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The Best Protein Bar - 2021

Last updated on September 2, 2021

We looked at the top 15 Protein Bars and dug through the reviews from 54 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Protein Bars.

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Our Picks For The Top Protein Bars

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Our Top Pick

Pure Protein Low-Sugar Protein Bar, 12-Count

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Pure Protein

Low-Sugar Protein Bar, 12-Count

Overall Take

Low SugarWith 15 different flavors to choose from, you're sure to find this protein bar in a flavor of your liking.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Runner Up

Pure Protein Gluten Free 21g Protein Bar, 12-Count

Pure Protein

Gluten Free 21g Protein Bar, 12-Count

Overall Take

Gluten-Free FormulaYou'll find this protein bar is available in 14 different flavors, including chocolate, lemon cake, peanut butter cup and red velvet cake.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  We Also Like

Quest Nutrition Dairy-Free Protein Bar, 12-Count

Quest Nutrition

Dairy-Free Protein Bar, 12-Count

Overall Take

Natural IngredientsTons of protein and natural ingredients make this protein bar a winner, especially for health-conscious eaters.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus BestReviews, Well and Good. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" All natural ingredients and no added sugar. Doesn't contain gluten or soy. Boast exceptional protein from whey and milk."
Cons
"steer clear of Quest’s bars that contain sucralose, like the popular Cookies & Cream."
  Strong Contender

Gatorade Variety Pack Whey Protein Bar, 18-Count

Gatorade

Variety Pack Whey Protein Bar, 18-Count

Overall Take

Tastes Like DessertWhether you workout hard at the gym, take long runs around the neighborhood or swim a few miles at the local pool, this protein bar is for you.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus Fighting Report, WalkJogRun, Best Healthy Protein Bars. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" When it comes to it, this is an excellent option for meal replacing, protein-boosting bar. Overall, it is nutritionally sound. It will give you a great boost in your protein levels, which will keep your muscles functioning at their top..."
Cons
"High calories and sugar keep this from being a viable option for people who aren't breaking a sweat. A lot of the calories come from sugar and fat."
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.
22

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the protein bars available to purchase.
15

Products Analyzed

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

View All Product Rankings

54

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Fighting Report, WalkJogRun, Best Healthy Protein Bars, USA Home Gym, dietspotlight.

185,665

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 15 Protein Bars and also dug through the reviews from 54 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Protein 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.

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

The Best Overall

Pure Protein Low-Sugar Protein Bar, 12-Count

User Summarized Score

9.0
31,351 user reviews

Our Take

You can't go wrong with this protein bar, which is packed with 20 grams of protein. The bars are gluten-free and contain just 2 grams of sugar each. That makes them a delicious and nutritious on-the-go snack for soccer moms, busy executives and workout enthusiasts.


Overall Product Rankings

Pure Protein Low-Sugar Protein Bar, 12-Count

1. Pure Protein Low-Sugar Protein Bar, 12-Count

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 1

Pure Protein Gluten Free 21g Protein Bar, 12-Count

2. Pure Protein Gluten Free 21g Protein Bar, 12-Count

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 1

Quest Nutrition Dairy-Free Protein Bar, 12-Count

3. Quest Nutrition Dairy-Free Protein Bar, 12-Count

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 6

Gatorade Variety Pack Whey Protein Bar, 18-Count

4. Gatorade Variety Pack Whey Protein Bar, 18-Count

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 4

Fit Crunch 6-Layer Snack Size Protein Bar, 18-Count

5. Fit Crunch 6-Layer Snack Size Protein Bar, 18-Count

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 1

KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate

6. KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 7

BSN Salted Toffee Pretzel Protein Crisp Bar, 12-Count

8. BSN Salted Toffee Pretzel Protein Crisp Bar, 12-Count

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 1

Gatorade 12-Count Chocolate Chip Whey Protein Recover Bars

9. Gatorade 12-Count Chocolate Chip Whey Protein Recover Bars

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 9

MusclePharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar

11. MusclePharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 15

ONE Protein Bars

12. ONE Protein Bars

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 8

ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars

13. ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 8

CLIF BAR Energy Bar

14. CLIF BAR Energy Bar

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 15

thinkThin High Protein Bars

15. thinkThin High Protein Bars

Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 6

Our Protein Bar Findings


Pure Protein Low-Sugar Protein Bar, 12-Count

What We Liked: You can’t go wrong with this protein bar, which is packed with 20 grams of protein. The bars are gluten-free and contain just 2 grams of sugar each. That makes them a delicious and nutritious on-the-go snack for soccer moms, busy executives and workout enthusiasts.


Pure Protein Gluten Free 21g Protein Bar, 12-Count

What We Liked: With this protein bar, you’ll be able to fuel your body after an active workout. The bar is low in sugar and high in protein, while also being free of gluten. Each box includes a total of 12 bars, making the total cost of the bars just over $1 a piece.


