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The Best Protein Bar - 2020

Last updated on May 13, 2020

We looked at the top 12 Protein Bars and dug through the reviews from 51 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
  #1

Pure Protein Low Sugar & Gluten Free Bars Variety Pack, 18-Pack

Pure Protien

Pure Protein Bars Variety Pack, 18-Pack

Overall Take

Tons of ProteinTons of protein means this gluten-free bar is great for a pre-workout boost.

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus USA Home Gym, dietspotlight, Wiki EZ Vid, The Fit Bay, Pure Path. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Low in carbs, calories, and sugars, but high in protein, they're an excellent high protein snack for anyone looking to lose weight or gain lean muscle."
Cons
"The official website provides details relating to the benefits of the product, including ingredient lists and use, but there’s no solid science supporting the weight-loss claims. Throughout our research, we’ve found studies linking protein to dieters losing weight, but the..."
  #2

Gatorade Whey Protein Recover Bars, 12-Count

Gatorade

Whey Protein Recover Bars, 12-Count

Overall Take

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus Wiki EZ Vid, Fighting Report, Whey Flavor, BFG Muscle, The Fit Bay, Pure Path. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" The Gatorade Whey Fuel offer the quick boost the brand's products are known for at an affordable price."
Cons
"High sugar content."
  #3

BSN Salted Toffee Pretzel Protein Crisp Bar, 12-Count

BSN

Salted Protein Crisp Bar, 12-Count

Overall Take

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  #4

Fit Crunch Snack Size Protein Bars, 18-Count

Fit Crunch

Snack Size Protein Bars, 18-Count

Overall Take

Experts Included
DWYM Food Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
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.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the protein bars available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

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

View All Product Rankings

51

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: USA Home Gym, dietspotlight, Wiki EZ Vid, Workout University, The Fit Bay.

147,458

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Protein Bars and also dug through the reviews from 51 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.

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

The Best Overall

Pure Protein Low Sugar & Gluten Free Bars Variety Pack, 18-Pack


Our Expert Score

9.3
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.8
3,333 user reviews

Our Take

With 21 grams of protein, Pure Protein Bars live up to their name. These gluten-free bars have 2 grams of dietary fiber to help with digestion. Only 2 to 3 grams of sugar make it perfect for those who are concerned about staying healthy while also getting that pre-workout boost.

What other experts liked

Low in carbs, calories, and sugars, but high in protein, they're an excellent high protein snack for anyone looking to lose weight or gain lean muscle.
- USA Home Gym
We like the inclusion of a few natural ingredients.
- dietspotlight
It's reasonably priced.
- Wiki EZ Vid
It's gluten free and low calorie.
- The Fit Bay
Can be eaten directly before or after a workout to speed up recovery process.
- Pure Path

What other experts didn't like

The official website provides details relating to the benefits of the product, including ingredient lists and use, but there’s no solid science supporting the weight-loss claims. Throughout our research, we’ve found studies linking protein to dieters losing weight, but the...
- dietspotlight
All protein bars are sensitive to warmth, as they can melt.
- The Fit Bay
Taste not for everyone.
- Pure Path

Overall Product Rankings

Gatorade Whey Protein Recover Bars, 12-Count

2. Gatorade Whey Protein Recover Bars, 12-Count

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 9

BSN Salted Toffee Pretzel Protein Crisp Bar, 12-Count

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

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Fit Crunch Snack Size Protein Bars, 18-Count

4. Fit Crunch Snack Size Protein Bars, 18-Count

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 1

KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate

6. KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 7

Quest Nutrition Protein Bar

7. Quest Nutrition Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 6

MusclePharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar

8. MusclePharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 15

ONE Protein Bars

9. ONE Protein Bars

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 8

ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars

10. ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 8

CLIF BAR Energy Bar

11. CLIF BAR Energy Bar

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 15

thinkThin High Protein Bars

12. thinkThin High Protein Bars

Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 6

Our Protein Bar Findings


Pure Protein Low Sugar & Gluten Free Bars Variety Pack, 18-Pack

What We Liked: With 21 grams of protein, Pure Protein Bars live up to their name. These gluten-free bars have 2 grams of dietary fiber to help with digestion. Only 2 to 3 grams of sugar make it perfect for those who are concerned about staying healthy while also getting that pre-workout boost.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media
Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media


Gatorade Whey Protein Recover Bars, 12-Count

What We Liked:

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

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. The Quest Nutrition Protein Bar is made from all-natural ingredients, including almonds, water, unsweetened chocolate and sea salt. However, you’ll find erythritol, a low-calorie sweetener that is a sugar alcohol, and sucralose, also known as Splenda, whose health effects have been questioned. Only some flavors of Quest’s bars contain sucralose, though, so you may just need to go with the less sweet flavors if sucralose is a concern for you.
  • KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate is a plant-based vegan bar that is both tasty and healthy. However, you’ll find some isolates, extracts and synthetic ingredients in this bar, so read the nutrition label carefully before buying. The primary ingredients in the peanut butter and dark chocolate flavor are mixed nuts and dark chocolate, with the food additive soy lecithin coming in low on the list.
  • If you’re concerned about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in your food, consider the CLIF BAR Energy Bar, made with no GMO ingredients. This energy bar is made with rolled oats, chocolate and rich grains. Although it isn’t 100 percent natural, CLIF tries to keep each bar as organic as possible, including non-GMO ingredients and 70 percent organic- and ethically-sourced items.
  • For those concerned about sugar, the Quest Nutrition Protein Bar has no added sugar, although there is the aforementioned sucralose. The chocolate chip cookie dough Quest Nutrition Protein Bar has 1 gram of sugar, compared to 9 grams in the KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate, 2 to 3 grams in Pure Protein Bars and 21 grams in the CLIF BAR Energy Bar. In fact, the CLIF BAR Energy Bar has so much sugar, you may find it’s too sweet.
  • If you have food allergens or aversions, you’ll be glad to know the Quest Nutrition Protein Bar, KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate and Pure Protein Bars are gluten-free. The Quest Nutrition Protein Bar is also soy-free.
  • Of course, the top reason for choosing a protein bar is the protein itself. The Quest Nutrition Protein Bar and Pure Protein Bars have the most protein, at 21 grams each. With the CLIF BAR Energy Bar, you get 9 grams of protein, and KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate have 8 grams of protein per bar. The protein in the Quest Nutrition Protein Bar comes from whey and milk
  • Fiber can also help with your overall health, especially when it comes to keeping you regular. The Quest Nutrition Protein Bar provides 14 grams of fiber, while KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate has only 3 grams. Pure Protein Bars have 2 grams of dietary fiber per bar and CLIF BAR Energy Bar has 4 grams.
  • Although taste can be subjective, some generally excel more than others. If you like dessert-like flavors, you may want to choose the Quest Nutrition Protein Bar, which has plenty of decadent-sounding options like birthday cake, blueberry muffin and chocolate chip cookie dough. Although KIND Bars don’t have as many dessert flavors, the KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt and Double Dark Chocolate Nut Bar feature plenty of flavor. The CLIF BAR Energy Bar 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. KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate is on the small side, which means it may not fill you up. However, they try to compensate for this by being low glycemic, which means the bars take longer to digest, keeping you full longer. The CLIF BAR Energy Bar is very filling, keeping you going longer between meals.

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.