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Protein bars are a popular snack and can be a simple and tasty way to squeeze more protein into your daily diet.

However, not all protein bars are created equal, and finding an option that fits your needs and preferences can be challenging.

Furthermore, many varieties of protein bars are loaded with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other additives, which may negate many of the potential health benefits that they have to offer.

To help you decide which bars are worth your money, Healthline Nutrition Market Editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, tried multiple flavors from 25 protein bar brands.

Keep reading for her picks of the 10 best protein bars, along with tips on choosing the right bar for your wellness goals.

People often use protein bars to increase their intake of protein, an important nutrient involved in processes such as immune function, growth, and tissue repair (1).

Protein is also essential for building muscle, especially for athletes and people who are physically active (2).

Protein bars are a great way to help round out your diet, particularly if you have increased protein needs or might have trouble getting enough protein in your diet, which might be the case if you’re vegan or vegetarian.

They’re also a convenient and portable snack option that you can bring almost anywhere, whether you’re traveling, hiking, or simply short on time when you leave the house in the morning.

We considered the following factors when choosing the protein bars on this list:

  • Nutritional content: We looked for bars with at least 10 grams (g) of protein, 3 g of fiber, and 12 g or less of added sugar per serving. Because calorie needs vary, we included bars with 180–270 calories.
  • Ingredients: We paid close attention to ingredient lists, prioritizing bars with minimal amounts of artificial additives such as flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives.
  • Availability: All the bars below are available throughout the United States and can regularly be found in at least one nationwide grocery store.
  • Taste test: We tested multiple flavors from 25 brands over the course of 2 weeks. During testing, we considered whether the overall taste and texture made a bar satisfying to eat. We also noted whether the bar kept us full for more than an hour.
  • Price: We included products to suit a range of budgets.
  • Vetting: The products on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being.

A note on price

General price ranges are indicated below with dollar signs ($–$$$). One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $1.80 to $3.20 per count, though this may vary depending on where you shop and whether you get a discount for bulk orders.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $2.00 per count
  • $$ = $2.00–$2.75 per count
  • $$$ = over $2.75 per count

Best overall

RXBAR Chocolate Sea Salt

  • Price: $$
  • Taste: rich dark chocolate flavor with a hint of salt; not overly sweet
  • Texture: very chewy with a bit of texture from pieces of nuts and chocolate

RXBAR Chocolate Sea Salt is our pick as the best overall because it checks every box: high in fiber, more than 10 g of protein, free of added sugar, and made with whole food ingredients.

Featuring gooey chocolate chips, a rich dark chocolate base, and a sprinkle of sea salt on top, this bar is a true chocolate lover’s dream.

RXBAR offers 11 other regular flavors plus a few seasonal varieties, so there’s sure to be a bar to suit your taste buds.

Nutrition stats for RXBAR Chocolate Sea Salt (3):

  • Calories: 210
  • Total fat: 9 g
  • Total carbs: 23 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 12 g

Other available flavors: Blueberry, Mixed Berry, Mint Chocolate, Chocolate Raspberry, Banana Chocolate Walnut, Maple Sea Salt, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Coconut, Peanut Butter, and Vanilla Almond

Pros

  • minimal ingredients
  • gluten-free
  • kosher
  • free of added sugar

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly
  • chewy texture that may not be appealing to all

Best plant-based

Aloha Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

  • Price: $$
  • Taste: sweet cookie dough flavor without any artificial aftertaste
  • Texture: chewy but not dense; not at all powdery or chalky

If you’re looking for a way to boost your protein intake while following a plant-based diet, Aloha protein bars are worth considering. Available in multiple flavors, the bars are all certified vegan and made with organic ingredients.

What’s more, Aloha bars are free of artificial additives, gluten, stevia, dairy, and soy. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re pretty tasty.

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was our favorite during testing, though the Lemon Cashew came in a close second. In particular, we loved the chewy texture and spot-on cookie dough flavor. Keep in mind that many of the other flavors feature a chocolate coating and have a slightly different texture.

