The Best Protein Bars of 2019

Japan has over 200 flavours of Kit Kat, ranging from the weird (Cough Drop) to the downright disturbing (Miso Soup, anyone?). The protein bar market hasn't got to that stage... yet. But the sheer amount of new types and flavours being churned out is a little overwhelming.

I put together this roundup of the best protein bars in 2019 to help you out. We'll look at taste, macronutrients, texture and best flavours. My hope is to save you from the horrific jaw ache, blandness and/or eye-popping sugar levels of sub-par protein bars.

My credentials? In the three years since I started my self-appointed (and probably made up) role here as taster-in-chief I've tasted upwards of 500 different protein bars. It may not come with the money or status of being a food critic, but I take some comfort in the knowledge that nobody will ask Mary Berry what snack to put in their gym bag.


Barebells

This Swedish company has grabbed the protein bar market by the bells with its refreshingly unique protein bars. All of these flavours are so well executed, they are an absolute must try. Barebells are the king of nutty protein bars.

barebells protein bars protein rippedkit

Average Macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
198 20 15 1.7 4.5 9.2 5.4

The fat is a touch high but overall the macros are impressive, especially given how amazing they taste.

Texture

They all come with a soft, slightly chewy centre but aside from that the texture varies a lot from bar to bar. This may be why they are so good - there is no 'one size fits all' texture but instead each texture has been designed to work with the flavour.

Flavour Highlights

All are worth a try but if we had to pick three... White Chocolate Almond, Salty Peanut, and Cookies & Cream


Battle Bites

Easily one of the most exciting newer protein bar lines. Don't be misled by the fact that these come in 2 bites - they're definitely too good to share. Their soft centre combined with the fact they come in bites not bars means they feel more like a bakery treat than a supplement.

battle bites protein rippedkit

Average Macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
226 20 15 2.8 10.4 8.7 4.2

The macros are pretty good. Lower calorie alternatives exist but struggle to match this taste. 

Texture

Think a soft, tender centre with a few crispies, topped off with a gooey fondant layer and coated in chocolate. The coating is different depending on the flavour, so there's fudge crumbs on the caramel one and sprinkles on the birthday cake flavour. This adds some nice variety to the range.

Flavour Highlights

Chocolate Caramel, Birthday Cake, Candy Cane. Subject to change because they are churning out new flavours pretty much every month!


Fulfil

Fulfil know how scared you are of sugary fruit destroying your macro goals, so have packed each of these beauties with 100% of your RDA of 9 multivitamins. 🍎 A Fulfil a day keeps the doctor away then.* They have insane macros given how good they are, but it's also worth noting that they're not as filling as some of their less macro friendly counterparts.

*I am not authorised to give medical advice. But I used to be pretty good at Operation.

fulfil protein bars rippedkit

Average Macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
197 20.1 10.9 2.3 10 7.4 4.3

Fulfil bars generally clock in at around 200 calories so are up there with Quest as the lowest calorie and lowest carb protein bars around. Perfect if your diet is so strict that licking a rice cracker would put you over your daily calorie target.

Texture

The texture varies but most have a delicious Carb Killa style texture of a soft base with a crunchy topping and caramel.

Flavour Highlights

Chocolate Hazelnut Whip, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate Deluxe

(Slightly) Poor flavour

Strawberry & Vanilla (firm and chewy texture, taste is a touch artificial. Maybe unfair to say it's a poor flavour - it's not bad but it's just not as outstandingly good as the rest)


Grenade Carb Killa

Probably the most popular protein bar line in the UK, and it's easy to see why. They come in a range of flavours from your standard caramel and cookies and cream bars to more unusual (and brilliantly executed) flavours like banana, coffee and jaffa cake.

They also respond very well to a quick blast in the microwave (emphasis on quick - if you microwave these for three minutes expect to come back to a protein puddle).

grenade carb killa bar protein rippedkit

Average Macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
216 22.5 14.6 1.7 6.6 8.3 4.2

These bars always pack an impressive set of macros - over 20g protein and not much in the way of carbs or sugar.

Texture

Grenade Carb Killas were pioneers of a certain texture that many brands have since imitated. Think a soft, slightly chewy centre topped with caramel and crunchy pieces and all wrapped in a layer of chocolate.

Flavour Highlights

White Chocolate Cookie, Banana Armour, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, White Chocolate Mocha


MusclePharm Combat Crunch

These bars were released in mid-2014, an age when the average protein bar was a chewy, chalky, flavourless mass. So given they are positively ancient by protein bar standards it's impressive they still hold their own in today's market. They are chewier than average but that's not a bad thing and is more a matter of personal preference. The flavours are generally well-executed and (spoiler alert!) they have a nice crunch.

musclepharm combat crunch protein bar

Average macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
210 20 13.8 5 12 7 4

The macros on each of these bars is identical which probably means they're more artificial, but on the plus side did make the average macros table very easy to calculate.

 

Texture

Chewy centre covered in crunchy pieces and a chocolate coating. There's no caramel/gooey layer like with some of their competitors, but they aren't at all dry either so you definitely won't miss it.

