How To Choose A Protein Bar

Quick, easy, wrapped, packable, and convenient protein bars are a great option for on-the-go eating. However, they are really only a great option if they are actually a protein bar. Because the food and drug industry does not dictate the minimum amount of protein required in a bar to be labeled a “protein” bar, what you might think is a good option may simply be a glorified candy bar.

Here are a couple of quick tips to look for when choosing your next protein bar.

Ideally, protein will be the highest macro nutrient listed. If the bar has more fat than protein, move along.

Actual protein content: Aim for a bar with at least 16-20 grams of protein. If a 200 calorie bar only has 7 grams of protein, the calorie to protein reward is not worth it.

Protein source: Depending on your preference, whey protein, plant-based, pea protein, or soy protein are all commonly used in bars. A protein source should be listed first in the ingredient list of a quality bar.

Sugar alcohols: These are sugar derivatives like Xylitol, sorbitol, or erythritol. If you notice after eating a protein bar that your belly feels a bit bloated, sugar alcohols could be the culprit. Try choosing a bar with a different sweetener or lower sugar alcohols. (Also, many of these sugars have been renamed birch sugar, and they are poisonous to dogs, so never share your bar with your pups.)

Taste: This is a personal preference. With flavors like cookie dough, salted caramel, and brownie crunch, there is no shortage of flavor profiles. When choosing to spend calories on a protein bar, try to find one that you enjoy eating.

While whole food options are best, busy schedules often require convenience. Be sure to check those labels on your favorite foods to make sure you are actually getting what you think you are getting. Here are a few of my favorite protein bars: FitCrunch Bars, Barebells Protein Bars, Built Bars, Pure Protein Bars, and ProBar.

-Coach Tiffany