The Best Protein Bars for Men and Women That You Should Try

If you’re looking for the best protein bars for women and men, you’re in luck because you’ll know which ones are the best on the market by continuing to read below.

Protein bars are exactly what you need if you train often, but don’t have enough time. Training demands a lot from the body, and a well-balanced meal is one of them.

One way to get the macro and micronutrients you need is by consuming protein bars. People without time to whip up a healthy meal can simply grab their favorite protein bar anytime.

There is a lot of protein bars available on the market. But, it’s important to pick the best ones that don’t have any harmful ingredients.

Here’s a list of the best protein bars for women and men. You’ll find important information about them to know which one fits your needs.


Our Top Choices


CLIF Builder's Protein Bar
CLIF Builder's Protein Bar
Rise Protein Bar
Rise Protein Bar

How to Choose the Best Protein Bar?

There are some factors to consider when choosing a protein bar. Here’s a quick guide on how to choose the best protein bar.

  • Consider the protein source:
    Protein bars differ in ingredients. One of the first things to look at is the protein source. Try aiming for protein bars that have micellar casein, whey isolates, or hydrolyzed whey.
  • Look at the protein content
    A protein bar should have at least 15g of protein. Don’t get any bar that has less.
  • Check the ratio of protein to carbs
    A protein bar should have higher protein content than carbs.
  • Go for less sugar
    Don’t get protein bars that have refined sugars. High sugar intake increases your body fat. Protein bars with sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners will be under the section “Total Carbohydrates”. Always get a bar not exceeding 6g of net carbs for each serving.
  • Avoid trans fat
    It’s okay to get protein bars with some saturated fat. This actually helps make digestion slower to release carbs into your bloodstream. But, avoid bars with trans fat.
  • Get ones with fiber
    A great protein bar to get should have at least 6g of fiber. It will help regulate your blood sugar. It’ll also make you feel full, so you won’t need to eat unnecessary and unhealthy foods.

The Advantages of Protein Bars

More men and women are reaping the benefits of consuming protein bars. Here are the notable advantages of adding protein bars to your everyday diet.

  • Portability and convenience
    A protein bar is small and convenient to carry anywhere you go. It can fit inside your bag and even in your pocket. It’s also a great substitute for some meals when you don’t have time to cook.
  • Quick meal replacement and in-between snack
    Many people use protein bars as a meal replacement. This helps them control and reduce calorie intake. Since many protein bars already have the nutrients you need, it’s an effective replacement for meals. Also, they’re better snacks in-between meals to prevent snacking on unhealthy desserts.
  • Training support
    When working out, it’s important to supply the body with enough nutrients. Consuming a protein bar before training gives you the energy you’ll need. Eating one after training can also help by replenishing the energy you lost.
  • Broad flavor choices
    Some protein bar makers create delicious flavors that’ll satisfy your sugar cravings. Protein bars are available in different kinds of flavors. There will always be something for every kind of palate. You won’t get tired of eating the same flavors because you have a lot of choices.

The Top 10 Protein Bars for Men and Women

#1. Vega Sport Protein Bar

The Vega Sport Protein Bar is 70g in total weight. 20g of that weight consists of brown rice and pea proteins. It’s available in two box sizes – 4s and 20s. It doesn’t contain any GMO, gluten, additives, and artificial sweeteners. This makes Vega Sport a healthy choice for vegans.

Vega Sport Protein Bar

It has ingredients that can support recovery after a strenuous workout. It’s filling so you might lose the urge to eat more after having one bar. Both men and women could enjoy these protein bars after training.

Vega also has other products like protein powders and supplements. But, their protein bars can save you time by grabbing a bar or two on-the-go.

Pros

Cons

  • Doesn’t contain trans fat
    This is a plus since trans fat can cause harm to your health. It has 5g saturated fat per serving, which is reasonable for its 70g weight.
  • Tastes great
    Despite only having 2 flavors, this protein bar tastes good. It tastes similar to a sinful candy bar with the same flavor. This may help relieve your cravings for unhealthy sweets.
  • Can help support muscles and recovery
    The Vega Sport has 3.5g BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids, which can help in muscle support after workouts. Also, the 480g tart cherry powder may further help in the recovery.
  • Vegetarian and vegan-friendly
    Vegans can also eat Vega Sports because all its ingredients are vegan-friendly. 
  • Only available in 2 flavors
    Vega Sport is only available in Crispy Chocolate Mint and Crunchy Peanut Butter flavors. If you’re not a fan of both, you won’t have any other choices.
  • Contains 14g sugar
    This isn’t much compared to eating an actual candy bar. But, it’s still 14g of sugar added to your diet every day per bar. It would be better if the sugar content was lower.
  • High-calorie content
    This protein bar has 300 calories per serving. This amount may not work well for all kinds of diet regimens. 