Nutrition stats for Aloha Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough protein bar (4):

  • Calories: 230
  • Total fat: 10 g
  • Total carbs: 25 g
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Added sugar: 5 g
  • Protein: 14 g

Other available flavors: Chocolate Espresso, Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Mint, Coconut Chocolate Almond, Lemon Cashew, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup, Peppermint White Chocolate, Pumpkin Spice, and Vanilla Almond Crunch

Pros

  • certified vegan and organic
  • free of gluten, stevia, dairy, soy, and artificial additives
  • pleasant chewy texture and cookie dough flavor
  • no artificial aftertaste
  • low in added sugar

Cons

  • inconsistent texture across flavors
  • some customer complaints about recent price increases

Best soft

TRUBAR Smother Fudger Peanut Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Taste: very much like a not-too-sweet peanut butter cup; no artificial aftertaste
  • Texture: soft, smooth, and melts in your mouth

If you dislike traditional protein bars, which often have a dense, powdery texture, then you’ll love TRUBAR.

Owned by TRUWOMEN — a woman-founded and -owned business — TRUBARS are made with just a handful of 100% plant-based ingredients and come in five dessert-inspired flavors.

The Smother Fudger Peanut Butter bar features a rich chocolate coating and a sweet peanut butter middle that melts in your mouth. The texture is definitely on the softer side, which we liked, but it may not be ideal if you prefer a bar with more chew.

Compared with those of other bars we tested, the price of these varied quite a bit. Purchasing directly from the company’s website was the most cost-effective option.

Nutrition stats for TRUBAR Smother Fudger Peanut Butter (5):

  • Calories: 190
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Total carbs: 23 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Added sugar: 6 g
  • Protein: 12 g

Other available flavors: Saltylicious Almond Love; Oh Oh Cookie Dough; Daydreaming About Donuts; and Get in My Belly, Peanut Butter & Jelly

Pros

  • certified vegan and gluten-free
  • free of dairy, soy, GMOs, and sugar alcohols
  • minimal ingredient list
  • low in added sugar
  • pleasant soft texture and peanut butter cup-like flavor

Cons

  • can be expensive depending on where you buy them
  • smaller than many other bars on our list

Best crunchy

KIND Dark Chocolate Nut Protein Bar

  • Price: $
  • Taste: nutty with a rich chocolate flavor
  • Texture: hard and crunchy

While protein bars are notoriously dense and a little chalky, the KIND Dark Chocolate Nut Protein Bar is the exact opposite. Featuring crunchy whole nuts and a drizzle of chocolate, this bar will definitely put your jaw to work.

This flavor, in particular, was recommended by Healthline writer Rachael Link, MS, RD. It features nutrient-dense ingredients, and she noted that it’s her go-to afternoon pick-me-up thanks to its rich chocolaty flavor.

Like most other KIND snack bars, the Dark Chocolate Nut bar is made from mostly whole food ingredients. It’s also low in added sugar, high in fiber, and rich in healthy fats.

Nutrition stats for Dark Chocolate Nut Protein Bar (6):

  • Calories: 240
  • Total fat: 17 g
  • Total carbs: 18 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 6 g
  • Protein: 12 g

Other available flavors: Crunchy Peanut Butter, Caramel Nut, and Almond Butter Dark Chocolate

Pros

  • good source of fiber and protein
  • low in added sugar
  • minimal ingredients
  • crunchy texture and rich chocolate flavor
  • gluten-free
  • free of artificial sweeteners

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly
  • texture that may be too hard for some

Best for sensitive stomachs

GoMacro Sunflower Butter + Chocolate

  • Price: $$$
  • Taste: subtle chocolate and sunflower flavors; not overly sweet
  • Texture: chewy with bits of puffed brown rice for texture

If you follow a low FODMAP diet, then you know how difficult it can be to find suitable packaged snacks. Enter GoMacro.

GoMacro offers several low FODMAP-friendly products, including the Sunflower Butter + Chocolate bar. This flavor is also nut-free, non-GMO verified, and certified vegan, organic, and gluten-free.

The GoMacro Sunflower Butter + Chocolate bar is a bit higher in calories and carbs than many of the other products on our list, so it’s a good option for throwing in your hiking bag or bringing on your next ride.

