Best protein bars UK

Best protein bars UK

When you’re trying to build muscle, but you lead a busy life, it can be difficult to consume all the protein you need.

That’s why protein bars are such a great addition to your nutritional arsenal, allowing you to get big protein hits easily while you’re on the move.

But the choice of protein bars in the UK can be overwhelming.

So, I’ve put together this detailed guide to the 12 best protein bars out there, to help you pick the right bar for your needs and budget.

 

 

Grenade Carb Killa High Protein and Low Carb Bar

Grenade are by far and away the biggest protein bar brand on the UK market now, and for good reason. They manage to tick a few different boxes… nutritionally they’re pretty solid. Low sugar, low carb, high protein. They’re also certified by the ‘Informed Sport’ programme, so they abide by drug guidelines, meaning athletes can use them without worrying about the ingredients. Finally, they have a huge variety of interesting flavours, which customers love. You pay a premium, but they’re top of the market.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 2g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 4g

 

PhD Smart Bar High Protein Low Carb Bar

PhD Smart Bars are another well-regarded protein bar. Where they aren’t quite as high profile as Grenade, protein and price-wise they’re fairly similar. One thing to be aware of is the carb content – it’s 24g, so although the ‘impact carbs’ are only 1.9g, if you are trying to stay low carb or need to manage your blood sugar, be aware of this and plan accordingly. The PhD bars are popular and are well-suited to those who are trying to add muscle to their frame.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 20g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 9g

 

Grenade Reload Protein Flapjack

If you’re on a bulk and aren’t fussed about the carb content, the Grenade Reload Protein Flapjack could be a great choice. They’re generally not as high in protein and are higher in sugar and fat than protein bars, but certainly way less than your average chocolate bar. Thanks to the higher sugar and fat content, protein flapjacks typically taste better than protein bars, but the sacrifice you make is they’re not quite as diet friendly.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 15g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 1g

 

PhD Nutrition High Protein Flapjack

Nutritionally speaking, the PhD High Protein Flapjack is an interesting food. It is very high in carbs, but very low in sugar. It’s also very high in protein for a flapjack and the fat content is relatively low as well. Like a lot of ‘diet’ foods it gets its sweet taste from sweeteners, but if you don’t mind that it’s a nice-tasting protein flapjack. Be aware of the nutritional information, because at nearly 300 calories per bar it’s not a low-calorie food.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 19g
  • Grams of sugar per bar:1.9xg

 

Optimum Nutrition Protein Bar with Whey Protein

The Optimum Nutrition Protein Bar is a bar that is trying to buck the trend when it comes to protein bars. By using real Belgian chocolate and adding rice crispies to improve texture, they are moving away from the stereotype of health foods, which is that they contain worse-tasting ‘healthy’ versions of ingredients instead of the real thing. They’ve done this without sacrificing nutritional elements of the bar and have managed to keep the price down too – they’re cheaper than Grenade and PhD yet are similar nutritionally.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 20g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 7g

 

Optimum Nutrition Protein Crisp Protein Bars

If you’re not a fan of protein bars and don’t really want the dense, higher calorie flapjacks then you could consider an Optimum Nutrition Protein Crisp bar. They’re essentially made from rice crispies surrounded by a whey protein isolate, with a chocolate flavoured protein coating. They’re lower in calories but still maintain a high protein macronutrient profile. Typically they’re cheaper than protein bars and flapjacks, plus they’re well-received by consumers. They’re great for anyone watching their weight.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 20g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 8g

 

Snickers Hi Protein Bar

Snickers jumped into the protein bar world a while back with their own offering. They’ve taken the classic snickers bar and tweaked the recipe – they’ve reduced the calories, fat and sugar whilst maintaining the major ingredients of a snickers. What this means is that whilst they hit protein levels expected of a protein bar, you do still have to pay attention to the sugar content because this is simply a healthier, higher protein version of a chocolate bar. If you’re looking to bulk and aren’t bothered about the sugar, this could be the best-tasting bar you try!

