Best Protein Bar – Meal Replacement, Performance, Gluten Free, Vegan, Non GMO and Keto Protein Bar Reviews

A protein bar is an innocent-looking snack that nevertheless packs a hefty energy punch that can put to shame even the most nutritive meal out there! Following the recent reintroduction of the healthy lifestyle into the lives of everyday people, these little mean bundles of prowess and vigor can support you through a number of hardships, from tough morning commutes to post-workout chill-out timeouts! In addition to our top protein bar brands, we also want to give a shout out to Pure Protein Bars with low sugar, BuiltBar Zero Guilt protein bars (which are considered Keto) and good! Snacks Vegan Protein Bars. These all have lots of flavors, we simply didn’t have for more than 5.

Before we get to our reviews, we want to note that we chose a variety of bars that we would consider great for “every day” people who are looking for a high protein snack. However, this meant we left out many protein bars that are the favorites for athletes, fitness buffs, sports or people on a Keto diet. Because of the high protein levels, these are also often used as meal replacement protein sources. If that’s you, we wanted to showcase some of our favorites. Further down, we'll highlight a few more keto-friendly protein bars.


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Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Special Diets
Best for
Nutrition
Flavors
Protein
Our Top Choice
Quest Nutrition High Protein Bar
Quest Nutrition is a relatively young company with a dream of delivering healthy and tasty snacks to a wide audience of people pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
It features no added sugars or other artificial sweeteners. It’s completely gluten and soy-free, and contains real chocolate and cocoa butter.
Some long-term customers may dislike the new corn syrup-based mixture.
Low carb, Keto, Gluten free
Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
4g Net Carbs, 190cal
Available in 25 Flavors
21g Protein
Best Value
KIND Bar Plus Nut Protein Bars
Boasting a roster of 22 different flavors and supplying a wide array of people with them, the KIND company is one snack bar manufacturer that's here to stay.
The bar is completely gluten-free, and doesn’t contain any hydrogenated oils or trans fats. It comes in a package of 12. Protein comes from all natural nuts
The bars are not as big as you'd think from seeing the packaging. Because they contain honey, not considered truly a vegan protein bar.
Gluten, dairy, soy & sodium free
On-the-go, After Workouts
17g Carbs, 2.5g Fiber, 9g Sugar 
Available in 7 Flavors
8 grams protein
RXBAR Whole Food Protein Bar
As far as business-meaning companies go, the RXBAR is one of the best protein bar-producing groups of people in operation nowadays.
The bar is made of egg whites, dates, and cocoa with no added sugars. One box comes with 12 bars and each of the bars is completely gluten and soy-free.
Has a hefty amount of dates, so if you're not a fan, these bars may not be a perfect option for you.
Gluten & soy free, paleo
Pre Work Bite, After Workouts
3-5g Fiber, 200Cal, 13-15g sugar
Available in 14 Flavors
12 grams protein
Clif Bar Energy Bar
The Clif Bar & Company is an employee-friendly business producing protein bars for sporty people who like to stay fit and healthy at all times!
This bar features a taste of chocolate chip cookie, is a good source of protein and fiber, and is made using Organic Rolled Oats.
Oats cannot be certified gluten free
Plant based, Vegetarian, Kosher
For Workouts and Busy Days
4g fiber, 5g fat, 45g carb
Available in 22 Flavors
9-11 grams protein
think! thinkThin High Protein Bars
ThinkThin is a healthy lifestyle-oriented company that manufactures protein bars and other healthy snacks for busy people who are always on the move.
It features some 20g of protein per bar, and is completely gluten and sugar-free. One package contains 10 snack bars. Some flavors are also vegan
It contains peanut butter in traces, so if you're allergic to it, this one is probably not the best ingredient mixture for you.
Vegan, Gluten & GMO free, Low GI
Afternoon Snack, After Workouts
0g sugar, 8g fat, 43g carb
Available in 13 Flavors
20g of protein

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What Is the Best Protein Snack Bar? Read Our High Protein Bar Reviews!

Boasting a rich array of flavors including chocolate chip cookie dough and such culinary acrobatics as salted caramel and chocolate chip mint combo, protein bars are one post-workout treat that's here to stay! To find out the best possible combination of ingredients for you, check out our top 5 list and get yourself well-stacked with some of the best snacks around!

