Over the years, I have received many many questions about different bars (and protein powders) so today, I decided to share my go-to's and favorites!
There is a reason based on their macros that you would eat one versus the other, so I'll explain that as I go through them. If you are eating a Cliff Bar or a Quest Bar, that is a big difference.
There are many bars on the market, and there is one bar that is thought of when it comes to protein bars, and I bet you can all guess what that is ....
They have literally created a DYNASTY since 2010 and mostly just from 2013 and MOSTLY from instagram, youtube and other social media outlets. They were named Inc. 5000 for fasted growing companies in the US at a whopping number 2!!! They literally started in their kitchen, and have become a house hold name for the most part as the only protein bar that many will purchase. From a business standpoint, it's literally unbelievable and incredible.
Now, if only, we could get Katiesfitscript to do the same! hahaha! Okay, moving on...
My point is that it's not the only protein bar on the market! It is however, an incredible bar. The ingredients are all natural with whey isolate and super high in fiber (essentially, if you eat this and a few more veggies, you will get your recommended amount of fiber for the day).
They write on the front, 3g NET CARBS!!! Refer to THIS post for why you should count all carbs, and not just net carbs so even though that looks good in theory, they are approximately 20g of carb but also 20g protein and 8g fat (chocolate chip cookie dough flavor). This a great way to add in some extra protein into your day with a delicious treat. Broil them for less than a minute and you have a SERIOUS sweet craving taken care of! :)
2. Builder Bars
I'm going to reference quest with this because I feel that most people are familiar with Quest and times when you might want to try something different.
These bars are very similar macros except they have 30g of carb however this bar is bigger and more filling than Quest. This bar is almost like a brownie type texture with a covering. These are seriously delicious and where Quest have that sticky feeling to the top of your mouth, this doesn't have that type of texture. Sometimes, I will just cut one in half if I don't want to eat the entire thing because I feel it's very filling.
They have some great vitamins added as well with great ingredients so Tanner eats one of these every single day at work! Our favorite flavor is Vanilla Almond!
3. Power Crunch
These are a completely different kind of bar, and just quite simply, delicious. I also had their protein powder at the NYC Marathon Expo and oh my goodness, I am convinced. It was so delicious, I had to order it!!! The macros on these bars are much different and high in fat and very low in carb! The macros are 200 calories // 13g F // 8g C // 14g P ! These are for those people that have a hard time getting fats into their day as I have many clients that tell me they fall short on fat! And those that want a delicious wafer cookie because they are SO so good! My favorite flavor is French Vanilla Creme. I would have one everyday if it wasn't for the fact that I can't keep my fingers out of the peanut butter jar! HAHA!
And then we haveeeee: Think Thin Bars
This is the first type of Think Thin bar that has very similar macros to Quest and again wonderful ingredients (Macros: 240 calories // 25g carb // 20g protein // 9 fat ) They have a little more carb but they are a bit more dense. It's just so ironic because bars such as this have been around but Quest has just run past them in sales. I will admit that these are not my favorite. I just think that based on the macros, the size of the bar and the flavor, they really aren't worth as much of my macro time. I would rather have a Quest but they are a little cheaper than Quest and I try to switch things up so I'm not just having the same thing over and over.
The second type of Think Thin bar is what it advertises....it's thin.
The protein is not near as high (10g) but the carb is a bit lower too at 19g and fat is 6g fat ( 150 calories). They are SUPER duper thin and tasty so when you are on the go, they are a good choice but they aren't my favorite just because I would rather have more filling carbs. They only have 5g of fiber so they don't keep you full very long.
Last but not least on the list this time
Cliff Bar (seasonal: Iced Gingerbread)
Can you tell I took the Cliff Bar picture at a different time? Haha!
Cliff bars are going to be used more for energy purposes. They are very low on protein and very high in carb. I would eat one of these post long run for example. (250 calories // 43g C // 9g P // 6g F) Lesson in macros: They have the same amount of calories as the Builder Bar but are made up completely differently, and that's important. Cliff bars are delicious but personally, I just really don't want to eat that much carb at one time. If you are going to be on the go throughout the day then this is a good choice to get some dense calories.
At the end of the day, all of these protein bars just need to be accounted for in your macros. They all have great ingredients for the most part, and there are so many others that are great too ( I eat LunaBars and Power bars as well). I do however remember when I first started trying to eat healthy for the first time back in high school, I thought that if something was in the form of a bar and said anything like granola on it, then it most certainly was healthy and that's not the case necessarily. Many of the granola bars are just 100% carbohydrate even if they are 90 calories and you want to get a balance in everything if this is something that you are eating for a meal.
If you are going to not count macros and just eat clean then maybe go with Quest, PowerBar, Think Thin, BalanceBar, or Builder as these are all great ones with a great macro distribution.
I know this is quite the unorganized bar list, but I hope it helps you make better choices!
With love and protein bars,