Best Protein Bars 2020 (Top 10 Bars And Buying Guide)

Protein bars are a really convenient food source for getting added protein and nutrients into your diet throughout the day without having to prepare or cook anything. Just slip one out of its wrapper and start eating and you’re filling yourself up while giving your body some healthy proteins. Unfortunately, there are far more low-quality protein bars on the market than high-quality ones. Choosing the right protein bar isn’t simple to do and you’ll have to spend some time sorting through the different options to pick out a quality bar that’s actually going to meet your needs. That’s exactly why we took the time to rate and review different bars, to come up with our list of the best protein bars 2020. The list includes a good blend of products, some with high-calorie counts, others with lower calorie levels. Look through our options and pick out a bar that will help you meet your goals while keeping you full conveniently.



Best Protein Bars 2020 Reviews

Best Overall

#1.  Detour Lean Muscle Whey Protein Bar

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Get in a good range of vitamins and minerals while getting all the protein you need to effectively build muscle with help from Detour Lean Muscle whey protein bars. These bars offer a stunning 32g of protein per serving while packing in 21 different vitamins and minerals.

We love the three different flavour options offered with these protein bars. Whether you want something salty, or just plain sweet, you can choose between Peanut Butter, Cookie Dough or Cookies n’ Cream to get just the right taste that you want from these bars. We personally enjoy the flavour of these bars and most customers really like the way that this product tastes.

These protein bars pack in 420 calories per serving, making them very filling and satisfying when eaten. They’re the perfect tool for keeping your body full before or after a tough workout. The bars come 12 to a pack and offer more than a week’s worth of protein for most users. If you’re searching for a protein bar to eat regularly and you’re worried about keeping your calorie count low, you might not want to add these to your diet on a daily basis. Regular users that want a solid meal replacement option should consider these though because they offer a good mix of nutrients for the calories that you are taking in.

These protein bars make heavy use of whey protein, a protein option that’s been shown effective for building muscle mass successfully. They also pack in a nice dose of Omega 3 fatty acids, making them even more effective for maintaining a healthy diet while consuming high levels of protein.

Add these protein bars to your diet if you want to replace a meal with healthy food, or if you want the fuel that you need to build muscle successfully. They are recommended for athletes and those serious about getting into shape, and have just 3g of sugar, making them a healthier option than many other protein bars we’ve tested in the past. Our only real criticism of these protein bars by Detour is that they are rather expensive compared to other options, and only the most serious buyers are going to want to spend the amount that these bars cost for their peak protein and nutrient content.

Pros
  • 21 Vitamins and minerals
  • 32g protein
  • Omega-3 Fortified
  • Just 3g sugar
  • 3 different flavors to choose from

Cons
  • Just 4 grams of fibre

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#2.  BSN Protein Crisp Bar By Syntha 6

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When you’re looking for a good low-cost protein source, the protein bars offered by BSN protein are one of the best protein bars. They don’t pack in the nutrients like some of the other bars being sold today, but they offer a pretty respectable 20g of protein per serving while being highly affordable.

We love that there are 12 different flavour options to pick and choose from with these protein bars. Choose staples like Chocolate Peanut Butter or Mocha, or go with something more unique like Vanilla Marshmallow, Smores or Strawberry Milkshake to mix things up. You’ll always find a new flavour that you want to test out when first getting acquainted with these protein bars, which makes them more fun to use over the long-term.

While some protein bars have a dense texture that’s almost doughy, these bars are light and crispy with an enjoyable texture. They are filling enough to be used as a meal replacement tool, and offer between 230 and 240 calories apiece, making them good for those on a diet. The heavy mix of soy and whey protein makes these bars into a good tool for bodybuilders or athletes looking to put on some muscle mass, and the bars are designed with flavour in mind, offering one of the best tastes that we’ve had from a protein bar. They’re sweet to taste but rely heavily on sucralose with just between 2 and 4g of sugar per bar.

The only things we didn’t like about these protein bars is that they contain a small amount of soy protein, making them unsuitable for those with soy allergies, and they have very few nutrients. While other protein bars pack in enough nutrients to be a respectable meal replacement, these bars should be had alongside other healthy food options to maintain peak nutrient levels. If you’re just focused on taking in healthy protein, and you don’t mind soy protein, this is a good supplemental option for you. Eat one after a workout and give your muscles the fuel they need to build up and repair.

