Summary of 2020's Best Protein Bars
In 2020, where we all live a fast paced, on-the-go lifestyle, convenience is key. Sometimes we want a quick snack to get through the day. Usually, a quick snack doesn’t mean healthy. Unless of course, you’re talking about protein bars.
Protein bars are no longer a sugary chocolate bar with a bit of protein powder added. They have come a long way. Most now use the high quality whey isolate as opposed to whey concentrate and include little carbohydrates, minimal sugars and tend to be high in fibre. There are many different options of bars to suit different kinds of needs, so this article isn’t so much a best to least-best list, rather, a viable option for different circumstances. This list is definitely worth reading all the way to the bottom (I made it simple with five.)
Let's dive into the best protein bars of 2020
1. Smart Diet Protein Bars
Smart Diet Protein Bars have re-imagined the protein bar. Yes, they are a convenient quick way to get your protein hit, but these bars are also an all-around healthy, natural snack with no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners.
Upon that, these bars are gluten free, soy free, GMO free and contain neither any added sugar or sugar alcohol.
With 20g of protein per bar, these bars come in at around an average of 166 calories (each flavour will tend to differ, although not an extraordinary amount) making them a great diet friendly option.
With their low carbohydrates, they could pass for some as keto friendly. On top of that, they are packed full of fibre, which could be of great use to those who have undertaken a low carbohydrate lifestyle.
Last but not least, they taste great, and you’re sure to find a flavour that suits you with too many flavours to count (not really, we have about 20.)
2. Outright Bars
Staying on the theme of protein snacks that are also healthy and natural, I give you Outright Bars. Outright use real wholefood protein. Once again, being gluten free, as well as free of any sugar alcohol.
These may not be as diet friendly however, with each 60g snack packing in just shy of 300 calories. They are dense, to say the least. Of those calories, 15g are protein, 14g are fat and 24g are carbohydrates, so safe to say they wouldn’t be very welcome into a low carbohydrate or ketogenic lifestyle.
They have 3 varieties to choose from being peanut butter, almond butter and vegan, with each variety having their own unique flavours.
3. Maxine’s Burn Bars
After looking at one of the higher, denser calorie options, let’s go the other way and look at by far one of the best options for a lower calorie, weight loss seeking lifestyle.
Maxine’s, made specifically as a female alternative to the ultra-popular Max’s brand, have made the perfect guilt-free snack. With as little as 124 clean calories each bar (15g of which are protein) this bar will be sure to not make too big of a dent in your daily calorie intake. With a tiny 3.5g of carbs (only 1.5g of which are sugar) this bar won’t in any way impede on a carb-cutting diet.
They are also gluten free, or as Maxine’s like to refer to their bars “Gluten Free, Guilt Free) which I think that sums them up pretty well. They have many options for their flavours including (but not limited to) a Cookies n Creme, a Chocolate Mint, a Choc Mocha (great with a mid-day coffee) as well as a variety box for those wanting to try each one first before deciding which is their favourite.
4. Lenny & Larry’s Cookies
These days, the word diet isn’t as simple as referring to low calorie or high calorie. Heck, it isn’t even as simple as low carbs, high carbs, low fat, high fat, high...well you get the picture. Now, with people much more aware of how their bodies work, thus being much more aware of allergies or just simply what makes their body function the best, we now have gluten free diets, lactose free diets and more.
However, possibly the most highlighted as of late, whether it be due to what works best for your body or simply your beliefs, has to be the vegan diet, and just like the others, it will mean alot more attention needing to be given to labels and packaging. Luckily, I’m including a vegan specific option here for your convenience, Lenny & Larry’s Cookies.
Now, on that, although containing protein they are definitely not the most healthy, or diet friendly option. Each serving contains 200 calories, 32g of which being carbohydrates (with 13g of that being sugar) and 8g of protein, meaning both the sugar and carbs outweigh the protein by a considerable amount. It may also be worth me pointing out that their “serving” is only half a cookie, so if you’re planning on consuming the whole cookie, double all those numbers above.
On the bright side, Lenny & Larry’s clearly label their product as vegan friendly with no dairy or egg products, and they taste pretty good too.
5. Max’s Muscle Meal Cookies
Last, but definitely….definitely not least. Max’s Muscle Meal Cookies. So far we have covered great low carb, low calorie options for healthy on-the-go snacks, we have covered gluten free, vegan options...you name it. But what about the avid gym goer in their bulking phase? What about the person who just needs to replenish what they’ve lost in the gym? They need high protein, high carbs and solid calories. Well this one’s for you.
This single cookie has 377 calories, with 40g of glycogen restoring carbohydrates, as well as 24g of protein which includes an added amount of BCAA’s at a 1:1:1 ratio. This protein cookie is the snack of snacks for those looking to get a quick fix after a grueling, muscle-tearing session.
Lastly, it may be worth noting this snack contains 23g of sugar. We have all learned the evils of sugar, but as serious trainers know, sugar is at its worst when combined with sedation. After an intense session however, the body may appreciate a bit of an insulin spike, especially for maximal protein uptake.
Oh, P.S, these may be the best tasting snacks available, as one would hope with that many calories.
So there you have it, 5 very different snacks for very different people with very different goals and lifestyles. If none of these fit your bill, I will be sure to include a few notable mentions below for a wider range of options.