Best Energy Bar Brands Reviewed
Even the best athletes have a breaking point. Therefore, you shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you struggle to keep up with others or find your training a little too rough. Keeping fit is a process, and that is why we need all the help we can get, as we work towards achieving our goals. Energy bars are some of the best nutritional supplements to help you do so. They consist of ingredients that will help you regain some of your energy and strength to keep you going. The guide has some of the best performing and highly effective energy bars in the market. All you have to do is go through the well-researched information provided and select your ideal match.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
Low glycemic index
No sugar alcohols
10 Top Energy Bars
1. KIND Nuts & Spices
Low glycemic index
No sugar alcohols
Short shelf life
Kind energy bar offers dark chocolate lovers an enticing treat. The brand has eleven other exciting flavors to choose from. Buyers also purchase caramel almond and sea salt, Madagascar and vanilla almond, caramel almond and pumpkin spice, dark chocolate and almond coconut, dark chocolate and mint, salted caramel and dark chocolate nut, dark chocolate and mocha almond, peanut butter and dark chocolate, maple glazed pecan and sea salt, among other flavors.
They also offer a variety pack for people who want to mix things up. You can also opt for the kit if you find it hard to settle for a specific flavor. The best-selling flavor is that of the whole nuts, sprinkled with Brazilian sea salt with some dark chocolate drizzled over them.
Each of them has about 5g of sugar and 6g of proteins. They are all dairy-free and have very low sodium. No genetically engineered ingredients were used in making them. The brand is firmly against the use of GMO products in their consumables. They also don’t use any gluten or trans-fat. If you are looking for an option full of fiber, then your searching days are over.
The main ingredients that make up the energy bars are whole grains, whole nuts, and fruits. The brand does not use any preservatives, artificial flavors, or sweeteners. They use premium ingredients that effectively bring out the characters in their products.
Considering all the above, it's no surprise that KIND is one of the best energy bars on the market and at the top of our list.
2. Picky Bars
Easy to digest
Questionable tasting flavors
These are the best supplements for athletic individuals. They are well balanced since they contain enough satiating fat, recovery-boosting proteins, complex, and simple carbs. These carbs are fast acting and quick to convert into energy.
The proteins in the ingredients are fantastic for building muscle and aiding recovery. The fats in this protein bar are meant to last for a while and help keep you going. This brand uses real food to provide customers with the natural fuel source they need. It is a vegan alternative, which is exceptionally sustainable.
It comes in a portable, pocket-sized design that will retain its shape even under pressure. The plant-based option is easy to digest and will be gentle on your stomach. It has no dairy, gluten, or soy, making it suitable for a majority of people. You can get it in ten different flavors, including Cookie Doughpness and Blueberry Boomdizzle.
Short shelf life
The founder of this energy bar brand was a nutritional expert who wanted to make a delicious bar with real health benefits. After stepping up to the challenge, Probar quickly won the hearts of many across the world. The once little-known company based in Utah now sells all over the world.
Other brands try to emulate their eminence and fail miserably. For example, their products have about 70 percent, raw and unprocessed foods. Because of this, essential enzymes and nutrients are preserved and digested easily. Moreover, they also have vegan varieties, unlike others who only use dairy in their products.
Buyers have the option of choosing from; chocolate coconut, whole berry blast, peanut butter, oatmeal chocolate chip, super fruit slam, peanut butter chocolate chip, Koka Moka, banana nut bread, super food slam, almond crunch original trail mix, and lastly, super berry & greens. If you're looking for a healthy alternative, without side effects, this is one of the best energy bars on the market. It has ingredients such as chia seeds, oats, and flax seeds
4. Clif Bar
Value packs available
Some complaint of sugar
If you hang around active people, you are bound to find some who had or are still using these products. The reason being the energy bar brand is well known in the market. This particular option is sweet like candy but crunchy. However, its calories are easy to digest.
You can use the energy bars as meal replacements to help keep you going. They are filled with protein, carbs, and fiber, providing a near wholesome meal. The chocolate chip cookie flavor is a huge fan favorite, which brought the brand to where it is now.
Fitness enthusiasts like these products because they contain carbs and proteins in abundance. Those who get them in stores, by and large, have a hard time finding them on the shelves because they are fast moving items. Therefore, many prefer getting them online, where value packs and different flavors are easy to find.
