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Protein Bar Review – Fat Shredder Bars

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 tomorrow).

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

chocolate Deluxe Protein BarYou probably guessed it, but these are still some of my favorites. Are there tastier bars out there? Sure. But strictly from the nutritional and cost standpoint, the Chocolate Deluxe Pure Protein bar is hard to beat.

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 bar peanut butter crunchSupreme 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.

Quest Bars

Quest Bar Protein BarQuest Bars have been getting a lot of buzz in many of my Facebook groups. They are a really interesting protein bar. I only tested the chocolate brownie variety.

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 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!

FS_Bars

 

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50 comments
Don Jones
Don Jones

Just wanted to add that my local Smoothie King doesn't even carry Quest bars but my local Complete Nutrition store sells them for $2.00 a bar everyday. I went by today and picked up four boxes.

Carlos C
Carlos C

Hey Coach,

 

Im a little confused with the My fitness Pal app when it comes to counting carbs with Quest Bars. To get the net Carbohydrates that the body is actually absorbing you would subratct the fiber. This leaves Quest bars with about 4 grams of Carbs. Which is awesome to use especially on the Fat shredder plan Im currently on. However, with My fitness Pal it seems to add only the Total Carbs and that throws off my 50/30/20 split I am aiming for.

 

Can you shed some light on this??

Tx in advance.

tkernicky
tkernicky

Wow I picked up some Pure Protein Choc Deluxe bars and I see what I've been missing! Wasn't expecting the taste to be so great!

liljon84
liljon84

Pure Protein Bars are hard to beat, but I've recently been trying some new bars by Think Thin (Brownie Crunch & Peanut Butter) that are very tasty. They're gluten free and sugar free. The only downside is that they are 240 calories per bar.

nav007_2000
nav007_2000

Hi all,

finally managed to get hold of some pure protein bars this week. unfortunately i couldnt have them as they had hydrolysed gelatine which i cannot eat.

 

Anyway, it looks like most protein bars are not suitable for vegetarians.

 

I decided to make my own bars. I highly recommend that you check out this site: www.proteinpow.com

 

She has some amazing recipes using just protein powders.

Trenton
Trenton

Not sure how the QuestBars have the same amount of protein as the Pure Protein bars, but more carbs and more fat...but less calories? I'll stick with my chocolate deluxe Pure Protein bars just in case. They're good anyway. 

Ping2011
Ping2011

I love Pure Protein bars, bought in a package of 18 total bars from Costco (come with 3 flavors, 6 bars/flavor)...my wife loves Pure Protein Revolution Chocolate, Peanut Caramel, which to her taste better than the regular pure protein from Costco...BTW, costco don't sell the Revolution kind..

awaterz
awaterz

pure protein bars have worked for me, for a long long time.

 

i would say if you're on a really tight budget to try and find Life choice protein bars in the middle of the walmart cereal bar aisle.  typically around the "protein bars" on that aisle.  they're pretty cheap.

CoachV
CoachV

Coach Wayne !! Great post !!

skjay68
skjay68

@coachwayne, this is getting really spooky now, u are so on point with my current thoughts, I use bars but recently decided the brand I use dent my macros budget hence I was going to compile a comparison chart at the earliest opportunity. I'm still running FS 1900 and need bars whilst at work so needed to source an alternative. Pure Protein is available from my supplier albeit expensive. What's ur take on bars which contain "Fat burning" ingredients like Green Tea, L-Carnitine, Bitter Orange e.g. ? Keep up the good work.

Isa4110
Isa4110

Helpful article indeed.  On a somewhat different note, have you experimented with the 25 gram protein shot called Proasis.  It comes in a tube like container  costing $2.99 a bottle.  Coach, if you've had any experiences with this stuff, I'd be curious to hear from ya.         Thanks,  John E. Murph (Isa4110)

gcooke7
gcooke7

I bought a couple of pure protein bars today and a tub of purer option frosty chocolate powder at Wally World. I love the bars. Too many of them don't settle we'll though.

Jasonjyoung
Jasonjyoung

Pure protein just came out with 2 new flavors in a soft baked bar...double chocolate vanilla crunch and double chocolate pb crunch. Both are incredibble tasting but have only 17 g protein and 8g fat

Carlos C
Carlos C

Hey Coach,

 

Have you ever tried MHP power pack Pudding? Any thoughts?

nav007_2000
nav007_2000

Hi Coach,

Are the pure protein bars suitable for vegetarians?

CoachGaston
CoachGaston

I'm still torn between Pure Protein and Quest bars so I just buy both and use them equally so the average price meets in the middle lol. The quest bars' ingredients list is like 20 items shorter than Pure Protein and have the natural sweetened bar which is nice, but the price tag is steep and I didn't like how they are misleading with calories. But both Pure and Quest are my favs, good article Coach!

Coach Shannon
Coach Shannon

Quest Bars do advertise net carbs on the front of the package on some of the bars but I would think that the nutrition label would be accurate.  For example in the Chocolate Brownie flavor the label shows 24 grams of carbs with 18 grams of fiber representing 6 net carbs or what they actually call active carbs. I would think that is a true representation of whats in the bar and that they are in fact 170 calories.....unless I am missing something? Additionally their carbs are derived from nuts rather than sugar. I love Quest bars because in terms of health they have like 5 or 6 ingredients in them rather than a bunch of things you can't pronounce. Some of them such as the Cinnamon Roll which is fantastic by the way use stevia rather than Sucralose.  As far as the cost.....I know a lot of Smoothie King's stock a lot of different flavors of them if you have those franchises in your area. Not sure if it applies to all but Smoothie King in our area here sells all bars for a dollar each on Tuesdays. To me thats a steal on Quest Bar's cause even online I have not seen much price lower than around 2.00 per bar. 

