Best Low Carb Protein Bars Reviewed for Taste & Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The very first thing to watch out for is what you’re actually gaining as far as nutrition goes. Many of these products are made with a lot of unnecessary fillers. Sugar is the top offender on this list! There’s no point in eating what you think is a healthy snack if it has the same sugar content as a Snickers. Always make sure that the sugar content is low, and you’ll probably be okay. There are a couple other pieces of information to take into account, however.
Ingredients: Always take a long look at the ingredients. Now, we don’t mean watch out for “long names”, or “chemicals”. Unless you have a background in Chemistry it can be challenging to decipher some of the ingredients. This doesn’t mean they’re not good for you or inedible! Don’t get caught up looking for the wrong things. So, what do you look for? Let’s talk about it:
Carbohydrates: Well, duh! We know, this kind of seems redundant. It’s a mistake to take a brand’s word for it, however. We compared the content of carbohydrates across the board and only picked products that actually had a low carbohydrate count. Try to stay below 5g of Carbohydrates.
Protein: This is, obviously, what makes this particular food such a great choice for athletes and people trying to build muscle. Boosting your intake of this all-too-necessary macronutrient. It helps you repair the microscopic tears in your muscles that you get when you work out. These tears cause your muscles to grow back stronger, so they’re totally necessary for athletes of all types. This macronutrient is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of life. It’s through the power of amino acids that it’s able to perform all these miraculous tasks.
Minerals/Vitamins: These are important micronutrients that you need in order to … well, survive! Iron, potassium, magnesium, and more all fall under this category. Look for a high concentration of these! Unless you’re on a special diet that requires you to avoid certain vitamins or minerals, you’ll just pee out what you don’t need. It’s better to go a little overboard. Not too much, however, since there are some weird side effects you can experience if you do get them in high enough volumes. That’s pretty rare, though, so don’t worry about it too much.
Processed Soy: Dun-dun-dun! This is actually something you don’t want to see. Soy absolutely has a beneficial effect in some aspects of a diet. However, too much soy is not good for you. In products such as these, you don’t want to see this as an ingredient. Leave the soy for your tofu stir fry.
Obviously, if a product doesn’t taste good you aren’t going to eat it. This is a pretty simple concept and is a basis for employment for every taste tester out there (man, what a job!). We really kept a close eye on customer reviews relating to the taste of a product. There were definitely some that stood out more than others! This isn’t the only criteria to take into account, of course. Some, like nutritional benefits, are more important than others. Taste should be secondary to nutrition-related issues. Of course, a product with high sugar will taste great. However, it won’t be healthy. Just another thing to take into consideration!
There are two basic pieces of information we especially kept a close eye on.
Texture: Nobody likes a weird texture. Literally nobody. That’s why we were on the lookout for a texturally sound design. You shouldn’t have to deal with a chalky texture (or taste!), and there’s no reason why the inner portion of the snack has to be thick and unpleasant. Most of these are great options taste-wise! Of course, we did feature one vegan product that has a so-so taste… but you’re trading off some of that taste for the lack of animal products used in its production.
Flavors available: You need a large selection of flavor because of how varying the reactions are to these products. One person might swear by vanilla bean based products, and another might gag at the mere thought of that same snack. Having a wide selection of tastes available to the consumer means ensuring that every person out there will discover a flavor they love. If you don’t like one flavor from a brand, don’t just write all of their products off! Try a couple more, and you might be surprised at how different they can be.
Finally, we looked at the price per unit. This is hugely important for a huge range of products! Price per unit is how much each individual product in a pack costs. Essentially, it breaks down the numbers so you can see how much you’re actually paying. If an item comes in a larger size, but you aren’t actually sure about the savings, just look at the price per unit. This will tell you how much money you’re shaving off each individual unit and is a much better indicator of value.
10 Best Low Carb Protein Bars
1. ThinWorks Salted Toffee
Our number one product is this truly tasty combination of flavors. Dive into the ultimate in decadence all while skipping the guilt! If you have a sweet tooth that only a dessert can cure then this is a great choice to skip the sugar. Even though this has a truly tasty flavor it doesn’t load you up with unnecessary, fattening ingredients that mess up your diet plan. ThinWorks is a company that specializes in low-cal treats that satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling full. They’re a fantastic snack to keep around for anybody looking to lose a few pounds!
