Gear and food are usually two very separate categories. However, when it comes to energy bars, you’ll find that the line between the two categories tends to blur. This is because energy bars are both tactical in application and edible in nature. The energy bar can play many roles in our modern world. From providing you with a quick workout boost at the gym to giving you a much-needed pick-me-up as you hike up a mountain trail, having the right quality energy bars around can solve a lot of problems. Good energy bars will be packed with nutrients, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. You should also look for healthy bars with whole ingredients, few trans-fats, and limited preservatives. Finally, energy bars should be easy to carry, come at a fair value, and taste good.
So how exactly can you find the perfect energy bar solution for your next hike, gym binge, or snack on-the-go? It can be difficult to know how something will taste by just looking at a wrapper. Since you probably don’t want to buy one box of everything and eat your way to success, we’ve created this in-depth buyer’s guide. We have reviewed ten of the best energy bars based on qualities such as ingredient quality, energy value, flavor variety, and overall value.
What we like most about this energy bar is the way it goes down and how it settles. The Blueberry muffin Larabar sits in your stomach gently. It doesn’t make you feel overly bloated or weighed down. It also tastes good: it’s neither overly sweet nor overly bland. It has an easy-open wrapper that you can open one-handed as you walk. We’ve chosen to review the blueberry muffin flavor because it’s hands down the most popular. When it comes to ingredient quality, these bars are made with simple gluten-free ingredients. This particular variety contains only dates, cashews, unsweetened blueberries, blueberry juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, and vanilla extract. We like the ingredient simplicity and honesty. They are also non-GMO, vegan, soy-free, and dairy-free. On the downside, these bars aren’t much good after the expiration date. If you want to put 10 bars in your pack and eat them over the course of a year, you may want to try a different approach. Still, they are a delicious and healthy energy bar option.
Clif Bar energy - Apricot
Many people are familiar with the nutritional superiority and quality of Clif Bars. These energy bars are packed with nutritious ingredients that give you a sustained energy boost. If you’re hiking, biking, trekking, walking or working out, these bars are a good energy replenishment solution. Wholesome non-GMO ingredients such as oats, nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate make these bars satisfying and uplifting. The apricot flavor is particularly good as it simultaneously delivers a citrus brightness coupled with a satisfying sweetness. Now for the drawbacks. You do not want to eat a Clif Bar dry. If you don’t have a bottle of water on hand, you may find that you have difficulty swallowing. These bars are so nutritionally packed that they’re sometimes quite chalky. Still, for the energy boost, they really do work. They are also good value and are easy to open.
The ingredients of the RXBar are so simple that they have been concisely listed on the front of the wrapper. That’s right, the front, not the back. That’s because each RX bar contains 4 main ingredients: 3 egg whites,14 peanuts, and 2 dates. After that, salt and other natural flavors are added for taste. These bars are a clean and simple solution for any active person who needs an energy boost. This is partially due to the egg whites, which are a clean and simple source of energy. Egg whites are also cholesterol free and easily absorbed by the body. This RX bar also contains no soy, no artificial flavoring, no added sugar, no gluten, no dairy, and no filler material. This is the perfect non-GMO whole food energy bar for people who practice clean eating. As far as flavors go, the chocolate and sea salt combination balances a sweet and salty profile with the crunchy nuts and smooth dates. It’s a decadent and delicious bar that is also healthy and nutritious. On the other hand, while these are a great minimalist nutrition bar, the flavors can vary. Not all bars in a batch will taste the same, just like not all almonds taste the same. Be prepared for some taste inconsistency.
Here’s a quick and healthy option that has a rich taste and is also nutritionally balanced. These bars are also really filling tanks to ingredients such as apples, macadamia nuts, coconut, Yerba Mate, and hemp protein. The texture is also nice; if you don’t like the chalky taste of Cliff bars, these may be a good alternative. In addition, these bars come in many imaginative flavors. Think tart cherry, apple pecan, mango macadamia, and more. They also work well for those engaging in vigorous physical activity, as they sit lightly in the stomach. They also contain all 21 known amino acids and omega 3s to supports the immune system. If that isn’t enough, they are 100% USDA Certified organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free, paleo (grain free), cold-pressed and unheated. On the downside, some people really do not like the hemp protein taste. It’s one of those energy bars that you will either love or hate.
