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4. BSN Protein Crisp Bar

Bsn Protein Crisp Bar

BSN’s Protein Crisp Bars are available in 6 delicious flavors. Each bar packs in 20g of top-quality protein, 240 calories and only 2g of sugar. These great-value crispy bars have a light and crunchy texture, making them a great alternative to some of the traditional chewy, dense bars on the market.

Highlights:

  • 20g dairy protein per serving
  • Only 2g sugar per serving
  • Great value
  • Unique crispy texture
  • Available in 6 delicious flavors

What’s in it: One bar contains:

  • 20g protein
  • 230 calories
  • 7g fat
  • 23g carbohydrates (2g sugars)
  • 200mg sodium
  • 160mg calcium
  • 220mg potassium
  • 3mg iron

Who makes it: BSN’s Protein Crisp bars are made by Bioengineered Science and Nutrition (BSN). Founded in 2001, BSN ships to over 90 countries worldwide and BSN products are available in over 40,000 retailers in the US. BSN products have won over 35 sports nutrition awards in the past 6 years, so you can be sure that you’re buying the best.

Where to Get It
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5. EPIC Bar

Epic Bacon Bar

EPIC Bars come in an amazing variety of flavors, from smoked maple bacon, to beef apple bacon. They provide 8g of 100% grass-fed animal protein per bar and are made of high-quality all-natural ingredients. At only 150 calories per bar, you can afford to snack on these delicious treats all day long. If you’re tired of your chocolate and peanut protein bars and want a tastier snack, then EPIC bars are just what you’re looking for.

Highlights:

  • Delicious-tasting bars in a wide variety of luxurious flavors
  • 100% grass-fed animal protein
  • 8g protein per bar
  • 150 calories per bar
  • All-natural ingredients

What’s in it: One bar contains:

  • 8g pure grass-fed animal protein, from uncured bacon and natural pork
  • 150 calories per bar
  • 10g fat per bar
  • 7g carbohydrate per bar
  • 590mg sodium per bar

Who makes it: EPIC bars are made by EPIC, a company dedicated to producing 100% grass-fed met, fruit and nut bars. The guys at EPIC care deeply about the quality and taste of their products. EPIC bars are the gourmet alternative to your regular chocolate and protein bars.

Where to Get It
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6. Optimum Nutrition Protein Crisp

Optimum Nutrition Protein Crisp

Optimum Nutrition’s Protein Crisp bars are a good-value option with a tasty light and crispy texture. Each bar provides 20g protein and only 4g sugar, making these a great snack for any time of day. With Optimum Nutrition’s Protein Crisp bars, every day can feel like cheat day. Their relatively low fat and sugar content make these a great choice for anyone looking to maintain muscle mass while getting lean.

Highlights:

  • 20g protein per serving
  • 4g sugar per serving
  • Great value
  • Tasty crispy texture

What’s in it: One bar contains:

  • 20g protein
  • 7g fat
  • 22g carbohydrates (4g sugars)
  • 140mg calcium
  • 1mg iron
  • 160mg potassium
  • 230 calories

Who makes it: Protein Crisp bars are made by Optimum Nutrition, a brand that prides itself on the standard of its award-winning products. Optimum Nutrition takes as much care in developing its products as you do in sculpting your physique, so you can be sure that it’s a brand you can trust.

Where to Get It
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7. Animal Snak

Animal Snak

Animal Snak bars have the highest protein of all the bars on this list, with 26g of high-quality protein per bar, these snacks are suitable for athletes of all levels. These bars are not a good choice for athletes looking to trim down – each bar packs in 375 calories and 25g of sugar. However, if you are in the mass gain phase and you need plenty of carbs, calories and protein to help you bulk up fast, then this is the perfect option for you.

Highlights:

  • 26g protein per serving
  • Good value
  • Available in 5 great flavors

What’s in it: One bar contains:

  • 26g protein
  • 12g fat
  • 39g carbohydrates (25g sugars)
  • 170mg sodium
  • 370mg potassium
  • 350 calories

Who makes it: Animal Snak bars are made by Animal Nutrition. Founded in 1983, Animal products are made by athletes for athletes. Animal isn’t just a nutritional supplement brand, it’s a lifestyle brand complete with a motivational blog and its own range of sports apparel.

Where to Get It
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8. Pure Protein Bars

Pure Protein Bars

Pure Protein Bars are simple and effective whey protein bars. Available in both small and large sizes, these bars are versatile and can be used as snacks or as full meal replacements bars. With up to 32g of whey protein per bar, they’re a great way to supplement your protein consumption.