#2. Quest Nutrition Protein Bar

The Quest Nutrition Protein Bar has low sugar and high fiber contents. It also has a decent amount of protein for its total weight. This may be the reason why it’s become one of the most popular protein bars nowadays.

Quest Nutrition Protein Bar

It comes in 25 flavors so you have a lot to choose from. Since its low in sugar and calories, you can eat it before and/or after a workout. You can eat it to fuel your training or as a meal replacement.

But, it does have some issues with some people because of the ingredients. It has some artificial sweeteners like Stevia and Sucralose. Also, some ingredients aren’t vegan-friendly.

Pros

Cons

  • Available in 25 different flavors
    This protein bar has a wide selection of 25 flavors. From Apple Pie to White Chocolate Raspberry, there’s a flavor for everyone. 
  • Only contains 2g sugar
    The sugar content of this protein bar is perfect for low-sugar diets. It has limited sugar at only 2g per serving.
  • Zero trans fat and low calorie
    It doesn’t contain any trans fat and the total calorie content is only 190 per serving.
  • Contains high fiber
    Compared to its competitors, this protein bar’s fiber content is higher. This makes it more filling than other protein bars.
  • May cause stomach discomfort
    This protein bar may lead to an upset stomach for some people. It might be caused by higher sugar alcohol and fiber content.
  • Not all flavors might taste good
    This might be due to different preferences. But, some flavors can have different textures, which may not be as appealing as others.
  • Not entirely made with natural products
    Though very little, some ingredients of the Quest Nutrition protein bar may be an issue for vegans. For example, the whey protein and milk protein isolates in this protein bar come from cheese.

#3. CLIF Builder's Protein Bar

CLIF Builder’s Protein Bar’s protein comes from soy protein isolates. The opinion about this type of protein is divided.

 CLIF Builder's Protein Bar

Despite this, you’ll still get a fair amount of vitamins, minerals, and carbs to help you through tour training. The carbs and whole grains give you enough energy to sustain your workout. The ingredients also make it an ideal supplement for weight gain.

It’s best taken before or during workouts. Avoid taking it after because you won’t be able to burn its high contents of sugar, sodium, and calories. You may want to skip CLIF Builder’s if you want to lose weight.

Pros

Cons

  • Most ingredients are organic
    It has fewer ingredients than other protein bars. But, most of them are organic. This makes CLIF Builder’s another option for vegans and vegetarians.
  • Ideal for mass gaining
    The ingredients of this protein bar make it an ideal supplement for people who want to gain weight.
  • Decent flavor selection
    The flavor choices aren’t as wide as Quest Nutrition’s. Still, 7 flavor choices are still better than just 2.
  • High sugar, sodium, and calorie content
    CLIF Builder’s Protein Bar isn’t ideal for weight loss. Its sugar, sodium and calorie content is too high for losing pounds. This makes it unideal for some people.
  • Low fiber content
    Its fiber content of 2g is also lower compared to other protein bars. Eating this may not be as satisfying, so it may not be ideal as a meal replacement.
  • Contains soy protein isolates
    People who try to avoid soy proteins should not get this protein bar. Men may want to stay clear from this as well. It’s because of the hormone-disrupting properties of soy.

#4. Rise Protein Bar

Rise Protein Bar comes from a small business with a gluten-intolerant owner. His goal to find gluten-free protein bars led to the creation of Rise. Since then, he has made artisan protein bars in small batches.

Rise Protein Bar

This minimalist protein bar only has very few organic ingredients. There are Rise protein bars with whey protein isolates. But, they have options for vegans, which contain pea proteins.

Besides the protein bases, some of the protein bar flavors contain nuts like almonds and cashews. These nuts are also great sources of protein. The main sweetener used for the vegan protein bars is coconut nectar, which is natural and lightly processed.