Quest Nutrition Dairy-Free Protein Bar, 12-Count

We Also Like

What We Liked: Health-conscious consumers will love this protein bar, which is made almost exclusively with natural ingredients. It does contain erythritol and sucralose in some flavors, so you may want to pay close attention to the ingredients of the bar you choose if you’re concerned about those. You’ll get 21 grams of protein with this bar, making it one of the top choices for those who want a hefty dose of protein.


Gatorade Variety Pack Whey Protein Bar, 18-Count

What We Liked: This protein bar pack comes with two flavors – chocolate chip and chocolate caramel. Each set includes 18 individually wrapped bars that contain 20 grams of protein, as well as extra calcium and iron. The bars are designed to help athletes recover after a long practice or a big game.


Fit Crunch 6-Layer Snack Size Protein Bar, 18-Count

What We Liked: Once you take a bite of this protein bar, you’ll be hooked for life. The bar contains six layers and is baked to perfection. The inner cookie layer is nice and soft, while the peanut layer adds a welcome crunch. Each bar contains 16 grams of protein, which will keep you nice and full in between meals.

Our Protein Bar Buying Guide

Sometimes you just need a little something to sustain you until the next meal. Few things can fill that need as well as a protein bar. Tucking discreetly into a laptop bag or purse, protein bars are not only filling, but they can also ensure you get the extra protein you need as you head to the gym to build muscle. Some prefer a protein boost after a workout to enhance muscle recovery.

Whatever your use, there are certain factors to look for in a protein bar. Perhaps the first of those features is taste. While this can be subjective, there are some bars that specialize in giving you plenty of dessert-like options. If your mouth waters at the thought of a cookies and cream protein bar, consider looking for an option that offers those rather than the standard flavors like peanut butter or dark chocolate.

There have been multiple studies showing the benefits of protein before hitting the gym. One study found that 20 grams of whey protein before a workout improved anabolic response. If you’re looking for that type of benefit, you’ll find few protein bars have quite that level of protein. If you just want to stay full between meals, though, a bar with a lesser amount could do it.

As you’re looking at ingredients, it can be tempting to go for a bar that has the most nutrients. Aside from needing protein for your workout, though, you may not need an excessive amount of fiber or vitamins. Keep in mind you’re probably getting plenty of these nutrients in the other food you’re eating throughout the day.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Natural ingredients are a top priority for many consumers. It’s hard to find a protein bar that is completely natural, but you’ll find many that prioritize organic ingredients. If you have food aversions or allergies, there are bars that leave out gluten and soy. You’ll also find some protein bar manufacturers steer clear of GMOs in their ingredients.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

DWYM Fun Fact

You can get plenty of benefits from protein bars, including keeping cravings at bay and preventing snacking between meals. Studies have connected protein bar consumption with an increase in lean muscle mass creation, as well as a boost in strength and power. A protein bar after an intense workout can also help speed up the healing process required after you’ve strained your muscles. Protein bars can reduce body fat by boosting your metabolism and increasing thermogenesis. Lastly, a protein bar can help keep your blood sugar in check, which both prevents overeating and improves concentration and overall well-being. In order to get the biggest benefits of these bars, though, you’ll need a bar with enough protein to make a difference.

The Protein Bar Tips and Advice

  • If you’re interested in protein bars, chances are health is a top priority. Look for a bar that is made from all-natural ingredients, like almonds, water, unsweetened chocolate and sea salt. However, you may find these bars have erythritol, a low-calorie sweetener that is a sugar alcohol, and sucralose, also known as Splenda, whose health effects have been questioned.
  • Consider a plant-based vegan bar that is both tasty and healthy. However, you’ll find some isolates, extracts and synthetic ingredients in these bars, so read the nutrition label carefully before buying.
  • If you’re concerned about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in your food, consider a protein bar made with no GMO ingredients. Some of these energy bars are made with rolled oats, chocolate and rich grains.
  • If you have food allergens or aversions, you’ll be glad to know that many of the bars are gluten-free. Some are also soy-free.
  • Of course, the top reason for choosing a protein bar is the protein itself. There are bars that have as much protein as 21 grams each. Others have just 8 or 9 grams of protein.
  • Fiber can also help with your overall health, especially when it comes to keeping you regular. If this is important to you, look for bars with as much as 14 grams of fiber.
  • Although taste can be subjective, some generally excel more than others. If you like dessert-like flavors, you may want to choose a brand that has plenty of decadent-sounding options like birthday cake, blueberry muffin and chocolate chip cookie dough.  Some energy bars can be on the dry side, so you’ll want to keep a bottle of water nearby while you’re downing it.
  • Hunger satisfaction is always an issue. Bars that are on the small side may not fill you up. However, these bars try to compensate for this by being low glycemic, which means the bars take longer to digest, keeping you full longer.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous blogs. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written content for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011. In addition to her online content, she is also the author of eight novels for Simon & Schuster, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series.