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Protein Bars

I have been getting a lot of questions about how I eat healthy “on the go”. I am out and about a lot during the day so it can be difficult to eat healthy, getting a good amount of quality protein, complex carbs and healthy fat. One thing that you may have noticed on my diet is that I do eat protein bars here and there. This not only helps me to keep to my 5-6 meals per day but it also helps me to hit my caloric intake that I need for my goals while doing P90X.

Although whole foods are always best, it can be very hard to plan meals ahead that can be taken with you. This is where protein bars come in. The only problem with protein bars is that most of them are just as bad as candy bars. It is very difficult to find a good protein bar that has good quality protein with as little fillers as possible. Not all protein bars are created equal so I thought I would share with you some of the ones that I like the best.

Somethings I look for in protein bars are ones that have good quality protein. The bars you eat need to contain whey protein or milk protein. If they contain Whey protein isolate that is even better. Some bars can contain soy, which is fine as long as it’s not a ton. The next thing I look for is something that is low in sugar. There is no point in having a protein bar that is loaded with sugar, it will derail your diet and defeats the purpose of eating healthy. I try to find one that has low sugar and low sugar alcohols. Next is fiber…the more fiber the better. This will help with the bar digesting more slowly so it won’t spike your blood sugar. I also try to find a bar that contains a good fat source…usually from nuts.

Here are some of the bars that I find the best for people trying to get quality protein for their diet or when their going through P90X.

1. 2:1 Protein Bars. Most of these bars are great because they are high in protein (30 grams), low in carbs (24g – 15g) and are mostly very low in sugar and have around 5g of fiber.  Try the Peanut Butter Browie, Oatmeal, Granola Oatmeal or cookies and creme.

2.  Quest Bars: I recently discovered these and really enjoyed them.  They are very low in fillers.  Have great quality protein (20 grams) , have low carbs (20 grams) and get all their fat from nuts.  They are also very low in sugar.  Most of the carbs come from fiber soursse so you have over 17grams of fiber per bar.  They are also Gluten Free.  Very good if you heat up in a microwave for 10 secs.

3.  PowerCruch Bars. PowerCrunch bars are very inexpensive and pack a great source of protein.  They use 14grams of ProtoWhey which is a Hydrolyzed whey protein.  They also are low in sugar (5g) and low in carbs (10 gram).  They are kinda like a wafer cookie…very tasty.

4.  Jay Robb Bars. These bars are great because they are gluten, wheat, MSG, Hydrogenated Oils, TransFat, Artificial Sweetner FREE.  They have Whey protein isolate as their protein source and are sweetened by natural agave nectar.  They are based from almond butter and have a very satisfying density.  Around 14g of protein and 24 grams of carbs, they have 6 grams of fiber as well.

5.  Pure Protein Bars. Pure protein bars come in a large and small size depending on how many calories you want.  They also contain a decent amount of protein and carbs.  They are lower in sugar but a little high on the sugar alcohol side.  They taste great but are a little bit low on the “clean” scale.  Still a decent choice.

6.  P90X Protein Bars. What I like about the P90X bars is that they are great for pre and post workout because they are a little high in the sugar category.  They are reletively high in protein (20g) with most of the protein coming from Soy protein Isolate.  For those of who you who would rather get soy than whey.  They also taste awesome.  They are gluten free as well and they seem to improve them as time goes on.  This latest batch has more protein and lower sugar.
So try for yourself and see.  Hopefully you can use these tips to help determine whether a protein bar is good for you or bad.  A protein bar can help you stay on track and keep you satisfied when you need something on the go.  This will help you get better results with your fitness program like P90X and will keep your diet on track.  These are all my favorites so far but I will update this list as I find more.

Do you agree with my choices?  What are your favorite protein bars?

 

13 comments
Tom
Tom

I eat two different kinds and so one of them only has 1g while the other has two. But I definitely get enough fiber daily, I understand what you mean though that it would be good to balance it out if they had more fiber but the good thing about these bars are they also have added vitamins and minerals and it looks like they do have some healthy carbs. I really just need them for school because there's a big gap between breakfast and lunch, and I need them to fill that gap up, I'd rather eat natural food but I don't really have a choice.

Tom
Tom

Sean, I've been eating bars that are generally on the high sugar side (anywhere from 15-25g) since it'll be hard for me too afford some of the ones that you listed. I'm only 16 though, do you really think it's necessary for me to worry about getting a little extra sugar, generally the only other sugar I get is from my recovery drink (chocolate milk) and from whatever is naturally in my food like fruits and such? If I can afford them after this batch runs out (and that'll be about two months) than I will buy some of the healthier ones you listed.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

Tom: How much fiber does the one you eat have? you can balance out the sugar a little if it has some decent fiber.

robbie
robbie

Anyone try the cliff builder bars, I thought they matched up best with the p90x bars, and could be bought at a much better price point. Peanut butter's the best of the bunch.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@robbie: Cliff bars are mostly, if not all, soy protein, so I tend to stay away from those. Plus they have too much sugar in my opinion

Jake McMahon
Jake McMahon

Sean- Do you know where I can get the power crunch bars? Is it cheaper to order them from their site or just pick them up somewhere? Thanks.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Jake: You can get them at Trader Joes if you have one by you. If not then you can them at just about any nutrition store. I would try to find them near you. They are around $1.19 at trader joes.

Nick
Nick

Just make your own. cost way less and you get more.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Nick: I would love to hear some of your recipes! I could post them on here!

Jim
Jim

I've tried most of those and I have to agree with you, My favorite is the P90X chocolate fudge bars.

Karen
Karen

Protein bars are a great option... particularly when you don't have time at work to stop and eat! I keep them in my lab coat pocket... has saved me on many occasions!

Dan
Dan

Dig it. I'm on the hunt for Quest.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean

@Dan: I just ordered a box to try yesterday. The samples were tasty.