Top 10 Best High Protein Bars
High protein bars are excellent meal replacement bars that can be consumed in countless situations instead of meals based on the real food. They can be consumed for breakfasts, as daily snacks, before workouts, during workouts, after workouts, etc.
Note that these are 'high protein bars' and not some high-sugar candy bars labeled as 'protein bars' - these bars taste good, but they are not as good as candies...
Updated: September 25, 2021.
Protein bars in general differ according to the main protein sources, bar size, macronutrient content, energy, flavors, packages and similar.
Most protein bars come in various flavors in order to avoid boredom and to satisfy taste of as many as possible users.
Protein sources are usually whey, milk, casein, soy, pea, egg and similar.
Whey protein digests relatively quickly, but when mixed with other foods, its digestion is slowed down. Whey protein contain plenty of BCAA, EAAs, glutamine etc. Milk protein contains whey and casein, with casein being digested very slowly. Egg protein is expensive, but features excellent amino acids' profile.
Soy, pea, rice, hemp and similar plant proteins are popular in vegans protein bars.
Don't forget that other ingredients of the protein bars are also good sources of protein, like peanuts, almonds, dark chocolate and similar.
Carbohydrate sources differ and range from simple carbs (sugars) to complex forms of carbs like oats, rice and similar. Note that protein sources are also sources of carbs. Protein bars intended for daily snacks and similar meals should have small amounts of sugars, while protein bars intended to be eaten before, during or after physical activities may have some sugar, but they should not be loaded with it.
Fat sources are commonly almonds, peanuts, dark chocolate/cocoa powder and similar foods, although protein sources contain some fats, too. Fats slow down digestion and prolong the feeling of fullness, but they also increase the calories quickly.
Fibers are important for proper function of digestion system and they also slow down the digestion, which is very important for protein bars intended to make one feel satiated for longer period of time.
Sugar alcohols increase the sweetness of the protein bars without (much) rising the calorie count. Since some of sugar alcohols are not digestible, they pass through the digestion system - too much of such sugar alcohols may cause some 'discomfort'. Few protein bars with high sugar alcohol content during the day are OK (mostly), just be sure not to increase daily intake quickly.
There are other nutrients present in the protein bars, but these are the most important ones.
Again, high protein bars are excellent meal replacement bars, but don't base your nutrition on them - protein bar here and there is OK, but few of them every day, day after day, is not the type of nutrition we would recommend to anyone, especially not to the active athlete.
High Protein Bars Comparison Chart
The following chart lists top 10 high protein bars on the market. Again, these bars mostly don't taste as good as heavily sugar loaded bars and some of them are far from being among the most popular.
But, these bars are 'high protein' bars and that is why they are listed here:
|Brand/Flavor||Per Single Bar / Per 100g||Proteins||Main Protein Sources||Total Carbs||Fibers||Sugars||Sugar Alcohol||Total Fats||Calories|
|50g||21g||milk protein isolate, whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate||17g||2g||3g||4g||4.5g||180kcal|
|50g||20g||whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate||19g||2g||4g||5g||4g||190kcal|
Chocolate Peanut Butter
|85g||34g||soy protein, whey protein concentrate||31g||<1g||1g||24g||6.5g||302kcal|
Peanut Butter Chocolate
|40g||15g||soy protein isolate||16g||7g||1g||-||5g||150kcal|
Almond Fudge Brownie
|85g||30g||soy nuts, whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate||27g||4g||8g||13g||13g||350kcal|
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
|60g||21g||whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate||21g||14g||1g||1g||9g||200kcal|
FITCRUNCH Protein Bars - by Robert Irvine - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
|88g||30g||whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, soy protein isolate||27g||2g||6g||16g||16g||390kcal|
Chocolate Peanut Butter
|60g||20g||soy protein isolate, calcium caseinate, whey protein isolate||25g||4g||12g||0g||6g||210kcal|
|54g||17g||soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate||24g||2g||14g||-||8g||230kcal|
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
|63g||20g||whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate||28g||12g||5g||1g||7g||210kcal|
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Nutritional content varies among the flavors, but not by much. Also, from time to time, manufacturers change the 'recipe' of their protein bars leading to somewhat different macronutrient values.
So, which one is the best? Well, that is hard to tell since we are all individuals and we may found ourselves in different situations.
All these protein bars in the chart have at least 32g of protein per 100g of bars and that is very nice amount.
Some food/meal replacement bars are advertised as protein bars while having for example, 10-15g of protein per 100g of bars and are loaded with sugars and sugar alcohols - and taste like candies. And since they are candies, they should taste so.
Personally, go for protein bars with high amount of protein (30g or more per 100g of bars), containing complex carbs, plenty of fibers, with some healthy fats and sugars as low as possible. Such protein bars will keep you satiated for few hours easily, just be sure to drink some water with them.
Flavors and size? Most bars come in many flavors, so choose flavors according to your own taste and in the size of your requirements - don't expect that 50g bar will keep 100kg guy satiated for half a day or anything similar.
For short: Protein bars are excellent meal replacements in many situations, even in emergencies, but they should not be basis of anybody's nutrition.
Diet and protein bars? If you are on a diet and you have cravings for sweets, go for high protein bar and enjoy it. They are not candies, some of them don't even taste as candies, but at least they are not loaded with simple sugars - but they can help even when dieting.