Basic to Indulgent: today’s protein bars are far more than compressed protein powder they offer more of an experience and below we detail some of 2017’s BEST protein bars:
The protein bar has transformed in recent years going from a bland, boring, tasteless bar to something that is basically the new chocolate bar on the market… but with this comes that decision on which bar range to choose and then which flavour to buy?
Have you ever been in the situation where there is so much choice in front of you that you do not know where to start??
You buy a box of 12 only to find that flavour tastes chemically or nothing like you expect it to?? Don’t worry we have all been there, that’s where we are here to help !!
I’ve teamed up with RST41 (Ravi) the supplement king if you don’t follow hi you seriously need to, with honest protein supplement reviews I could think of no one better to collaborate with to bring you the top 12 bars of 2017!!
Grenade Carb Killa’s – The Ckilla range really brought the protein bar into the mainstream and made the protein industry rethink how a protein bar should be; providing an indulgent chocolate coating with a variety of textures, a soft centre with a biscuit crispy crunch and finally that sweet caramel layer. These bars offer high-quality protein with low impact carbs and sugar perfect for those sugar cravings with now 11 flavours on the market, there is definitely one for everyone. The downside to these bars is that they contain Gelatin, therefore, are unsuitable for strict vegetarians and vegans. These bars also use palm oil bit the saturated fat is lower than Phd Smart Bars but still called as high per 100g.
A great range of choices with 11 bars its hard to pick a favourite but the best would be the white chocolate cookie, jaffa quake, Banana Armour and Dark Chocolate Mint but Peanut Nutter is up there.
PhD Nutrition Smart Bar – The Smart Bar hit the scene at Bodypower 2017 providing a landmark opportunity for PhD to enter the protein bar market with some aplomb. These triple layered protein bars provide a unique selling point with no palm oil, instead of using coconut oil. The triple layers are very distinct and hole form on bitting into, with a soft base with a caramel coating, lots of crispies and a nice chocolate outer coating, The chocolate layer is a little thicker than the Warrior Crunch Bars with similar macros. Although the fat content is a little high at 11g the texture and chocolate are worth it. These bars have a lot fewer ingredients than the diet whey bars and use coconut oil providing medium chain triglycerides but a high level of saturated fat per 100g. Also, these bars have gluten in them so are unsuitable for a gluten-free diet.
A range of great flavours but the best are Caramel Crunch, Cookies & Cream and the excellent leftfield flavour Dark Chocolate Raspberry.
PhD Nutrition Diet Whey – Who remembers the old Diet Whey bars?? I certainly do the recomp of these bars makes them unrecognisable, with a bigger bar, a soft base with dark crispies running throughout. These textural properties follow the trend in the market similar to the Smart Bar etc. These bars have a similar profile: a softcore, a “secret” ganache layer which adds real sweet taste and an outer sweet chocolate or yoghurt coating with lots of crispy pieces running throughout. They are low in fat at 5g and have significantly increased the fibre content from >1g to 8+g therefore perfect sweet treat for a cut or anyone really. All bars are under 200kcals very rare to find for such a good tasting bar, these bars use palm oil and have quite a few ingredients.
3 excellent flavours in this range with our favourites bring Triple Choc Cookie, Dark Choc Mocha and Double Choc Brownie.. stay tuned for our thoughts on the Choc Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel.
Barebells – Who remembers the surprise but oh so successful debut of the Barebells range at Bodypower 2017? All the way from Sweden the Barebell offers something different from the traditional crispy pieces that are dominating the market. Only their Cookie Cream flavour has cookie crunchy pieces which I think is great as each flavour is slightly different and has different textures. All these bars look very homemade, with a decent amount of either coconut flakes, nuts or crispies with great consistency and texture. Their bars don’t use a blend of protein only milk protein and use palm oil, however, the ingredient list is pretty small. These bars are low in sugar, under 200kcals, saturates are a little high but a great tasting bar.
Best flavour is Cookies & Cream then Caramel Cashew and finally Coconut -Choco
Warrior Supps – The Warrior Supp bars have flooded Instagram feeds in recent months with its chocolate bar type aroma and great taste. These bars differ from PhD Smart Bars with having almost like rice crispies hidden under the chocolate coating a strong visual appearance which looks just like a “regular” chocolate bar. The distinct triple layer giving lots of taste and texture whilst being a soft tasty bar, these bars are definitely more gooey as the caramel layer has a tendency to seep out the chocolate layer, with similar macros although unlike PhD Smart Bars this bar includes palm oil.
Currently, this range has only 2 flavours: Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Crisp.
