Protein bars first appeared several years ago. They are now intended for the general public as a snack. However, they are above all an enormous source of energy for athletes and other sportsmen and women because they provide a lot of protein and carbohydrates in a concentrated form.
By consuming one, you have several hundred calories that allow you to support an intense effort. In addition, when properly studied, they deliver a maximum amount of energy quickly so that the body can meet its energy needs. So let’s take a look at the best protein bars for bodybuilders.
Our uninhibited comparison of the best protein bars
To be able to compare the best high-protein bars, we had to take objective criteria. For example, the virtues of each bar, the mode of consumption or the optional supplements. And all this without taboos, because a choice must take into account both positive and negative points. Otherwise, the choice is truncated. After having studied several protein bars, we have managed to make a top 3 of the best protein bars that currently exist on the market.
Our favorite and No. 1 choice, the Protein Plus protein bar from PowerBar, for its protein content.
- ACTIVE NUTRITION INTERNATIONAL GmbH Zielstattstrasse 42|D-81379 München
PowerBar Protein Plus bars bring you a high quality protein quantity for each bar consumed. They represent 10 g out of the 35 g of a bar, or 30%. In addition, they are low in refined sugar. A bar contains a maximum of 1.6 g of sugar. This type of bar is ideal when you are in the cutting period or do not want to gain weight. With a PowerBar, your body receives a good portion between two meals.
It is also suitable for vegetarians and does not contain aspartame.
- Ideal for sports: the PowerBar is ideal for toning up during your workout or to help you lose weight during the cut. It will give a boost to your body which will be satisfied with the portion of protein it receives. Up to 10 g of protein per serving. The ideal is to consume 1 to 2 per day during your sports sessions.
- Low in sugar: PowerBar has focused on sugar-free production. This limits the intake of carbohydrates in the body. The body has to draw energy from its reserves and therefore burns superficial fats. Ideal during the cutting period. In addition, despite the low sugar content, 1.6 g per bar, the manufacturer does not replace it with an ersatz, such as aspartame.
- Suitable for vegetarians : Proteins here are milk. This means that no meat products are used in its manufacture. If you have a vegetarian diet, this bar is therefore suitable for you. But not if you are vegan or organic.
- Texture: Most complaints about the product come from its texture. Once in the mouth, the bar is pasty. In short, the appetizer is not great and can chill more than one. Nevertheless, it is a criterion found in most brands. Moreover, the chocolate taste partially masks this small defect.
- Does not replace whey: if you are looking for a substitute for powdered protein, go ahead. This protein bar is not a substitute for whey. It is a product, in the form of bar, which comes in complement of your daily catch. The bar format makes it easier if you’re at the gym.
Our opinion in a few words
PowerBar proposes here a product both rich in protein (30%) and low in carbohydrates (1.6g per protein bar), almost sugar free. This is simply great for those looking for a protein-rich supplement to complement their diet and have a snack at the gym.
It should also be noted that the pocket size of the bar is very practical. We like to have an alternative to powder that is only taken in the form of a shake. With a bar, you really feel like you have a food in its own right. Even if the texture reminds us that we are on a product for bodybuilders and not in a restaurant. Although the chocolate taste goes very well and makes us forget that the bar is a bit heavy and greasy.
Our challenger and choice N°2, the Opti-Lean Whey protein bar from Optimum Nutrition, for its quality
- 20g de protéines par barre
- 3.8g de fibres et 1.9g de sucres
- 2 parfums : chocolat caramel, chocolat menthe
Optimum Nutrition isn’t just powders… it’s also protein bars. And in this sector too, the American brand is doing rather well! With its Opti-Lean bar, the brand offers us a beautiful high-protein product that is rich in fiber and low in sugar. Each bar contains 20 grams of protein, which corresponds to about 40% of the total mass. They come from milk. In addition, there is only 1.9 grams of sugar per bar, which is ridiculously low. And to top it all off, they are available in two varieties: caramel chocolate and mint chocolate.
- Lots of protein: each bar contains 20 grams of protein. That’s a lot! Thanks to this, you’ll have a very valuable supplement that will please you when you’re in the gym. It is almost evenly balanced with whey powder. Moreover, this protein bar is really very interesting in terms of nutritional intake.
- Quality: nothing to do, the brand based in the United States knows how to make good quality products. We can see that there is a panel of experts who are looking into the matter and who are trying to make the best compromises between the nutritional intake and the taste and texture of the bar.