While many of these brands offer protein bars that are good for a keto diet, there are also brands who specialize in making ketogenic protein bars. If that's what you are looking for, here are some more of our favorites.


Related: Types of Weight Loss Drinks and Their Benefits — Pros and Cons of Drinks for Weight Loss
Our Top Choice
Featuring some 21g of protein along with 4g of net carbs, the Quest Nutrition's protein bar is a healthy snack you've got to try! With so many flavor options, your sure to find your favorite. And if you're looking for a high protein candy treat, you should check out the new Quest Nutrition Peanut Butter Cups. You'll get 11 grams of protein with only 1 net carb and even less sugar!

Quest Nutrition Low Carb, Keto Friendly, Gluten and Soy Free Protein Bar - Available in 25 Flavors


Features

Propelled by an illustrious mission to bring healthy eating habits back to the common people, much in the fashion our ancestors did it, the avid bunch of nutritionists at the Quest Nutrition factory have been making one hell of an effort to revolutionize the food industry by producing loads of what else- protein bars! (Some of them are richly fruit-flavored, no less!) That being said, our ancestors are guilty of a couple of gross and potentially super cancer-inducing recipes, such as the one for Blue Cheese Mousse (still being used as a torture method in some parts of the world), but overall, their protein-rich diet is something we should look up to even today!

Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles for running a get-healthy campaign in this day and age would be that most of the stuff proposed by the expert nutritionists, unfortunately, tastes like grass enriched with hare urine and plenty of cardboard sheets for good measure! Therefore, the Quest Nutrition folks have been actively pursuing a policy of 'spicing up' their healthy snacks so that regular, nutritionally-unconscious people would actually want to eat it.

Their Protein Bar based on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is one of the most successful recipes to date, and if you look at what it's made of, you'd think that somebody was pulling your leg. The whole mixture is sweetened by natural, non-fattening ingredients such as Erythritol and Stevia, and it also manages to be completely gluten and soy-free! What's not to love?

The list of features for the Quest Nutrition's Cookie Dough-based Protein Bar:

  • No Added Artificial Sugars.
  • Gluten and Soy Free.
  • Contains Chocolate and Cocoa Butter.
  • Whey and Milk Protein Isolates Included.
  • Enhanced with Natural Flavors.
  • Contains 21g of Protein.

The time has come for you to stop cowering in fear when someone pronounces the terror-inspiring name of protein bars! With one of these little protein-packed snacks from the Quest Nutrition company, you can get the best of both worlds: taste and all the healthy ingredients and stuff! Get yours now and lose weight! Or gain weight!

Best Value
If you'd like to have a nice healthy chocolate bar with some peanuts, the KIND factory gang claims to be in possession of exactly the thing you need! KIND bars get their protein from plant based ingredients. If you want even more in each bar, check out KIND protein bars with 12 grams each.

KIND Bar Almond Cashew Plus Omega-3 – All Natural Plant Based Protein, Gluten Free, No Hydrogenated Oils or Trans Fats, Multiple Flavor Combinations


Features

Boasting some 22 different flavors for their healthy lifestyle snacks and seeking to expand their influence in nutritionist communities worldwide, KIND is a company that, perhaps somewhat counterintuitively for a blooming business, promotes kindness as their weapon of choice to win over a particularly tough and still unexplored market. Most importantly, though, these folks are attempting to reconcile the two aspects of a snack that tend to often be set quite widely apart: good taste and healthy ingredients. Lest their products end up tasting like a bunch of dried up undercooked mushrooms with a hefty dose of paper and gravel, they make sure to keep their recipes simple and to add plenty of natural flavors to make it all the more attractive.

The KIND squad's efforts to keep it nice and simple also have a cheeky linguistic catch to it. Namely, they believe that if you can't pronounce an ingredient without having your tongue, and possibly knickers, in a twist, then you shouldn't eat it either. In the spirit of this Bible-worthy revelation, the cooks and nutritionists at this happy-go-lucky company make their snacks out of nuts, whole grains, and a generous amount of fruits (each of which can be pronounced).

The KIND bar, or the whole package of them, we've decided to feature on this list follows through with this philosophy quite consistently. The main ingredients for these snack bars are basic dark chocolate and peanuts, and the entire mixture is devoid of gluten, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils.

