Behind Bars


Time was, “protein bar” was synonymous with “tough brick that takes forever to chew and then sticks in your throat on the way down.” No longer. In the last decade or so, protein-bar manufacturers have taken a page from candy-bar companies’ cookbooks and made other major advances to protein-bar recipes so that modern bars are actually delicious snacks or meals that have been nutritionally designed for a host of different purposes. Here are some:

High-protein bars: Great when you’re on the go or when you don’t want to take the time to make a meal (or even put together a shake). They provide a steady flow of aminos without excess calories from carbohydrates and fats. You can find bars with protein counts from 15 to 60 grams of protein.


Dymatize Nutrition Elite Gourmet 6-Layer Protein Bar (350 calories, 32 grams of protein)

Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Crisp Bar (250 calories, 26 grams of protein)

Premier Nutrition Titan Bar(320 calories, 26 grams of protein)

Meal-replacement bars: Sometime you’re looking for more than just a dose of protein with your bar — you want a meal. Many bars have plenty of protein, but they keep the calories down for those following a low-calorie or low-carb nutrition plan. The bars in this category provide you with a full complement of macronutrients for those seeking to grow.


BNRG Power Crunch Bar (200 calories, 13 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs)

Met-Rx Big 100 Meal Replacement Bar (410 calories, 32 grams of protein, 43 grams of carbs)

VPX Zero Impact Protein Bars (440 calories, 30 grams of protein, 35 grams of carbs)

Low-carb bars: You would think that a low-carb dieter would be out of luck when it came to bar shopping, but there are actually options even for them.


Atkins Nutritionals Advantage Bar (240 calories, 18 grams of protein, 12 grams net carbs)

EAS Myoplex Carb Control Bar (260 calories, 30 grams of protein, 3 grams net carbs)

Universal Nutrition Doctor’s CarbRite Diet Bar (200 calories, 18 grams of protein, 3 grams net carbs)