MattMann
MattMann

Coach one thing to note about the Quest bars is that the calories listed are not accurate. They use Net Carbs. Each bar is actually about 40-50 calories higher than on the label.

MarcN
MarcN

Hey coach. Am I correct in that the grams of fiber and the grams of sugar alcohols should not be used in calculating the total carbohydrates taken in for the day. What I am asking is should I record the total carbohydrates listed in the bar or just the "net" carbohydrates? Btw try other flavors of quest. Apple pie and mixed berry are great!

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

Carlos, there is a long discussion on this below in the thread, but I still count all carbs. On whether a gram of fiber should be counted depends on if the fiber soluble or insoluble. Insoluble fiber will pass through undigested (no calories). Quest bars do seem to be all insoluble, so it's net carb reading is accurate. I still count all carbs (fiber too). If you wanted you could look for a Quest Bar entry that reading NET CARBS. That should be entered with only 4g.  

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @nav007_2000 ProteinPow has some awesome recipes! Thanks for sharing it again. 

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @stephentroop25 Usually around 30/50/20. I will still increase protein and drop overall calories if I want to tighten up and lose some BF. But I maintain with 30/50/20.

 

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @skjay68 I think with most "fat burning" ingredients you may see a marginal benefit at best. I am not even sure that you'll notice a difference. The most important thing is hitting your macro goals and staying at or under your overall calorie goal. Thanks!

 

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @Isa4110 No I haven't used them. I have seem similar products, and it they work in your macros they might be a nice fit. I will have to check them out more.

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

Carlos, I haven't. Just track their macros and see how they impact your day. 

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @nav007_2000 You'd have to check the ingredients carefully, but if you are ok with whey then it should be fine for you. 

MattMann
MattMann

 @CoachGaston lol I'm the same. I have a basket in the pantry divided with pure protein and quest bars. I usually only eat bars when I am going to be away from home so I don't have to buy them often which makes the cost of the Quest bars easier to swallow. (Pun intended)

MattMann
MattMann

 @Coach Shannon Shannon I always go by the total carbs. I think no matter what at some point the body is doing something with them so I count total carbs and total calories based on those carbs. I think the who net carbs is more of a way to sell low carbs ideas to people watching carb counts. I may be totally off base but thats just the way I go about counting my macros.

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @MattMann Good catch Matt! Thank you. I knew they mentioned net carbs on the label, but I assumed they still calculated the entire total. I will update that!

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @MarcN I do total carbs normally (so include fiber and SA). Soluble fiber still has adds to the calorie total.

nav007_2000
nav007_2000

 @CoachWayne The owner has published a book which i just bought from amazon. looking forward to making some stuff.

 

Got myself whey protein, casein protein, pea protein and also hemp protein.

 

Carlos C
Carlos C

 @CoachWayne

 TX  for the reply Coach.

I am lactose and tolerant. Any recommendations on a protein bar for this??

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

  @CoachGaston It depends on the Quest Bar. Chocolate Brownie uses Sucralose. It's all up to you. A mix is good. 

Coach Shannon
Coach Shannon

 @MattMann I get what you are saying and I as well look at total carbs when calculating my macros but the actual nutrition label in correct in showing total carbs, total fiber, sugar, etc. so I don't really see where the bars would be more calories than that indicated on the label. I think they just use that net carb or active carb jargon as there are some diets such as low carb, etc. that have nothing to do with fitness at all that take that into consideration in terms of reduced insulin response given the amount of fiber present. 

lakeroost
lakeroost

 @CoachWayne  @MarcN If it helps this discussion at all, I am a Type 1 diabetic and use carb counting to determine my insulin dose.  I calculate based on total carbs, never net carbs.  In my experience, total carbs determines insulin response.

Carlos C
Carlos C

 @CoachWayne

 Coach, I'm good with the whey in shakeology. And I seem to be ok with other products that have Whey Isolate. But when it comes to Whey concentrate or blends it can be a hit or miss. For example I tried Optimum Nutrition 100% Natural Whey. Let's just say my body didn't respond to it well.

I will keep an eye out for any posts, Thanks!

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

Carlos, are you ok with most whey? I know good quality whey can have very little to no lactose. Look for bars with whey isolate. I think Supreme Protein bars might be a good option. I will look into it too.

Coach Shannon
Coach Shannon

 @MattMann  @CoachWayne I agree they are my favorite for sure....and my wifes favorite too......hmmm how much do we spend on Quest bars again? LOL Given what Wayne is saying and the fact that I only eat one a day anyway I will likely trust the label....definitely good information on both points that I wasn't aware of though : )

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @MattMann  @Coach Shannon As I put in the updated disclaimer, soluble fiber does have a calorie impact. In most cases it's about 3 cal per gram. So depending on what the source of fiber is, it will impact overall calories. If those are 19 g of insoluble fiber, the calorie total listed would be accurate. I'm just not sure that it's entirely insoluble fiber. All that being said, fiber does TONS to regulate blood sugar. So having fiber in any meal where there is also sugar present will help blunt the effect of that sugar on your blood sugar levels.

Coach Shannon
Coach Shannon

Ahhh I see where you derived that from now.....I agree the IS misleading....I am surprised that is even legal.

 

MattMann
MattMann

 @Coach Shannon Shannon they calculate the calories based off net carbs. Example: Cinnamon Roll says 170 calories on the label but if you calculate the fat  6gx9= 54 + carbs 24gx4 = 96 + protein 20gx4 = 80 you actually get 230 total calories, 60 more than the label advertises. Kashi products do the same thing.

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @MattMann I would believe so then if it's insoluble. Insoluble fiber is not digested. That would make the label correct. 

MarcN
MarcN

@lakeroost @CoachWayne Thanks for the info. I have started just going ahead and using the total carb count.