5. Zoneperfect Classic
No artificial sweeteners
Good for nourishment
High protein content
Some flavors are disappointing
It’s astounding how the manufacturer manages to provide such options, without adding artificial flavors or sweeteners. These energy bars are high in protein and surprisingly contain vitamins as well. If you are bored with the same old food, you can purchase a few to help switch things up a bit.
Zoneperfect's bars are nutritional and tasty thanks to the efforts of the nutritionists and chefs who helped make them. The available flavors are chocolate almond raisin, strawberry yogurt, double dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate mint, cinnamon roll, oatmeal chocolate chunk, fudge graham, cashew pretzel, dark chocolate almond, caramel cluster, and salted caramel brownie. They are comprised of a host of ingredients that are good for your energy and dietary needs.
No other energy bars with similar ingredients compare to how affordable they are. However, you can only purchase them in large boxes, each with 12products of the same flavor. The packages have a good design that preserves their freshness, over a long period of time. The brand also gives you the option of subscribing to them for delivery in your prefer regularity and frequency.
No combo packs available
This company has weathered the test of time. Chances are that you probably had some as a kid. Even when these products were rare in the market, the brand understood the importance of healthy eating alternatives. This is why they don’t have preservatives or artificial flavors in them.
They come in many flavors, with the peanut butter being the most common one. Powerbar has fine-tuned their tastes to meet the demands of their new customers, based on the positive feedback and remarks of long-standing clients. The brand now has new chocolate and crisp vanilla flavors. Their products are dual sources of energy because they have both fructose and glucose. That gives them the ability to be metabolized faster than others are. As such, it will take a short time for you to start feeling energized.
You can purchase them individually or in a pack of 12 in each flavor. The products have essential amino acids, vital for muscle building and repair. This factor makes them excellent for those who want to bulk up too. People also carry them when traveling because they hardly melt even during hot days. They will also remain fresh, thanks to their long shelf life.
Contains sugar alcohols
BSN offers an option that is full of protein and plenty of micronutrients. It is useful for low carb diets since it contains more proteins than sugars. These alternatives are highly compatible with people following a Keto diet. Reason being, the key ingredients in the products are almonds, eggs, milk, and soy, which are all Keto friendly.
After all, it would be hard to resist all the sweet flavors available such as the marshmallow, strawberry crunch, salted toffee pretzel, candy cane, peanut butter crunch, chocolate chip, mint, mocha latte, and mint chocolate. People cannot get enough of these energy bars because they enjoy sinking their teeth into the crunchy products. The only groups of people who will miss out are those who are lactose intolerant.
One of the reasons they are popular is because users can have them before or after going to the gym, without feeling remorseful. However, you still need to be cautious and watch the quantity you’re eating because it contains sugar alcohols.
8. Bioengineered Nutrition
Sufficient micronutrient supplementation
No sugar alcohol
If you feel you’re tired of having the same old chewy bars, then these wafer cookies are exactly what you need. You can have them whenever you want, even during intense activities. The best thing about these protein energy bars is the fact that they are compatible with people who have the most sensitive stomachs. Their digestion process is not frustrating, unlike that of lower quality options.
The energy bar brand does not include any unnecessary additives or substitutes. Instead, they use some bit of sugar and a decent macros combination. It has about 13g of fat, 13g of protein, and 10g of carbs. You might want to avoid purchasing it if you are allergic to peanuts, soy, wheat, or milk. There is no need to put yourself at risk if you know you might react to any of the ingredients mentioned earlier.
The products are an excellent fit for people who want something a little lighter. The wafer’s center is enticing, creamy, and it has an ultra-crispy feel. The Bioengineered Nutrition Research Group (BNRG) found an excellent way to balance it in terms of nutritional value and taste.
9. Power Crunch
Many flavors available
High protein content
Power Crunch energy bar offers unique flavoring and texture in their products thanks to the high-dh hydrolyzed whey protein. The technique cuts the number of sugars in the product, without decreasing the energy output you will receive. The super hydrolyzed protein also makes all the macronutrients easy to metabolize. Because of that, you won’t feel bloated later on. Instead, you will feel invigorated faster than you would when using other brands. In essence, they are light, crunchy, delicious, and effective.