Nutrition stats for GoMacro Sunflower Butter + Chocolate bar (7):

  • Calories: 270
  • Total fat: 9 g
  • Total carbs: 38 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Added sugar: 11 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Other available flavors: Salted Caramel + Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate + Peanut Butter Chips, Banana + Almond Butter, Lemon + Lemon, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Coconut + Almond Butter + Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter, Blueberry + Cashew Butter, Maple Sea Salt, Mocha Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate + Almonds, and Cashew Caramel (Note: Only some flavors are FODMAP-friendly.)

Pros

  • certified organic, vegan, and gluten-free
  • free of nuts, soy, and dairy
  • low FODMAP
  • not overly sweet
  • minimal ingredients

Cons

  • may be higher in added sugar, contain nuts, or not be low FODMAP, depending on the flavor
  • higher in calories and carbs than many others on our list

Best for weight loss

No Cow Chunky Peanut Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Taste: sweet peanut butter flavor with a noticeable alternative sweetener aftertaste
  • Texture: chewy and chalky, with some texture from peanut pieces

If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, choosing a protein bar that’s relatively low in calories but high in fiber and protein may help you reach your goal (8, 9).

Providing 17 g of fiber, 21 g of protein, 0 g of added sugar, and fewer than 200 calories, the No Cow Chunky Peanut Butter bar is a good option if you’re watching your weight.

To keep the bars free of added sugar, No Cow uses several sugar alternatives, including stevia, monk fruit, and sugar alcohols, all of which impart a noticeable aftertaste.

However, during testing, we found the aftertaste to be less pronounced in the Chunky Peanut Butter flavor. Similarly, while the bars are a bit chalky, the peanut pieces in this flavor add a nice boost of texture.

Nutrition stats for No Cow Chunky Peanut Butter (10):

  • Calories: 190
  • Total fat: 4 g
  • Total carbs: 26 g
  • Fiber: 17 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 21 g

Other available flavors: S’mores, Cookies ‘N Cream, Birthday Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry Cobbler, Raspberry Truffle, Pumpkin Pie, and Maple

Pros

  • low in calories and added sugar
  • high in fiber and protein
  • available in several flavors
  • naturally sweetened
  • vegan-friendly

Cons

  • contains sugar alcohols, which some may prefer to avoid
  • noticeable aftertaste and chalky texture

Best for muscle building (or outdoor adventures)

PROBAR Protein Chocolate Brownie

  • Price: $$$
  • Taste: rich chocolate flavor
  • Texture: very dense but relatively smooth; can get a little dry

Whether you’re trying to build muscle or frequently spending your days out on the trail, PROBAR protein bars are a great option. In addition to being high in protein, they provide a good amount of carbs, which are key for supporting muscle gains (11).

While all PROBAR protein bars are pretty dense, the Chocolate Brownie was our favorite, as it has a smooth consistency that isn’t too dry. It also has a rich chocolate flavor that will quickly satisfy any chocolate craving.

PROBAR Chocolate Brownie is certified gluten-free, non-GMO verified, and vegan-friendly.

Nutrition stats for PROBAR Protein Chocolate Brownie (12):

  • Calories: 260
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Total carbs: 34 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Added sugar: 12 g
  • Protein: 20 g

Other available flavors: Sea Salt Caramel, Coffee Crunch, Mint Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Cookie Dough

Pros

  • high in protein and fiber
  • rich chocolate flavor
  • certified gluten-free
  • non-GMO verified
  • vegan-friendly

Cons

  • expensive
  • may be too dense for some
  • contains soy

Best keto-friendly

think! Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Keto Protein Bar

  • Price: $$
  • Taste: rich milk chocolate and peanut butter flavor
  • Texture: very soft, melt-in-your mouth consistency; a bit chalky

If you’re following a keto diet, there’s no shortage of keto-friendly protein bars to choose from. And while each bar had its pros and cons, this bar by far had the best flavor.

Unlike other keto-friendly bars we tried, the think! Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Keto Protein Bar didn’t have an unpleasant, lingering aftertaste.

Instead, it reminded us of a Reese’s Fast Break candy bar, with a rich peanut butter center, a milk chocolate coating, and a soft, slightly chalky, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

All think! keto protein bars are gluten-free, keto certified, and free of artificial sweeteners.