Pros
  • 20g of protein
  • Six flavor options to choose from
  • Just 4g sugar
  • Just 230 to 240 calories

Cons
  • Few vitamins and minerals
  • Contains some soy

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Best Low Carb Protein Bars

#1.  Grenade Carb Killa Protein Bar

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a serious athlete training for a triathlon or a guy that likes to go hiking looking for a convenient protein source, these Grenade nutritional protein bars are delicious to taste, they’re convenient to eat and they are an excellent source of protein as well. They feature 23g of whey protein per bar, which is more than enough to aid in muscle growth and development and to help your muscles repair after a tough workout. These bars pack in an acceptable 220 calories each, making them a healthy meal replacement option for those on a diet.

As far as flavours go, these Grenade Nutrition protein bars made our list of the best protein bars because of just how good they taste. They don’t have the aftertaste that most protein bars are plagued with, and they have a lighter and crispier texture as well. If you’re looking for a protein supplement that’s quick and convenient to eat, but still packs a good protein punch, this is an excellent option to go with. The bars are genuinely good to eat, they’re just sweet enough and taste more like a candy bar than a health supplement, but they give you what you need for gym success. There are eight different flavours to choose from, including simple options like Chocolate Crunch or Peanut Nutter and more interesting blends like Jaffa Quake or Caramel Chaos. After trying a few, you’re going to want to test out all the different options to pick and choose the ones that you like the best overall. Take some time, try them out and choose the option that you love most.

These protein bars aren’t cheap, but they are delicious and they pack in the right blend of protein, fibre and fat to keep you feeling full for long after you eat them and to help your body replenish itself. Sure we would love if they had more vitamins and nutrients, or if they were a bit more affordable, but the bars are still worth purchasing, especially if you want a delicious option. They’re very low in sugar, which makes them excellent for users watching sugar levels. You can have them on a daily basis without feeling bad about it, and these bars make excellent snacks while on the go as well.

Pros
  • 23g protein per bar
  • Makes use of delicious European chocolate
  • Layered texture for maximum enjoyment
  • Just 1g of sugar
  • Gluten free
  • Eight delicious flavour options
  • 7g of fibre per serving

Cons
  • Very few vitamins and nutrients

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#2.  Quest Nutrition Protein Bar

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Quest is a big name in protein bars, energy bars and health food products. If you’re looking for a product to bring with you hiking, on a run, to the weight room or for any other athletic endeavour, you’ll be pretty pleased with these Quest Nutrition protein bars. They are designed to pack in a whole lot of protein, while also offering a good balance of other nutrients. We were impressed by the more than 20g of protein that comes in a single Quest Bar when you make the purchase. Not only that, but you also get an excellent amount of fibre with between 14g and 16g per bar, making these things very filling.

At about 200 to 230 calories per bar, these bars make good meal replacements when you’re trying to cut calories from your diet. They don’t pack in too many nutrients, making them a poor option for multiple meal replacements throughout the day, but the bars are a convenient way to add more protein into your diet when you’re trying to figure out a way to put on more muscle without upping your caloric intake by too much.

One of the reasons that the Quest nutrition protein bars made it on our list of the best protein bars is because they are offered in a stunning range of 23 different flavours. We’ve never seen another protein bar with as many different flavours to choose from, which means you have lots of options to test out. Try out something simple like Chocolate Brownie or Double Chocolate, or go with something crazy like Blueberry Muffin or Birthday Cake. There are some interesting variety packs to choose from as well, giving you access to multiple flavours in one purchase of 12 bars. As far as actual flavour is concerned, we really enjoyed some of the bars and didn’t care for others. That’s why it’s best to start off with a variety pack or two, to get used to the flavours before choosing one single flavour to go with for an entire pack.

Consider these for a healthy dietary supplement to get more healthy protein into your diet. These are also an excellent source of fibre, and have very little sugar, making them a good solid option for most people, regardless of their goals.

Pros
  • 20 to 21g of protein
  • Just 1 to 3g of sugar with no added sugar
  • 14 to 16g fibre per bar
  • Uses heavy amounts of natural ingredients
  • 23 different flavours

Cons
  • Some flavours are bland or taste artificial

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Best Organic Protein Bars

#1.  Orgain Organic Protein Bar

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From the same company that offers well-known and enjoyable protein drinks, Orgain offers a delicious organic protein bar solution for athletes and healthy individual’s looking for a nutritional bar to enjoy throughout the day. This bar stands out to us because it doesn’t use anything other than plant matter for its protein content. We were a little underwhelmed by the just 10g of protein per bar, but when it’s all from plant matter it’s still good enough for a vegan athlete looking to pack on some muscle without having to consume huge amounts of soybeans and other plant protein options.