  • Grams of protein per bar: 20g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 5g

 

Amazon Brand -Amfit Nutrition Protein Bar Jaffa Cake

These Amfit bars are new players in the market and seem to be holding up well to scrutiny. Taste wise they are well received, they have a decent (if not top level) macronutrient profile and they are in-line with everything else on the market from a cost perspective. The flavours are interesting too. One major point that a lot of reviews report is that these bars produce a pretty dramatic flatulent effect in a lot of users, which if that’s your thing (or you live/work alone and don’t have to hide it!) could be a benefit! It’s certainly something to be aware of before you purchase though.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 8g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 1g

 

FULFIL Chocolate Salted Caramel Vitamin & Protein Bar

The Fulfil Vitamin and Protein bars are another of these newer style of protein bars, where they add texture in the form of chunks, biscuit or crispy bits. It’s a way of making the bar more ‘treat-like’ and it seems to work. The Fulfil bars have a different angle to most others in that they contain added vitamins and minerals, setting them slightly aside from the rest of the market. They’re relatively expensive, certainly compared to their competition but they are more than just a protein bar. Lots of interesting flavours too.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 20g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 7g

 

Muv Food For Action – Low Carbs Protein Bar

The MUV Food for Action bars are eye-catching because of the price point – they’re significantly cheaper than the others I’m reviewing, but then that’s because they’re very small (less than half the size of others in this article). They’re designed as an on-the-go high protein snack, but they’re generally seen as an acquired taste on account of their hard texture and difficulty to chew. If that’s your thing, these could be the bar for you. Nutritionally, they’re low calorie (remember they’re small though), relatively high in protein but are also higher in fat and sugar per gram than other bars.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 2g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 2g

 

Misfits Vegan High Protein Low Sugar Bar

The Misfits Vegan bars have outstanding reviews on the taste front, which is odd for a protein bar! What’s interesting here is the macronutrient profile – they’re higher in fat than other bars, but being smaller they still don’t contribute a huge amount of calories. They make up for the higher fat content with very low sugar content. Obviously they’re ideal for vegetarians and vegans, but being gluten and dairy free they also work for people who suffer from allergies to these foods.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 16g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 8g

 

Nature Valley Protein Peanut & Chocolate Gluten Free Cereal Bars

The Nature Valley protein bars fit into the same category as the snickers protein bar I reviewed earlier – they’re basically a tweaked version of an existing recipe to cater to a new market. Taste wise, these work. What they’re not brilliant for is protein! Compared to other health-focused protein bars they’re high in fat and sugar, yet low in protein. If what you’re looking for is a snack to fuel a workout, these are pretty good. They’re not exactly diet-friendly compared to other bars in their niche though.

  • Grams of protein per bar: 2g
  • Grams of sugar per bar: 2g

 

See also: Best doorway pull up bar

 

How to choose the right protein bar for your needs

With a huge selection of protein bars on the market, it can be difficult to choose which one to go for. Here’s a little guidance for you…

 

Brand

You may have tried other products from a company and liked (or disliked) them, so use what you recognise in brands as a start for guidance. Popular brands tend to be popular for a reason, so it’s worth looking at the big sellers and the known brands in a space. All of the brands reviewed here are fairly well-established.

 

Protein per bar

This is fundamental to a protein bar – as a guide I’d suggest you stick to those offering at least 15g of protein per bar if you’re serious about muscle gain. There are different types of protein depending on the bar, but the non-vegan bars usually contain whey which is very bioavailable (readily absorbed). If possible, opt for these over plant proteins.

 

Sugar/carbs per bar

This is important if you’re looking after your weight or (as many people are), wanting to keep a control of your blood sugar in case you’re diabetic or follow a ketogenic diet. Not all carbs are the same, so pay more attention to the sugar content than the carb content. You’ll usually see the term ‘polyols’ on the nutritional information – these are low calorie sweeteners. The higher the polyol number, the sweeter the bar will usually taste.

 

Cost

The bars can range in price from less than £10 per 12 to over £20 and generally (but not always) you get what you pay for. My advice is to stick to the £12-£20 range and you’ll get a good quality bar at a reasonable price point. In the cheaper bars there’s often lower quality ingredients, affecting taste.

 

Taste

This is totally personal, but if you aren’t a huge fan of artificial sweetener then you need to pay attention to the nutritional information. In that case, you may have to opt for a more ‘natural’ bar, but it’ll likely come with a slightly worse nutritional profile. Likewise, you may prefer a flapjack over a bar. Either way, experiment and find a product that works for you.

 

 

Finding the best protein bar in the UK

There’s a huge range of protein bars out there in the market, so you won’t struggle to find something that suits your taste. Stick to the advice in this guide and you won’t go far wrong looking for the perfect protein bar for you!