Nutrition stats for think! Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Keto Protein Bar (13):

  • Calories: 180
  • Total fat: 14 g
  • Total carbs: 14 g
  • Net carbs: 4 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Sugar alcohol: 7 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Other available flavors: Chocolate Mousse Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

Pros

  • keto certified
  • gluten-free
  • no artificial sweeteners
  • 4 g of net carbs

Cons

  • contains erythritol, which some may prefer to avoid
  • not vegan-friendly

Best for dessert-inspired flavors

Good! Snacks Lemon

  • Price: $$
  • Taste: very sweet with a nice — though slightly artificial-tasting — lemon flavor
  • Texture: dense and a bit chalky

Available in seven dessert-inspired flavors, Good! Snacks protein bars are designed for people with a serious sweet tooth.

In fact, these bars were some of the sweetest we tried. Some flavors, such as Birthday and Snickerdoodle, started to cross into cloying territory.

Good! Snacks Lemon, however, offers a bright acidity that helps round out the sweetness.

Like the other flavors, the Lemon has a classic protein bar texture: dense and a bit chalky. While it might be off-putting to some, the texture definitely makes the bar feel extra filling.

Good! Snacks protein bars are vegan-friendly and free of soy, gluten, and GMOs.

Nutrition stats for Good! Snacks Lemon protein bar (14):

  • Calories: 230
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Total carbs: 28 g
  • Fiber: 11 g
  • Added sugar: 9 g
  • Protein: 15 g

Other available flavors: Birthday, Blueberry, Choc. Mint, Choc. P.B., Cookie, P.B., and Snickerdoodle

Pros

  • vegan-friendly
  • free of gluten, soy, and GMOs
  • high in fiber
  • several dessert-inspired flavors
  • very filling

Cons

  • may be too dense and chalky for some
  • very sweet

Best protein breakfast bar

Over Easy Peanut Butter

  • Price: $$
  • Taste: not overly sweet, with subtle flavors of peanut butter and honey
  • Texture: great chewy texture with bits of peanuts

Miss the days of chewy bars growing up? Then you’ll like these breakfast bars from Over Easy.

Over Easy Peanut Butter is a breakfast bar that’s high in protein and fiber to help keep you full longer. We particularly loved that the bar is made with just eight simple ingredients and lightly sweetened with honey.

Over Easy bars are made with organic oats and free from gluten, soy, dairy, palm oil, and preservatives.

Nutrition stats for Over Easy Peanut Butter (15):

  • Calories: 230
  • Total fat: 11 g
  • Total carbs: 24 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 8 g
  • Protein: 11 g

Other available flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Banana Nut, Toasted Coconut, and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate

Pros

  • minimal ingredients
  • high in fiber
  • no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives
  • free from gluten, soy, dairy, and palm oil

Cons

  • lower in protein than others on our list
  • not vegan-friendly

Need help deciding? Here is a quick look at how our top picks compare:

PriceTextureCaloriesTotal carbs (g)Fiber (g)Added sugar (g)Protein (g)
RXBAR Chocolate Sea Salt$$very chewy210235012
Aloha Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough$$soft and chewy2302510514
TRUBAR Smother Fudger Peanut Butter $$soft and smooth190232612
KIND Dark Chocolate Nut Protein Bar$crunchy240185612
GoMacro Sunflower Butter + Chocolate $$$chewy2703831110
No Cow Chunky Peanut Butter$$chalky1902617021
PROBAR Protein Chocolate Brownie$$$dense and smooth2603481220
think! Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Keto Protein Bar$$melt-in-your mouth18014*3010
Good! Snacks Lemon$$dense and chalky2302811915
Over Easy Peanut Butter$$chewy and oaty230246811

*Note: The think! Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Keto Protein Bar contains 4 g of net carbs.

You may want to consider several factors when purchasing a protein bar, including:

  • Ingredients: Check the label carefully and look for protein bars that are free of artificial ingredients, fillers, and preservatives whenever possible. Some people may also want to avoid certain ingredients, such as sugar alcohols, which can cause digestive issues like gas and bloating (16).
  • Protein sources: Ideally, choose a protein bar made from high quality protein sources, such as whey or protein derived from whole foods like nuts, seeds, or egg whites.
  • Dietary needs: Whether you’re following a vegan, gluten-free, ketogenic, or low carb diet, it’s important to look for a protein bar that caters to any dietary restrictions or food allergies you have.
  • Flavors: Protein bars are available in a wide range of flavors, so be sure to take your taste and personal preferences into account.
  • Budget: Because protein bars can vary quite a bit in price, consider your budget before you start shopping.

