Protein Bar Review: Part I – What comes to mind more than protein when you think about building muscle? You can get protein everywhere! Your whole foods, Shakeology, whey shakes, Arctic Zero ice cream, Monster Energy drinks (crazy right?), and one of my favorites = PROTEIN BARS.
Protein bars are a great way to add some extra protein to your day. Yes, they are processed and packaged, so they aren’t as ideal as whole food sources. I get that. If you feel the need to condemn me for consuming these processed bars then flame away … I can take it! LOL!
Now back to the topic. There are tons of protein bar options out there. I got a huge order of what I consider the most popular brands on the market to do this review. This in no way is an exhaustive list. These are just some popular options that you should be able to find locally and can always order online (like I did with Amazon). Beachbody even carries their own protein bar (more on that in part II).
Everyone’s goals and ideals are little bit different. So I’m not here to argue for one protein bar over another. You may find one protein bar to be superior to another based on its ingredients or its nutritional facts. You may even say that one protein bar is completely unacceptable because it uses a certain ingredient (EX: artificial sweeteners, soy isolates, etc.). This post is just to present you with the nutritional facts and my opinion on some of these popular brands.
At the bottom of this post, there is an Excel document that lists all the nutritional breakdowns, protein to fat and protein to carb ratios, my opinions, and costs. I will reference these throughout the post, so make sure to check out that document.
Fat Shredder Protein Bars
I decided to break protein bars down into groups based on their nutritional impact. There are quite a few protein bars that would be difficult to fit into your macros if you’re running Fat Shredder and on a deficit. This will be a multi-part article, so if you have some more calories to play with in your nutritional plan just wait. Let’s take a look!
Pure Protein Bars
At 180 calories, they pack 20 g of protein with only 4.5 g of fat. That gives it the best protein to fat (P/F) ratio of any bar. They only have 2 g of sugar and 17 g of carbs overall. Finally, their normal price is just over $1 a bar. For Fat Shredder plans, these work great! There are also a few new varieties that are gluten-free. Check the boxes and labels.
Supreme Protein Bars
Supreme Protein bars come in two sizes, I tested the smaller size. The larger size bars often have close to 400 calories and would be a great way to cover an entire meal if you have those calories and your budgets.
At 190 calories, the Supreme Protein bars have 15 g of protein, 13 g of carbs, and 9 g of fat. These bars will definitely have a bigger impact on your fat budgets. They have one of the lowest protein to fat ratios. They are pretty tasty but they do come with a steeper price tag of around $1.42 a bar. So all in all you’ll be paying more to get less protein, more sugar, and more fat.
The Chocolate Brownie Quest Protein Bar came in at 170 calories with 20 g of protein. There are 6 g of fat and 24 g carbs. Even though the P/C ratio is the lowest for this bar, the carbs are almost all fiber. That is a really cool thing to find a protein bar packed with 19 g of fiber! That will really help you reach your fiber goal and is great for keeping you fuller, longer. This bar was gluten-free and did use artificial sweeteners (not all Quest Bars use artificial sweeteners – check their other varieties). The only downside to the Quest Bar was its price. These come in on average just over $2 a bar. Throw these in the microwave for 5 to 7 seconds and you’ve got a great warm snack!
*** Quest Bars use NET carbs to calculate their total calories. This will give them an artificially low calorie total (in my opinion). While insoluble fiber will not add calories, soluble fiber is usually around 3 cal per gram. I don’t know if the fiber used in Quest Protein Bars is soluble or insoluble, so I would just play it safe and calculate the total calories with the fiber counted as carbohydrate. That brings the chocolate brownie bar to just over 250 calories. Thanks to Matt Mann for catching this and pointing it out. The teamRIPPED nation can’t be fooled!
Find a Protein Bar that fits YOUR needs!
All of these bars are good Fat Shredder options because of their good macronutrient profiles (lots of protein and not a lot of carbs, sugar, and fat). You will have to decide what works best for you. Below is a little table comparing the three. Important points for me while looking for a Fat Shredder Protein Bar is the overall calories, P/F and P/C Ratios, and I always consider its cost. Coming TOMORROW will be Part II: Maintenance and Beyond Protein Bars. Higher calorie options (and a couple odd balls). Bring it teamRIPPED!
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