Joe is an online weight loss coach and qualified personal trainer of 15 years who helps busy, professional men and women lose fat and build muscle.
Having a 9-5 desk-job, Joe understands the struggles of juggling a hectic life with trying to maintain a good physique.
Grenade Carb Killa Bars are probably the most well-known, most well-loved and in my opinion, the best protein bars in the UK, and with good reason.
They’re available everywhere, they taste good, they come in tons of flavours and they’re relatively healthy. They’re all high in protein, low in sugar (not that sugar is bad) and have around 200 calories.
But there is a lot of scepticism around protein bars, and they’re certainly not cheap compared to good old fashioned Whey protein and they do contain a lot of ‘artificial ingredients’, so are Carb Killas really worth it and do they need to be a part of your sports nutrition arsenal?
ARE GRENADE BARS GOOD FOR YOU?
There’s certainly nothing unhealthy about Grenade Carb Killas, in fact there is no one food that can be described as ‘unhealthy’ – it all depends on the context of your overall diet, but that’s a debate for another day!
Typically Grenade bars contain around 200 calories. The typical calorie requirement for an average man will be around 2,500 calories so a Carb Killa would make up less than 10% of daily calories – not bad at all!
Grenade bars are relatively well balanced, with 20g of protein, 15g carbs and 10g fat (N.B. these numbers vary depending on the flavour!) . This makes them a really good occasional healthy snack when you’re on the go.
ARE GRENADE BARS GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
In order to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit you achieve a calorie deficit by eating less than you use on a daily basis over a long period of time. Grenade bars can of course be part of a diet that results in weight loss, providing it meets this requirement.
Of course, the most important thing is being able to adhere to a calorie amount that results in weight loss. Carb Killas contain a decent amount of protein, and protein is great for weight loss because it helps keep you full, so you could argue that Carb Killas are helpful for weight loss.
ARE GRENADE BARS GOOD FOR MUSCLE BUILDING?
Again, whether or not you’ll build muscle depends on whether you’re implementing progressive overload and eating enough calories and protein overall.
Most people should be aiming to be in a small calorie surplus and an intake of around 2g of protein per Kg of body weight and training hard, progressively and consistently if they want to gain muscle. For an 80kg person, that means 160g of protein per day.
A carb Killa would provide a little more than 10% of that, so there are certainly better choices when it comes to high protein food, but if you’re on the go with no other meat, fish or dairy alternatives, a Carb Killa is definitely better than a Chocolate bar or anything else with virtually no protein.
HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
Grenade bars typically cost around £2.50, however, the cost can vary wildly depending on where you get them from. If you buy single bars from a shop in central London, I’ve seen them retail at £2.99. If you buy bars in bulk, especially from a wholesaler, you could get the bars for just over £1 each.
WHAT’S THE BEST FLAVOUR GRENADE BAR?
My favourite thing about Grenade bars is that there are loads of flavours and they’re always bringing out new ones with cool (ridiculous) names like ‘Jaffa Quake’.
I’ll keep updating this article as new flavours get released (Grenade tend to release a new flavour roughly every 6 months).
To make it easy for you to get a quick overview of the calories, protein, sugar, and fibre in each bar I’ve made this handy table. Sugar and fiber honestly don’t matter too much, but you should pay attention to the calories and protein; you can easily see from this list that the Cookies & Cream and Caramel Chaos flavors give you the most bang for your buck in terms of protein per calorie, but they aren’t necessarily the tastiest flavours!
|Cookies & Cream||217||23||1.5||6.6|
|Dark Mint Chocolate||214||22||0.6||7|
|White Chocolate Salted Peanut||242||20||2||2.5|
|Dark Chocolate Raspberry||233||20||0.9||3.4|
|Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough||218||20||1.9||6.6|
|White Chocolate Cookie||215||22||2||6|
|Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel||226||20||1.4||2.5|
|Peanut Butter and Jelly||230||20||1.8||2.3|
This is the newest Carb Killa flavour on the market, and the first one to be released for a LONG time. But was it worth the wait? You bet it was.
I’ll cut straight to the chase; these taste incredible. Grenade claim that they’ve worked with Oreo to create reduced sugar Oreo pieces for these vars, but wouldn’t know it, the filling tastes like the real thing. So what’s the filling like? Well it’s kind of a soft oreo layer with a cake-like texture rather than the crunch of the actual Oreos themselves. On top of this is the layer of the white cream stuff, again not exactly the same as what’s in the cookies, but close enough.
This recreates the taste of an Oreo really well, and of course, then you’ve got a thick layer of chocolate slapped all over it. Taste-wise I have to give this a 9/10, if you love Oreos, you’ll love these.
