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.
JUST TELL ME THE BEST BAR…
The best protein bar available in the UK I’ve tested in terms of taste, cost-effectiveness, protein content and calories has to be the Snickers Hi-Protein Peanut Butter. It’s one of the few bars in the list that’s actually on a par with a regular chocolate/candy bar (I think it’s even better than regular Snickers).
Protein Powders have been around for decades now and provide a cheap, convenient and tasty way to get in a good amount of protein on the go (for the best My Protein Whey flavours, click here).
But are they really THAT convenient?
Having a protein shake on the go still requires crying around a big bulky shaker, finding a water supply (ideally not the sinks in a public toilet) and then mixing the shake up (which can often result in brown liquid being sprayed everywhere if the lid isn’t on tight enough).
This is where protein bars come in.
They offer all the convenience and speed of a shake, in the form of a bar that can be carried around unrefrigerated and eaten anywhere, at any time.
They taste great as well – at least some of them do.
In fact, the better bars can rival regular chocolate bars for taste and texture.
The only downside to protein bars is that they’re much more costly than shakes (gram for gram of protein) AND they contain more calories; a typical scoop of protein powder comes in at around 100 calories for 20g of protein, while most bars exceed the 200 calorie mark for the same amount of protein.
Nevertheless, a protein bar makes a great portable snack that ticks both the protein content AND taste boxes, but with so many on the market in 2021, how do you pick the right one?
Well you’ve come to the right place; below I’ll review 30 of the most popular protein bars on the market in the UK and tell you which are the best for taste, cost and protein content, here we go;
N.B. When reviewing these bars I am NOT going to mention sugar content. despite all of the bad press, unless you’re consuming vast quantities of sugar, there is nothing inherently bad or ‘evil’ about sugar.
Before we get going, you might want to know what the best bar is for your specific goal, so rather than make you read the entire post, here are my recommendations.
THE BEST PROTEIN BAR FOR MUSCLE BUILDING
Technically, when it comes to muscle gain, more protein is better, so you’ll want to be buying bars with higher protein contents more often than not. The general consensus in the scientific community is that you be getting a minimum of 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight to gain muscle, that means, if you weigh 80kg you should be looking to get 120g of protein per day, spread evenly across 3-5 meals. That means you need to be aiming for between 24-40g of protein per meal.
Most protein bars come in at around the 20g of protein mark but there are a select few that pack a slighter higher protein hit. The one with the highest amount of protein that I’ve reviewed is the Caramel Chaos Grenade Carb Killa. This has 23g of protein for 214 calories which is the best calorie to protein ratio out there. Stick with these if you’re trying to gain muscle.
The top 5 bars for muscle gain are as follows;
- Grenade Carb Killa (Caramel Chaos flavour)
- Quest Bar (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Flavour)
- Battle Bites (Glazed Donut Flavour)
- Fulfill Protein and Vitamin Bar (Chocolate Brownie Flavour)
- Warrior Diet Bar (Strawberry and White Chocolate Flavour)
All these bars pack at least 20g of protein, and contain 200 calories or less, making them perfect for building muscle while being efficient with calories.
THE BEST PROTEIN BAR FOR WEIGHT LOSS
The simple fact is that if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit, which means eating fewer calories than you use every day. The easiest way to do this is to not drastically change your diet – if you do you won’t be able to adhere and you’ll just end up quitting. Instead, you need to find low-calorie swaps for your favourite foods – including protein bars! The lowest calorie protein bar out there is the Maximuscle high protein bar. This contains 174 calories and 15g of protein. This isn’t much lower than the typical average of 200 calories but is a LOT lower than some of the bars out there which can contain over 250 calories.
The top 5 protein bars for weight loss are as follows;
- Misfits Plant Powered (Speculoos flavour)
- Maximuscle Hi-Protein Bar (Cinamon Swirl flavour)
- Warrior Doet Bar (Strawberry and White Chocolate flavour)
- CNP Pro (Chocolate Brownie flavour)
- Protein Pow (Snickerdoodle flavour)
All these bars pack under 200 calories, meaning they’re a snack that can fit into most people’s diets, even those with low-calorie targets. Be aware that lower-calorie bars do also tend to be lower in protein,
THE TASTIEST PROTEIN BAR
This is a tough one because there are a lot of tasty bars on the list. I’m a big fan of most of the Carb Killa flavours, they seem to nail it every time but I wouldn’t say they’re the absolute best taste-wise. The Mars, Snickers and Bounty Protein bars are just like the real thing and really tasty in their own right but you feel like you’re missing out a little because they’re not quite as good as the full fat full sugar bars. My favourite from a taste point of view is actually the Warrior Crunch bars, these are similar in size and texture but just edge it on the flavour front for me with some delicious versions like Dark Chocolate Peanut, Key Lime Pie and Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake. The downside? These bars pack 250+ calories!
