Looking for the best protein bar? You're in the right place. Finding the right protein bar for you isn't easy because the term 'protein bar' has become a catch-all these days. If you go into your local health food shop or supermarket you'll see there are lots of products touting their protein benefits – but it doesn't mean they taste good or are actually good for you.
When it comes to the traditional protein bar, it's so protein-focused because it's made to be used after workouts – protein is a great recovery food after all – but it doesn't end there. Thanks to the popularity of paleo and keto diets, there's also a trend to buy protein bars as a snack instead of your usual carb-heavy choices – although it's always worth checking whether your new bar of choice is paleo and keto-friendly.
All of the bars on this list have a substantial amount of protein – some as high as 20+ grams per serving, some a little less – so they're a great choice whether you're looking for super high-protein and low-sugar gym-focused bars through to the snacks you might want to substitute in for the chocolate you previously put on your desk at work to see you through the daily 3pm energy slump.
Read on for our pick of the best protein bars, and upvote your favourite if you spot it.
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Best protein bars
1. Fulfil Vitamin and Protein BarsView now at Amazon
If you recognise Fulfil's protein and vitamin bars that's because they seem to have been slowly introduced into lots of new shops recently, including Marks & Spencer. They're another bar on the list that actually has really tasty flavours – you'll almost believe you're eating a regular ol' chocolate bar and not necessarily a protein-packed one. Boasting more protein and less calories than some of the other bars on the list, there are a huge range of flavours to choose from, including Cookies and Cream (our personal favourite), Chocolate Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter.
2. Quest BarView now at Amazon
At 1g of sugar per 60g, Quest offers a bar super-low in sugar but packed full of protein (21g to be exact). They also offer a huge array of flavours including Cookies and Cream (our favourite), Blueberry Muffin and Mocha Choc Chip. The Cookies and Cream bar even has real pieces of cookies in, and decent amount of fibre (23g), too.
All Quest bars are also gluten and soy free, which is an added bonus for those of us who have to avoid them.
3. USN Trust Crunch BarView now at Amazon
USN’s Trust Crunch Bar is designed for athletes in mind. Each 60g bar has a whopping 20g of protein designed to help you “get over the finishing line”. Despite being low sugar, these bars are definitely for those with a sweet tooth. The soft centre is coated in a crunchy milk chocolate layer, and flavours include Fudge Brownie, Salted Caramel Peanut (our favourite), Triple Chocolate, White Chocolate Cookie Dough and Cookies and Cream. They’re also palm oil free, for those of us who want to eat more sustainably.
4. KIND Protein BarView now at Amazon
KIND bars are more on the general health side of things than the gym side, but there’s a reason you’ll often see them tucked away by runners after long-distance races. The Crunchy Peanut Butter bar, with smooth peanut butter and whole peanuts, clocks in at 12g of protein in a 50g bar, while you can also get Double Dark Chocolate and Toasted Caramel flavours with similar numbers.
These three are part of KIND's new "Protein" range. The standard bars have much less protein. Tasty as these bars are, they also have a decent amount of sugar.
5. Nature Valley ProteinView now at Amazon
Nature Valley might be better known for its regular range of cereal bars and nut butter snacks, but the Protein range hits similar levels to other health-focused brands. Think 10 or more grams of protein in each 40g bar, which might be lower than some brands who pride themselves on being workout accompaniments but remains high for the healthy snack crowd. Flavours include Salted Caramel Nut, Peanut & Chocolate and Coconut & Almond.
This is a great choice if you want a protein bar with a fairly normal taste and mouthfeel.
6. Grenade Carb KillaView now at Amazon
The Carb Killa bar comes in a range of flavours, from Birthday Cake to White Chocolate Salted Peanut. They are jack-of-all-trades bars that double as a post-workout bar or an alternative to less healthy snack chocolate bars. A 60g bar contains 20g or more of protein, while the sugar content is low – below 2g per bar for several of its flavours.
We're big fans of the Peanut Nutter flavour. Grenade's strength is a low-sugar sweetness that doesn't taste fake. Carb Killa bars are a real low-guilt indulgence. They also avoid the strange textures you get in some workout-style bars.
7. Prime BarView now at Amazon
Not all protein bars need to be sweet. The Prime Bar is made of beef, while still not skimping on the protein – every 40g bar in the Chilli & Red Pepper or Apricot & Sage ranges is at least a quarter protein. The natural ingredients include actual fruits and vegetables, including apricots, carrots and dates, and Prime’s bars remain suitable for paleo and keto diets.
8. Clif Builder's ProteinView on Amazon
There was a time when Clif bars were only available in the US, but fans of tasty protein bars rejoice: they're now available to buy on this side of the pond too. There are lots of different Clif bars available, including chocolate chip, peanut butter and chocolate almond and fudge flavours – all of which are classed as high protein energy bars. But, for a maximum helping of protein, we suggest taking a look at the 'builder's protein' version, which comes in some great-tasting flavours – like chocolate mint – and packs a huge 20g of protein.
9. Pulsin Protein BoostersView now at Amazon
Pulsin’s Protein Boosters weigh in at 50g, and are high in both protein and fibre, with ingredients across the range including chocolate chips and peanut butter. The full range is vegetarian, but you can also get hold of a number of vegan recipes including Mint choc chip (12.3g of protein per bar) and Maple & Peanut (12.8g of protein, and 7% natural maple syrup).
The entire Pulsin range is delicious, but the Mint Choc Chip stands out to us. Punchy peppermint oil and big dairy-free (not that you'd guess) chocolate chunks make the bar more of a taste burst than the average chocolate bar.
10. PhD Protein Flapjack+
At 75g, the PhD Protein Flapjack is heftier than some of the others on this list, but its 19g protein content isn’t to be sniffed at. Just 2g of sugar per 75g is super-low, while the oat flapjack comes in the sort of flavours you’d expect from a standard oat flapjack – Forest Berries and Peanut Butter are among the options available – while the oat content offers a different sort of complex carbs to some more chocolate bar-like protein-heavy snacks.
This is a non-veggie-friendly snack. Rolled oats supply some of the protein here, and help provide a fairly "normal" texture. But PhD also uses a mix of whey and hydrolysed gelatine to bulk up the numbers.