They are available in a variety of flavors such as; French Vanilla Crème, Red Velvet, Chocolate Mint, Peanut Butter Fudge, Peanut Butter Crème, Salted Caramel, Mocha Crème, Triple Chocolate, Wild Berry Crème, and Cookies & Crème. Buyers can get them individually or a convenient set of 6, 12, or 20 different flavors. With all the varieties available, you will always find a taste that conforms to your liking.
The amount of protein in these products is higher than in other conventional alternatives. Each has around 13 grams of protein, with only 5 grams of sugar. The total number of calories is 205, with 115 of that originating from fat alone. It is common to find people replacing their meals with these since they are wholesome alternatives.
There are different ways to have them. You can dip them in milk, letting the wafer soak a bit for a unique taste. However, you need to be mindful of your budget since they are a bit costly. Even though they may not offer enough for all of your daily nutritional needs, they still provide more value than those of other competing brands.
Zero artificial flavors
Excellent customer service
Variety of flavors
Inadequate combo packs
The brand’s products have easy to understand ingredient lists, especially compared to some brands that try to hoodwink customers with lots of technical terms. At the heart of the brand, is reliable customer support. The company uses the feedback of their regular clients to get the near-perfect blend in all their variations.
They are successful because they understand that most people are now shying away from artificial ingredients. That means, no preservatives, GMO, artificial flavors, gluten, added sugars, soy, dairy, or fillers. As they proudly state, no B.S.
They currently have up to 32 different varieties. Some of their ingredients include egg whites, dates, almonds, cashews, dates, pecans, and peanuts. The available brand flavors include; blueberry, mixed berry, mint chocolate, coffee chocolate, apple cinnamon, peanut butter chocolate, maple sea salt, peanut butter, coconut chocolate, peanut butter chocolate, chocolate chip, and chocolate sea salt. It's still baffling how they manage to get all these great-tasting flavors without adding any artificial sweeteners.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Select the most appropriate quantity
You could probably get any one of these in your local grocery store. However, most energy bar brands sell these products online in value packs, such as Health Warrior Chia Bars. You can get them in 1-pack options, 20 pack options, and in entire boxes as well. The number of products in each package varies with each brand. Therefore, there is no guarantee that you are going to get the exact same amount of products across the board.
If you’re trying them out for the first time, it is smarter to go for smaller quantities. It doesn’t make sense to purchase several of them when you are not sure if you will like them. You not only need to analyze the flavor but also how effective the product will be. If you end up liking the taste, you can always order more. Some brands even have packs comprised of different flavors.
The same logic applies to the product’s performance. If it lives up to your expectations and makes an impact, then you can purchase it in larger quantities once you finish your supply. Some people find large amounts much more convenient. Making orders now and then can be hectic. Larger quantities remove such hassles, ensuring that you will always have one when you need it.
You also need to check how much you are willing to spend. Smaller packs cost less up front, making them useful for people working with tighter budgets. If finances are not an issue, you could always go for larger packages. It is much cheaper, in the long run, to purchase some products in bulk, compared to in smaller quantities. Some brands even offer discounts for such purchases.
The term 'healthy' is oft misused
Do you often pay attention to nutritional information on energy bars? Most people go wrong by assuming all recommended health products are safe. The word healthy is often misused. Therefore, there is no guarantee that you are actually doing yourself any favors by randomly eating health-related products and supplements. You need to be more keen and critical about acquiring proper information.
The first thing you should do is check for healthy ingredients. Some brands quote that, “if you cannot pronounce the ingredient, don’t buy the product.” This logic has proven useful in many occasions. Healthy ingredients are often from whole food, vitamins, and minerals. There is no way that fruit and nut names are going to be challenging to pronounce. On the other hand, chemicals and other synthesized products often have ambiguous names. The internet is also quite helpful. If you ever come across names you don’t understand, you can always do some quick research and get more information.
You also need to check if the product can meet your dietary needs. What is it comprised of? Does it have enough or does it have too much protein, carbohydrates, or fat? You can only get the most out of the product if it is nutritionally balanced. Whole grain alternatives are the best, so always be on the lookout for nuts, fruits, peanut butter, rolled oats, and the like. It should have enough fiber ranging from 2 to 5g. Unsaturated fat is also vital because it helps keep you going, especially when you’re taking on rigorous activities.