The top 5 tastiest bars are as follows;
- Protein Pantry (Cherry Bakewell flavour)
- Snickers Hi-Protein Bar
- Grenade Carb Killa (Dark Chocolate Raspberry flavour)
- Oatein Hype Bar (Milk and Cookies Flavour)
- My Protein Layered (Peanut Butter Flavour)
Unsurprisingly, the tastier bars do tend to be the ones that are higher in calories… You can’t have it all folks.
WHATS THE BEST BUDGET PROTEIN BAR?
As you can see there is quite a variation in the cost of protein bars, with most of them ranging from £1-4. If you’re only buying protein bars very occasionally the cost probably won’t bother you too much, but if you’re buying bars on a regular basis you’ll want to be making sure you’re getting the best value for money. The cheapest bar on this list is the ‘Eat Natural’ bar at just 99p, but it’s not necessarily the best value since it only contains 10g of protein. The cheapest bar with 20g of protein or more is the Battle bites and Fulfil bars; so I’d say stick to these if you’re looking for effectiveness and value for money.
The other thing to consider is that the price of all of these bars will vary depending on if stores have a sale on and exactly where you buy them from. If you’re buying these bars somewhere in central London or at an Airport, expect to pay more. If you’re buying them from a petrol station they could be a lot cheaper, or they might even have ‘3 for 2’ offers on. The cheapest you’ll be able to get these bars for is if you buy them in packs (usually packs of 12). Shop around and you’ll get the best deal!
|Grenade Carb Killa||Choc Chip Cookie Dough||20||218||£2.29|
|Quest||Choc Chip Cookie Dough||21||200||£2.46|
|Battle Bites||Glazed Donut||21||220||£2.04|
|Oatein Hype||Milk and Cookies||19||197||£2.04|
|My Protein Layered||Peanut Butter||20||219||£2.49|
|Barebells Double Bite||Caramel Crisp||17||199||£1.95|
|USN Trust Cookie Bar||White Chocolate Raspberry||16||242||£2.36|
|Warrior Crunch||Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake||20||251||£2.07|
|PHD Smart Bar||Birthday Cake||20||236||£2.49|
|PHD Smart Plant Bar||Vanilla Fudge||20||265||£2.07|
|Maximuscle High Protein Bar||Cinnamon Swirl||15||174||£2.29|
|M&Ms Hi Protein Bar||Peanut||15||209||£2.07|
|Snickers Hi Protein Bar||Peanut Butter||20||225||£2.07|
|Mars Hi Protein Bar||Salted Caramel||18||209||£2.29|
|Bounty Hi Protein Bar||N/A||18||207||£2.50|
|Mountain Joes Protein Granola Bar||Original||12||260||£1.99|
|Optimum Nutrition Whipped Bites||Chocolate||20||244||£2.49|
|Protein Pantry||Cherry Bakewell||19||256||£3.75|
|CNP Pro||Chocolate Brownie||14||194||£2.45|
|Misfits Plant-Powered||Chocolate Speculoos||15||178||£2.39|
|USN Trust Crunch||White Chocolate Cookie Dough||20||212||£2.79|
|Larry and Lenny’s Complete Cookie||White Chocolate Macadamia||16||460||£2.15|
|Muscle Moose Beaver Bar||Chocolate Caramel||20||219||£2.50|
|Warrior Diet Bar||Strawberry and White Chocolate||20||184||£2.29|
|Trek Protein Bar||Peanut Butter Crunch||15||210||£1.19|
|KIND Bar||Caramel Almond Sea Salt||5||158||£1.99|
|Eat Natural Protein Packed||Peanuts and Chocolate||10||229||£0.99|
|Bounty Protein Flapjack||16||218||£2.00|
|Grenade Reload Oat Protein Bar||Blueberry Muffin||17||238||£1.99|
|Mountain Joes Protein Flapjack||Cookie Dough Latte||12||264||£1.99|
|Battle Bites Dynabar||Chocolate fondant||18||243||£2.45|
|Snickers Protein Flapjack||N/A||16||248||£2.00|
|Oatein Millionaire Crunch||Hazelnut Caramel||15||243||£2.25|
|Wana Waff and Cream||Cocoa and Peanut Butter||13||251||£2.50|
|Sci MX Protein Flapjack||Chocolate and Hazelnut||21||251||£1.70|
|Swolesome Foods||Spread The Love||20||294||£3.95|
|Aldi High Protein Bar||Cookie Dough||21||219||£1.29|
|Sainsbury’s Pro Fit||Caramel Vanilla Crunch||18||217||£1.62|
|Lidl Protein Bar||Cookies and Cream||22||187||£1.60|
WHICH IS THE BEST PROTEIN BAR?