A “No Cheat” Treat
Feeling guilty after your last sweet treat binge? It can be especially hard to lose weight if you aren’t satisfying your cravings. Even the most dedicated individuals can fall victim to the desires of their taste buds. No matter what you do you can’t escape the chemical maelstrom that pushes you into eating unhealthy food. You can, however, pick a healthier alternative that cuts your cravings down and gives you an extra boost of energy.
The Low Cal Option
Many products of this type claim to be good for weight loss, However, quite a few of them have an ingredient list that would suggest otherwise. While most do have low caloric density, this flavor by ThinWorks is truly the best out there in terms of keeping your intake low. This is only made better by the desirable flavor that tastes like dessert. If you need a kick of energy that won’t put your diet plan off track then we highly recommend ThinkWorks. Honestly, any of their flavors, in particular, option, but this one, in particular, has the best taste of all!
Cost and Value
We rate this as being a very, very good choice for pretty much anybody. Quite frankly most people can benefit from having a sweet-tooth satisfying back-up laying around. Any time you feel tempted by dessert you can choose this as a better alternative. It won’t put you off track and gives you the decadence you crave. It might make more sense for those on a diet to keep them on hand regularly, however. Those looking to build muscle will find little desirable about this flavor by ThinWorks. Either way, this is an awesome option that cuts down carbohydrates!
2. BSN Protein Crisp
Looking for a crunchy texture that mimics a Nut-Rageous? Then you're in for a real treat! BSN makes this tasty snack with authentic ingredients that combine into a textured treat that can't be beaten. You'll never grow tired of their tried and true recipe which has been perfected for their consumers. The rave reviews online clearly show how much trust people have in BSN to deliver athlete-friendly products that can be easily eaten on the go. Keep reading to find out why this snack is stealing the show!
A Party For Your Palette
We all know too well the feeling of eating a protein bar that tastes like hot garbage, to put it bluntly. Some of these nutritional snacks just add unnecessary suffering to your day. This may sound dramatic, but the last thing you want is to eat something nasty after working out. We prefer our post-gym eats to be a pleasure to eat. Protein Crisp has formulated a delicious recipe that people go wild over. It has a unique, crispy texture that makes it taste sort of like a candy bar! The flavors are pretty dang good, too. With everything from peanut butter to chocolate cake batter, you just can’t go wrong.
Low Sugar Content
Say goodbye to worries about sugar! This can be a huge concern when it comes to balancing taste and nutritional density. It’s quite frankly surprising that this is such a tasty treat! Although they managed to lower the sugar, they didn’t compromise on flavor. That’s a huge accomplishment in of itself. Pack protein into your day with this decadent treat by Protein Crisp-like without the worry of tooth decay, blood sugar spikes, and more. It’s great on the lips without packing more poundage on the hips!
Cost and Value
This is undoubtedly one of the best bargains we could find. It doesn’t have the lowest price on the list, but it’s a pretty close second! Because of this we really can’t recommend this product enough. Not only are they the number one pick on the list, but they also provide excellent value and nutrition. The reviews will blow you away from happy customers who have found the perfect post-workout snack in this flavorful food! The crispy, crunchy texture will tantalize your taste buds and leave you hungry for more, bite after bite. You can’t ever go wrong with these nutritionally dense and totally tasty treats!
3. ProtiWise Fluffy Vanilla Crisp
The name speaks for itself! This is a company that has consistently put out great products that people love. This particular flavor is a huge hit in the athletic community. The creamy vanilla it's crafted is lip-smackin' good! On top of this, it provides exactly what you need in order to stay on top of your game. Don't worry about offsetting your macros with excess carbohydrates!
A Wonder For Weight Loss
Did you know that these very bars are sold in weight loss clinics across the nation? Well, now you do! There’s a good reason for this. There are only 160 calories per bar! That’s an amazingly low number in comparison to other products on the market. This tasty choice is a low-calorie option that will help you pile on muscle instead of pounds. Combine this with the low-fat content and you have a recipe for success! If you’re trying to lose weight while you build muscle then this is the snack for you.