Highlights:

  • Up to 32g protein per bar (large size bars)
  • Large and small bar sizes available
  • Uses whey protein hydrolysate and whey protein isolate as primary sources
  • Convenient source of protein on the go
  • Many flavors available
  • Good value for money
  • Added vitamins and minerals

What’s in it: One bar contains (large bar):

  • 32g protein blend, consisting of whey protein hydrolysate, whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and milk protein isolate. This blend delivers both fast-acting and slow-digesting proteins, providing a steady stream of amino acids.
  • Added vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, E, B6, B12, calcium, niacin, and more. Vitamins are added to help supplement your daily intake of these helpful nutrients.

Who makes it: Pure Protein Bars are made by a company called Pure Protein. They specialize in developing high quality sources of protein to support active lifestyles. Their Pure Protein bars and protein powders are quite popular, and are available at a wide range of retailers.

Where to Get It
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9. KIND Sweet & Spicy Bars

Kind Sweet & Spicy Bars

Muscle Brownies are high-protein snack bars that taste like delicious brownies. Unlike actual brownies, however, Muscle Brownies contain a whopping 20g of high quality protein. They make for an easy and tasty snack, for before or after your workout. Lenny & Larry’s Muscle Brownies are a good substitute for unhealthy snacks.

Highlights:

  • 20g protein per bar
  • Uses a blend of whey concentrate, soy isolate, and wheat isolate proteins
  • Tasty brownie flavor and texture
  • Easy and convenient snack

What’s in it: One bar contains:

  • 20g protein blend, consisting of whey concentrate, soy isolate, and wheat isolate proteins. This blend of protein provides a helpful boost of amino acids to keep your muscles fueled and aid in recovery.

Who makes it: Muscle Brownies are made by Lenny and Larry’s, a large manufacturer of high-protein baked goods. Founded by 2 lifelong friends and hardcore fitness enthusiasts, Lenny and Larry’s was one of the first companies to bake with protein powders, making tasty and protein-packed baked goods for athletes and bodybuilders to enjoy.

Where to Get It
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10. Grenade Nutrition – Grenade Carb Killa

Grenade Nutrition Grenade Carb Killa

Grenade Carb Killa bars come in 9 fantastic flavors, from Birthday Cake, to Jaffa Quake. The Chocolate Crunch bar provides 20g of protein and only 2g of sugar. These bars are reasonably-priced, have a delicious soft-baked texture and are free from GMOs. Grenade Carb Killa bars are hard to beat when it comes to protein and sugar content and value for money.

Highlights:

  • 20g protein per serving
  • 2g sugar per serving
  • Non-GMO
  • 10 fantastic flavors
  • Great value

What’s in it: One bar contains:

  • 20g protein
  • 9g fat
  • 24g carbohydrates (2g sugars)
  • 135mg sodium
  • 100mg potassium
  • 220 calories

Who makes it: Grenade Carb Killa bars are made by Grenade, a sports supplement company founded in 2009. Grenade aims to provide top-quality sports nutrition at accessible prices for everyone.

Where to Buy Caveman Primal Bars
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Frequently Asked Questions About Protein Bars

How Much Protein Do I Need?

So, it’s vitally important that you get enough protein in your diet – but how do you know how much protein you should consume on a daily basis? Well, the official RDA from the Institute of Medicine is 56g per day for men, and 46g per day for women. However, that number should be significantly higher for strength trainers, bodybuilder, weight lifters, athletes and anyone who undergoes strenuous daily exercise.

This question is much debated in the fitness community. Everyone has their own theory, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there. One factor is universally agreed upon: the amount of protein you need depends on your bodyweight, as well as your exercise habits.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 0.64 to 0.82 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, per day, for men who strength train on a regular basis. That translates to roughly 102-131 grams of protein per day for a typical 160lb man who hits the gym on a regular basis.

Some health experts and bodybuilders recommend even more protein. The typical rule of thumb seems to be around the 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight, per day for male strength trainers. Women need slightly less protein than men, although the protein intake for female weightlifters should still be far more than the official RDA.

So, depending on your sex, weight, and t raining habits, you’ll need to consume anywhere from 70-250+ grams of protein per day. That’s a lot of protein!

How Can I Get Enough Protein in My Diet?

Once you’ve calculated your daily protein needs, it’s time to figure out how you can actually consume that much protein on a regular basis.

Your primary source of protein should be whole foods, such as meats, dairy, nuts, and grains. You can check product packaging to determine the amount of protein in the foods you eat. You can also use a list of protein content in common foods to help you estimate your daily food intake and find some different protein sources.

Assuming you eat meat and dairy, you’ll likely get a good amount of protein each day from those sources. A 4oz chicken breast contains around 27g of protein, a single egg contains 6g, and 1 cup of yogurt contains around 11g. So, you can see how your protein will stack up throughout the day, just based on the foods you regularly eat.