GRENADE CARB KILLA
Flavour reviewed: Cookie Dough
Carb Killas are the undisputed king of protein bars, they definitely weren’t the first ones around, but they really did perfect the recipe, they’re great all-rounders, being relatively low in calories with an acceptable amount of protein.
The Cookie Dough flavour is one of my all-time favourites, with a thick, chewy centre dotted with generous amounts of chocolate chips, and coated chocolate.
The best thing about Carb Killas is that Grenade are constantly bringing out new flavours, AND they get better and better. If you just want to know what the best Grenade bars are, check out my separate reviews.
Carb Killas aren’t the best bar on the market, but they’re a good all-rounder, and very widely available.
Flavour reviewed: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Quest are the OG of protein bars, when they were first released there was very little competition around… And it shows. Once upon a time, these were revolutionary, but the newer bars on the market have left them behind.
Quest bars are generally very solid, very chewy blocks that lack flavour aside from a very false, very chewing gum-like sweetness. Bland, and no fun to eat.
Flavour Reviewed: Carrot Cake
The best thing about Battle Bites? They come in two separate ‘bites’ so you can easily save one for later. Not that you’d be that enthusiastic about doing so, despite the fancy packaging and cool, unique sounding flavours , the taste leaves a LOT to be desired.
Being a huge Carrot Cale fan I was excited to try the Carrot cake flavour, thinking it might have a soft cake-y filling with frosting-like covering. Nope. It pretty much much tasted of nothing, and after eating it the only battle I felt like having was with their legal department over the labelling of this being anything resembling Carrot cake.
BATTLE BITES DYNA BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Chocolate Fondant
This is a really unique bar in terms of the texture; most protein bars are quite chewy and dense but this had a super soft truffle-like filling. Think Lindt Lindor and you’re on the right track, as far as I know there is no other protein bar on the market with this sort of texture so if you’re bored of the same old thing and want a change, this is for you.
This is a super indulgent bar however and the decadent taste and texture does come with a cost, that cost is 243 calories which is quite high considering this bar only has 18g of protein. I’d say this would be an occasional treat rather than an everyday bar, but I’d definitely try one if taste is important to you.
Flavour reviewed: Chocolate Brownie
Fulfil bars are massively underrated, whether that’s because of the uninspiring name, the lack of marketing, or the understated branding and packaging I don’t know, but let any of that fool you, these are GOOD bars!
There are a ton of flavours, meaning that regardless of how sweet your tooth ism they’ll be something out there for you.
The flavour I tried was the Chocolate Brownie, somehow they managed to recreate a moist cake-like texture of a brownie, highly impressive. The Salted Caramel Fullfill also deserves a special mention here as one of the best bars I’ve ever tried full stop.
Fulfil bars also tend to be slightly cheaper than most of these other options – you really can’t go wrong with these
Flavour reviewed: Milk and Cookies
Oatein Hype bars are relatively new players on the protein bar market but they’ve come in all guns blazing with a very impressive bar.
The best thing about the Hype bars is that they’re super soft, something that can’t be said for most of the other bars here, and this makes eating these more akin to having a ‘regular’ chocolate bar.
The Milk and Cookies flavour is oddly named because there’s no real Milk aspect going on, but it’s pretty darned good nonetheless. One of the best on this list.
OATEIN MILLIONAIRE CRUNCH
Flavour reviewed: Hazelnut Caramel
Another unusual bar, although in all fairness this can’t really be called a bar, it’s more of a ‘slice’. This is clearly meant to be a take on Millionaires Shortbread, which isn’t my favourite treat but in all fairness, this does make an interesting alternative to a bar.
And this is pretty close to the real thing, the base is biscuity and crunchy without being too dry, the middle (whatever’s in it) is moist and there’s a generously thick chocolate coating on top. Unfortunately, like a lot of the products on this list that try to make a departure from the tried and tested ‘bar’ format, the calories are just too high and the protein is too low.
At 15g, this doesn’t really have enough protein to be a standalone protein snack, but it is tasty and a welcome change taste and texture-wise from the same old bars.
MY PROTEIN LAYERED
Flavour reviewed: Chocolate Peanut Butter
My Protein are one of the biggest sports nutrition brands in the UK and the kings of whey protein powder (find out what the best whey flavours are here) but they’ve recently diversified into the protein bar game. And they’ve done a great job, the layered bars live up to their name, comprising of two layers – in this case, a layer of soft peanut butter, and a chocolate cake-like base, all coated in chocolate. The taste is bold and distinctive and the variation in textures makes it interesting to eat. A very good bar.
