Snack and protein bars are often the go-to for convenient, “healthy” snack or meal replacement. However, do consumers really know what’s in their protein bar? Read on to learn which bars made the cut as the Five Best Protein Bars, and why some of the most well-known snack bars were excluded.

Protein Here, Get Your Protein!

Everyone at one point or another has relied on a protein or a snack bar to fill the void of hunger pains and a well-balanced meal. There are also those who rely on bars to replace several meals throughout the day, instead of the recommended one. Boiled down, most snack bars are loaded with sugar, preservatives and artificial ingredients. In some cases, it’s no different than having a snack bar over a candy bar. Here’s why:


Sugar is an overused ingredient to satisfy most demographics taste of what is perceived to be delicious. Whether its sucrose or one of its aliases, sugar should be a minimal category in the healthy snack bar world. According to Elaine Magee (MPH, RD) one should ask, “Does it contain less than 35% calories from sugar? I’ve got to warn you; not many bars meet this guideline. One of the bars my daughters really like (Nature’s Choice Multigrain Raspberry) has 13 grams of sugar which, at 120 calories a bar, comes out to 43% calories from sugar.

I like to calculate the percentage of calories from sugar because different brands of bars differ dramatically in size and calories. Putting sugar into a percentage gives you a way to compare them fairly.” For those seeking control of weight and wishing to eliminate body fat, this percentage should be much lower. For personal preference, and the recommendation to clients and members, sugar should be closer to 5g per serving. Read this article to learn why.

Artificial Ingredients and Preservatives

To live the ultimate, healthy lifestyle, adopting a more natural approach to food will pay dividends in one’s health, wellness and longevity. To make this an easy practice, one should learn how to become a nutrition label detective and avoid protein bars with soy fillers and unpronounceable ingredients. As an easy rule of thumb, less ingredients equals higher quality.

The Five Best Protein Bars Are?…

Number Five

Quest Protein Bars:The only reason Quest is ranked at number five, is due to about the validity of Quest using all natural ingredients and truly being non-GMO. On the other hand, Quest bars are high in protein-20g, low in carbs- 2 to 6 net carbs, low in sugar- 1 gram and generally considered delicious.

Number Four

Rise Bar:provides a delicious line of flavors with a meal substitute array of essential macronutrients. Sugar is in the moderate range at 13 grams per serving. On some bars the protein is up to 20 grams per serving.

Number Three

Vega Bar:this bar is completely plant-based, all-natural, and GMO free. Sugar is a little high at 16g, but bars are around 15g of protein per serving. Checkout the Vega info graphic below to learn more about plant-based nutrition.

Number Two

Core Bar:is a good meal replacement, but could be broken into two bars. Core bar has 360 calories, but packs 12 grams of protein and 13 essential amino acids into each bar.

The Winner Is…

Kind Bar:Kind Bar is the winner only because of its kind nature. In all honesty, Kind Bar has up to 10 grams of protein and between 5 to 10 grams of sugar within their large array of snack bar flavors. Vegan Protein Sources

Coach Jessica
Coach Jessica

Jessica & Justin Rundle are Spokane natives and the founders of Workout Anywhere (a Northwest fitness training app for busy parents, by busy parents). In addition, the two are the official strength & conditioning coaches for Mt. Spokane High School. To Learn more about Jessica and Justin Rundle, click here: Meet Team RundleFit.