These bars come in four different flavours, and from our experience and customer reviews, each one is pretty darned good. Choose from Peanut Butter Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Smores and see just what all the raving is about with these bars. The bars are designed to be lightweight enough to eat in one sitting but to keep you full over time as well. Between the 10g of protein and the 6g of fibre that you get from one of these bars, you should be able to wait until your next meal without getting too hungry, which is really impressive for a bar with about 140 calories.

Any athlete looking for a gluten-free, dairy-free, GMO-free, soy free and vegan protein bar option, Orgain gets it right. While we enjoyed this product thoroughly, some users complain of an aftertaste when testing out the bars. While we haven’t tried every single flavour, we enjoyed ones that we did have. When testing out these protein bars, it’s probably a good idea to try out multiple flavours to see what you like best before committing to just one flavour for the long term. With low sugar content and decent protein and fibre, there’s a lot to like about this affordable protein solution.

Pros
  • All plant protein formulation
  • Contains 3-5g of sugar each
  • 4 unique flavours to choose from
  • A minimal 140 calories per bar

Cons
  • Just 10g of plant-based protein per bar

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#2.  Garden Of Life Organic Sports Protein Bar

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The Garden of Life Organic sports protein bar is the most impressive plant protein bar that we’ve tested so far and offers a lot to the vegan athlete or hiking enthusiast looking for a quick and simple way to recharge. The bars are impressive because they rely entirely on plant protein but still manage to provide 20g of protein per bar. Couple that with the 10g of fibre and you have a very dense bar that’s going to keep you full for a long time after consuming.

We liked that there are four different flavours to pick and choose from, but some are much better than others. We enjoyed the chocolate fudge and didn’t care for the caramel during the testing period. It’s best to try out multiple flavours yourself and to choose the ones that you prefer based on your own testing. With just a few different flavour options to choose from it doesn’t take long to test them all out, and before you know it you’ll know just which flavour you want to use all the time. The bars have a slight rubbery texture to them and were a bit more time-consuming to eat than we would like, but they were still enjoyable overall and worth eating.

We put this bar on our list of the best protein bars for offering a good tasting product that’s dairy, soy and gluten free while packing in plenty of protein. For anyone that suffers from allergies, there is a good chance that you’ll be able to eat these bars without issue.

Sure they aren’t the cheapest protein bars that you can purchase, and they don’t all taste the best, but some of the bars are well worth purchasing and we would highly recommend these bars to anyone with a need for more protein in their diet.

Pros
  • No GMOs
  • Packs in 3.2g of BCAAS
  • Features 10g of fibre
  • A total of 20g of plant protein
  • 4 different flavours
  • No dairy, gluten or soy

Cons
  • Hit or miss flavour options

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Best Vegan Protein Bars

#1.  Raw Rev Glo Protein Bar

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The Raw Rev Glo protein bars are a decent mix of protein and carbs with minimal sugar mixed in. They aren’t overly sweet, and a bit bland compared to other bars that we’ve tested, but that’s actually a good thing for bars that you’re going to be eating regularly. These protein bars are enjoyable to have regularly, and they pack in up to 15g of protein per bar, giving you plenty of Vegan protein to keep you going and help with muscle growth and development.

These bars come in 8 different flavours, giving you lots of different options to pick and choose from when trying to find your favourite. Look through options like Creamy Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate for more traditional flavours, or go with options like Mixed Nuts Caramel Sea Salt for something different and interesting. There are two different variety pack options to choose from as well, making it easy to test out several different options in the same order.

Most users remark that these bars are a bit bland, but they really enjoy the natural taste that they offer and that they are low in sugar. The bars are soft and a bit chewy and offer a satisfying level of protein and fibre to keep you feeling full after having one. With a total of 14g of dietary fibre per bar, you’re getting most of the fibre you need from a single bar.

These protein bars come in 12 counts and 24 count packages and are designed to give you the protein you need for tough workouts or just to make you feel full. They’re not cheap but are a good value for the vegan athlete looking for some convenient fuel to bring with them on the go. Pack a bar or two into your bag and you’re good to go for a while. We put these bars on our list of the best protein bars because they are vegan-friendly, low on sugar and have a good taste no matter which flavours you go with.

Pros
  • Pick from 10 unique flavour options
  • Vegan option that’s also gluten free
  • 10g to 15g of protein per bar
  • Just 2g to 5g of sugar
  • Offer a good mix of vitamins and minerals
  • 14g fibre each

Cons
  • A bit bland
  • Price

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#2.  GoMacro MacroBar, Organic Vegan Protein Bar

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We had mixed feelings about these GoMacro Macro Bar Organic vegan protein bars. On the one hand, they’re quite delicious and are offered in a wide range of flavours, some very interesting. On the other hand, they offer less protein and pack in more sugar than many of the other top quality bars that we’ve tested. This makes them a mediocre option for someone that wants to supplement their diet with protein bars regularly, but if you’re concerned about the flavour of your bars it’s hard to pass these up.