Flavour reviewed: Crunchy Fudge
Barebells haven’t been around as long as Carb Killas, but they’re almost as synonymous – I see these in most petrol stations in the UK now, and they don’t set the world on fire, but they do provide some nice alternative flavours.
Texture-wise, they’re pretty good, kinda soft but kinda chewy at the same time. I like the chewiness because it means they take longer to eat, but it might be a bit much for some people.
The Crunchy Fudge is good but didn’t blow me away.
A good fallback option
BAREBELLS DOUBLE BITE
Flavour reviewed: Caramel Crisp
These are quite different from the regular Barebells in that the inside is crispier rather than chewy. I personally prefer these as they’re not such a chore to eat – the inside is a lot like a Rice Krispy Square; kinda crunchy but also kinda sticky. The only downside is that these are a bit lower in protein than the standard bars.
USN TRUST COOKIE BAR
Flavour Reviewed: White Chocolate Raspberry
Somewhat unique in that this is a cookie/bar hybrid, the USN Trust Cooke Bar offers something a little different, and it’s a welcome change from the usual nougat/chocolate combos on this list. The cookie part is moist enough and the chocolate chips are generous, although there’s not a huge amount of raspberry flavour going on. The downside with this is that it’s quite low in protein and high in calories, so not the best choice nutrition-wise if you’re dieting.
Flavour reviewed: Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake
Warrior Crunch Bars live up to their name; they have a central chewy core, surrounded by crunchy biscuit-like pieces, coated with milk or white chocolate. This makes this one of the more interesting and substantial bars on this list.
There is also a lot of innovation from Warrior on the flavour front, the Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake was good, but the Key Lime Pie is even better, combining a citrusy zing with smooth white chocolate, a genuinely refreshing combination.
PHD SMART BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Birthday Cake
Smart bars are VERY similar in shape, size and texture to warrior crunch, and have just as many innovative flavours.
Birthday cake is a flavour that’s generally executed pretty poorly by most brands but the PHD version is fantastic – as is the Missisipi Mud pie, probably the chocolatey-est chocolate protein bar out there.
Like Warrior Crunch bars, these have a real varity of textures with a soft centre, crunchy bits, a chcolate outter layer and, depending on tbe flavour, some sprinkles or extra drizzled chcolate.
PHD SMART PLANT BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Vanilla Fudge
As good as the regular PHD bars are, the Vegan version is simply awful. This isn’t a reflection on PHD, more that it’s clearly very difficult to make a good tasting Vegan bar.
The inside is dry, crumbly, and tastes like soil. Also 20g of Vegan protein is unlikely to be sufficient to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. This is better than nothing and obviously, the only option of you’re vegan, but otherwise, avoid this at all costs.
MAXIMUSCLE HIGH PROTEIN
Flavour Reviewed: Cinnamon Swirl
Maximuscle have been around for a long time, I think their protein powder was one of the first brands I ever bought but they’ve never been well known for their bars.
Well, they’re getting in on the game now and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.
The other reason I respect Maximuscle is because they’ve released a cinnamon flavour, something I haven’t seen from any brand. As for the bar, it’s good, but I’m a huge cinnamon fan so I’m probably biased.
There’s nothing super stand-out about this bar, the texture is pretty run of the mill. Not bad. Extra point for the cinnamon.
M&MS HI-PROTEIN BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Peanut
The fact that an M&Ms Protein bar exists is kinda cool because there isn’t even a regular M&Ms bar on the shelves (at least not in the UK).
Sadly these don’t QUITE live up to the name, yes it’s a chocolate and peanut butter bar with M&Ms in, but the M&Ms are small, and they’re few and far between, which is a shame because this could have been a great bar.
Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still very good, you can’t go wrong with M&Ms, even if they are tiny.
SNICKERS HI-PROTEIN BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Peanut Butter
I’m going to say something really controversial here, and a lot of you aren’t going to like it, but… These are better than actual regular Snickers Bars.
They’re softer, nutter, and the peanut chunks are bigger and crunchier. The only downside is that they’re a bit smaller than regular Snickers. Apart from that, faultless. A god-level protein bar.
MARS HI-PROTEIN BAR
Flavour reviewed: Salted Caramel
Like the Snickers bar, this tastes very similar to the ‘real’ thing, the biggest difference is the thickness of the chocolate coating, but as for the nougat and caramel, I personally wouldn’t notice a difference. It’s a little chewier than a normal Mars but I personally don’t mind that. Nowhere near the level of the Snickers bar but another solid option.