A Cheaper Alternative
Many reviewers said that this is a great alternative to more expensive brands. It has a relatively low cost that puts it ahead of competitors by a long shot. Because of this many people have switched over, dropping the shocking price tags and giving their wallets a rest. The savvy shopper will find that this bar has quite a lot to offer. It’s compared to the Ideal Protein vanilla Rice Krispy treats, which is popular but very expensive. If you need a great imitation that has earned a reputation of its own then look no further! You’ve struck gold… or, rather, vanilla!
Cost and Value
As we’ve mentioned this is a highly affordable alternative to some pricier products. This, of course, puts it ahead of its class in terms of value. However, it does have a few points against it. The texture is rather “thick” in nature, and so it isn’t quite as fluffy as the name might suggest. Even so the taste is rumored to be beyond description! If you’re a “texture person” when it comes to eating then you may want to steer clear. If you aren’t, then hurry up and order already! This is a creamy, light, truly divine delight!
4. Power Crunch Chocolate Mint
Power Crunch is a fairly well-known brand that specializes in bringing your tasty treats your whole body can enjoy. They have wholesome, reasonable ingredients that speak to us on a personal level. The ingredients list is free of anything fishy, and packs in a helluva lot of nutrients to boot! We love the fact that they also do not overload you with unnecessary vitamins and minerals, providing only a basic amount that is easily tracked by the consumer. Athletes need to keep a close eye on their micronutrients, after all, and make sure they aren’t over consuming. Overall, it’s a fantastic little treat!
Totally Wholesome Ingredients
Reading the ingredients list is a breeze! These snacks pack in fantastic levels of nutrients while still remaining simplistic. Many similar snacks have a complex list of ingredients that can be difficult to decipher. Now, this is fairly normal with most products, and you shouldn’t be scared of chemical names. However, when you’re eating specifically for a certain level of nutrients you want to have whole ingredients that your body has to work hard to break down.
Takes It Easy On Your Tummy
Even the most sensitive stomachs can rest easy with this product. It’s made to be gentle on your intestines so that you won’t run into any issues while out and about. This is especially great for hiking since the extra exercise can upset your system as it is. If you’re prone to “bathroom problems” or regularly have issues with low appetite or nausea, these are a godsend! They’re light, easily digestible, and ready to eat no matter where you are. Even in the midst of activity on a long, grueling trek you can whip one out and continue moving while you munch.
Cost and Value
There is a flurry of features that make this product a strong contender on the list. It ranks in the top five which means it obviously has a lot going for it. It’s easily digestible, wholesome, and tastes fantastic. However, it is a mint variety which most people either love or hate. We know as many people who are mint maniacs as we do who gag at even the thought of the flavor. This bar is also high in fat with quite a bit of that being saturated fat. Because of this, it isn’t a great weight loss product. It's much better suited to seasoned athletes who consume a high calorie diet. On the other hand, it is fairly low in sugar and is made with real wafer cookies. Whether it’s right for your not is entirely your decision, but we do love this product in general!
5. Clif Bar Oatmeal Raisin Walnut
This renowned brand is as tasty as it is complete. There’s a reason they’re so popular, after all. Clif has truly topped the market because of their line-up of wholesome, nutritional products that don’t skimp on taste. Sometimes this type of after-gym recovery food can taste… well, not good. Clif knows that you aren’t going to eat something you don’t like. Or, if you are, you’re less likely to buy that product again. Their formula is based on careful taste tests that ensure a top quality snack that won’t make you gag. On top of this, they source wholesome ingredients that pack in all of the nutritional power you need for energy all day long.
A Truly Terrific Brand
We know you’ve heard of Clif. Everybody has heard of Clif. Literally. It seems like this brand is pretty much everywhere. They’ve become such a popular manufacturer because of their complex formulas that somehow combine into the pinnacle of perfect snack food. Clif has a reputation for quality ingredients that are ethically sourced and entirely wholesome. Whether you’re scaling a cliff or heading home from the gym, you can be sure that Clif is there to see you through.