These protein bars come 12 to a pack and are a bit pricey for offering just 12g of protein per bar. They will fill you up nicely, but that’s likely because they pack in 270 calories per serving, which is a bit higher than most other bars we’ve tested with this amount of protein. The one thing we really don’t like about these protein bars is that they have 11g of sugar per bar. That’s a lot of sugar and someone trying to minimize sugar in their diet might not want to consume these bars for that reason.

Now on to the good stuff. These protein bars taste really nice and are perfect to help curb a sweet tooth. There are some cool flavour options like Sunflower Butter, Sesame Butter and Granola with Coconut to make things very interesting, especially if you start off with the variety pack. Most of these bars are soft, chewy and delicious, but there were a few flavours (like the Sesame Butter one) that we just didn’t enjoy. Overall, if you’re looking for a tasty protein bar and don’t mind adding a bit more sugar into your diet, these bars are hard to beat. They don’t have an aftertaste like some other bars do, and they have natural tasting flavours which are much more enjoyable than the more artificial tasting bars in our opinion. It doesn’t hurt that these are vegan, and soy and gluten-free as well, opening these bars up to more users looking for a way to get some much-needed protein into their daily routine.

Pros
  • 12g of protein per bar
  • Gluten-free and Vegan
  • 13 different flavour options
  • Dairy, Soy and GMO-free

Cons
  • 11g of sugar
  • 270 calories each
  • Just 2g dietary fibre

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Best High-Calorie Protein Bars

#1.  Gatorade Whey Protein Recover Bar

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Athletes that are looking to stay fueled and to put on some mass should strongly consider using these Gatorade Whey protein recovery bars to do just that. They pack in plenty of protein, but also some junk that will help you put on weight a bit more easily than other bars.

When you get one of these bars you are getting about 360 calories with a mix of whey protein, sugar, saturated fat and carbs. These bars pack an astounding 42g of carbs each, making them good for athletes that need to refuel during an extended workout session. They have 20g of whey protein for a good protein bump, which we like. Things go downhill a bit when you look at fat and sugar content of these bars though. They pack in a pretty high 10g of saturated fat, which is a bit higher than even most athletes are going to want to come in. These bars also have a pretty massive 29g of sugar each, which is high even by candy bar standards We don’t recommend these protein bars to most everyday people, and instead only to those looking to put on some weight.

The bars are delicious tasting, though some are a bit too sweet. They come in nine different flavours, giving you lots of options to try out and they’re a pretty tasty treat to have in place of a snack without protein at all. If you’re searching for a protein bar to satisfy your sweet tooth, and you’ll only be eating these occasionally, they could be a good option for you. If you are trying to eliminate sugar from your diet, or you want a healthy protein bar, these ones from Gatorade just aren’t the way to go. They pack in far too much saturated fat and sugar, and not enough good stuff to make up for it.

Pros
  • 20g whey protein blend
  • 42g carbs per bar
  • 360 calories per bar

Cons
  • 29g of sugar per bar
  • 10g saturated fat per bar

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#2.  MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bar

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If you’re searching for a solid meal replacement bar, rather than a simple protein supplement, these Met-RX Big 100 Colossal protein bars fit the bill nicely. These bars are extremely filling and should keep the average user filled up for a few hours easily. That’s because they cram in a stunning 28g-31g of protein and 52g of carbs into one bar. Eat these after a workout and give your body the fuel that it needs to recover without having to have any sort of a meal at all.

These bars have a special blend of Metamyosyn protein which is a mixture of slow and fast acting proteins to help with muscle repair and development that’s perfect for athletes. Refuelling with a blend of slow and fast-acting proteins is a good solid way to make sure your muscles have what they need to go through the repair processes effectively.

I can’t overstate just how delicious these protein bars are. They taste more like a candy bar than they do a protein bar, but that’s likely because these monsters pack in a pretty high 25g of sugar each. That’s likely more sugar than most people are going to want to consume from a bar on a daily basis, which makes these bars better suited to occasional use than as an everyday supplement. They come in eight different flavour options, with varying nutritional levels in each one. The protein count remains similar between the various bars though.

These protein bars are big and filling and very satisfying. If you’re in a hurry and want some added protein in your diet for the day, slip one into your bag for work and you’ll have a way to stay full easily. These bars aren’t cheap, but they offer a good punch of protein and nutrients to keep you feeling good. They aren’t for people trying to lose weight, or for anyone that’s watching their sugar intake. If you are just looking to pack on muscle, and you don’t mind a bit of sugar and fat in your diet, these bars are a good option that will leave you feeling good about protein bars in general. They taste good and offer plenty of good stuff to make them worth consuming some of the bad stuff.