- Interesting ingredients : The Opti-Lean protein bar is rich in fiber and is sugar-free. It helps to support the growth and the maintenance of the muscular mass thanks to its ingredients: CLA, L-Carnitine and green tea.
Taste and texture: again, one can make the remark of the texture. Some will even talk about plastic in the mouth. It is true that the texture can seem very greasy and pasty. That’s what happens when you agglomerate products rich in proteins while leaving out the sugar. Nevertheless the taste is there to mask this inconvenience. Even if these last ones are not unanimous. Generally speaking, we can say that the mint taste is much more appreciated than the caramel chocolate which, it seems, leaves an unpleasant aftertaste.
Our opinion in a few words
Optimum Nutrition has always accustomed us to good quality products and, once again, the brand does not demerit. We can count them among the best protein bars. With 20 grams of protein per bar, we are at the top of the protein intake ranking. On the other hand, it should be noted that this is an American format product. That is to say that the bar is 50 grams, which is much more than its direct competitors, which are usually around 25-35 grams. It is therefore easily understandable that it contains more protein.
Again, one of the weak points of the ON bar is its texture and taste. People often complain about this. But they easily forget that it is a meal replacement that is made to give a boost, not a real meal.
Our No. 3 choice, the Foodspring protein bar, for its premium positioning
- Avec du lait de vaches au pâturage
- Riche en protéines et riche en fibres
- Sans arômes artificiels, sans sucre ajouté
- Aussi savoureux qu'un biscuit
Foodspring is a brand that wants to position itself in the premium segment. They have become experts in sports and food for athletes. Thus they have developed several innovative products, each time seeking to give a maximum in sports nutrition while taking into account the pleasure aspect. Because eating without pleasure is difficult and nobody likes it. That’s why the bars are produced with quality ingredients: cow’s milk from pasture, with 100% natural and vegetable food. And they don’t use artificial flavours or added sugar. The only thing missing is an organic or vegan label. This remains the domain of other brands, such as Nakd for example.
- Healthy products: Foodspring pays attention to its ingredients. To make its bars, the brand uses cow’s milk with a 100% natural and vegetable diet. It does not use artificial flavours or added sugar.
- The texture: made of whey and fibre, many customers found the bars too hard. That’s why the brand completely rethought its product for months to come up with a new formula. Today, the bars are softer, softer, more pleasant. And yet, they still contain 33% protein! Enough to stay full and satisfied!
- Almost real food: the bar remains a complement to the food, but with all the efforts produced, one cannot help but see it as food. The recipe produces something intense, soft and full of protein. A real alternative that makes snacking in the room easy and enjoyable. Or to replace a meal if you want to lose weight.
- American size: unlike other protein bars, the format used here is much larger. The bars are 60 grams. So, when reading the quantities, you have to report them on the same scale as the others which weigh only 30-35 grams. So it’s not really higher in protein than another bar, it’s just bigger. But this does not affect the purchase price, which remains cheap.
- The taste: it seems that the brand is going a bit too far. Many customers are now complaining about a taste that is too bland, or not strong enough for their taste.
Our opinion in a few words
Foodspring offers a great alternative in the protein bar market. It is true that for a long time we have only had chemical or manufactured products for performance (high protein, high calorie, etc.). But here, the approach is the opposite. We want to offer a useful product, but we don’t put aside the customer’s desires. Because the customer is looking for a product that is effective, but that pleases. That’s why real cocoa beans are used, or why the milk is of superior quality. In short, it pleases, so we like it! And that’s really great. It gives a new dimension to this type of product, too long considered as a sideline… We have here something that can replace a meal without it scratching our mouths.
What are the criteria to watch out for before buying its protein bars?
Before going to the checkout, you need to choose the best protein bar for you. The one that suits you best and that will take you to a new level during your workouts. To do this, you need to take into account several criteria such as the ingredients and the interest of the bar in the diet you are following. We detail some of these elements below.
This is probably the most important parameter. The one that will tip the balance towards one brand rather than another… Before buying your protein bars, you need to know what they are made of. Often, the ingredients are identical. You can’t work miracles… you need proteins, carbohydrates, etc. And most manufacturers use the same ingredients. But that’s not why they’re the same.
In addition, you have to be careful about potential allergens, as well as the harmful additives that some manufacturers add. This is particularly the case with sweeteners.