Nutritional value

In addition to the criteria listed above, it’s important to check the nutrition label of your protein bar carefully.

In particular, pay close attention to the amounts of calories, protein, added sugar, and fiber in each serving.

Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Calories: For a high protein snack, you may want to opt for 250 calories or less per serving, though individual calorie needs vary. For a meal replacement, look for a bar with 300 calories or more.
  • Protein: Most protein bars contain 10–20 g of protein per serving. Some people, such as athletes and bodybuilders, may have higher protein needs and might want to select a protein bar with a larger amount of protein. For others, a protein bar with 10–15 g of protein can suffice for a healthy snack.
  • Added sugar: When possible, look for bars with less than 12 g of added sugar per serving. To help keep the amount of added sugar in check, opt for bars that are sweetened naturally with ingredients such as dates, fruit, dark chocolate, and stevia.
  • Fiber: Look for a protein bar with at least 3 g of fiber per serving. In addition to supporting gut health and regularity, high fiber foods can help keep you feeling full between meals (17).

Keep in mind that nutritional needs can vary depending on many factors, including your age, sex, activity level, and health status.

Be sure to take these factors into account when looking for a protein bar or consult a registered dietitian for more detailed guidance on your nutrient needs.

Protein bars and granola bars are both popular among snack lovers for the ease and convenience that they offer.

They often contain some of the same ingredients, including grains such as oats and puffed rice and sweeteners like honey, brown sugar, and syrups.

However, though there are several similarities between the two, there are also a few key differences.

For starters, protein bars are usually higher in protein, with 10–20 g per serving. This is often derived from ingredients like protein powder, nuts, seeds, and egg whites.

On the other hand, granola bars are typically lower in protein, with many products providing less than 5 g per serving.

Some granola bars may be lower in calories, nutrients, and fiber. However, this varies depending on the specific brand and product.

Additionally, protein bars are usually a bit pricier than granola bars.

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Photography by Kelli McGrane, MS, RD

Determining the best protein bars involved three key steps:

  1. Research: Registered dietitians researched all the bars to determine which ones met our nutrition and ingredient criteria. Healthline editors and contributors also recommended many of the bars.
  2. Vetting: Healthline’s team of medical experts thoroughly vetted all bars that met our criteria. You can read more about our vetting process.
  3. Taste test: Over the course of 2 weeks, Healthline Nutrition Market Editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, tested all bars that passed vetting.

For the taste test, the majority of the bars were purchased from either Whole Foods or King Soopers (part of the Kroger family). For bars that we acquired directly from brands, we made sure to check that the products are available throughout the United States.

During testing, McGrane paid close attention to the overall taste and texture of each bar. While taste preferences differ, she eliminated bars that tasted overwhelmingly artificial or had too strong of an aftertaste from sugar substitutes.

She also nixed any bars that had an unpleasantly chalky, powdery, or hard texture.

Are protein bars worth the money?

Protein bars can be a simple and convenient way to add more protein to your daily diet. They can also be a nutritious grab-and-go snack, which may be worth the price for some people.

Is it OK to eat a protein bar every day?

It is OK to enjoy protein bars in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Swapping a protein bar in for other snacks in your daily diet is fine and can be a great way to bump up your protein intake.

However, it’s best not to use protein bars to regularly replace more nutrient-dense whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.

For best results, opt for a protein bar that is low in added sugar and free of artificial ingredients and preservatives.

Are protein bars safe for kids?

Protein bars can be a healthy snack option for kids, but keep in mind that kids do not need as much protein as adults. Additionally, protein bars should be incorporated as part of a well-rounded diet and not used as a replacement for more nutritious meals and snacks.

Look for a bar that’s low in added sugar and artificial additives and high in fiber.

Protein bars can be a great addition to a healthy, well-rounded diet and an easy way to increase your protein intake.

However, not all protein bars are created equal, and many varieties may be high in calories, added sugar, and artificial ingredients.

Check the nutrition label and consider your budget, dietary needs, and personal preferences to find a protein bar that’s right for you.