If you’re working out and taking on strenuous exercises, you need to prioritize high protein options. Such products will also help you build muscle. Low Glycemic Index products also come highly recommended. You want to stay away from anything that will rapidly raise your blood sugar to avoid the chances of your blood sugar crashing. Simple carbs are often to blame when there is too much insulin in one’s bloodstream. The probability of stressing out your pancreas is high and, over time, you will become more prone to insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic complications.
One of the best ways to avoid such fates is by avoiding refined sweeteners. Stay away from high fructose corn syrups, brown and white sugars, and artificial sweeteners. Low glycemic index sweeteners that are safer to ingest include maple syrup, stevia extract, pure honey, and evaporated cane juice, to mention a few. However, the best course of action would be to settle for healthier natural additions like dates or raisins.
Genetically modified foods are also worth avoiding. Some people think they may trigger allergic reactions in some people. And that is just one of the concerns associated with GMO foods. Buyers are also advised to avoid gluten products if they have any sort of sensitivity to wheat, gluten, or oats.
Find what works for you
Just like with ice cream, smoothies, shakes, cakes, and any other consumable, flavors are among the first things that pop into our heads. The problem is often that some products have so many flavors to choose from, that it gets confusing. It is especially tricky if you are trying them out for the first time. The advice that most people get is to stick to flavors that they are familiar with.
Such flavors are the likes of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Sticking with what you know lessens the risk of purchasing products that you are not going to eat. No one wants a weird tasting option. Regularly eating such is out of the question. However, if you get a pack that has enticing flavors, you are never going to think twice about eating them.
Some of us are more curious than others. For such people, sticking with routine flavors may become monotonous. You never know if you are going to like something until you try it. If you don’t mind taking the risk, you can choose to buy each of the flavors the brand is offering. You might discover some zest that will impress you.
The packaging the brand uses is also essential. Most of them have packages and wrapping that have been specially formulated. That is part of what contributes to their freshness. Speaking of which, you also need to be keen on the dates. There are instances where people get stale products or products that are close to expiring. You don’t need expert advice to know that eating expired foodstuff will cause you more harm than good.
You are also going to be at a disadvantage if you bought them in large quantities and they are going to expire. Depending on the size of your order, finishing them in time may be challenging. So, always be cautious and check all the dates as soon as the products are delivered.
What makes it a right fit for you?
Most people are not aware that there are different kinds of energy bars. It is not rare to find people eating them without checking if they actually should. Let us look at a few things that will help you narrow down the kind of products you should consume.
There are gender-specific options in the market. They have slight differences, which make them easy to tell apart. Men’s options often have higher calories because their nutritional requirements are much higher. The opposite is true for women’s alternatives. Their calories are lower, ranging at 200 calories or less. They also have more calcium for health reasons. Most of the options in this review are unisex. They are well balanced and useful for both genders. Always remember to check the label, so that you do not accidentally consume products meant for the opposite sex.
Did you know that different bars are more useful for specific activities?
- Consider taking options with higher protein content when going for long hikes.
- Bicyclists are advised to eat those that have more fiber.
- If you want to go for a race, make sure that your preferred snack has at least 40g of carbohydrates.
- High carbohydrate options are also good post workouts.
Some people take these products like snacks, while others use them as meal replacements. If you want to snack on them, you should go for low-calorie options. Meal replacement alternatives should have more calories. Remember not to exceed your total calorie requirements for the day.
Ensure it does more good than harm
Most of the side effects associated with these products are because of the ingredients in their constitution. As mentioned earlier, high glycemic options are detrimental to your health. If you don’t avoid them, you will end up facing issues such as insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. It is imperative that people avoid refined sugar as much as they can.
Eating too many of these bars in a day will make you exceed your caloric requirements, especially if you are not leading an active lifestyle. You risk upsetting your nutritional balance. In fact, there is a very high chance that the carbohydrates you consume will end up making you gain weight. This is because your body can't burn them as energy and will instead store them as fat in your body. Make sure you are strict on the kind of ingredients you consume and that you have them in moderation as well.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
One of its essential functions is to promote endurance during exercise. Your body uses nutrition to power up your cells, feeding off the carbs in them. For this reason, it is best to consume them, right before partaking in strenuous physical activities. Taking them during the workout is okay if you are yet to complete your training. Taking them after would be of no benefit unless you’re feeling worn out. Furthermore, taking them later would increase your fat buildup, undermining your efforts to get in better shape.
