The Best Protein Bars for 2023
After taste-testing several products and reading hundreds of user reviews, we've narrowed down a list of the best protein bars. Here are the ones to keep in your snack drawer.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Finding the Right Protein Bar
- Protein Content: By design, protein bars contain fairly high levels of protein—generally 10 grams or more per bar—and some may contain as much as 30 grams. When comparing different products, look at how much protein comes in each bar and assess how it fits into your nutritional needs.
- Nutritional Content: Protein content isn’t the only thing you should look at as you shop. Also consider the calories, fiber content and sugar content. Sometimes protein bars contain high levels of sugar to improve the taste, but this might not align with your health goals. Also keep in mind that sugar alcohol, which is often used as a sweetener, can cause an upset stomach when eaten too frequently or in large quantities, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.
- Flavor(s): Protein bars are available in every flavor under the sun, from decadent chocolate to fruity strawberry and fun birthday cake. You may want to look for a protein bar that comes in a variety of flavors, which will allow you to try different options each week.
- Cost: Protein bars can be quite pricey, especially if you’re looking at specialty products. It’s important to consider your budget and how often you plan to eat the bars. If you’re going to have one every day, you’ll likely want a more budget-friendly product. Otherwise, you may find yourself shelling out a lot of money each month to keep up the habit.
To compile this list, we relied on a combination of personal experience and user reviews. We’ve tried several of the protein bars included, but for those we haven’t tested, we looked for highly rated products and read through dozens of user reviews, evaluating what reviewers said about the product’s taste, texture and price.
We selected products that contain 10 grams of protein or more, and the majority of our picks are less than 300 calories and contain less than 10 grams of sugar. (There are a few exceptions, which we qualify below.)
Best Overall Protein Bar: RXBAR Protein Bars
In terms of taste, ingredients and convenience, RXBAR Protein Bars stand out from the crowd. They come in a variety of flavors, including Chocolate Sea Salt, Blueberry and Peanut Butter, and the bars contain a surprisingly short list of real food ingredients—no artificial additives here.
Most RXBAR Protein Bars contain 12 grams of protein, and reviewers rave about their delicious taste: “This bar is amazing and exceeded all my expectations by far,” writes one reviewer of the Chocolate Sea Salt flavor. “It’s perfectly balanced between sweet and salty, plus the dates make it chewy like a brownie.”
Certain RXBAR flavors do contain a bit more sugar than other protein bars—generally between 12 and 15 grams—but you can’t beat them for a healthy snack on the go.
Best Tasting Protein Bars: Power Crunch Whey Protein Bars
Some protein bars have a chalky taste that lingers in your mouth—not exactly appealing. If you’re looking for bars that taste great, you can’t go wrong with the Power Crunch Whey Protein Bars. They’re made from crispy wafer cookies sandwiched around a rich filling, and they come in flavors like Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Mint.
These protein bars contain 13 grams of protein and 5 grams of sugar, and reviewers rave about their superior texture and flavor: “These bars are so good! It is just like eating a Kit Kat. Crispy wafers with peanut butter filling in between and covered in chocolate. Yum!”
Best Protein Bars for Weight Loss: No Cow High Protein Bars
If you’re looking for a protein bar to help along your weight loss journey, the No Cow High Protein Bars are a top pick. They contain 21 grams of protein and 17 grams of fiber per bar, yet they’re extremely low in sugar and net carbs. There are a wide range of flavors available—including Crunchy Peanut Butter, Blueberry Cobbler and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough—and they’re made with plant-based protein, making them suitable for vegans.
Reviewers love that the No Cow bars have more protein than other vegan snacks, and most agree the taste is good, though the texture can take a while to get used to. Just keep in mind that these bars do contain 5 grams of sugar alcohol.
Best Protein Bars for Muscle Gain: FITCRUNCH Protein Bars
When you’re focusing on building muscle, it’s important to eat high-protein foods, so stock up on FITCRUNCH Protein Bars. While they are quite pricey, these bars contain a whopping 30 grams of protein each, making it easier to meet your daily goals. Plus, they taste more like candy bars than traditional protein bars, sporting a six-layer design with a cakey core and crunchy peanuts, all dipped in chocolate: “The peanut butter flavor is easily the best protein bar I’ve ever had,” writes one reviewer. “It’s not quite a candy bar, but it’s not far off either. The textures are so good, and the flavor is all there.”
The FITCRUNCH Protein Bars contain 380 calories each, and you’ll want to keep in mind that they contain quite a bit of sugar alcohol—16 grams per bar, to be precise—which may cause a bit of upset if you have a sensitive stomach.