BOUNTY HI-PROTEIN BAR
Flavour reviewed: N/A
As with the Mars and Snickers bars, this is true to its original form and again, in my opinion, surpasses it. This even comes with desiccated coconut sprinkled on the bar – you don’t get that with regular ol’ Bounties! The coconut filling definitely isn’t as moist but that didn’t really ruin it for me, it still has a great flavour and is relatively soft.
MOUNTAIN JOE’S PROTEIN GRANOLA BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Original
This is gonna get a bad review. it feels unfair because the fact that the bar is 100% Vegan and only has 12g of protein is clearly labelled on the pack, but 12g of Protein is simply too low when compared to the competition (most of which have 20g+), especially when the bar itself is underwhelming.
I happen to like a Granola/Flapjack like bar but this was just too dry and crumbly. Either have a proper protein bar, or a regular flapjack.
Flavour Reviewed: Snickerdoodle
I was majorly disappointed by this for two reasons, I’ve been following Protein Pow for some time, they do some great recipes. Secondly, I love the packaging design on this and of all the bars I reviewed, it’s by far the coolest. Unfortunately, the bar doesn’t live up to its wrapper – this is really bland tasting and the texture is way too same-y – this is very much like a Quest bar but with way less protein. These are Vegan, but they’re not even the best Vegan bar out there. Avoid.
OPTIMUM NUTRITION WHIPPED BITES
Flavour Reviewed: Chocolate
I like these because they’re kind of unique, they’re very much individual ‘bites’ rather than a bar, and the filling is very soft and mousse-like, something I haven’t seen from any other bar.
These only come in two flavours, but a word of warning; the Strawberry is not good; kinda false tasing and chemical-y. Stick to the Chocolate version which is good.
Flavour Reviewed: Cherry Bakewell
The fact that Protein Pantry are always sold out is a testament to how much the protein bar market has grown and how there are now niche markets developing.
Protein Pantry are different from all the others on this list in that they’re not mass-produced. They’re hand-made to order and the quality is out of this world.
The cherry Bakewell is my favourite (so far) and i’m not exaggerating when I say this is better than an actual Cherry Bakewell Tart – and better than a lot of desserts I’ve tried (I’ve tried a lot).
The texture is much cakier than other bars, with a solid block of white chocolate – and a cherry, of course, topping it off, plus a layer of jam in the middle.
This really is a pleasure to eat. The only down is the calories – they are much higher than most other bars, and the cost, these aren’t cheap but I still think they’re good value because the quality is so high.
Flavour reviewed: Spread the Love
I’ve strategically placed this below the Protein Pantry entry because it’s a very similar style of bar. In fact, to call this a bar wouldn’t be doing it any justice, this is more of an artisan dessert with quirky flavour names and cool bespoke packaging.
This particular flavour is called ‘Spread the Love’ which is basically peanut butter and jelly, but it’s really not just that. This has a cake-y structure with a layer of peanut butter and strawberry jam coated in a thick layer of chocolate, with two little bits of french toast on top. I’m not going to hold back, this bar/dessert/thing is delicious and like the Protein Pantry products, you wouldn’t know this was a ‘protein’ themed snack.
It’s really different and creative and you wouldn’t be disappointed if you got this in a cake shop (is a cake shop even a thing?!). The thing is, the calories are higher than Protein Pantry by quite a bit, although it does have a decent 20g of protein.
Given the fact that this costs almost £4 and has nearly 300 calories, I can’t seriously recommend this as an everyday bar, and I’ve given it one less point than Protein Pantry but you do HAVE to try one.
CNP PRO PROTEIN BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Chocolate Brownie
CNP is a really old school sports nutrition brand and I’m surprised it’s taken them this long to jump on the protein bar bandwagon, but they have, and it’s not bad!
They have a Chocolate brownie flavour so obviously, I chose that because Chocolate Brownie – the bar is slightly smaller than most other protein bars and it comes in at 194 calories which is at the lower end of the scale.
The problem is it only packs 14g of protein which just isn’t enough in my book, especially for 194 calories. Taste-wise, this is pretty good if you like rich dark chocolate, the texture is crumbly rather than chewy so it falls short of replacing the texture of a brownie but it’s still satisfying.
Not bad but it falls short of being elite bar because the protein is too low and it just doesn’t a ‘wow’ factor
MISFITS PLANT-POWERED PROTEIN BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Chocolate Speculoos
As you can probably tell from my other Vegan bar reviews on this list, I’m not the biggest fan of plant-based bars.
It’s not a principle thing (ok, it is a bit), it’s mainly because they just don’t taste as good. In fact, a lot of them taste like soil.
