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Protein Bar Review: Part 2

In case you missed it, yesterday we took a look at some protein bars that work well with the deficit and Fat Shredder. Today were going to take a look at a few protein bar options that are higher calorie. These bars are best suited for someone at a maintenance calorie mark or a surplus. As with any type of food, YOU HAVE TO TRACK IT! The only way that you are going to know if any of these protein bars is the right choice for you is if you log it’s nutritional impact and see that it fits in your daily totals for calories, protein, carbs, and fat.

Let me restate my disclaimer from yesterday: 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 bars completely unacceptable because it uses a certain ingredient (EX: artificial sweeteners, soy isolates, etc.). This post is just to present you with the facts and my opinion on some of these popular brands.

Again 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.

Meal Size Protein Bars

One thing you notice with all these larger protein bars is that they almost all have more carbs from sugar and more fat. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that more sugar and more fat will make them more calorically dense (and make them tastier LOL). It was surprising to me how rich some of these bars tasted. Please be careful with them! If you don’t have the calories, carbs, or fat in your budget, then pass on these bars and instead learn to appreciate the taste of the lower sugar bars over time. Even within this group there are certain bars that will have less of a caloric impact than others.

Beachbody Peak Performance Protein Bar

P90X-Protein-BarsI’ve mentioned these bars in the past and often discouraged them to people on fat shredder diets because these are NOT a low calorie bar!  They are, however, very tasty and offer a great option for those on a maintenance diet.

These bars come in at 260 cal, 20 g protein, 8 g fat, and 30 g carbs (16 g of which are sugar). All of these protein bars have a similar P/F ratio and P/C ratio. People’s preferences will play a large role in picking a bar here. The chocolate peanut butter P90X protein bar tastes really good! It doesn’t have much fiber and it is not organic however.

PowerBar Protein Plus (Reduced Sugar)

power_bar_protein_plus_peanutNow here’s a big bar that features 270 calories with 22 g protein and only 1 g of sugar. How can they do that? Artificial sweeteners. Much like the Pure Protein brand, these PowerBar – Reduced Sugar varieties use sugar alcohols. Remember my disclaimer, this is a personal preference issue. If you’d like to avoid artificial sweeteners there are plenty of options. As with anything that may be questionable, consumed in moderation you are probably okay.  But don’t eat a case of these every day!

These bars have 9 g of fat, with 30 g of carbs (only one of which being sugar). These are again low fiber. They do contain artificial sweeteners and these protein bars are not organic. They can be found in many gas stations so they may make a good option if you’re on the go and haven’t planned well. It may even be a large bar that you could use with your deficit and Fat Shredder. Just realize that you’ll probably have to replace an entire meal with this protein bar.

Clif Builder Protein Bar

clif builder barsMan is this getting repetitive LOL! These bars have 270 cal with 20 g of protein. I really believe there must be some industry-standard for the amount of protein in a protein bar. Clif Builder bars have 8 grams of fat with 30 carbs. What’s different with the Clif bar is there are 20 g of sugar. The bars do pack 6 g of fiber which will offset the impact of that sugar a little.

Clif Builder bars are almost entirely organic. Many Clif bars are organic, but this is not the case with the Builder protein bars. They do not use any artificial sweeteners and these bars are extremely filling. They received my highest mark for taste and fullness. I mean how could anything with 20 g of sugar not taste good. :-) Track these carefully and make sure they work in your budgets.

Promax (LS)

Promax-ls-pb-cookieThe Promax (LS) protein bar is another lower sugar option. What makes it a little different is that the Promax protein bar is sweetened with Stevia (so it has no artificial sweeteners). These have only 18 g of protein for their 240 cal. They carry 7 g of fat and 34 g of carbohydrate (6 g of sugar). These bars lead the way with 11 g of fiber. They are gluten-free but are not organic. The peanut butter cookie dough tasted great as well. Not all Promax protein bars are low sugar, so watch out if you’re looking for a low sugar option.

Oddballs – PURE Bars

Pure-bar-assortment

The reason I call the Pure bar an oddball is because it’s not really a protein bar. It does have 6 g of protein but I believe it is what you would probably call an energy bar as opposed to a protein bar. Much like a Lara bar, it is a fruit and nut bar. These bars are vegan. I tried to include an option that would work for most people.

At 190 to 200 cal and only 6 g of protein the Pure bar has a dismal P/F ratio. They have lots of sugar (from fruit) and 4 g of fiber. They contain no artificial sweeteners, they are gluten-free, and they are organic! These are really healthy bars but you just need to make sure they meet your nutritional goals. If you have trouble filling out your carbs or fat budgets these would be extremely healthy bars to use.

Protein Bar Review Roundup

So is there a clear winner? It depends on who you are. For some people, my classic Pure Protein bar is going to be a perfect fit. Maybe you have a gluten allergy and the Promax (LS) is going to meet your needs. Perhaps you’re looking for the best ingredients and Clif Builder bar fits in your budgets. You have to decide what you want and what protein bar is going to work well with your nutritional goals. My opinions are just that, MY OPINIONS! You might not think some of these bars are good LOL! That’s okay. This list is in no way comprehensive. If you have a protein bar that you really like, post a link to it in the comments, share about its macros, and give your opinion. BRING IT teamRIPPED!

MS_proteinbars

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8 comments
DrewBechtel
DrewBechtel like.author.displayName 1 Like

great posts!

 

The one thing I will say is that if people are anal retentive about it, some bars also need to be analysed in terms of protein type as well. I know some people get really bent out of shape about soy protein and the weaker amino acid profile (granted most of us are getting enough protein to ensure what's needed in terms of amino acids anyway) which may discourage people away from certain bars like cliff builder bars or premier nutrition bars. We're all experts here on reading lables though so we can make our own decisions on what fit's our nutritonal beliefs and nutritional budget .

bring it people ;)

 

PaulZ
PaulZ like.author.displayName 1 Like

Hey coach,

Occasionally I have seen the Pure Protein in the "industrial" size (280 calories with 8 grams of fat for the chocolate deluxe). I have alse seen then in "bite size" for 100 calories, 3? grams of fat). Believe it or not, I have seen them both at Target for a good price. Pure Protein has the best product IMO. 

KhaledEldeeb
KhaledEldeeb like.author.displayName 1 Like

Coach!!!!!!!! I am on day 14 of Asylum 2..... I have NEVER done 14 consecutive days of any program. I am so happy. I think I have finally changed and got over the negative system I have always been following. I am proud of myself. And ofcourse, THANK YOU. I will finish Asylum 2 and then become a beachbody coach :) This might sound like something simple to you, but to me, I just passed a mental obstacle that has been always setting me back :D

coach Nelson
coach Nelson like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

clif builders bars are my favorite. the chocolate mint & vanilla almond are great!! the pure protein bars are good as well but tend to give me gas.  BRING IT!!!

Rishi_D
Rishi_D like.author.displayName 1 Like

Hey Coach, Pure Protein bars also comes in a bigger size too ~ 310 cals/ 32g protein / 29g Carb / 8g fat / 4g sugar. Just wanted to mention it for folks who like pure protein bars and might want a bigger size to meet the bulking goals....