Flavour highlights

Cinnamon Twist, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, S'mores


Optimum Nutrition Whipped Bites

These bites were the first to nail the marshmallow-soft centre. Bite into these incredibly soft, cakey bites and let all memories of the tough jawbreaker style protein bars of 2010 melt away. You probably wouldn't want these daily as there's not much variety in the texture, but they make a nice change from the usual protein bars.

optimum nutrition whipped bites protein rippedkit

Average Macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
244 20 28.4 2.1 6.7 8.1 4.8

The carbs are a little on the high side which is the price you pay for that fluffy texture. Aside from that these have decent macros overall, but it's worth keeping in mind that they're not very filling.

Texture

The clue's in the name - these have a super soft, airy, whipped texture that's very easy to chew. The coating is a thin layer of low-sugar chocolate.

Flavour Highlights

Salted Caramel, Strawberry Cream


OhYeah! One

These guys know that sugary treats leads to you punishing yourself on the treadmill, so they've created bars with only 1g of sugar each. These have imaginatively been named One bars. They are very tasty and well worth checking out. 

ohyeah! one protein bar

Average macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
220 21.1 14.2 1 9.6 7.6 5.1

Clean macros all round and the consistently low sugar is particularly impressive.

Texture

One bars are very soft and easy to chew, with small crunchy pieces throughout each bar which give it a light crunch. This texture works really well but if a big crunch is important to you these bars probably aren't the One (...sorry, I'll see myself out). They come with a chocolate or icing style coating. Special shout out to their birthday cake flavour - the sprinkles on this gives it a completely unique texture.

Flavour highlights

Birthday Cake, Salted Caramel, Maple Glazed Doughnut, Peanut Butter Pie, Blueberry Cobbler


PES Select Bars

With their first entry into the crowded protein bar game PEScience have clearly decided that it's better (3 years) late than never. What sets these bars apart is that every detail has been well executed. From the high-quality ingredients to the strong macro split, to the way they've perfected each flavour.

 pes science protein bar rippedkit

Average macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
207 19 12.7 1.7 12.7 7.7 2.7

The macros are pretty clean. It's great to see sugar and saturated fat kept to a minimum.

Texture

Looks similar to a Quest bar but with a chocolate coating on the bottom. Because it's 2019 and our protein bars better come with a chocolate coating. They are surprisingly easy to eat, with crispies running through the soft-baked texture that give them a light crunch.

Flavour highlights

All flavours are equally great - you can't go wrong.


PhD Diet Whey Bars

PhD completely reformulated their Diet Whey bars, which is for the best because the old ones were chewy, bland blocks that were duller than a neverending session on the leg press.

The new versions are deliciously chocolatey treats and you'd probably need a PhD to understand how they clock in at less than 200 cals. It's also good to see the inclusion of L-carnitine as one of the few proven fat burning ingredients.

phd diet whey protein bar rippedkit

Average macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
199 20 20.2 1.8 8.8 5.1 3.5

The fact these are all under 200 cals is even more impressive when you consider that at 65 grams they're bigger than the average protein bar.

Texture

The soft, nougat-style base is topped with a gooey caramel/fondant layer and lots of crispies. Throw in the chocolate coating and you've got a nice varied texture.

Flavour highlights

Double Chocolate Brownie, Salted Caramel, Dark Choc Mocha


ProSupps MyBar

ProSupps only released these, their first protein bars, in early 2017 so they were a little late to the protein bar party. But they've made up for lost time as all these bars are instant classics.

prosupps mybar protein bar

 

Average macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
220 20 16 6 1 10 5

Not bad but keeping in mind these bars are a little smaller than average (weighing 55g) the macros aren't anything to write home about either.

Texture

Delicious soft-baked, almost cakey centre with either crunchies or peanut chunks on top and a chocolate coating. Really impressive.

Flavour highlights

All of them aside from Cookie Dough, which is pretty bland


RCSS King Whey Crunch

Legendary bodybuilder Ronnie 'Aint Nuttin' but a Peanut' Coleman has never shied away from competition, which is useful as he's muscling his RCSS brand into the crowded protein bar market.

These are like softer versions of the Combat Crunch bars with thicker chocolate coatings. The Peanut Butter Cup flavour is an absolute must try for peanut lovers.

rcss king whey crunch protein rippedkit

Average macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
240 20 20 6 1 10 6

The macros aren't bad but aren't exactly clean either, with fat and sugar a little higher than I normally see in premium protein bars.

Texture

The soft-baked texture and crispies are great, but these bars mainly stand out for their chocolate coatings. They are thick enough to give Big Ron's biceps a run for their money and really do melt in the mouth.

Flavour highlights

Peanut Butter Cup, Birthday Cake


SinFit

First things first: yes these are 350 calorie monsters. I'm only including them because they are 100% worth the calorie splurge. With a lot of protein bars you know they're not a proper treat but they're the closest you can get while keeping sugar and fat low. But these are just so indulgent they taste like a straight up treat. Where did they hide the protein?

sinfit protein bars rippedkit

Average macros (grams)

Cals Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibre Total Fat Sat. Fat
350 30 27 8 1 16 8

Yes they are high calorie, but they also pack 30 grams protein instead of the usual 20. So actually the macro split isn't that bad. Even so, at 16g fat and 27g carbs these are firmly in the treat category.

Texture

They are thick soft-baked bars with several different layers and generous chocolate coatings. At 83 grams each bar is also big and seriously filling. 

Flavour highlights

I can't pick a highlight - the whole range is so good! Try them all.


Try them yourself

If you'd like to enjoy a selection of the newest and best protein bars arriving at your door each month you should try a subscription. No gimmicks, just a steady supply of the tastiest protein treats on the market. Get your box here.


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