However, when you’re tasked with eating 150+ grams of protein per day, it can be tough to hit that level from foods alone. This is why most weightlifters and athletes supplement their daily diets with protein powders and/or protein bars.

These protein supplements provide a convenient, easy, and affordable way to boost your protein intake. Protein bars are particularly convenient, because you can always keep a few with you – in your car, at work, even in a jacket pocket – so you will always be able to grab a protein-rich snack on-the-go.

What Are Protein Bars?

Protein bars are small, snack-sized bars that are high in protein. There are many different types and flavors, so you’ll be able to find good protein bars to fit your diet and taste preferences.

There are all sorts of bars out there, but they all share one thing in common. Typically, they all have some form of protein added, such as whey protein, milk protein, soy protein isolate, etc. Companies add powdered protein supplements to bars to pack in the most protein possible in a small snack-size product.

The main goal of most protein bars is simple: to give people an easy way to boost protein intake. Their main benefit is the convenience factor – it’s easy to grab one whenever you want a snack. There’s no need to cook anything, or make a smoothie like you’d have to do with protein powders.

Many bodybuilders use protein bars as a pre or post-workout snack. They’re also great for a late-night snack. The typical bar will contain anywhere from 10-30+ grams of protein, in a very small package, so they’re an easy way to boost your daily protein intake.

These bars are often used by those on diets as a quick snack to avoid more unhealthy options and to keep up energy levels.

Are Protein Bars Good for Me?

Are protein bars healthy? Well, that really depends on which bars you choose, and how often you’re eating them. Protein bar nutrition varies greatly depending on the individual product.

As with anything, moderation is key here. Having one or two bars a day is totally fine, but don’t try to replace whole foods with energy bars. Even the healthiest snack bars cannot fully replace the nutritional value of balanced meals.

Most protein bars are obviously high in protein, which is an important staple in the diet of a bodybuilder. However, they lack many of the nutrients and vitamins found in whole foods. Because of this, bars should not be a main source of protein, but rather, a way to supplement the nutrient intake you get from your daily diet.

What Are the Benefits of Protein Bars?

Energy bars are commonly used by athletes, students, busy office workers and anyone else who wants a healthy snack on-the-go. They are typically packed full of protein, which is helpful for sustained energy and nutrition. Some uses, and benefits of protein bars include:

  • Protein: Protein bars typically contain at least 15g of protein, and often up to 25 or even 30g. That’s about 30-50% of the daily protein intake needs for an average sedentary person, and a significant portion of the protein requirement for athletes. Protein is incredibly important. It provides amino acids, which are important for a huge range of functions. The body uses it to build and repair tissues, make hormones and enzymes, and more. It’s best to obtain protein from a variety of sources, not just meat and animal products. In protein bars, the protein used is typically a protein powder from whey, casein, or some non-dairy options like plant protein.
  • Energy: Protein bars are designed to provide sustained energy for your day. Some are designed specifically with athletes in mind and provide a large amount of protein and carbohydrates for energy. Others are more lean, offering protein with fewer carbs. The best type of protein bar for you depends on your lifestyle and goals.
  • Dieting: Protein bars are a popular tool for dieters and those looking to lose weight. Used in moderation, they can be a good addition to your diet. They are small, relatively low in calories, yet very nutrient-dense. Their rich protein content also helps to improve satiety, or the feeling of “fullness”. Using protein bars as healthy snacks or even meal replacements can help dieters to avoid unhealthy snacks and excessive calories, while still getting the nutrients they need. Protein itself can also help you lose weight, and these bars are an easy way to boost protein intake.It’s important to note, however, that not all bars are created equal. Some protein bars might have a similar quantity of calories and sugar as candy bars! If you’re using protein bars as a diet aid, it’s important to check the nutrition facts. If you’re using them as an athletic aid, then calories and carbohydrate content don’t matter as much
  • Muscle & Weight Gain: Protein bars can also be useful for gaining weight and building more muscle. Athletes and weightlifters may be interested in certain types of protein bars that provide a lot of calories, protein and carbohydrates all in one. Some people use energy bars during “bulking” cycles to help meet the high nutritional requirements.

Beyond these uses, protein bars are just plain convenient. They are designed to be an easy, convenient on-the-go snack. You can keep them in your desk at work, in your car, etc. to always have on hand. This can help you avoid unhealthy snack foods when you feel hungry while away from home.

Who Can Benefit From a Protein Bar?