Home Baked Comfort
Do you remember being a child? The careless freedom that slipped through your growing fingers before you knew it? It was blissful ignorance of the problems to come later in life. We constantly seek out anything that puts these pleasurable memories to the forefront of our minds. Clif captured the essence of childhood in their oatmeal raisin flavor which features walnuts. Bite into it, close your eyes, and transport yourself back to grandma’s kitchen and a simpler time altogether.
Cost and Value
Well, here it is! The highest value product we could find! This pack of twelve Clif bars is super affordable and totally worth every penny. We can’t recommend them enough, and neither can the other reviewers! We may be a bit biased, however, since we’re big Clif fans in general. There’s a multitude of fantastic flavors that will keep you coming back for more. This particular flavor may not hit it off with everybody, however. Some people just don’t like oatmeal raisin, so for those folks, this might not be such a stellar steal.
6. Muscle Milk Protein Bar
Tired of eating the same flavor day in and day out? Well, you’re in luck! Muscle Milk protein bars were created to pack a punch of flavor while still providing the necessary nutrients you need to feel better and look your very best. Even if you aren’t working out on a constant basis you might want to consider having these as a meal replacement as they pack all the necessary nutrients your body needs to function at its full potential. Additionally, they’re excellent on the go snacks.
One of the main reasons why so many people shy away from protein bars and even shakes is because of their “chalky” taste. These bars remove the chalky taste and have packed it with delicious flavor, so much so, that you might even forget they are good for you. Additionally, they come in 5 different flavors; cookies n crème, double rocky road, peanut butter cookie, birthday cake, and lemon bliss. Having all these flavors allows you to find the perfect one for you.
As more and more people become aware of gluten in their food, the less appealing it becomes. Not only does gluten provide 0 health benefits, but many people are actually allergic to it. Eating gluten while being allergic can create inflammation in the intestinal tract. This brand took this into consideration and made sure they removed gluten from their products in order to allow everyone to enjoy it.
Cost and Value
When it comes to cost these protein bars, they are a bit on the pricier side. However, they do provide 15g high-quality protein per bar that is paired with great flavor, making them an excellent choice for anyone and everyone that is seeking a tastier protein bar option.
7. Quest Nutrition
Quest has found the right balance between taste and nutrition and has plenty of great flavors to prove it. Birthday Cake, Blueberry Muffin, S’mores, and Cinnamon Roll are all on the list, and boy, oh boy, do they sound good!
Doubles As An Ingredient
Trying to figure out how to balance baking with health? If you love getting in the kitchen and crafting confectioner treats from scratch, then this is the product for you. Quest themselves say that you can easily break up their sweet flavors and put them into a mix for added sweetness. This gives you a great way to enjoy a homemade dessert without the guilt. Pancakes, waffles, cakes, muffins, and more can all get a boost of nutrition if you add a Quest product into the mix. The best way to do so is just to pop them into a food processor and finely grind them.
Terrific Variety Of Flavor
There are so many repetitive, redundant flavors on the market. Almost every product you look at is just a knock-off, it seems, from the last. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a good recipe that doesn’t either taste terrible or contain terrible ingredients.
Cost and Value
Ringing in the bottom of the list doesn’t mean that a product lacks quality. In fact, it’s pretty hard to rank these sometimes because everything we pick is so great! Quest is a fan favorite, and because of this, it comes highly recommended. The only thing holding it back is its price and its high fat content. The large variety of amazing flavors really gives this a leg up on the competition. There are some negative reviews that report problems with their orders. Just make sure everything arrives like it should, however, and you’ll be okay!
8. RXBar Chocolate Sea Salt
RXBar is a new face on the scene. They recently started releasing their products, and have been taking off ever since. Even though they've only recently become such a phenomenon, we’re sure they’re here to stay. It’s their great quality and simple design that’s put them on the map and ensured a constant stream of satisfied customers. RXBar is packed with simple, pure goodness that you just don’t find in other nutritional snacks. On top of this, RXBar is designed to be allergen free. As always, however, be sure to double check any product for allergens before ingesting.
Totally Simple Ingredients
We mean it. They really are totally understandable and truly the simplest ingredients in any of these products. In fact, they’re so simple RXBar can list them in a rather large font on the front of their wrapper. Only whole foods are used in the development of this flavorful variety. This is a huge draw for so many people who are sick of not understanding more than two ingredients on the labels of their food.