Best Vegan Protein Bars: ALOHA Organic Plant Based Protein Bars
It might seem tricky to eat a lot of protein if you’re vegan or vegetarian, but with the right protein-packed meals and foods, you’ll have no problem hitting your nutrient goals. The ALOHA Organic Protein Bars are made using plant-based protein, making them a great choice for vegans looking to incorporate more protein into their diet. Each bar contains 14 grams of protein with just 5 grams of sugar, and they’re quite high in fiber, as well, with 10 grams per bar.
These vegan protein bars are available in a variety of flavors, including Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Vanilla Almond Crunch and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and reviewers have positive things to say about the taste and texture: “I like the chewy texture, and it somehow winds up feeling more hearty of a snack without feeling heavy. Not overly sweet, but sweet enough it feels a little like a treat.”
Best Protein Bars for Women: JIMMYBAR Beauty High Protein Bars
The JIMMYBAR Beauty High Protein Bars are designed with women in mind. Not only does each bar contain 13 grams of protein and 190 calories, but they also contain a collagen supplement, which can help improve skin, hair growth, joint health and more.
Some reviewers do note that the White Berry Bliss flavor can be a bit dry, and they’re fairly expensive at full price. However, the good news is that you can frequently find them on sale, allowing you to pick up a box at a more reasonable cost.
Best Low-Sugar Protein Bars: Quest Nutrition Protein Bars
Trying to cut back on sugar in your diet? Then you’ll definitely want to stock up on the uber-popular Quest Nutrition Protein Bars, which have just 1 gram of sugar per bar. These tasty bars contain 20 grams of protein, and most flavors have more than 10 grams of fiber, too.
There’s no shortage of Quest Bar flavors to choose from—reviewer favorites include Birthday Cake, Lemon Cake and Double Chocolate Chunk. And many reviewers commented on the brand’s new recipe, which is softer and easier to chew. Sounds like a good improvement to us!
Best Protein Bars for People with Diabetes: Extend Nutrition Anytime Bar
The Extend Nutrition Anytime Bar is designed for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes, and these bars are clinically proven to help control blood sugar for up to nine hours. The bars contain between 9 and 12 grams of protein, depending on the flavor, and they’re low in calories as well, with less than 160 per bar. These protein bars don’t contain any added sugars, and you can get them in a variety pack or flavors like Peanut Butter or Rich Chocolate.
The reviews are filled with anecdotes from people living with diabetes who have had great results with these bars: “My 9-year-old daughter has Type 1 diabetes, and we could not find a bedtime snack that stabilized her overnight blood sugar—until her diabetes educator recommended the Extend Bar,” writes Sandra, a verified Amazon buyer. “It REALLY does what it claims to do—stops blood sugar from going too low overnight.”
Best High Protein Bars: MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars
To maximize your protein intake, you’ll need a product like the MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars, which is extremely high in protein. Designed as a meal replacement bar, they contain 30+ grams of protein, are between 300 and 410 calories, and have a variety of vitamins and minerals. There are also five flavors to choose from. Just keep in mind that certain flavors contain a lot of sugar—for instance, the Peanut Butter Pretzel flavor contains 28 grams of sugar per bar.
Reviewers say these protein bars are extremely filling, and many like the texture and flavor, too: “These are very large and filling, which I am guessing is the point,” says one reviewer. “It has a ton of protein, and I typically break it up into smaller portions to eat throughout the day.”
Best Low-Calorie Protein Bar: Protein One Protein Bars
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lower calorie option than the Protein One Protein Bars, which contain just 90 calories each. They come in flavors like Chocolate Chip, Strawberries and Cream, and Salted Caramel Crisp. Despite being low in calories, each bar packs 10 grams of protein with only 1 gram of sugar. (They do contain 4 grams of sugar alcohol, though.)
According to reviewers, these protein bars aren’t the best-tasting option out there, but they’re convenient and affordable. “They have a nice satisfying chewy texture and a little bit of chocolate for your sweet tooth,” writes one reviewer. “The 90 calorie count is a bonus for when you want a small snack without racking up too many calories.”
Best Keto Protein Bar: think! Keto Protein Bars
If you follow a keto diet, which involves eating high levels of fat and protein and limited carbs, the think! Keto Protein Bars are a great snack to keep in your kitchen cupboard. Each bar has 10 grams of protein and just 4 net carbs, and there are a few flavors to choose from, including Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie and Chocolate Mousse Pie.
Many reviewers say the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor tastes similar to a Reese’s, but they do warn that the chocolate coating of these bars is prone to melting in hot weather—so they’re probably not the best option to carry around in your bag.
Be sure to try our recipe for keto-friendly protein pancakes, too!
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