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The Best Meal Replacement Bar

Last updated on August 9, 2019

We looked at the top 17 Meal Replacement Bars and dug through the reviews from 78 of the most popular review sites including Bar Bend, USA Home Gym, Supplement Review Pal, Junk Banter, The Vegan's Pantry, Best Pre-Workout For Women and more. The result is a ranking of the best Meal Replacement Bars.

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Our Picks For The Top Meal Replacement Bars

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

PROBAR

Meal Bar

Overall Take

Healthy TasteA healthy taste and superfood ingredients make this meal replacement bar a clear winner.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus BestReviews, Go Dairy Free, Pure Path, Runner Click, Trail To Peak, 99 Boulders. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Free from both gluten and soy, while also being non GMO. Provides 6 grams of fiber from chia anf flax seeds in a meal replacement bar with an atleast 70% organic ingredients."
Cons
"These deliciously sweet bars are a bit high in sugars, around 19 to 23 grams. I would consider ProBar Meal Bars to be an occasional treat for midday energy or sharing on a hike, but not a daily or breakfast..."

MET-Rx

Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars

Overall Take

Nice CrunchThe addition of pretzels adds a nice, tasty crunch to this high-protein bar.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus BestReviews, dietspotlight, USA Home Gym, Supplement Reviews, Pure Path, Bony Muscle and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Extremely high amount of protein at 30 grams per bar,which should satisfy your hunger. Mixes fast and slow acting proteins, which is deal for athletes."
Cons
"One thing customers have complained about is the high cost of the product and the varying results for those trying to lose weight."

MRE

Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar

Overall Take

Healthy FatsA low sugar content bar that's full of healthy fats to keep you satiated for hours.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus BestReviews, Best5Supplements, Supplement Reviews, Weik Fitness, Stack3d. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Provides a high level of protein at 20 grams from both animal and plant sources, so it should do a good job of satisfying your hunger."
Cons
"High saturated fat content. MCT Oil inclusion can be a double-edged sword."
  The Best Value

ZonePerfect

Nutrition Snack Bars

Overall Take

Delicious FlavorA delicious graham cracker taste makes this meal replacement bar easy to love.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus BestReviews, Fighting Report, Hombre Golf Club, labdoor, The Fit Bay. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Lower cost per bar than average. Nice chocolate taste with marsmallow for texture. Also works well for between meals or late night snacks with 19 vitamins and minerals and no artificial sweetners."
Cons
"It's very soft."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
24

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the meal replacement bars available to purchase.
17

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

78

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Bar Bend, USA Home Gym, Supplement Review Pal, Junk Banter, The Vegan's Pantry.

165,491

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart and 17 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 17 Meal Replacement Bars and also dug through the reviews from 78 of the most popular review sites including Bar Bend, USA Home Gym, Supplement Review Pal, Junk Banter, The Vegan's Pantry, Best Pre-Workout For Women and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Meal Replacement Bars.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

PROBAR Meal Bar

Our Expert Score
9.9
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
1,169 user reviews
Our Take

Made with quality organic ingredients, the PROBAR Meal Bar comes bursting with flavor. With plenty of plant-based proteins and fibers that keep you feeling full, it's not hard to see why the PROBAR ranks as the No. 1 meal replacement bar above competitors. Consumers with food allergies will also appreciate this soy and gluten-free product with no genetically modified ingredients. In our testing, we found that it had a pleasantly health taste.

What other experts liked
Free from both gluten and soy, while also being non GMO. Provides 6 grams of fiber from chia anf flax seeds in a meal replacement bar with an atleast 70% organic ingredients.
- BestReviews
There is no denying that these bars are scrumptious.
- Go Dairy Free
These bars do not include any artificial ingredients, which is a treasure when you find bars that don’t! The ingredients are plant-based whole foods including things like flax seed, chia seeds, oats, dates, peanuts, and many more. About 75-90% of...
- Pure Path
The PROBAR Meal Bars held up very well in these conditions, and although soft, didn’t fall apart or give me any trouble, despite the heat.
- Trail To Peak
June 2, 2015 | Full review
I personally like the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in each Meal bar. Nutritionally speaking, when on the trail it feels good to have your bases covered. This can be hard to do with classic backpacking foods.
- 99 Boulders
What other experts didn't like
Lots of calories at 370 per bar. Only 10 grams of protein.
- BestReviews
These deliciously sweet bars are a bit high in sugars, around 19 to 23 grams. I would consider ProBar Meal Bars to be an occasional treat for midday energy or sharing on a hike, but not a daily or breakfast...
- Go Dairy Free
It’s too sweet for some people.
- Pure Path
The major downside is the cost. Probars are pricey.
- 99 Boulders