Misfits fix that, while not up there with Carb Killas in the taste league, their plant-based bar is tasty. I went for the Chocolate Speculoos because I’m a huge Biscoff fan (Speculoos is basically the non-trademarked name for Biscoff). Sadly, it tastes nothing like Biscoff but it’s still good, it’s more like a chocolate cookie, with a crunchy-ish texture.
This is a low calorie, low protein bar so it’s not ideal if you’re looking to build muscle, but if you HAVE to have a Vegan bar, this is the best I’ve tried
USN TRUST CRUNCH BAR
Flavour Reviewed: White Chocolate Cookie Dough
I’m a big fan of these. They definitely live up to their name, with a crunch outer coating covered in crispy balls (lol), the inside however is super soft and has a layer of semi-liquid caramel stuff – very similar in structure to a Carb Killa, but I think these have the edge.
This flavour was similar to the very popular White Chocolate Cookie Dough Carb Killa but I’d go as far as to say it was better. The bar is bigger as well and the calories and protein are almost exactly the same. Highly recommended.
LARRY AND LENNYS COMPLETE COOKIE
Flavour Reviewed: White Chocolate Macadamia
Ok so this isn’t strictly a bar, it’s a cookie, but that isn’t the thing that’s stopping it competing with everything else on this list.
Just look at those calories; 460, 460! And only 16g of protein. That’s really poor.
In fact, if you’re trying to lose weight, you’d be much better off with A protein shake and a regular chocolate bar, both of which you could have for fewer calories than this cookie.\
Having said that, it’s good. In fact it’s better than some regular cookies I’ve tried. It’s chewy, soft and has quite a few chips (but not many Macadamias).
So use this as an occasional treat, not an everyday thing.
MUSCLE MOOSE BEAVER BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Choc Caramel
Muscle Moose are more famous for, well, Moose, so they’re fairly new to the protein bar game. This bar definitely wins the award for best name on this list, but don’t worry, the protein doesn’t come from ground up Beaver meat.
In fact, the biggest thing that stands out about this bar is that it’s pretty uninspiring despite the cool packaging and wacky name – don’t get me wrong the taste is good, although I couldn’t detect any Caramel, and the calories and protein fall within acceptable ranges, it’s just a bit boring..
The texture is quite light and really easy to eat which is a plus, and the bar comes in two separate sticks (a bit like a Kit Kat) which means it’s easier to ration if you’re dieting.
Ultimately nothing to write home about.
WANA WAFF AND CREAM
Flavour reviewed: Coca and Peanut Butter
This bar is frankly bizarre. From the minimalist branding (which I really like) to the structure of the bar itself, to their seemingly blatant disregard for the amount of protein and calories it contains. The best way to describe this is like a Kinder Bueno, it has a chocolate outer coating, light wafer and a creamy peanut butter filling.
The bar is really light but my favourite thing about it is that it isn’t too sweet (not this flavour anyway), the peanut butter inside is quite salty and doesn’t taste like it has a ton of artificial ingredients. Sadly, like many of the other ‘luxury’ bars on this list, this just doesn’t stack up in terms of calories and protein. 250+ calories is just too high for something you might eat on a regular basis.
Still, this is a unique bar with a special taste and texture that you have to experience.
WARRIOR DIET BAR
Flavour Reviewed: White Chocolate and Strawberry
Warrior does a nice range of different bars, from the tasty, high-ish calorie crunch bars, to the RAW flapjacks and these Diet bars.
The point of these Diet bars is to be lower in calories than the other types, and they definitely are at 184 calories – lower than the Crunch bars which pack almost 240 calories. They still have a very respectable amount of protein however at 20g, so in terms of protein-to-calorie ratio, this is one of the best on the market.
Predictably, however, the taste doesn’t quite match up; the white chocolate coating is nice but the inside is just a bit too sticky and overly sweet – there’s no variation in texture here like you have with other bars.
These are great however if you’re dieting and looking for every opportunity to get calories down.
TREK PROTEIN BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Peanut Butter Crunch
While this most not be considered as a traditional protein bar, at 15g it does have more protein than some of the other bars on this list. Unfortunately, 15g is still pretty low, especially when this bar has over 210 calories and isn’t anything special taste-wise.
I picked the Peanut Butter Crunch because, well, I like peanut butter but for me, this tasted nothing like peanut butter. The taste wasn’t offensive, if anything it was more chocolatey but too weak for me.
This isn’t a terrible bar by any means, it just doesn’t really have anything going for it.
Flavour reviewed: Caramel Almond Sea Salt
This is definitely isn’t a protein bar, and to be fair, it doesn’t claim to be. it probably should even be in this list, but it was on the shelf with all the other protein bars so what the hell.