Pros

Cons

  • Made with all-natural and organic ingredients
    All protein bar flavors have less than 10 ingredients, which are all organic and natural. They’re also high in nutrition with vitamins and minerals. The protein bars don’t have any additives or preservatives.
  • Has vegan and non-vegan options
    There are protein bars available for both vegans and non-vegans. These have some slight ingredient differences. But, both are made with non-GMO products.
  • Balanced protein and carbs
    The amount of protein may vary, depending on the flavor of the protein bar. Vegan bars also have lower protein content compared to the non-vegan ones. But, every bar has a well-balanced amount of protein and carbs.
  • Made by hand
    Unlike mass-produced protein bars, Rise Protein Bars are handmade. This assures you that every bar is carefully examined and made.
  • High-fat content
    The amount of fat for these protein bars is equal to the combined amount of the proteins and carbs. This makes Rise Protein Bars not ideal for weight loss.
  • Some flavors may taste bland
    Since they contain simple and few ingredients, don’t expect them to taste exactly like a candy bar. They taste fresh and healthy, but the light taste of some flavors may not be appealing to some people.

#5. Exo Cricket Protein Bar

From the name of this protein bar, you’d already get an idea about its protein source. The Exo Cricket Protein Bar’s protein content comes from cricket powder. Each bar has 10g of cricket powder which makes up 20% of its total weight.

Exo Cricket Protein Bar

Certain insects contain protein and other vitamins and nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 plays a big role in preventing heart diseases and lowering blood pressure.

It’s available in 4 flavors, which don’t taste like crickets at all. This protein bar may contain non-vegan ingredients, but it’s paleo-friendly. Before trying this out, make sure that you don’t have any allergies to cricket-based products.

Pros

Cons

  • Contains natural ingredients with no preservatives
    All the protein bar choices are only made with natural ingredients. They’re paleo-friendly and don’t contain any soy, gluten, and dairy.
  • Crickets have health benefits
    Besides omega-3 fatty acids, crickets also have other vitamins and nutrients. Some of these include vitamin B-12, calcium, potassium, and iron. Eating an Exo Cricket Protein Bar may help you get these nutrients as well.
  • Impressive taste and texture
    It doesn’t taste anything like crickets. All 4-flavor options have consistent good tastes and textures which might be appealing to many people.
  • Low protein content
    With only 10g of protein, you won’t get a lot from this protein bar. This has the lowest protein amount in the list.
  • High calorie, fat, and sugar content
    Compared to other protein bars on the list, the Exo Cricket has higher amounts of calories, fats, and sugar. This may not be an ideal option for weight loss.
  • Not ideal for people with nut allergies
    On the packaging, there’s a warning that these protein bars may contain traces of nuts. If you have nut allergies, you may want to stay away from Exo Cricket bars.

FAQs About Protein Bars

1. What will happen if I eat too many protein bars?

A high-protein diet can help build muscles when combined with training. It can also promote weight loss because proteins can make you feel full and less hungry. But, when you don’t use the excess protein in your body, it will become body fat.

Consuming too many protein bars may not only give you excess proteins. You’ll also be getting too much sugar, fats, and fiber, among other things. Keep in mind that anything that has too much of these has negative effects.

2. Can I eat protein bars even if I don’t work out?

Yes, you can. Protein bars are not only for people who work out. All people need protein in their body. If you don’t get enough protein through your usual diet every day, you can get them through protein bars.

But, be mindful of the other components of the protein bars you want to eat. You’d also need to take your everyday diet into account. If you have a high-sugar or high-calorie diet, you’d want to check the labels to avoid these from protein bars.

3. When is the best time to consume protein bars?

The most recommended time to eat protein bars is before and after your training session. Before working out, you’ll need energy. After exercising, you’d need to replenish the lost nutrients in your body.

If you don’t work out, you can also consume protein bars before or after a strenuous activity.

4. Can I give my kids protein bars?

Yes, you can. Children also need some amount of protein in their diets. But, take note of the sugar content of protein bars you give them. Too much sugar can have negative effects on their health.

Remember that extra protein isn’t necessary for children. Thus, don’t give them protein bars often.

How to select the perfect protein bar to eat

Video Credit: Business Insider

CONCLUSION

From the top 5 best protein bars on this list, the clear winner is Quest Nutrition Protein Bar.
Compared to other protein bars on the list, Quest Nutrition Protein Bar has the best nutritional value. It has high protein and fiber contents which are what you should be looking for in a protein bar. 

Also, its sugar, fat, and calorie contents are lower compared to all the other protein bars on the list. The ingredients that Quest Nutrition has may not be as natural as Rise’s. But, it’s still has a lower sugar content than Rise Protein Bar.

Unlike Vega Sport Protein Bar with only 2 flavors, you won’t get as many choices as Quest Nutrition Protein Bar. With 25 flavors to choose from, you’d be able to find something that you’ll like.

That concludes the roundup for the best protein bars for women and men on the market that you should check out and try for yourself to see which one fits your lifestyle best.

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The Best Protein Bars for Men and Women That You Should Try
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