The 16 Best Protein Bars For Men 2021

Protein bars seem like the miracle snack: They promise the protein you need to feed your muscles, while boasting flavors so delicious you’ll want to sub them for dessert.

But the sad truth is, many of these protein bars are just candy bars in disguise. They’re often loaded with sugar and empty calories, and many of them contain shoddy sources of protein. Finding a well-balanced, high-quality protein bar is challenging—especially considering how many of these dang things there are out there on the market (or gas station, or health food store, or…).

So what makes a high-quality protein bar to begin with? Here’s what dietitians tend to agree on: You want a protein bar with at least 20 grams of protein from a dairy-based source (whey, casein, or a combination of both), 300 calories or fewer, 15 grams of fat or below, and around five grams of fiber, says Kris Sollid, R.D., senior director at the International Food Information Council Foundation.

Yes, fiber!

“While most younger men tend to eat enough protein, fiber is a different story,” says Sollid. “Men only eat about half of the fiber recommended each day, so it’s important to incorporate it whenever possible.” That’s because fiber helps you stay regular, as you know, but it also helps you stay full enough to prevent mindless snacking on foods with empty calories. Plus, people who eat diets high in fiber have been shown to have less risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Many of the bars below hit these marks, but also know that you can still enjoy a protein bar that falls short—just pair it with something else that helps shore up the missing nutrient. So, if your protein bar is low in fiber, eat it with an apple or pair. Lower in protein? Have it with a hard-boiled egg.

Easy, right?

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Almond Honey


“Having a straightforward, simple ingredient bar like Rise in your back pocket makes it easy to avoid the impulse grab of junk food,” says Christina Meyer-Jax, M.S., R.D.N., a professor of nutrition at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

“I like that they are a little higher in monounsaturated fats from the nuts, along with being high in protein. This is an ideal combo to help us feel fuller longer.” The 280-calorie bar has 20 grams of protein and four grams of fiber.


Cookie Dough


Probar’s plant-based BASE protein bar contains 20 grams of protein and all nine essential amino acids, which is “helpful for post-workout recovery,” Meyer-Jax says. Another bonus: There’s no added sugar, and they still taste great.


Blueberry Muffin Protein Bar

Quest Nutrition

This bar hits the 20 grams of protein and a whopping 15 grams of fiber. One drawback: The bar contains erythritol, a sweetener that some people report leads to gastric distress.


Mint Chocolate Chunk

Quest Nutrition


This 200-calorie bar gets the highest compliment you could hope for in a mint/chocolate combo: it’s reminiscent of the famous Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie. Real peppermint oil gives the bar a refreshing feel that really pops from the rich, smooth chocolate taste. It houses 2o grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber, but there’s that erythritol again.


Carb Killa High Protein Bar, Caramel Chaos


High in protein. High in flavor. High marks all around.


Salted Caramel Cookie Dough


Cookie dough is a stacked flavor category for protein bars, but the salted caramel adds an interesting jolt to regular old sweetness. You’ll net 20 grams of protein and six grams of fiber for 230 calories. This is the protein bar for people who don’t like the flavor of most protein bars.


White Chocolate Raspberry


Most protein bars come in some variation of milk or dark chocolate and peanut butter. These Oatmega bars really stand out with a unique combination of tart raspberry and creamy white chocolate. 

Although they’re a bit lower in protein–14 grams for one bar–they are also lower in sugar and calories, making it a good snack instead of meal replacement, says Jessica Bachman, R.D., and nutrition coach at Stronger U.


Grandma’s Lemon Square


We’re pretty sure Grandma wasn’t blending whey protein into her legendary dessert, but whatever. One of these bright-tasting bars has 220 calories, 20 grams of protein, and 11 grams of fiber. “This has a solid amount of protein to really help boost intake post workout,” says Elizabeth Shaw, R.D. However, she notes that some people may have trouble digesting chicory root and could have an upset stomach.


20g Protein Bars, Chocolate Peanut Butter

Premier Protein

While the primary protein used in these bars is soy, they do also contain weigh. The flavor is awesome—as is the hit of crunch.


Slim Dark Chocolate Brownie Crunch


This bar is proof that a low calorie bar can legitimately satisfy your chocolate craving. “I’m actually a fan of this bar,” says Shaw. “I like the taste (one of the most important things IMHO when choosing a bar).” Plus, you’ll get 16 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber and only two grams of sugar for only 190 calories.


Whole Food Organic Peanut Butter

Perfect Bar

“With a decent amount of protein and fairly easy to read ingredient panel, the Perfect Bar has easily become a fan favorite,” says Shaw. But it packs 330 calories, so it’s better as a meal replacement for guys looking to bulk up, says Bachman.


Cookies & Cream

Quest Nutrition

These bars are able to deliver a tasty cookies-and-cream-flavor with only one gram of sugar (erythritol though). Factor in 20 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber and  you’ve got yourself a solid post-workout snack.


Brownie Crunch


This bar is another go-to for Bachman because it’s high in protein, has zero sugar and only 230 calories. “It’s an excellent snack for people wanting high protein intake during weight loss or to support muscle gain,” she says.


Protein Cookie


These cookies are loaded with 18 grams of protein for only 200 calories. Plus, the chocolate chunks are a nice touch to make it seem like you’re legitimately eating a cookie.

No, you’re right, it’s less of a bar and more of a disc. Still good though.


Salted Caramel


Vega also makes a mean vegan protein powder so it makes sense to trust them with your protein in bar form too. You’ll snack on 20 grams of brown rice and pea protein, and sneak in three grams of fiber too.


Elite Food Protein Bar, Peanut Chocolate Chip

BodyTech Elite

At 330 calories per bar, it’s a touch high on the caloric side, but if you’re working out hard, this is the bar for you.

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