I don’t know about you, but when I started looking for the best protein bars out there, I got quite overwhelmed. I mean, holy cow! There’s a plethora of bars, all claiming to be the best one. And so many flavors! How do you began to even choose one?
As an endurance athlete, I actually need a bit more protein than the recommended daily amount for women. And because I’m away from home so much and often times participating in several different types of physical activity in a day, I decided to try protein bars to supplement my diet when I’m on the go. By the way, WebMD suggests the daily protein requirement for most men and women is about 10% to 35% of your total daily calorie intake, which comes to about 46 grams of protein for women and 56 grams for men.
To choose a bar, I began by looking at the bars that had the highest protein content and the lowest sugar content. Then, I looked for the shortest list of ingredients. I wanted something that had more natural ingredients instead of a bunch of processed “stuff” in it. My choice came down to Quest, Six Star Protein, and Pure Protein.I’ll be evaluating each bar on price, nutritional content, and taste, and then, I’ll tell you my overall pick.
- Quest Bar
- Price: Quest bars were the most expensive at over $2/bar.
- Nutritional content: Quest bars have 180 calories, 8 grams of fat, less than 1 gram of sugar, 23 grams of carbohydrates, and 20 grams of protein. There are about 13 ingredients on the ingredient list, and I can pronounce all of them. (That’s kind of my litmus test for how real the ingredients are!)
- Taste: I’m trying the double chocolate chunk flavor. The bar is chewy with a texture almost like a brownie. The chocolate tastes real but not overwhelmingly sweet. There is a bit of the artificial sweetener (stevia) aftertaste, but it’s subtle. I actually find these bars quite yummy!
- Six Star Protein
- Price: This was the least expensive bar at about $1.
- Nutritional content: This bar has 190 calories, 8 grams of fat, 6 grams of sugar, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 20 grams of protein. The ingredient list is a bit longer, but again, I can pronounce everything on the list. I do not see an artificial sweetener listed on the ingredient list.
- Taste: The flavor I am trying is peanut butter chocolate. It looks like a candy bar with the chocolate coating the bar, and it’s chewy like a candy bar. The flavor, however, leaves something to be desired. It doesn’t really taste like chocolate or peanut butter. In fact, there’s not much of a flavor at all. Taste wise, I’m not a fan of this bar.
- Pure Protein
- Price: This bar came in at a little over $1.
- Nutritional content: Pure Protein has 180 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar, 17 grams of carbohydrates, and 21 grams of protein. The ingredient list is similar to the other two, with ingredients that I can pronounce, and for this bar, I do not see any artificial sweeteners listed.
- Taste: This flavor is chocolate deluxe. This one, too, looks like a candy bar with a chocolate coating. But the inside is more of a cake type texture. It definitely has a chocolate flavor but there’s a bitterness to it that’s not very appealing to me.
So which is my choice for protein bars? I like the Quest bars best. While the nutritional content is similar for all bars, taste wins out for me, and Quest bars had the best taste. One disclaimer that I need to make is that I did not try other flavors of Six Star or Pure Protein. However, after discovering Quest bars, I did try other flavors of Quest. I found that I like the ones that have some type of chocolate in them–cookies and cream, mint chocolate, chocolate brownie. I did not particularly care for the fruity type flavors like strawberry cream, apple pie or the cinnamon roll flavor. To me, those flavors tasted way too sweet and not enough like the fruit for my liking.
Talk to me:
Do you have a favorite protein bar?