Do not overindulge in these products, because they can cause an imbalance to your body. Only use them before a workout to deliver some sugars to your body. Consuming said sugars in excess, they would, in turn, be stored as fat for later use. Instead, consume ample amounts for the body to receive the required energy in the period you’re exercising or doing something tiring. After your body gets used to more strenuous and more prolonged workouts you wanted, then slowly cut down on the supplement.
Other Factors to Consider
These products are superb pick-me-ups whenever you feel like your energy is running out. However, you should be careful not to get carried away with them. On a lighter note, make sure you try out as many flavors as you can so that you always have something to look forward to.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is an energy bar?
It is a dietary supplement, which has healthy ingredients from known foods. In essence, this product boosts your energy level. Extracts are usually from complex carbs like oats and barley, providing fructose, glucose, or other forms of sugars. They typically consist of 200-400 calories from carbs of 20-40 carbohydrates per serving. Fats and protein are low in quantity when compared to other products with related forms. After consuming it, the user is in a prime position to take up a strenuous physical activity, like in the gym, for example.
You will be able to work out longer and feel less tired than you ordinarily would without it. It is common to find pro athletes consuming them before and during their exercise routines. Some even use them as yogurt toppings or substitute it for coffee, for extra oomph. You are not restricted to the number of ways you can get a kick out of these tasty, energy dense, high-calorie foodstuffs.
q: What’s the difference between protein and energy bars?
Protein bars are more long term. Protein is essential to build up muscle, which takes a while. It has few carbs comparatively, making it suitable for promoting weight loss and cultivating lean muscle. You can consume protein during the day in the recommended quantity.
Energy bars have carbs, which are meant to help boost your strength, before, during, or after particular activities. They take about 30 minutes to help make you feel more invigorated after you consume them. Hence, the best time to munch them is right before strenuous activities, rather than throughout the day.
You cannot substitute one of these two products for the other and expect similar outcomes. The confusion between the two is understandable since both usually have a few related ingredients like oats, nuts, or rice products.
q: Can these bars help you gain weight?
According to science, taking a lot of carbs and minimal physical activity will help you gain weight. How it works is that the body receives excessive carbs like glucose, and converts them to glycogen stored around your body. Our bodies switch to fat burning mode after depleting sources of glucose, to sustain blood sugar levels.
However, the best time to consume them is before a tiring physical activity. Using them otherwise would cause an imbalance on your body’s physiological processes. Those who consume these products with the intention of weight gain forgo a critical factor, which is a properly balanced diet. Besides, there are better ways of gaining weight.
q: How many carbs do dietitians recommend in a day?
Many factors determine the best amount of nutrition you might need in a day. Some of the factors considered include age, weight, body type, or level of physical activity. For most adults, average figures stand at 130 grams of carbs per day.
You need this as fuel in your body for everyday activities like hemoglobin production, nervous system, walking, or even simply breathing. They start as carbs and convert to glucose, which is simply fuel for your engine. Understandably, taking too much or too little will cause some snags, some explained throughout this review. Also, remember carbs are present in almost all types of foods, the only difference being the available proportions.
q: Are there any dangers to using energy bars?
Sure there are. As it’s often said, too much of anything is wrong. You may get too used to these products and consume too many, throw off your diet, or negatively affect your health.
However, this does not often happen to many people. Nevertheless, it is good to stay within the recommended quantities, avoiding any unforeseen issues that might creep up. For example, weight might build up slowly, and before you know it, you may find yourself above your ideal BMI.
If you have any pre-existing conditions like diabetes, your doctor or dietitian will most likely recommend that you minimize carbs. These products have many troublesome ingredients like sugars and carbs. Therefore, the way forward would be to steer clear from these products.
q: Which energy bars are the healthiest?
The answer to this question is not as simple as you would like it to be. All brands claim to have the healthiest options. Therefore, it will be upon you to do some due diligence and carefully research on the product you want to purchase.
You should always remember to check the labels and package for the lists of ingredients. Avoid anything that will put your health at risk, especially if you have allergies. Keep in mind that the secret to a good selection lies in the type of ingredients used when making the product. Healthy and safe ingredients translate to healthy bars.
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