CNP – The new bars from CNP offers new flavour combinations whilst following the new trend in the protein bar industry similar to SmartBar and WarriorSupp it brings an almost Boost style protein bar. With a thick chocolate outer coating, a soft centre with an indulgent caramel layer filled with crispy pieces. The Profusion Bar is quite high in fats similar to SmartBars and uses a blend of protein with a good carbohydrate to protein ratio making them ideal for postworkout. These bars use palm oil and again contains gluten, however, there are suitable for vegetarians and use very similar ingredients to others of this style.
Currently, this range has 2 flavours: Raspberry Ripple and Choc Caramel
Protein Dynamics Staxx Bar – The new bar on the market kinda a cross between the Grenade and their Dynabar with a soft base covered in a caramel layer with a crunchy chocolate coating with lots of crispy pieces. These bars have mid-range macros but low sugar and a decent fibre content. Using a blend of protein, they use no added sugar chocolate so something a little different to others on the market. This bar uses palm oil as a fat source and is unsuitable for both vegetarians and vegans such to Gelatin.
Fulfil – The luck of the Irish has definitely been with the popular protein bar, each bar has a unique texture from a simple plain bar in the Strawberry Creme which is the least aesthetic of the range to full caramel and crispy layers similar to Grenade bars. With three new flavours all with a similar appearance of crispy pieces topping the chocolate layer giving that wow factor. These bars are unique in that they are nutrient-packed with a full RDA of 9 Vitamins and Minerals, 20g of protein and low in sugars. The new flavours have dropped the fibre and increased the polys significantly, this will be due to the change in the bulking agent also they now only use one type of sweetener. However, the new fruit flavour includes glucose-fructose syrup also these bars include palm oil. these bars also use Gelatin and so are unsuitable for both Vegetarians and Vegans.
Combat Crunch- Muscle Pharm bars possible one of the OG bar ranges have a distinct appearance with an excellent drizzle design (on most flavours) which makes them stand out from other bars on the market. With a crunch crispy outer chocolate coating and a nice chewy base. These bars can vary in terms of chewiness, dependant on the flavour and generosity of the crunchy pieces I the outer coating. Using a blend of protein, a high amount of dietary fibre and do state ingredients even when they are only trace amounts which are good. These bars do use palm oil fast as well as add sugar, therefore, the sugar content is slightly higher than most on the market, however, the alcohol sugar is very low.
Best flavours are Cinnamon Twist and White Chocolate & Raspberry.
NitroTech Bars – Both MuscleTech and MusclePharm are American brands having a similar style of a bar in terms of appearance and textures, with a soft base coated in a decent chocolate layer with an abundance of crunchy pieces. Both ranges are very underrated. All these bars have crispy pieces running through the base whether that’s crunchy cookie pieces or sprinkles and some even have a drizzle making it that bit more aesthetic. The ingredients are similar to combat crunch being a blend of protein, although these bars use three types of plant fats including palm and soy. There are quite a lot of ingredients in these bars they are slightly higher in Kcals and protein than Combat Crunch but overall lower in carbohydrates with similar sugar contents.
Best flavours are Birthday Cake and Cinnamon Bun.
OneYeah Bar – These bars are perhaps the simplest bar in terms of a classic base wrapped in a thin coating with some form of aesthetic decoration on top varying from sprinkles, drizzle to just quite plain-looking. These bars are a decent size and generally a very soft base, easy to eat they generally have crispies or a flavour running through the base. The OneBar it’s in the name these bars were designed to have 1g of sugar whilst still delivering a sweet tasting protein treat. Using a protein blend and tend to be quite high in alcohol sugars due to the bulking agents, and also use palm oil. However, some of their range is gluten-free therefore offering something competitive in the industry. The range has so many flavours all of which are good but the most recent flavours do stand out: Maple Glazed Donut, Salted Caramel and Blueberry Cobble. However, Birthday Cake is a definite winner too, as well as some of the leftfield flavours: Cinnamon Bun!, Pumpkin Spice, Lemon Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Pie.. not one is BAD!
Effective Dual Bar – The Efectiv bars offer something completely different to the market with two 25g pieces similar to a country style packaging. These bars have a chewy centre with crunchy pieces throughout the base coated in a generous amount of chocolate. These bars are under 200Kcals, using only whey protein and are free from palm oil as well as being gluten-free. They use Sunflower and Rapeseed oils as the fat source, they state low in alcohol sugars although they aren’t listed on the packaging however they are low in carbohydrates and high in fibre so a good on the go bite.
Disclaimer: these are my observations and flavour preferences everyone will have different opinions and favourites
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