The KIND's Gluten-free Bars- a list of features:

  • Comes in a Package of 12.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Good Source of Fiber.
  • Low Glycemic Index.
  • Devoid of Trans Fats.
  • Individually Wrapped.
  • Transparent Packaging.

Whether or not this cheeky protein bar-producing company's going to succeed in its quest of spreading their bug of kindness to the people they want to reach is maybe still disputable, but when it comes to their chocolate bars with peanuts, these guys seem to know what they're talking about. Get your package today and see for yourself!

Packed with dates, nuts, and a hearty amount of chocolate, this RXBAR product is a tasty force to be reckoned with! Each RXBAR has 12 grams of all natural protein, but if you want more, check out the RXBAR layered protein bars!

RXBAR Whole Food Protein Bar – Available in 14 Flavors & 5 Pack Sizes


Features

If you like B.S. in your protein bars, you'd better steer clear of the RXBAR company who goes about promoting their quite simple and telling message of The Whole Food Protein Bar with no B.S! Following through with their clear if somewhat terse message is their ingredient announcement which discloses their protein bar manufacturing routine: egg whites, fruits, and nuts. This campaign of tough love towards their customers has been working quite well, apparently, since they boast a sizeable customer base. On top of that, they've grown so confident in their bars that they even offer 100% money back warranties on each of their products, which is a fairly bold move from a food-producing company.

When it comes to their development philosophy, it's quite simple indeed: create a new bar that the squad at the RXBAR headquarters would enjoy eating, and if it all works out- create some more of the stuff and then sell it to other people as well! So far so good. Also, backing up their image of a tough in-your-face kind of business, they've made their packaging as simple as their recipes, so you can find different flavors in one-color packages: red for apple, brown for coffee, and so on.

The Chocolate Sea Salt version of their protein snack bar comes in black, and it's made out of egg whites, nuts, dates, and then some other interesting-looking ingredients! As the people at RXBAR claim, this little thingy is a perfect option for quick snacks, both between meals and after a particularly difficult workout session.

The Chocolate Sea Salt Protein Bar by RXBAR- a list of features:

  • No Added Sugar.
  • Free of Gluten and Soy.
  • Each Box Contains 12 Bars.
  • Great after Workouts.
  • Does not Contain GMO Ingredients.

Featuring a tough-looking package and a well-made structure containing only the natural ingredients, this chocolate bar can be a powerful ally for the moments when you don't have time for a full meal. Also, since it's gluten-free, people who are intolerant of the substance can use this bar to their hearts' content!

Featuring plenty of organic oats as its basis, the Clif Bar from the company bearing the same name packs a powerful energy punch for active outdoorsy people! These are not consider gluten free, but Luna Bars from the same company are!

Clif Bar Energy Bar Made with Organic Rolled Oats – Available in 22 Flavors & 10 Pack Sizes


Features

The Clif Bar & Company is an environmentally conscious business that strives to deliver healthy snacks to its faithful customers and leaves as small a carbon footprint as they can in the process. As they claim in their manifesto, every part of their production process is carefully planned and monitored so that they can ensure they haven't usurped the laws of nature or the nearby greenery in any way, shape, or form. As a part of their healthy lifestyle initiative, these folks have also been known to provide their employees with a variety of exercise machines, so that they're always fit and ready to come up with an unexpected new flavor out of nowhere!

The work philosophy at this family and worker-owned business is that of individual growth combined with a long-term common goal. In this way, each employee is happy and can pursue their own personal career goals while contributing to the overall production and coming up with new ideas for the company!

When it comes to the chocolate chip cookie flavor we've decided to feature on this list, it comes with some pretty interesting characteristics, that is, ingredients. Namely, its base is a simple chocolate chip cookie enhanced with some organic rolled oats for additional nutrition. None of the ingredients are GMO, for the record.

The list of features for the Clif Bar & Company chocolate chip cookie:

  • Taste of Chocolate Chip Cookie.
  • Good Source of Protein.
  • Non-GMO Product.
  • Contains Organic Rolled Oats.
  • No Trans Fats.

All things considered, this is a hefty little snack for anyone in need of a quick source of protein and other important nutrients. Even though this recipe isn't gluten-free, the fact that it’s a completely non-GMO product can still attract many people who like to spice up their meals with a powerful and tasty snack!