In all seriousness, it’s important to call out stuff like this because for the uninitiated, this could easily be mistaken for a protein bar, and this teaches us an important lesson; ALWAYS check the for the amount of protein that the bar has (if protein is what you want). You can be pretty sure that if it isn’t clearly displayed in big letters on the front of the package, it’s going to be low (under 20g).
Anyway, onto the bar itself, it tasted fine if you like Almonds, but it’s SO hard it nearly broke my teeth, and my teeth and jaw were actually hurting for a while after this. Do I need to go on? This just isn’t worth the effort.
EAT NATURAL CRUNCHY NUT BAR
Flavour reviewed: Peanuts and Chocolate
Another bar that’s not strictly a ‘protein’ bar, but again sits alongside its protein-packed counterparts on the shelf.
This is actually really good from a taste point of view, with a great level of crunchy-ness and a chocolate taste that’s not overwhelming while providing just enough sweetness. The tatse is the only good thing about this bar, however. 229 calorie sonly delivers 10g of protein which just isn’t enough if you’re looking for a protein hit.
A nice ‘healthy’ energy bar but the numbers don’t stack up.
THE BEST PROTEIN FLAPJACKS
Flapjack protein bars are generally made with oats and are chewier than regular protein bars. They often contain more or similar calories and less protein.
BOUNTY PROTEIN FLAPJACK
Flavour Reviewed: N/A
A lot of people don’t like flapjacks, and a lot of people don’t like coconut, (what is wrong with you people!?) so I can understand why this bar might not appeal to the masses. All I can do is give you my opinion though, and I loved this bar. The chocolate on the outside is really generous and inside it’s a kind of oaty/coconut-y mash-up that isn’t too dense, but is also moist enough.
Unexpectedly, this is actually one of my favourite bars on the list, and I think I prefer it to the regular Bounty Protein bar. The major downside to this bar is that it only packs 16g of protein, putting it at the lower end of the scale vs everything else on the list. The calories aren’t exactly low either. So, for most people, I’d say avoid this bar, but for me, the taste still makes it worth buying from time to time. An unsung hero in my eyes
GRENADE RELOAD BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Blueberry Muffin
Grenade is of course famous for its Carb Killa bars, but the Reload Protein Flapjacks aren’t anywhere near as well-known or widely available. These bars are marketed as more of an ‘energy boost’ bar rather than something that’s going to help you drop weight or build muscle, which is fair enough because they do definitely contain more carbs than a Carb Killa.
The bars taste really good, again if you like flapjacks this will probably be up your street, with a hint of sweet blueberry running through and a layer of chocolate on top. In all honesty, the calories and protein aren’t THAT far off some of the higher-calorie Carb Killas but definitely still enough for me to opt for a Carb Killa over this. Don’t get wrong, a Reload bar would make a great pre-workout snack if you need some quick energy, but the protein is a little too low and the calories a little too high for me to buy these regularly.
MOUNTAIN JOES PROTEIN FLAPJACK
Flavour reviewed: Cookie Dough Latte
Earlier on I reviewed Mountain Joes Protein Granola bar. I didn’t rate it very highly and unfortunately the same goes for their Flapjack bar. Looking at the calories and protein, I really don’t consider this bar a viable option, and with only 12g of protein, it can barely claim to be a ‘protein’ bar.
I might be able to forgive it if it was absolutely delicious, but it’s just ok. The taste is good but the bar is super dry and there’s not much of it considering it’s the wrong side of 200 calories. Avoid
SNICKERS PROTEIN FLAPJACK
Flavour reviewed: N/A
The standard Snickers protein bar was my absolute favourite on this entire list, so you’d expect the flapjack version to be amazing as well right? Well, not so much. The thing that makes the Snickers bar so good was it’s gooey filling and this just doesn’t have that. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect a protein flapjack to have that sort of texture, and it’s good for a flapjack, but it just lacks that classic Snickers vibe.
Considering its a flapjack, the protein content isn’t too bad but the calories are high. The Bounty protein flapjack has the same amount of protein but 30 fewer calories than this. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good bar, it just can’t match its non-flapjack cousin.
SCI MX PROTEIN FLAPJACK
Flavour reviewed: Chocolate and Hazelnut
Sci Mx is one of the OG brands in the UK, these have been around for a while and there really aren’t and bells and whistles to this Flapjack. It’s a good old-fashioned stodgy chocolate flavoured solid block of a bar. The taste is pretty average and there’s nothing interesting about the texture given that it has very variation.
Where this bar really wins is the protein content, this has a respectable 21g for a not-terrible 251 calories. Nutrition-wise, this is definitely the best flapjack on the list, and one of the best bars overall in terms of protein content. This is a really solid option that will fill you up and give you an energy boost preworkout.