Pros
  • 28g -31g Metamyosyn protein
  • Good vitamin and mineral blend
  • 52g carbohydrates

Cons
  • 25g sugar
  • 2g fibre

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Best Protein Bars Buying Guide

Picking good quality protein bars for your specific goal is difficult, time-consuming and requires quite a bit of comparison. When we pick out protein bars we look for all of the following to help us make the right decision.

Taste and Texture

First and foremost is the taste and texture when choosing a protein bar. Sure it’s important that it packs in plenty of protein and healthy ingredients, but you probably aren’t going to eat a protein bar regularly if it tastes terrible. That’s why we always look at the actual texture of the bars and their flavour when picking from the many different options available today. If they taste poor, we pass over them for a different option.

Protein Amount and Quality

A good protein bar packs in plenty of protein for the size that it is. We look for bars with at least 10g of protein, and preferably closer to 15g or 20g per bar. The bars on our list vary dramatically, but some of the lower protein options use Vegan protein, or they are smaller portion sizes than the high protein bars, and this is an important consideration as well.

We also look for bars that use a mix of fast-acting and slow-acting protein. A good example of this would be a protein bar with whey protein and casein protein in it. The two protein types work together to support muscle growth and development nicely.

Fibre and Nutrient Levels

Another factor that we look closely at is the nutrient content of a protein bar and the total amount of fibre that they pack in. If the bar is to be used as a meal replacement, it needs to have plenty of fibre and a good blend of nutrients to give your body what it needs. If it’s just going to be used as a supplement, these things aren’t quite as important because you can add in some healthy goods to get those needed nutrients. Always look at the nutritional label for a protein bar before purchasing it, some don’t have much to offer at all, while others pack in a whole lot of the good stuff.

Flavour Options to Choose From

If you’re going to be eating protein bars regularly for weeks or months at a time, you probably want to be able to switch between different options over time. The same old flavour gets old eventually, and you’ll find yourself wanting to swap to a different bar or even to stop eating the bars entirely after a while. That’s why it is important to have access to many different flavour options. We always examine the different flavours offered by a specific protein bar and look for the bar options that pack in more different flavours. We like bars to have at least three or more different flavours, but really enjoy the protein bar options that pack in even more than that. This gives users the variety that they need and makes getting the bars more exciting as well.

A variety of 4 protein bars on the table, each with the end bitten off, showing the inside.

Sugar, Fat and Calorie Content

It’s also important to think about the overall sugar, fat and calorie content of a protein bar. These values can be a bit higher in a meal replacement bar than in a supplemental protein bar, but it’s best if they aren’t too high. We look for low sugar and low saturated fat protein bars, that are between 200 and 300 calories optimally. These bars are good for you and won’t hurt your diet too much if you add them in. Some of the bars that we review are higher than these figures though, so it’s important to eat them with care or to avoid eating them on a daily basis. When buying protein bars it’s really important to look at these values, to make sure you aren’t hurting your diet more than helping it.

Consider Dietary Restrictions

We also look at which bars will support certain dietary restrictions when picking out options. We like to include some protein bars that are Vegan-friendly, dairy free, gluten free, and free of GMOs because they are easier for more people to eat. If you have dietary restrictions that you have to be aware of, look for protein bars that are made with you in mind specifically. It takes some time to find a quality bar that meets Vegan, or gluten-free standards, but there are some good ones out there to select from.

Value

Finally, there is the idea of value. Some protein bars are much more expensive than others are. It’s important to look at what you’re paying for each bar and to make sure you aren’t spending more without gaining more from the bar. The high-cost bars should be richer in protein, or more nutritionally beneficial. If they aren’t offering these benefits, then you’re spending money for no reason at all. Compare the cost of the different bars you’re looking at purchasing, and use this information to help you find a high-value product that you’re happy to use throughout the day.

By looking at all these factors we can pick out some top quality protein bars that are well-worth eating on a regular basis. There are a lot of different factors to look at when making this decision, which is why we recommend you look through our reviews and choose your next protein bar based on our recommendations.


Time To Wrap Up

Finding the perfect protein bar isn’t an easy task and that’s exactly why we took the time to review some of the top options available today to help you make the decision. Consider your dietary restrictions, then look for a good-tasting bar that packs a decent amount of protein and fibre in and you’ve got a winning bar that should help you put on muscle, stay in shape, and maybe even slash some weight depending on what you are trying to achieve.

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10 best protein bars

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