The best protein bars to fuel your workouts

Pump it up before you work it out.

Man in workout gear eating protein bar

by Jade Moscrop |
Updated on

As we learned back in our school days, protein is an essential part of a balanced and healthy diet. When it comes to working out, protein helps your muscles recovery and makes you feel full, which can aid with things like muscle building and weight loss.

With so many more people taking their health seriously these days, there's a wide variety of fitness and nutritional products on offer, which is great if you like a lot of choice. Brands are experimenting with more indulgent flavours and are moving into vegan-friendly, gluten-free and all natural ground, which is great if that's what you need or are into.

When it comes to protein bars, people often choose theirs based on: flavour/taste, grams of protein, grams of sugar, how many other ingredients are added in and of course, their sport of choice and fitness goals.

We've pulled together some of the top rated protein bars out there to help you choose your next favourite.


The best protein bars to fuel your workouts

Grenade Carb Killa High Protein1 of 14

Grenade Carb Killa High Protein and Low Carb Bar, 12 x 60g

There's nothing better than something sweet to make you feel like you're treating yourself to something naughty. With Grenade's Carb Killa Selection Box, you can choose from cookie dough, birthday cake and even fudge brownie without any of the guilt. Each bar contains less than 2g of sugar and over 20g of protein, so it's the perfect after workout treat or mid-morning snack.

Barebells Crunchy Fudge, 12 Pack2 of 14

Barebells Crunchy Fudge, 12 Pack

Fudge fans, listen up - you need this bar in your life. The latest flavour from Barebells is a delight for your tastebuds, combining luxurious, chewy fudge with a crunchy topping. It's ideal for those who crave the satisfaction of a chocolate bar but don't want the excess sugar or calories. Each bar contains 20g of protein and less than 2g sugar.

Chia Charge - Vegan Protein Bar, 10 Pack3 of 14

Chia Charge - Vegan Protein Bar, 10 Pack

Loaded with natural protein from peanut butter, chia seeds and soya crispies, these bars are delicious and contain nothing artificial, along with 20g protein. The brand also contributes 1% of its sales to Environmental Charities in the UK, so you can do some good while you work out.

Battle Bites High Protein Bar, 12 Pack4 of 14

Battle Bites High Protein Bar, 12 Pack

Need that luxurious treat hit? With flavours like Mississippi Mud Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Birthday Cake, you truly are spoilt for choice with Battle Bites, Each protein bar contains 20g of protein whilst being covered in a double layer of low sugar chocolate. Battle Bites are a great keto bar, for those following the diet.

Clif Bar Energy Bars 12 x 68g5 of 14

Clif Bar Energy Bars 12 x 68g

This oat-based bar definitely ranks high in terms of great taste, with flavours like chocolate chip, peanut butter with dark chocolate and white chocolate macadamia nut. Although the sugar content might be higher than some brands (34g) and protein content also lower at 13g – than some of the other protein bars on this list, it is the perfect high-energy sports bar to take when hitting the trails or going climbing.

PhD Smart Bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter, 12 Pack6 of 14

PhD Smart Bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter, 12 Pack

A soft protein centre encased in gooey caramel and protein crunchies - what's not to love? Each bar is packed with 20g of protein, less than 2.1g of sugar and is completely macro-friendly. 100% free of palm oil, it's also one for the eco-warriors among you.

BodyMe Organic Vegan Protein Bar, 12 Pack7 of 14

BodyMe Organic Vegan Protein Bar, 12 Pack

If eating organic is important to you, BodyMe is delivering the goods. These bars contain real, plant-based food with no added nasties. You'll find 16g of complete plant protein in each bar.

TREK Protein Power Bar Millionaire Shortbread8 of 14

TREK Protein Power Bar Millionaire Shortbread

Even those new to the fitness world know that peanuts are a true power card when it comes to protein. These TREK bars contain 15g of plant-based protein and are also gluten-free and vegan-friendly. The delectable millionaire shortbread flavour is a real treat.

