Protein bars have advanced signifi – cantly since the days of tasting like sawdust packed in stale chocolate. (They don’t take an hour to chew anymore, either.) Nowadays, protein bars aren’t just palatable but sophisticated enough to serve dif erent needs and purposes. These include meal replacement, workout nutrition, and general health maintenance. Below, some things to consider when you’re buying your next protein bar:

Get a Protein Bar for Growth.

To support muscle growth before or after workouts, look for bars high in protein and carbs and lower in fat and fiber—which slow the absorption of protein into your system and delay its uptake. In addition, look for bars that contain whey or a mix of whey and other protein sources.

Use a Protein Bar as a Meal Replacement.

When you don’t have time to cook a balanced meal, reach for a bar that can fill in. This means that, in addition to protein and carbs, you also want dietary fats and fiber to provide all the macronutrients in a proper ratio—plus enough overall calories—to make for an ideal meal.

Consider a Protein Bar for Specific Health Benefits.

In addition to protein and fiber, many bars also include specific nutrients and supplements. Some are fortified with vitamins and minerals, while others contain supplements to support workouts. A few even contain health boosters like probiotics

Clearing the Bar. Some of our favorite bars with a brief rundown on each.

Ansi cheesecake

Ansi Gourmet Cheesecake Protein Bar

190 calories
20g protein
25g carbs
17g fiber

Flavors include Chocolate ChipCookie Dough and Strawberry Supreme


Labrada lean gold

Labrada Lean Body Gold Bar

360 calories
25g protein
33g carbs
2g fiber

Flavors include Carambel Peanut and Peanut Butter & Jelly


Met rx big 100

Met-Rx Big 100 Colossal Bar

430 calories
31g protein
44g carbs
3g fiber

Flavors include Sweet & Salty and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough


Quest protein

Quest Protein Bar

190 calories
20g protein
23g carbs
17g fiber

Flavors include White Chocolate Raspberry and MIxed Berry Bliss

Get Quest Protein Bar at the Muscle & Fitness Store >>


Robert irvine

Robert Irvine’s Fit Crunch Bar

390 calories
30g protein
36g carbs
2g fiber

Flavors include Caramel Nut and Peanut Butter Cup


Six star protein

Six Star Protein Bar

190 calories
20g protein
15g carbs
 0g fiber

Flavors include Chocolate Deluxe and Chocolate Peanut Butter


Life lift

VPX Life LIft Bar

185 calories
20g protein
25g carbs
20g fiber

Flavors include Apple Cinnamon Delight and Buck Wild Blueberry