Absolutely Allergen Free
If you have a highly allergic family member or friend then you know how stressful it can be to find food. It’s even harder if you’re looking for very specific health food! RXBar offers a great source of nutrition and energy because of their simple ingredients. It’s also because of their simple ingredients that they’re so friendly to all sorts of diets! Gluten-free, paleo, kosher, and more are all included on this list. Although there will still, of course, be people who are allergic to their ingredients, they stand a better chance of being safe for many.
Cost and Value
Although these aren’t the least expensive, they aren’t the most expensive, either. The RXBar brand is a great choice because of its simple ingredients and wholesome nutrients. Those who are highly allergic to certain foods may find relief, and total satisfaction, with the help of this product. We really do recommend it for that reason! Otherwise, it’s really up to your personal taste preference. Some people aren’t a fan of dates, for example, which make up a large portion of this product. They also reportedly have a rather strange texture. This is most likely a trade-off because their recipe is so short. Either way, if either of those two features are off putting, we suggest going a different route.
9. Grenade Nutrition Killa
Boom goes the dynamite! Or, alternatively, your taste buds. This explosively flavorful option comes in plenty of delicious flavors. You’ll never need an alternative when you go with Grenade! The name itself represents a combustible nature that you’ll easily mimic at the gym. This product provides all the power you need to bust out a killer workout every single time. They’re chock full of great stuff, like fiber and complete proteins. There are so many reasons to give this brand a chance if you haven’t already. We promise that you’ll bring your A-game with you when you bring Grenade with you.
Full Of Flavorful Fiber
Tired of taking bathroom breaks that are… a struggle? You get the idea. We aren’t going to get too gross, but it bears mentioning this issue. Luckily, Grenade has the answer to your intestinal woes. This manufacturer has crafted a recipe that gives your body the boost it needs. Toilet time isn’t a topic anybody wants to bring up, but a poor diet can lead to a host of problems. If you’re trying to correct your eating habits then this is a great place to start.
A Classy Twist On Chocolate
Ever had European chocolate? No? Well, Grenade is looking to introduce you! There are many products which are higher quality, or just tastier, in Europe. Their cheese, wine, and chocolate are all notoriously better than they are in the USA! Grenade used European chocolate in the design of these bars. This gives them a creamier, softer texture that satisfies anybody’s sweet tooth. Don’t just bite into a tasty snack, bite into a luxurious one.
Cost and Value
Quite frankly, these are super expensive. While they normally have coupons available they still have a pretty hefty price attached. This is most likely because of the quality of their ingredients. It’s a fact of life that when a product is high-quality, the price is going to be higher than average. Whether or not you’re okay with a lesser variety is up to you. A lot of people are totally fine with lower cost snacks! But if you want a luxurious experience with a top quality product, then this is probably a good choice for you to make. This product also comes with a variety of nutritional benefits not found in other bars. We love their taste, ingredients, nutritional benefits, and more! We think you will, too.
After reading on so many different protein bars, you might wonder what makes this one the last one on our list a bit different from the rest. MET-RX protein bar was created to not only provide 28 grams of protein per bar, but it provides quality ingredients with excellent flavor. It’s the perfect blend of nutrition, high-quality ingredients, and delicious flavor.
Perfect Meal Replacement
If you are on a diet or seeking to eat better, you may want to try a meal replacement. Meal replacements are great because they give you the nutrients you need without the unnecessary calories you don’t. Additionally, they are great for snacking in between larger meals. One issue with meal replacements is they aren’t filling enough- that is where the MET- Rx will come in handy. This protein bar not only contains healthy vitamins and minerals but it’s dense and filing.
Not just a protein bar, but a workout fuel as well. It contains the right amount of nutrients to help with weight loss, boost energy and help with muscle repair. Having this ability allows your bar to be more than just a protein bar but a fuel that helps you recover sooner from intense workouts.
Cost and Value
Just the fact that these offer excellent nutritional value paired with great taste and muscle recovery makes them a great option. The cost is on the mid-range of the spectrum yet is very affordable. Even the flavor is exceptional which is always a plus.