A wide range of people can benefit from eating protein bars on a regular basis. The groups that will see the most benefits are:

  • Weightlifters – As you know by now, weightlifters need a ton of protein in their diets. Protein is the building block of muscle – without it, your efforts at the gym will be wasted. While you can get a lot of protein from the foods you eat, often it’s just not enough. Protein bars provide a convenient and affordable way to up your protein intake, and also make for a great pre or post-workout snack.
  • Men and Women – Both men and women can benefit greatly from eating protein bars. They’re great meal replacements, they help give you energy, and they increase protein intake which provides an array of benefits.
  • Dieters – People on diets can greatly benefit from adding protein bars to their diets. Low carb protein bars provide a filling, satisfying and energizing snack or meal replacement, which can really help you keep your diet on track.
  • Vegetarians, Vegans, etc. – Vegetarians and vegans often have trouble getting enough protein in their diets, because many of the most protein-rich foods are in the meats and dairy categories. Therefore, these bars can provide an easy way to get more protein on a regular basis, without consuming meat or dairy. Though most bars contain milk-derived protein, there are vegan protein bars that use soy protein. There are also low sugar protein bars, which are useful for diabetics and people on low-sugar diets.

What is a Good Time to Eat a Protein Bar?

If you’re wondering when to eat protein bars, that depends on what your goal is. If you’re eating low-carb protein bars in an effort to lose weight, eat a bar when you feel hungry, or at standard meal times as a meal replacement.

If you’re using whey protein bars as a way to supplement your protein intake and fuel your workout, you can eat a bar before, during, or after your workout. Eating a protein bar before workouts – about 30 minutes before – is ideal, as the carbs will give you some energy for your workout, and the protein will be digesting as you exercise, allowing your body to get a jump-start on your recovery.

These bars also make great snacks and are an easy way to replace empty calorie snacks with protein-rich foods.

Are There Any Side Effects of Protein Bars?

Unless you’re allergic to an ingredient in the bar’s you’re eating, you should not experience any side effects. However, that being said, if you rely too heavily on bars and don’t eat enough healthy full meals, you may experience side effects from nutrient deficiency.

It’s also important to note that high-protein diets can cause dehydration. Experts recommend drinking a half gallon of water per 100g of protein. So, you might need to step up your water consumption when you increase your protein consumption.

How Do I Pick a Good Protein Bar?

As with just about any product nowadays, there are TONS of options when it comes to choosing a brand of nutrition bars. Here are some tips to help you choose:

  • Quality of ingredients – the first thing you should look at is the ingredient list. What type of protein are they using? What type of sweetener, if any, is in the bar? Are there a ton of ingredients, or just a few?
  • Brand reputation – have you heard of the brand that makes these bars? Do they have a good reputation? Reading user reviews of protein bars can help you pick out good brands, if you don’t know many off the top of your head.
  • Value for money – how expensive are the bars? Protein bars should run you $1-$3 each, depending on the quality and brand. Cheap protein bars that are less than $1 are generally not worth much, nutritionally.
  • Taste/flavor – does the flavor sound tasty to you? Obviously you’ll want to choose a good flavor so you actually want to eat the bars. Check user reviews to gather some opinions from the community.
  • Application to your goals – will these bars help you meet your goal? If you’re trying to lose weight, look for the lower calorie bars. If you’re looking for something to fuel your workouts and help you bulk up, look for high calorie protein bars with plenty of protein.

Recap

On the path to fitness and health, there are many important factors. Exercise, of course, is an essential part of staying healthy and building the body you want. However, the most important part of being healthy is getting the proper nutrition that your body needs to excel.

In fact, maintaining a healthy diet is even more important than resistance training. You can run, lift and exercise all you want, but if you’re not feeding your body with what it needs, you simply won’t see the results that you’re looking for.

On a daily basis, our bodies need a certain amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and other macro and micronutrients. Your specific dietary needs will vary based on your bodyweight, metabolism, and exercise habits.

You can use the dietary reference intakes recommendations (issued by the Food and Nutrition Board and the Institute of Medicine) as a starting point.

Why Nutrition is Important

Following a healthy diet can be difficult, especially if you have a busy schedule or don’t know how to cook healthy, wholesome foods. But, remember that diet is the #1 factor in overall health and well being. Establishing and following healthy eating habits should be your top priority, whether your goal is to gain muscle, lose weight, or just achieve better overall health.

When establishing nutrition and diet habits, it’s important to note that bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts need significantly more nutrients than the average individual. Weightlifting and other rigorous exercises burn a LOT of calories, so you’ll need to consume more food than the average person. Also, weightlifters need significantly more protein than the typical person, because protein is essentially the building blocks of muscle.

While overall caloric intake, vitamin and nutrient intake, and overall food quality are all important things to pay attention to, ensuring adequate protein intake is the most important factor in the diets of fitness enthusiasts. If you don’t get enough protein, your efforts at the gym will be wasted.

Also – keep in mind that new products are being released all the time, and the trends of the fitness supplement world continue to evolve. As new products are released, we will update this list on a regular basis. To stay current on industry developments and exciting new products, we recommend that you bookmark this page and check back later!

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