Health-wise the story isn’t quite as rosy; each bar has 233 calories. This doesn’t make them the highest calorie bar on the market (White Chocolate Peanut still holds that title) but they are up there, so they’re probably not ideal if you’re dieting. 21g of protein is respectable and they are low in sugar, but also low in fibre meaning they won’t be quite as filling as some other falvours.
Overall, an absolute must try
COOKIES N CREAM
This is one of the original flavours but definitely not one of my favourites. The filling is kind of powdery with only a very thin layer of Oreo-style biscuit crumble. This flavour could be massively improved with the addition of an Oreo Cream layer, This would offset the dry powdery-ness and make it more true to the ‘cookies and cream’ label.
Definitely not offensive though and still better than a lot of other protein bars out there, but it’s nowhere near the best Grenade bar!
DARK MINT CHOCOLATE
I’m a big fan of mint chocolate, whether it’s ice cream, after eights, brownies or mint Aeros – even better if it’s dark mint chocolate. Most critics of mint chocolate flavoured stuff will say that it tastes like toothpaste, generally, I disagree with this assessment, but in the case of the Mint Chocolate Carb Killa, I can see where they’re coming from.
This bar has a chocolate filling, with crisp pieces and a layer of mint fondant (a bit like an After Eight) and is covered in dark chocolate. Everything about this bar is good except the strength of the mint cream, it’s just a bit too minty.
If you’re looking for a protein hit and breath-fresher, this is the bar for you, but for most people this will just be too minty. Don’t get me wrong, the dark chocolate is great but the mint just overpowers it.
There is literally nothing wrong with this bar. It tastes good, the texture is nice and varied with the soft centre, caramel layer and crispy bits, plus, it has a very impressive 23g of protein (one of the highest protein levels of any bar I’ve seen)… so why am I still underwhelmed?
The problem with this bar is that it was one fo the first Carb Killas to be released and it’s just a bit boring compared to all the others; ‘caramel’ just isn’t a very exciting theme compared to all the other cool ones like white chocolate peanut and dark chocolate raspberry.
I really can’t fault this too much however and it has to be praised for the protein content. It’s just not ‘fun’
I find Birthday cake flavored stuff hit and miss, regardless of whether it’s a protein snack or not. Some can be really and others can be really bland, unfortunately, the Birthday Cake Carb Killa falls into the latter category.
Don’t get me wrong, the taste isn’t bad by any means, it’s just a bit too ‘mild’. Birthday Cake can be done well in a protein bar, the PHD Smart Bar version is really good and the My Protein one is a bit better than this.
I think what this really lacks is a jam-based filling to cut through all the stodgy vanilla stuff. One annoying but also kind of cool thing about this bar is that it’s covered in coloured sprinkles; they do add a bit of extra texture but they also get scattered everywhere when you unwrap the bar – be warned.
I really wanted to like this one but it’s not one the best.
WHITE CHOCOLATE SALTED PEANUT
This has got to be the most decadent Carb Killa, it certainly has the most calories at 241 per bar, but to be fair it’s probably worth it.
The bar does what it says on the tin, but unlike the Peanut Nutter bar, this bar actually has salted peanut pieces on the outside, all of which is coated in white chocolate.
It is really nice but for me, if anything it’s too rich and can sometimes make you feel a bit sick because it’s so chewy and dense.
This is almost more like a dessert than a bar!
I can’t deny it’s delicious though and without doubt one of the best tasing protein bars out there
This is the newest addition to the Grenade Bar stable and certainly a welcome one.
While chocolate fudge is nothing groundbreaking, Grande were going a bit wild with their flavours, with a few unpopular and successful releases recently like ‘Apple Rumble’, ‘Strawberry Ice Cream’ and ‘Gingerbread’, this takes it back to basics with ingredients that everyone knows and loves.
Interestingly this is the first ‘pure’ chocolate Carb Killa for a long time, and it’s really good. Somewhere in between milk and dark chocolate, this has a real richness to it without being overpowering. A nice soft texture makes this a very eatable bar, and most likely my new go-to for a while.
Chocolate Orange really seems to divide opinion, I personally love it, but balance and intensity of the chocolate and the orange need to be just right, and in this bar, they’re not.
The orange flavour is way too weak, meaning this is just like a standard chocolate bar with a barely detectable hint of orange in the background. The filling is somewhere between an orange cream and an orange jelly – but definitely more Jaffa Cake than Quality Street.
