Buyer's Guide: Finding the right protein bar for you

So many bars, so little time – which one do I want?

They’re portable, packed with nutrition, inexpensive and taste great. So it’s no wonder nutritional bars remain extremely popular with athletes, dieters and people on the go. With so many different kinds of bars to choose from, we’ve put together this article to help you zero in on the best bar for you.




Choose a bar by protein grams

Tired of mixing protein shakes? High protein bars and especially whey protein bars are great for those trying to build lean body mass while reducing body fat. Their high protein content will leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed, as a high-protein meal might do. We’ve organized bars by their protein content into low protein (0-15g), moderate protein (16g-25g), and high protein (25+ g) categories. Experts recommend a daily protein intake ranging from 0.5 - 1.5g of protein per pound of ideal body weight.*



Choose a bar by total carb grams

Carbohydrate grams are important whether you're following a low-carb diet, such as Atkins or Keto, or whether you’re a hard-training athlete burning up hundreds of calories an hour. Carbs serve as both an immediate energy source and a source of sustained energy by contributing to glycogen production. Low carb bars are ideal for dieters. Moderate-to-high carbohydrate bars are ideal for active people and athletes who need high-octane fuel for biking, running, hiking and other endurance-type activities.

We’ve organized our bars by their carbohydrate grams, placing them in four categories, each with a progressively higher carb density: 0–20 grams, 21-30 grams, 31-40 grams, and 40+ grams


Choose a bar by net impact carb grams

Some carbs raise blood sugar and insulin levels significantly, other types of carbs don’t. 'Net impact carbs' are those that affect your blood sugar levels. For example, sugar, honey, and glucose all raise blood sugar and therefore would add net impact carbs to a bar.

Carbs from sugar alcohols like maltitol or glycerine are ‘low net-impact carbs’ or ‘low glycemic carbs’ because they do not impact blood sugar levels. These don't contribute any net impact carbs but must be included in the total carb count and calorie count because technically they are carbohydrates.

If you’d like a great-tasting bar but need to keep blood sugar and insulin levels low and stable, you want a bar with low net-impact carbs. Choose from bars with 1-5 grams of net carbs, 6-9 grams or 10+ grams.



Meal replacement bars 

Meal replacement bars are perfect when there's no time for a regular meal. They typically contain more than 300 calories, at least 25 grams of protein, at least 30 grams of carbs plus vitamins and minerals.

Try any of our meal replacement bars here. 



Energy and snack bars

Energy and Snack bars are nutritious great-tasting alternatives to snack and convenience foods. These tend to be smaller, great-tasting bars with a higher carb content.

The popular 40:30:30 bars with their precise ratio of protein, carbs and fat could be considered smaller versions of the larger meal replacement bars. They're loosely based upon the theory that for every 90 minutes of exercise you'll need about 40 gram of carbs and 10 grams of protein. The Zone Perfect Bar and Balance Bars have been popular 40:30:30 bars we've been selling for decades. 

Try any of our energy and snack bars here. 



Plant-Based Bars

Plant-based bars are generally filled with greens, fruits and/or veggies and may use brown rice protein pea protein, or soy proteins. They are generally vegan or vegetarian.

Protein grams are anywhere from 10g-20g per bar. Natural sweeteners are generally used like tapioca syrup, agave syrup, organic sugars and date sugars.  They contain no artifical colors, flavors or preservatives. 

Try all our plant-based protein bars here. 


Gluten-Free Bars 

If you are sensitive to gluten, we have close to 100 gluten-free protein bars to choose from. All made with delicious ingredients and no gluten.

Try Quest Bars & Cookies, ONE Bar, Doctor's CarbRit Diet Bar, RX Bars, Promax Bars, Pure Protein Bars and more. 

Try any of our delicious gluten-free bars here. 


We have a bar for everyone! 

Check out our great selection of over 200 bars here!


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