Give your muscles a boost with the best protein bars from Grenade, My Protein, Ocado, Stamme, Kind snacks, Trek and more
Let’s be honest, we’ve all tasted a protein bar at some point in our adult lives and thought, “that is faktisk disgusting”.
Men protein – which provides the building blocks for essential stuff such as cells, muscles, bone, negler, hormones and enzymes – has achieved a hallowed status in the health and Fitness verden, mainly due to its ability to help you recover after a vigorous workout and gain muscle mass.
It’s big business. Just look at the supermarket shelves: extra-protein Weetabix, protein powders that come in every flavour you can think of, protein shakes, protein bars, protein yoghurts. We can’t get enough of the stuff.
No longer reserved just for top athletes, protein has crept into every boutique gym and inner-city kitchen alike. Globalt, the protein bar market size was valued at $4.66bn (£3.29bn) i 2019 and is expected to reach $7.03bn (£4.97bn) av 2027.
Over the years we have tried many protein bars and, without fail, two things happen. The first is that they taste gross – like a mixture between earwax and chalk. Og, sekund, they get shunned to the back of the snack drawer, never to be seen again (until they go past their sell-by date and end up in the bin, selvfølgelig).
Hvordan vi testet
On our quest to find a protein bar that actually tasted, vi vil, nice – while also being healthy enough to serve as a filling post-workout boost (and not just a glorified chocolate bar) – we tested some of the biggest names in the market. We tried them both pre and post workouts, after training in the gym and tempo run sessions, and even mid-way through long cycle rides out on the bike, to see which ones delivered on taste, high protein and low sugar. These are the ones that really packed a punch.
The best protein bars for 2022 er:
- Beste generelt – Grenade carb killa chocolate chip salted caramel, box of 12: £34.20, Grenade.com
- Best white chocolate – Barebells white salty peanut, box of 12: £ 22,99, Barebells.co.uk
- Best dark chocolate – Tribe nut butter triple decker Doisy & Dam, box of 12: £ 22, Wearetribe.co
- Best for cycling – Clif Bar white chocolate macadamia nut: £1.75, Ocado.com
- Best vegan protein bar – Misfits mint chocolate chip bar, box of 12: £ 20, Misfits.health
- Best for ultramarathons – Tribe raspberry protein flapjack, box of 12: £ 22, Wearetribe.co
- Best nutty protein bar – Kind dark chocolate orange almond bar, box of 12: £ 15, Kindsnacks.co.uk
- Best plant-based protein bar – Trek Power millionaire shortbread: £1.75, Ocado.com
- Best recovery protein bar – Veloforte forza protein bar, box of 12: £29, Sigmasports.com
- Best tasting protein bar – My Protein flapjack, box of 12: £ 18,99, Myprotein.com
- Best crunchy protein bar – Beachbar chocolate almond crunch, box of 15: £39.79, Teambeachbody.com
- Best flavours – Bulk macro munch protein bar, box of 12: £16.24, Bulk.com
Grenade carb killa chocolate chip salted caramel, box of 12
Beste: Alt i alt
Grenade’s Carb Killa franchise is well-known and for good reason. Perfect before a spin class or post-strength workout to aid your muscle recovery (or even just with a cup of coffee), this delicious, triple-layered, chocolate-encased bar – with salted caramel and soft nougat filling – is packed with 20g protein and just 1.4g sugar (so it’s an ideal swap to a regular chocolate bar). I tillegg til, Carb Killa bars are certified with the Informed Sport programme – so they’re suitable for use by drug-tested athletes.
We’re slowly making our way through all 14 of the epic flavours – we really rate the white chocolate, salted peanut and birthday cake flavours – but we just keep coming back to the salted caramel. We can’t believe something this delicious has hardly any sugar in – so if you’re looking for a high protein option, this is truly a tough bar to beat.
Barebells white salty peanut, box of 12
Beste: White chocolate
Barebells was probably the first brand that made us realise that protein bars didn’t have to taste chalky and gross. So if you’re looking for a bar that’s low in sugar (2g) and high in protein (17g) without compromising on taste, this should be your go-to.
We’re already fans of both the cookies and cream (£22.99 for 12, Barebells.co.uk) and hazelnut nougat flavours (£22.99 for 12, Barebells.co.uk) but its latest release – white salty peanut is next level. With creamy white chocolate, golden salty peanuts, and a layer of caramel, it perfectly balances the salt and sweet taste buds. And with only 209 calories, it’s hard to believe something that tastes this good classifies as a healthy snack.
Tribe nut butter triple decker Doisy & Dam, box of 12
Beste: Dark chocolate
If you like dark chocolate, you’ll love this. The Doisy & Dam special has three layers – a dark chocolate rice crispy layer at the bottom, followed by a thick layer of peanut butter and topped with dark chocolate and dark chocolate drops (basically smarties) in fun candy shells. It’s seriously yum for a protein bar – and firm restraint was needed to hold back from eating every bar in the box.
What we love about Tribe – apart from the fact that all its products are gluten-free and vegan (this bar uses pea protein) is that 1p from every product sold goes to the brand’s charity, whose mission is to end modern slavery. So you can refuel after your run with a product derived from nature that gives back, også.
Clif Bar white chocolate macadamia nut
Beste: For cycling
Filling and delicious, this oaty plant-based protein bar pairs roasted macadamia nuts with creamy white chocolate chunks. The sugar content might be higher – and protein content also lower – than some of the other protein bars on this list, but on our journey to find bars that actually tasted yum, this came up trumps.
The elevated sugar also means they’re perfect for any high-energy sports – we love chucking them in the back pocket of a jersey on long cycle rides – they’re ideal for that on-the-go pick-me-up.