The Best Bang For Your Buck

ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars

Expert Summarized Score
8.3
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
1,408 user reviews
Our Take

Although ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars have a budget-friendly price tag, they don't lack flavor or nutritional content. The bars contain 19 important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that work together to keep the immune system functioning properly. You don't need to worry about artificial flavors or sweeteners, and it features just 5 grams of natural sugars. It also boasts low calories —  a positive if you sticking to a diet, but a negative if you want a bar that will keep you feeling full. In our testing, we found this bar to be delicious — the graham cracker taste really came through.

What other experts liked
Lower cost per bar than average. Nice chocolate taste with marsmallow for texture. Also works well for between meals or late night snacks with 19 vitamins and minerals and no artificial sweetners.
- BestReviews
It has no artificial flavors or colors.
- Fighting Report
It has full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
- Hombre Golf Club
It's completely natural..
- The Fit Bay
What other experts didn't like
Only 240 calories in high protein bar, so one may not satisfy your hunger, and limited variety of tastes.
- BestReviews
It's very soft.
- Fighting Report
It's very small.
- Hombre Golf Club
Sensitive to heat and need to be kept cool.
- The Fit Bay

Overall Product Rankings

1. PROBAR Meal Bar

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 9

2. MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 11

3. MRE Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 9

4. Luna Bar Lemon Zest Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 5

5. Fit Crunch Robert Irvine Whey Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 14

6. BSN Protein Crisp Whey Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 12

7. Honey Stinger Organic Waffle Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 9

8. Pure Protein Healthy Support Variety Pack

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 11

9. Special K Protein Meal Bars

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 6

10. BSN Protein Crisp Bar

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 9

11. WonderSlim High Protein Meal Replacement Bar

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 7

12. Quest Nutrition Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 5

13. ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 8

14. MusclePharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 6

15. Quest Nutrition Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 6

16. KIND Breakfast Bars

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 5

Our Findings

PROBAR Meal Bar

What We Liked: Made with quality organic ingredients, the PROBAR Meal Bar comes bursting with flavor. With plenty of plant-based proteins and fibers that keep you feeling full, it’s not hard to see why the PROBAR ranks as the No. 1 meal replacement bar above competitors. Consumers with food allergies will also appreciate this soy and gluten-free product with no genetically modified ingredients. In our testing, we found that it had a pleasantly health taste.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars

What We Liked: Although ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars have a budget-friendly price tag, they don’t lack flavor or nutritional content. The bars contain 19 important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that work together to keep the immune system functioning properly. You don’t need to worry about artificial flavors or sweeteners, and it features just 5 grams of natural sugars. It also boasts low calories —  a positive if you sticking to a diet, but a negative if you want a bar that will keep you feeling full. In our testing, we found this bar to be delicious — the graham cracker taste really came through.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars

What We Liked: Workout enthusiasts and individuals who play sports will love the MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars. They are higher in protein than many other meal replacement bars with 30 grams of protein per serving. It is important to note, however, that they are also higher in calories and carbs, which may not work for certain diets. We loved the crunch that the pretzels gave this bar.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Our Meal Replacement Bar Buying Guide

Preparing a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for yourself or your entire family may not always be possible. You might wake up a little later than expected with no time to cook bacon and eggs, or you might need to run your 10-year-old from band practice to soccer camp without any time to stop for dinner. When life gets busy and you can’t cook, there’s always the option of utilizing a meal replacements bar instead.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Meal replacement bars are designed to be more than just a quick snack. They contain the nutrients you would have received if you had consumed a traditional plate of food. Some bars are marketed to help people lose weight, while others even promote an increase in energy after consumption.

While the United States does not have any specific regulations for meal replacement bars, there are a few things you’ll want to look for when shopping for one. The first is calories. Check to see that the bar has between 200 and 400 calories, as this is where you’re going to get your energy. The PROBAR Meal Bar, for example, has 370, which will give you the boost you need to continue on with your day.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Next, review the meal replacement bar’s protein content. The higher the protein, the fuller you’ll feel for a longer period of time. The MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars are known for their higher protein content at 30 grams per bar.