Featuring a brownie crunch basis enriched with a bunch of almonds and then some chocolate, the thinkThin Brownie Crunch is a hefty and tasty protein bar you don't want to miss out on! If you are looking for a protein bar for kids — that they will actually eat — check out thinkKids protein bars.

think! thinkThin High Protein Bars – Vegan Protein Bar with No Artificial Sweeteners, Gluten Free, GMO Free, Available in 13 Flavors


Features

As a brainchild of a passionate food person, Lizanne Falsetto, the thinkThin company is a healthy lifestyle-oriented business that puts emphasis on an active day-to-day existence combined with some creative food solutions based on natural, energy-boosting ingredients! Their team consists of four women, who make a joint effort to create a quick and healthy snack for busy women so that they refresh and reinvigorate themselves without losing their precious time! While their goal is primarily to make healthy recipes with no added artificial sweeteners, it’s also their goal to make their food taste great.

Most of all, however, they're trying to reintroduce the healthy and the active to the lives of today’s busy women. Since workplaces and lengthy commutes have become highly stressful places and activities in this day and age, they figured a balanced and protein-rich diet is a good place to start improving your everyday life!

For our list, we've decided to feature their thinkThin Brownie Crunch Protein Bars, which come in packages of 10 and feature some interesting and delicious ingredients capable of boosting your energy without adding weight. All of the bars are completely gluten-free and contain low levels of glycemic.

The list of properties for the thinkThin's Brownie Crunch Protein Bars:

  • Contains Brownies and Almonds.
  • Completely Gluten-Free.
  • Does not Contain Sugar.
  • Delivers some 20g of Protein.
  • Covered in Chocolate.

Whether it's after a tough workout or on a daily commute, snacking on a well-made protein bar that's healthy and also somehow tasty can be a lifesaver. The Brownie Crunch Protein Bars from the thinkThin company are some of the best snacks around, so make sure to pick them up! You'll be in for a real treat!

Best Protein Bar Buying Guide - How to Choose Between a Keto, Vegan and Pure Protein Bar

 

Most people tend to view the protein bar as a simple snack used after workouts and other daily struggles of the modern men and women living their busy lifestyles. And they're completely right! A protein bar can be an excellent addition to your diet, especially in those moments when you need that extra push to achieve your day-to-day goals. However, as simple as this entire 'snack thing' may sound first off, the sheer number of tastes, shapes, and sizes these little buggers come in can confuse even the most avid connoisseurs! The food companies producing these little bars have found out numerous ways to make the life of your sweet-toothed average Joe as complicated as the US's election system! Namely, there are so many different tastes to these simple bars nowadays that it can get overwhelming to try them all out in a single lifetime.

It's not all a losing race when it comes to protein bars, though, as there are certain things about them that have been rather consistent ever since they were introduced to the market on a mass scale. For example, most manufacturers in this day and age have been putting their efforts towards making their bars gluten-free, as a means of inviting a variety of different people on board this bandwagon (those gluten-intolerant, in this case). If you're into the healthy-lifestyle vibe, by the way, you can pair up your newly-found vegan or keto protein bar habit with some healthy rejuvenating drinks, produced by high-brow contraptions such as iced tea makers or high-tech juicers. Also, salad spinners are a great way to prepare yourself some greenery to munch on! Swinging back to the protein bar matters, the exclusion of soy and artificially-produced sugars is another trend that seems to be picking up in recent years. These would be the starting points when choosing your protein bar of preference, so to speak. Once you've decided on these basics, however, all hell breaks loose! There'll be a myriad of tastes parading before your very sparkling eyes of gourmandise!

Peanut butter, cinnamon rolls, apple pie, strawberry cheesecake, you name it- if it's been a meal for some time now, chances are- there's going to be a protein bar version of it! This outburst of flavors may come as quite a surprise to unsuspecting gym rats and busy people, as these little bars always had a reputation of foul-tasting pieces of protein that you'd eat with a clothespin on your nose. With all the new tastes in the game, you can let out a big fat sigh of relief and get your daily dose of healthy ingredients in the shape of a snack bar that doesn't actually taste like a shoe sole! Of course, the newly-found abundance of flavors does mean that some people may turn out to be allergic to some of the wacky stuff in there. So, before buying a new batch of 'em, read further into our review to find out what to look out for!

 

Video: Protein Bars and Shakes: To Eat or Not to Eat?