Warrior Crunch birthday cake protein bar9 of 14

Warrior Crunch Birthday Cake Protein Bars, 12 pack

Who says you can't have cake when you're bringing your five-star gym game? Thanks to Warrior, you can. Just like the birthday cake flavour we remember so fondly, this bar contains 20g of protein and 24g of carbohydrates for post-workout recovery. A truly luxurious treat.

Amfit Nutrition Protein Bar Jaffa Cake, 12 Pack10 of 14

Amfit Nutrition Protein Bar Jaffa Cake, 12 Pack

Get 19g of protein at just 194 calories per serving with these yummy Jaffa Cake inspired bars. They're perfect for those on a budget and are made with sustainable palm oil.

The Protein Kitchen 100% Natural Protein Bars11 of 14

The Protein Kitchen 100% Natural Protein Bars, 12 x 55g

You'll find no B.S. in these bars! They boast all-natural flavourings, no sugar, no added preservatives or colours and, basically, no nasties. They're gluten and dairy-free, too. Containing 12g of protein and 4.4g fibre, these tasty bars are just 201 calories each. You can also get these bars in cocoa and peanut, coconut and almond and chocolate and hazelnut.

MaxiMuscle Protein Bites Cookies & Cream 110g12 of 14

MaxiMuscle Protein Bites Cookies & Cream 110g

These protein bites are an absolute dream - with just 180kcal per serving and around 20g of protein in half the bag, you could take this resealable bag on the go and enjoy guilt-free snacking whenever hunger strikes. They come in two delicious flavours - cookies and cream and millionaire shortbread.

Boostball Keto Choc Hazelnut 40g13 of 14

Boostball Keto Choc Hazelnut 12 x 40g

If you are keto and are looking for a protein kick then these boost balls will do the trick, Coming in many flavours such as chocolate hazelnut, chocca mocha, chocolate mint, peanut butter, raw choc ad white chocolate raspberry and coconut their is a bag for every flavour profile. They are also all natural, low-carb and contain 5.2g of protein per pack (4 x 10g balls) with a tiny 4g of carbs, 1.4g of which are natural sugars not to mention they are vegan too.

Kind dark chocolate and sea sat bar, 12 pack14 of 14

Kind Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Bar, 12 Pack

This whole nuts snack bar contains 60 per cent nuts that will give you full and energised for longer, plus they are gluten-free. The bar is high in fibre (4.5g), packed with protein (6.6g) and has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Are protein bars actually good for you?

Although protein bars are a convenient way to load up on carbs, protein, vitamins, fibre, and minerals to your diet, not all bars are created equal. Some bars have a high amount of sugar so be sure to read the nutritional information before buying a 12-pack.

Protein bars or bites can curb your appetite, power a workout, or support muscle repair after exercise, so they are a great way to refuel. However, it is good to note that they can’t replace the quality and nutrient composition of whole foods so think of them as a bar for on the go rather than a meal replacement.

How much protein should I eat a day?

According to the Dietary Reference Intake reportfor macronutrients, an inactive adult should have about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.

That means that the average sedentary man should eat about 56 grams of protein per day, and the average woman should eat about 46 grams.

You should aim to consume between 10 per cent to 30 per cent of your calories from protein sources. So for example, if your body requires 2,000 calories per day, 200-700 calories should come from protein.

How do diet and exercise affect my protein intake?

If you are looking to lose weight, protein-rich foods will leave you feeling much more satisfied and full than fat and carbs. However, this is not to say you can't gain weight on a protein-dense diet. Just like everything - moderation is important so you should not overeat proteins just like any other food. It is good to think about calories in versus calories out as this is the key to consistent weight loss.

What are good sources of protein?

The healthiest protein sources are commonly from plants. Here are a few good whole foods that are filled with protein:

Soy, nuts and seeds

Beans, peas and lentils

Skinless poultry like chicken or turkey

Lean cuts of beef or pork


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Jade Moscrop is the Deputy Commercial Content Editor for WhatsTheBest, specialising in lifestyle topics. She also writes for Closer, Heat, and Mother&Baby.

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