The nutrition label will also specify how many vitamins and minerals are in the meal replacement bar. If you know you are deficient in a certain vitamin, or that you’re not getting enough of a certain mineral in the foods you eat, you can scroll through the label to check for that information. You’ll notice the ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars are loaded with 19 vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Selenium.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Fiber is another key ingredient often found in meal replacement bars. Like protein, the fiber will help you feel full until your next meal. It also has the added benefit of keeping your digestive system running smoothly, so that you don’t suffer from uncomfortable constipation. Some ingredients to look for that are excellent sources of fiber include chia and flax seeds.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Finally, when shopping for the best meal replacement bar, it is essential that you check the sugar content. This is true whether you suffer from diabetes or not. Too much sugar will provide a temporary burst of energy. But afterward, you’ll suffer a sugar crash that will inevitably leave you feeling tired and moody.

DWYM Fun Fact

While meal replacement bars may seem like a modern trend from our fast-paced culture, they have actually been in existence for quite some time. The first known nutrition bar designed to replace a full meal was created back in the 18th century by the native Indians of North America. The meal replacement bar was called Pemmican, and it contained a mixture of a lean protein and a rendered fat. Also commonly added to the meal replacement bars were a variety of fruits.

In addition to providing sustenance, Pemmican didn’t expire. That made it ideal for European settlers and polar explorers that were always on the move. The meal replacement bar could be wrapped and then consumed later when food was scarce.

Meal replacement bars have evolved over time. They have been used for everything from feeding the men and women who travel through space via a NASA shuttle to filling the stomach of busy moms who don’t have time to stop and prepare a healthy lunch. There’s even a product called Nutriloaf used as a punishment to feed prisoners who have not behaved according to jail rules. Today, we need only visit our local grocery store to find meal replacement bars in a host of flavors that will meet our dietary needs.

The Meal Replacement Bar Tips and Advice

  • Always read the product label if you have any known food allergies or sensitivities. Most meal replacement bars clearly label whether they are gluten-free, soy-free or contain common allergy ingredients, such as peanuts. You may also find wording like “manufactured in a plant that processes peanuts.” So even if the bar doesn’t contain peanuts, you’ll know that it may have come in contact with the legume.
  • Additional information you may wish to be aware of when choosing a meal replacement bar is whether the ingredients are organically sourced and whether they are Non-GMO Project Verified. If this is important to you, the product label is where you will find the facts.
  • Check that there are no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners added to the bars. You want to get your nutrition from natural sources when possible. The MRE Bar is a good example of a meal replacement bar that is made from real food only.
  • Perform a taste test. There are so many different meal replacement bars on the market and each company offers a selection of flavors. You may come across such flavors as chocolate pretzel, caramel cluster, peanut butter cup, banana nut bread, almond crunch and blueberry cobbler. Try purchasing a few different bars to discover your likes and dislikes before you decide on your go-to bar.
  • Consider the texture of the bar. Some bars are chewy, while others have a crunch. The bars may also be smooth or have chunks of peanuts or pretzels sticking out.
  • Verify which type of meal replacement bar you are buying. Is the bar simply for taking the place of lunch or dinner when you’re on the run, or is the bar made for weight loss? Is the bar touted as a sports nutrition bar that replaces energy after a vigorous workout? You want to make sure the bar you buy will meet your specific needs.
  • Keep a few bars in your purse, gym bag or car so that you always have one available when life gets busy. This will save you from being tempted to head to the nearest fast food joint, that may or may not have healthy food options.
  • Meal replacement bars can be a lifesaver if you are the designated snack mom for your child’s sports team. Pair each bar with a water bottle or natural juice box and you’ll feel good about restoring the kids’ energy after a well-played game.
  • While you can purchase a single meal replacement bar, it is more cost-effective to buy in bulk. When comparing prices, you’ll need to pay attention to how many bars are being sold as a unit.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in health and nutrition. She enjoys spending time searching for the best all-natural products that will keep her and her family in optimal health. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared in sites like Livestrong and eHow Food & Drink. She has also served as the Healthy Foods editor at BellaOnline.