Should I Eat a Protein Bar? | Courtesy of Lee Health
Price

While protein bars can get quite complicated in some departments (as many tastes as there are ingredients in this world, it seems), their prices seem to be quite consistent throughout the wide-spanning market. One of the biggest factors affecting the price is probably going to be the manufacturing brand. Well-known names such as RXBAR and KIND will typically have a somewhat higher price tag on their bars in comparison to some of the lesser known protein snack-producing companies out there. That being said, the number of bars that you buy in one go can also be a money-related aspect worth paying attention to. Namely, since these are food products we're talking about, it might be a good idea to buy larger packages so that you can shave a couple of bucks off your final receipt. So, if you've been planning to introduce protein bars to your diet, buckle up 'cause you're in for a treat!

Features

Even though protein bars are fairly simple products that don't require an extensive culinary knowledge to get the hang of, they do possess certain properties you should know about before you start stuffing yourself senseless! While the choice of taste we leave for you to pick, we'd like to give you a quick insight into the technicalities of these little power bombs.

The list of features to pay attention to when buying protein bars:

  • If it Contains Added Sugars
  • Whether it is Gluten-Free
  • Whether it is Soy-Free
  • How many Grams of Protein there are per Bar
  • A Bar's Glycemic Index
  • If it’s Devoid of Trans Fats
  • If it Contains GMO Ingredients
  • If the Bars are Individually-Wrapped

Also, packages usually come in two shapes: 1) big paper bag, or 2) packages with individually-wrapped bars, so make sure you choose the version you like better before you order it.

Are Protein Bars Good for You? Benefits of Protein Bars that You Should Know

Construction and Design

Since protein bars are considered an addition to a healthy diet for people of all walks of life, the manufacturers of these convenient snacks seek to have as many people as they can on board with their products. This means they're making bars for gluten-intolerant people, those who can't eat soy-based foods, and those who are not the biggest fans of refined sugars. Therefore, you can find these snacks designed and produced in a variety of ways to answer to the demands of the market. Also, there's been a rather sizeable shift towards tastier products in the recent years, so you can expect a vast range of tastes and ingredients in these bars! Healthy AND great-tasting- what's not to love?

 

Video: How to Make a Vegan Protein Bar

Making a Vegan Protein Bar. | Courtesy of Lee Health
Performance and Ease of Use

When it comes to actually consuming a bunch of protein bars, the best way to go about it seems to be to do it after workouts or when you don't have time to have a breakfast. Between meals is also a great way to get energized on a particularly busy day. Of course, these are only suggestions, as these snacks are innocent enough to be consumed pretty much whenever you feel like it. Just make sure not to eat too much of them, and you're all good! As far as preservation goes, as with any other food, keeping it in a cool and dark place can only do so much, so make sure to carefully ration your bars, and eat them all before they go bad! You can get some friends to help you out if you can't manage it on your own (tough chance, though)!


Get the Best Protein Bar of 2020!

If you've grown bored with the snack bar flavors repeating themselves all the time, rejoice- for there is a kind of healthy chocolate bar-sized meal that is getting hysterical with all the new taste nuances! Protein bars can now be salted and sweetened at the same time and still come tasty on top!






Our Top Choice
Quest Nutrition High Protein Bar
Best Value
KIND Bar Plus Nut Protein Bars
RXBAR Whole Food Protein Bar
Clif Bar Energy Bar
think! thinkThin High Protein Bars

Protein Bar FAQs

What is the best protein bar
Ideally, the best protein bar is one that has a proper balance of flavor and healthy ingredients. The bar should be within a reasonable price range to support daily use and free of any allergy-inducing components. That said, there are some pretty reputable brands out there that offer some lovely benefits. These include quest nutrition, RXBAR, and Cliffbar. For more information, check out our review.
What is the healthiest protein bar?
There are quite a number of pretty healthy protein bars out there today. Most are tailored to meet the health requirements that most users look for. However, you can trust some popular brands like Cliffbar, Quest nutrition, and RXBAR. These brands are known for the quality and integrity of their products. You can refer to our buying guide above for more information.
When to eat protein bar?
The time you eat your protein bar can impact how well the nutrients get taken in by your body and how your body recovers during work out. The ideal time would be about 30 minutes before the workout or just after the workout. When you do it before, it will boost your performance. If you do it after, it will help in the muscle repair and growth process. Moreso, if you are not using any protein shak