I’m a big fan of this because it’s no-nonsense, but don’t expect anything groundbreaking.
ALDI HIGH PROTEIN BAR
Flavour reviewed: Cookie Dough
The best thing about Aldi is that regardless of the low prices, the quality and taste of the products is still really good, and the same can be said about their Harvest Morn High Protein Bars. At £1.29 these are literally the cheapest bars on this list, and there’s no compromise on protein content; the Cookie Dough flavour bars have 21g of protein, while other flavours have even more.
At 219 calories, these on-par with most of the other bars on this list. Structure-wise, they’re a similar size and composition to Carb Killas, with a layer of cakey/dough stuff filled with chocolate chips and a layer of caramel all covered in chocolate. The big difference with these bars is that they’re REALLY chewy, excessively so in fact. I personally quite like that because it means the bars take longer to eat, but if you have dentures, you might want to avoid these! Are Aldi Protein bars good for you? Well with 21g of protein, 1.9g of sugar and 7g of fibre, these bars certainly stack up really well against other more expensive ones on the market, but they should be treated as a substitute for, rather than a replacement for real foods protein sources.
SAINSBURYS PRO FIT
Flavour reviewed: Vanilla Caramel Crunch
Yes, Sainsbury’s now stock their own-brand protein bars. I have to say I was not expecting much from this, but it’s actually up there with the better bars on this list from a taste perspective. The chocolate coating is generous and the caramel component is really smooth and creamy with no synthetic taste. At £1.62 these are an incredible value and put some of the more expensive bars to shame, given that they’re almost half the price. A great find; if you’re on a budget, stock up on these!
LIDL PROTEIN BAR
Flavour Reviewed: Cookies and Cream
Lidl is known as one of the cheapest supermarkets in the UK (along with Aldi), and you love protein bars, AND you’re a bargain hunter, that’s great news. Why? These bars are one of the very cheapest available in the UK. You’d think that for that price, they’d be sub-par quality, but their imaginatively-named ‘Protein Bar’ is both high in protein AND low in calories. Now I’ll be honest with you, the taste and texture aren’t amazing, this reminds of the old skool protein bars of the mid-2000s that were so chewy you had to book an hour out in your calendar just to eat one.
This isn’t quite that bad but it’s definitely dense. The taste isn’t a stand-out feature, but at the same time, it’s not awful. The only downside to these bars is that you can only buy them in packs of 3, but that’s no big deal because it means you get an even more competitive price per-bar. In terms of grams of protein per pound (of cost), these are unbeatable!
PROTEIN BAR FAQ
Can You Make Your Own Protein Bars?
Yes. It’s actually pretty easy, the ingredients you need are;
- Vita Fibre
- Protein Powder
- Any oither ingredients of your choice
The vita Fibre should be poured into a bowl and warmed up in the microwave so it can be mixed. Then add one scoop of protein powder to the Vita Fibre and mix so the blend is smooth and consistent. Then transfer the mix onto some cling film, with this you can mould it into your desired shape (it doesn’t have to be a bar) and add in any extra ingredients or topping you want.
Making your own bars this way costs around 90p per bar, roughly a third of the cost of most pre-made bars.
Are Protein Bars Good for You?
Click here if you want to know more about whether protein bars are good for you.
There are no foods that are categorically ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – only good or bad overall diets over the long term.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with protein bars – they’re a good(ish) source of protein and are relatively low in calories. Most protein bars are also high in fibre, which can help fill you up and keep your bowel movements regular.
Some bars even have added vitamins. If you want to make the healthiest choice, make sure you read the ingredients on the packet – try to go for one with at least 20g of protein, with around 200 calories.
Do Protein Bars Help You Lose Weight?
The only way you’ll lose weight is by being a calorie deficit, regardless of what foods you eat. If you enjoy protein bars, they help you feel full and they help you adhere to a calorie deficit, then yes, they’ll help you lose weight.
Protein itself is good for weight loss for a few different reasons, so if protein bars also help you to get more protein into your diet, then there’s no reason you can’t have them on a regular basis.
Just be aware that most protein bars range from 150-300 calories, and therefore aren’t that much lower in calories than a regular chocolate bar. The difference is, the protein and fibre will make you feel much fuller, meaning you’re less likely to eat more throughout the rest of the day.
When is the best Time to Eat a Protein Bar?
It really doesn’t matter, protein bars are good at any time of the day!
What Do Protein Bars Do For You?
Like protein powder, protein bars are NOT magical, they won’t build muscle on their own, they’re just an easy, tasty, convenient way to get a bit more protein into your diet.
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