If you like the brand, but you want more protein for the growth and maintenance of muscle mass then try the Clif builders bar (£25.38 for 12, Amazon.co.uk) which offers a punchy 20 grams of protein instead – but be warned, they definitely don’t taste as nice.
Misfits mint chocolate chip bar, box of 12
Beste: Vegan protein bar
Misfits has recently undergone a bit of a brand refresh – think: new logo and new packaging – ahead of launching its new choc protein cereal (which we can’t wait to get our hands on). But the brand’s protein bars have long been a staple in our snack cupboard.
Offering 11 different flavours – including speculous, which reminds us of our favourite Biscoff spread, PB&J and caramel – its newest flavour, mint chocolate chip, is covered in dark chocolate, with a gooey mint fondant middle. With less than 1g of sugar, think of this bar as a super-sized healthy version of an After Eight – with added protein crispies and cacao nibs for a little crunch. I tillegg til, it’s packed with 15g of protein and 100 per cent vegan and gluten-free, også. Great as a post-workout energy hit.
Tribe raspberry protein flapjack, box of 12
Beste: For ultramarathons
Noen ganger, nothing other than a flapjack will do to help fuel your adventures. Ny for 2022, Tribe has launched two protein flapjacks – raspberry and caramel. Our personal favourite is the raspberry flavour, which offers a subtle sour kick to the soft and chewy flapjack base.
While they’re not as high in protein as others on this list (7g of plant-based protein), Tribe’s flapjacks taste like a genuine treat – and only have 1g of saturated fats. The crunchy peanut topping makes them stand out from the rest, which is why we’re prepared to overlook the lower protein content. I tillegg til, as previously mentioned, by buying Tribe you’re also supporting the brand’s mission to end human trafficking.
Kind dark chocolate orange almond bar, box of 12
Beste: Nutty protein bar
A whopping 53 per cent of this gluten-free bar health bar is made up of nuts – it’s high in fibre and has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. And it’s delicious as well as healthy. Drizzled with dark chocolate, this nutty treat has a hint of zesty orange peel – we often find ourselves reaching for a Kind bar as a mid-afternoon snack because it’s actually enjoyable to eat. And we all know that when you are satisfied with what you eat or snack on, you are less likely to overeat and you’ll stay fuller for longer. For those looking for a little more than 5g of protein, check out Kind’s crunchy peanut butter protein bar (£1.99, Tesco.co.uk) for a delicious plant-protein hit.
Trek Power millionaire shortbread
Beste: Plant-based protein bar
We’ve often picked up a chocolate-coated Trek flapjack while waiting in the checkout queue at Sainsbury’s – but did you know that Trek also has a line of protein-packed snacks? The millionaire shortbread is probably our favourite – a gluten-free, plant-based vegan bar with 15g of protein. It’s tasty too.
Aside from the natural ingredients and comparatively high protein content of these bars, this is an ideal protein bar for people who need a snack that will fill them up, help cut cravings and make you feel full for longer.
Veloforte forza protein bar, box of 12
Beste: Recovery protein bar
Beloved by cyclists, this protein bar has a soft and chewy texture and the mixture of apricots, almonds and fennel means it’s not too sweet or sickly. Egg whites provide 12g of protein – and with no sulphites, additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colourings or flavourings, it’s gluten and dairy-free and completely free from any nasties. Great for post-exercise or mid-way through a long cycle – for refuelling and recovery – we found the Veloforte bar easy to digest and its 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein meant it kept us fuller for longer.
We recommend eating a Veloforte protein bar within 30 minutes of finishing exercise – as fuelling on a carbohydrate-rich snack within that 30-minute timeframe has been shown to help improve your recovery.
My Protein flapjack, box of 12
Beste: Tasting protein bar
This flapjack bar is very moreish – it tastes great, the texture is buttery soft and, with 20g of protein, it’s got a lot more protein than many other bars out there. The calorie count is the highest on this list – but that means it’s great for boosting your energy mid-cycle or run.
Those who want something low in sugar should probably look away now, but these oaty golden syrup bars are among the tastiest on sale at the moment – in fact, it’s the kind of snack that you’ll probably want to keep reaching for after demolishing the first packet.
Beachbar chocolate almond crunch, box of 15
Beste: Crunchy protein bar
If you like a crunch to your protein bar, the chocolate almond offering from Beachbar definitely gives you that. It’s basically like a Rice Krispy bar – with good consistency and high protein. This bar didn’t blow us away, but some of the flavours are quite enticing – for example, peanut butter chocolate and cherry almond. And we liked that it ticks both the gluten-free and vegan boxes, også. It’s less chewy than the likes of Grenade and Barebell – and less sweet.
Bulk macro munch protein bar, box of 12
Millionaires shortbread, birthday cake, tiramisu, raspberry cheesecake, chocolate honeycomb… you’d be forgiven for thinking these were full-on desserts taken straight off a restaurant pudding list. Men, Bulk’s macro munch protein bars have a lot less sugar in them than a standard dessert.
Although they are slightly higher in calorie count than others on this list – 224 calories per 62g bar – they also contain a lot more protein (20g) and offer over 6g of fibre. The millionaire shortbread is our personal favourite as we liked the different textures, and the birthday cake, with its fun kid-like sprinkles comes in as the runner up.
Dommen: Protein bars
We found it incredibly hard to rank these in order, as several of these bars met our number-one requirement: a protein bar that doesn’t taste like one. Our favourites include Barebells, Stamme og MyProtein flapjack – but it’s Grenade’s carb killa chocolate chip salted caramel bar that earned our best pick acclaim – proving that it’s actually possible to make delicious treats that are high in protein and low in sugar.
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For some animal-friendly favourites, read our review of the 8 best vegan protein powders