The nutrition bars at the checkout have their time and place. We explain when and where.
Michael Schletter, C.P.T. 1 / 7
5 Protein Bars for On the Go Nutrition
Like ready-to-drink shakes, bars provide nutrition on the go, although in a more filling, candy-like form. The trouble is that some of them actually are candy. But others are suited for post-workout consumption, a snack in place of a meal,or a pick-me-up when your energy is low. We surveyed what’s out there and identified which bars you should buy.
With only seven ingredients, and the main ones being real fruit and nuts, this is the purest bar on our list, and a better quick-fix snack than the Clif Bar (see No. 3). It’s a little low in protein (ranging from three to seven grams), but at about 200 calories, it won’t hurt you, either. The Nut Delight was our favorite flavor.
At around 400 calories, this bar can replace breakfast. Derived from real oats, the carbs digest slowly and deliver about five grams of fiber, making the Deluxe a pretty good choice for tiding you over till lunch. The Gourmet Chocolate Brownie flavor was chalky, though.
Clif Bar is marketed to rock climbers, cyclists, and other outdoor athletes, so the 40–45 grams of carbs make sense for those purposes. That’s more sugar than anyone should eat at their desk, but if you’re in need of fuel for a long excursion, Clif’s a fair option. It’s super chewy, if you’re into that—Black Cherry Almond was our pick.
Beware: The “100” refers to the bar’s weight in grams, not its calories (which add up to around 400). This behemoth is a good meal replacement, offering lots of carbs and protein but minimal fat. Unlike many protein bars, it doesn’t have a chalky aftertaste—at least Peanut Butter Cookie Dough didn’t.
The high protein and moderate carbs (21–25 grams) make this one ideal post- workout, especially for dieters looking to replenish glycogen but not spike insulin too high (which leads to fat storage). The Quest Bar’s flavor is also exceptional—the Chocolate Brownie tasted like a real brownie, and the bar is even gluten-free.
EAT IT: As a guilt and worry-free snackFiber is right up there in street cred with protein, and the new Promax LS Protein Bars are loaded with both. At only 190 calories, 18 grams of protein, and 14 grams of fiber, this bar is your answer for muscle recovery, staying "full", and no longer stressing about going overboard with carbs. And when it comes to taste, we say go with Chocolate Mint.