It's sad but true: In our busy, everyday lives, meals sometimes get skipped. Ideally, you should be eating something every two and a half to three hours. But when there just isn't time to prepare a healthy meal, protein bars are a good occasional substitute. Of course, they're not meant to replace real meals; but eating a protein bar is definitely better then eating nothing at all. In fact, some of them even offer big nutrition benefits.
Remember, when you skip meals, your metabolism slows down, causing your body to burn fewer calories and to store fat. You also miss out on important vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients your body needs to function properly.
With so many brands and types of protein bars available, how do you choose? Before purchasing a box of bars, be sure to read the label. Pay close attention to the protein count and sugar content. Think about your dietary needs first, then try different kinds to find a flavor you like.
Here are some of our top picks:
Frosted Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar by FitJoy
With 20 grams of protein and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, unwrap one of these bars whenever cravings for cinnamon rolls hit! They're filled with buttery cinnamon flavor, packed with pecans and drizzled with a creamy frosting that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Oh Yeah! Protein Wafer Bars by ISS Research
These light, crispy wafers supply 14 grams of protein and have only four grams of sugar. Try them in Peanut Butter Crunch or Chocolate & Caramel flavors.
Protein Cookies by Buff Bake
Instead of raiding the vending machine when cookie or candy bar cravings hit, grab a Buff Bake Protein Cookie and get 8 grams of protein rather than an empty-calorie, high-fat snack.
Chocolate Plus Bar by Greens+
Made with dates, dark chocolate (72% cacao), almond butter and natural superfoods, these bars were designed to support energy, performance and nutritional balance.* They're also certified organic, non-GMO and gluten-free.
Sunflower Butter & Chocolate Time-Released Energy Bar by Go Macro
Vegan, macrobiotic, soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO verified, these high-protein bars offer time-released energy for those on the go. Each bar boasts 10 grams of protein and is uniquely made with InstantSafe brown rice syrup for sweet taste without the addition of high-fructose corn syrup.
Nuts & Spices Bar by Kind Healthy Snacks
With ingredients you recognize, Kind bars are nutritious gems. Each bar boasts only 200 calories for a perfectly portioned midday treat. Plus, flavors such as Honey Roasted Nuts & Sea Salt are great for on the go, because they won't melt!
Zing Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Bar
If you avoid soy, dairy and gluten, you can't get more delicious than a Zing bar--specifically, the dark chocolate hazelnut flavor. This vegan treat gets its power from plant-based protein.
Strawberry Cobbler Cereal Multigrain Bars by Healthy Valley Organic
If a sit down meal isn't possible, start off your morning with a tasty, whole-grain cereal bar, made from organic ingredients with no high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Each bar is only 130 calories--and unlike eating a bowl of cereal, no milk is required!
Nuts & Spices Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Bars by Kind
The nice balance of 7 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein make this bar an ideal breakfast choice, helping you to avoid mid-morning tummy rumbles and dashes to the donut shop. Gluten-free, dairy free and made with non-GMO ingredients, KIND bars let you do the kind thing for your body and your taste buds, whether you're at home, at the gym, at the office or on to go!