And to make your protein bar the best possible, find out where the protein used comes from. Is it egg, soy, or milk?
The benefits of the bar
Is it really useful to consume this protein bar? Depending on your diet, or the phase you are in, a bar will be more or less interesting to consume. It must be in phase with your expectations. For example, the cutting phase requires a bar richer in proteins than in carbohydrates… And conversely if you are in the weight gain phase.
Not all brands are the same… They each have their own reputation. A good brand, a prestigious brand, is often synonymous with better quality ingredients. For example, the use of egg proteins rather than milk proteins.
Thanks to the internet, it is easy today to position oneself in relation to a brand, to have opinions on products, but also to know precisely the composition of a protein bar.
With the brand also often comes the price. Like any supplement, a protein bar has a cost and you have to be ready to pay. According to current standards, the price of a bar is between 1 and 3 euros. And that takes into account the merchandising and the ingredients. The higher the price, the more likely you are to find good quality ingredients.
Taste is the little extra that makes you enjoy your protein bar. Although it may seem trivial, this point is no less important. When you see the taste of certain supplements, you are very quickly delighted to have a flavor or taste to mask the bitterness or stench. And it’s the same with protein bars. Even if it is not essential, it is still more pleasant.
Today, with the many products on the market, you are bound to find a bar to your taste. Always choose a flavor that is not too disgusting in the long run.
Where to buy its protein bars at the best price?
Protein bars are sold everywhere and for cheap… Even in convenience stores. There are so many brands that it is sometimes difficult to find your way around. For bodybuilders, some mainstream brands are to be avoided. Do not use them, they will be of no use to you. It is also possible to find them in large sports stores. There, you will find brands that are more appropriate for your training. But self-service gives you little, if any, advice, let alone sound advice.
Finally, you still have the possibility of using the internet. It is possible to buy your bars on the internet, via sites such as Amazon. Even if you won’t find a lot of personalized advice there, you at least have the possibility to feed your thoughts with the opinions of others. In addition, you have access to lower, very competitive prices, especially in case of sales or promotions. All this, delivered directly to your home with the possibility of returning the product if you are not satisfied.
How to choose the best protein bar?
Choosing the best protein bar is what everyone wants. But not all bars are suitable for bodybuilding. Or at least, for any given moment of your workout… Depending on the period you are in, it will be advisable to opt for a high-protein or high-carbohydrate bar.
For athletes looking to build muscle mass, it is more interesting to turn to protein bars rich in carbohydrates and fatty acids. They consist of oat flakes, peanut butter or chocolate. They are proportionally richer in calories. Typically, these bars contain around 140 calories and 15 grams of protein.
For athletes who are looking for lean mass or who are in a dry period, it is better to opt for bars that are high in protein and low in fat. In this case, you’re looking at around 100 calories per bar, but the ratio of protein contained inside is higher.
Do protein bars have any side effects?
No. Protein bars have, so to speak, only advantages. The composition is harmless for the body since everything is natural, sometimes even organic or vegan. However, this should not prevent you from paying attention to the ingredients. Not everything is good for your health. And to get an idea, it’s better to turn the box or packaging over and read what’s in it. A welcome gesture, especially if you have strong allergies.
Protein bars can cause dehydration. There is no risk if you use the bars as a one-time booster to help you stay fit during a workout. However, if you replace whole meals with protein bars, the risk becomes real. Specialists and nutritionists recommend drinking 500 ml of water for every 100 grams of protein ingested, bearing in mind that a bar weighs between 20 and 30 grams.
How are protein bars produced?
To make a protein bar, you need proteins. And in general, these are usually made from eggs, soy or milk. As eggs are more expensive, soy is more suitable for vegan, etc. To this, other ingredients are added to make the bar richer or give it a better taste. Carbohydrates and fat are added. It then becomes richer in calories. Sometimes we also add minerals and vitamins, this makes the protein bar effective because the body can better capture the proteins.
The composition of a protein bar depends on its ingredients. These being chosen according to the objective to be reached. To improve the taste, which can be unpleasant, manufacturers flavor their protein bars with various tastes: chocolate, vanilla, etc.. So there is something for everyone.
Top 10 best protein bars according to Amazon reviews and sales
Here’s to finish the list of the 10 best protein bars on Amazon. This Top 10 is based on reviews and sales on Amazon.
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