It’s a shame because this could have potentially been my favourite bar if they’d got the balance a bit better
DARK CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY
Now THIS is an interesting bar. The very bold flavours aren’t for everyone but I’m a big fan.
Think Quality Street Strawberry Cream and you’re very close to imagining what this bar tastes like. It has soft chocolate filling with a Raspberry fondant layer (although it could easily be Strawberry), covered in intense dark chocolate, with some crunchy bits sprinkled all over the top.
Great taste, great texture and an ‘interesting’ bar to eat. Overall this has to be my second favourite Grande Bar
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH
Spoiler alert: this is the best bar.
And by quite a long way. This came out a while ago so it’s not one of the newer bars but for me, it gets everything right.
I don’t know if the filling is real cookie dough but it tastes like it; soft, chewy with that distinctive baked cookie taste – the chocolate chips are generous as well and are hard enough to give you a bit of crunch and variation of texture.
It’s all topped off with a thin layer of caramel that goes really well with the dough, and is covered in milk chocolate. For me this strikes the perfect balance between flavour and texture, a really good bar, I could eat these all day!
A peanut butter bar sounds great doesn’t it, and I love peanuts so I should love this bar. But I don’t
The filling in this bar is way too powdery for me and gives me a word burning sensation in the back of my throat. The peanut layer isn’t peanut butter but small pieces of crushed peanuts.
I know from the Snickers Creamy Peanut butter bars that Peanut Butter works really well in a chocolate bar. The caramel provides some moisture but for me it’s all just a bit too dry and bland for a bar that should be a taste sensation
WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIE
One of the OG bars, this has been around since the start and stood the test of time.
And it’s easy to see why, this is a really nice bar, combining white chocolate with Oreo-like cookie pieces inside. This isn’t too sweet or sickly and has a nice mild flavour while providing something a bit different.
I am a big fan of this flavour, it just lacks that wow factor to put in my top 2.
CHOCOLATE CHIP SALTED CARAMEL
No protein bar range would be complete without a salted caramel version, and the Grenade interpretation of this flavour is really good.
The thing that stands out about this bar is that it’s super soft, so if your main gripe with protein bars is that they’re too chewy, then give this a go, it’s more pliable than most popular chocolate bars.
The salted caramel does come through in this bar, although it’s very chocolaty as well so the caramel and salt gets overpowered a bit. A really rich and descendant bar that’s a real treat, with the added bonus of being covered in crispy bits like the Darl Chocolate Raspberry
NEW 2022 FLAVOUR: PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY
This is a brand new flavour for 2022 and one that I was over the moon to see in the shops. I’ve been a fan of this combo since I was a kid and at one point had it in my sandwiches every single day without fail.
Grenade have pulled this flavour off pretty well as you’d expect considering they already have two peanut-based flavours. The inside is super soft with a peanutty centre which is similar to the White Chocolate Salted Peanut flavour. The jelly component is bright pink and really similar to the Rasberry filling in the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Flavour (the one that tastes like Strawberry Cream Quality Streets).
This bar tastes great, the only issue is that the calories in these bars are really creeping, while the protein stays the same, this bar packs a hefty 230 calories. I have to knock a point off for this, given that it’s over 10% higher in calories than some of the original flavours.
This is a seasonal flavour that’s generally only available around the festive period, and honestly, I’m glad. This bar is awful. I like Ginger and I like chocolate but there’s something about the combination in this bar that just doesn’t sit right with me, they’re both bold flavours that clash too much.
I think this bar could have worked much better with a more subtle white chocolate coating, but as it is, this is not a good tasting bar, the numbers do redeem it somewhat given that it has 218 calories and an impressive 23g of protein, but even that’s not enough to make me buy it again. Avoid.
This is the newest Carb Killa on the market, released in May 2022; the Carb Killa family was really calling out for a cheesecake-themed flavour, I’m just a bit disappointed it was Lemon (Strawberry would have been much better!).
Nevertheless, this does provide a welcome change from other bars, especially given that it has a citrus zing to it that’s not present in any other flavour. This sharpness also cuts through the rich white chocolate really well.
This definitely doesn’t go into my top 3 flavours, but it’s not bad at all and makes a nice change from the usual milk chocolate-based flavours. At 227 calories, this is definitely one of the more indulgent bars available, but that seems to be par for the course these days with Carb Killas.
WHAT ABOUT THE DISCONTINUED BARS?
There are. more grenade bars than just the ones on this list, in fact there have been a few that have been discontinued, or that are only available at certain times of the year. These flavours are;
White Chocolate Mocha
Strawberry Ice Cream
I’ll add reviews if and when I can get hold of them!
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