Now we look at The Perfect Bar Original Refrigerated Protein Bar. It’s a fresh and delicious protein bar option for anyone who wants something different. They have amazing texture and taste. With a variety of freshly ground nut butters, organic honey, and other premium ingredients, these bars really offer you something special. They are almost more of a treat than an energy bar. In addition, each bar offers up to a whopping 17 grams of whole food protein without using whey or soy. This makes them taste better smooth and not very chalky. They also give you around 20 organic superfoods including fruits, seeds, veggies, and nutritional oils. They are a non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, organic, and Kosher energy bar option that has been made in the USA. On the other hand, they must be refrigerated. This makes them unsuitable for hiking and camping unless you have a cooler box with you. You technically don’t have to keep them cold, as they are made of nut butters primarily, but they fall apart easily when they get warm. If you take them out of the fridge, we recommend consuming them within a few hours. However, for working out or snacking, they’re awesome.
These bars offer plant-based protein, are gluten-free, USDA organic, vegan, non-GMO, kosher, soy-free, simple, healthy, simple, and contain no additives or preservatives. They come in many award-winning flavors and claim to boost your immune system and provide your body with essential nutrients. The secret of these energy bars? Their slow-burn carbohydrate design. The complex carbs that make up this energy bar digest slowly to give you continuous energy. The bars taste pretty good: they aren’t too sweet, salty, or bland. They also aren’t as thick as Clif Bars, so they’re easier to chew. If you have allergies, are vegan, or need an easily digestible protein bar, they’re great, but if you have no dietary restrictions nor allergies, you may be better off with the Larabar, which is just as simple and a bit tastier. However, that’s just our opinion. This is a great option for vegans and clean eaters.
Epic Bars – Meat Bars
We will start by saying these bars are totally vegan. Just kidding, they are just about the farthest thing from vegan out there. If you don’t eat meat, skip this product entry… The Meat Bar has been designed to mimic the compact protein packed Pemican eaten by nomadic Native Americans. Travelers have been eating prepared meat on-the-go throughout human history. This is a protein bar that makes a lot of sense if you think about it. These meat bars are also surprisingly delicious. The tender bison and savory bacon mix well with the sharp and tart cranberries to create a unique taste. The 100% grass fed buffalo that provide the meat for these bars are raised humanely. The other ingredients of these bars are usually of similarly high quality. These bars are also easy to store, carry, and are lightweight. One small meat bar packs enough protein to keep you going for a few hours. Now for the downsides: the formula and quality of these bars have allegedly been decreasing steadily since a corporate buy out in 2017. Additionally, consumers report that these ingredients and formulas keep changing, so even when they find a flavor and formula they love, it gets changed within a few months. This is legitimately disappointing. Finally, we would like to see more protein. On average, these bars only pack around 8 grams. Compared with the 11 grams you’ll find in the GoMacro MacroBars, we aren’t impressed.
Skratch Labs Anytime Energy Bar – Variety Pack
Variety is the spice of life. These bars offer you many different flavors to pick from, so if you don’t like one, you can move on to the next. Pick from Almond Chocolate Chip, Cherry Pistachio, or Savory Miso. The Ginger and Miso bars are particularly flavorful. They sit lightly in the stomach and digest easily. Here’s the catch: like the Evo Hemp bars, these are a love it or hate it product. It’s obvious that Skratch Labs was aware of this and tried to provide lots of flavor variety. Additionally, if you are going to eat something that doesn’t tackle your fancy taste wise, we feel like it should taste amazing. For that reason, we can’t say these bars are our favorite. However, if you want to try something new, and are looking for a smart snack that’s compact and healthy, these bars are a good option. Additionally, these are the second-best value on our list. For ingredient quality, bar size, and quantity, you get the most for the least money. They also tend to last longer than say, the Larabar. They store well and have longer sell-by dates than many of their competitors.
The GFB Gluten Free, Non-GMO High Protein Bar
Clearly marked and simply packaged, these bars do a good job of balancing their sweetness levels, fiber, and texture. They offer tons of protein and are totally gluten-free. In addition, they’re free of soy, GMO ingredients, dairy, trans-fats, and cholesterol. They are made in small and sustainable batches in a gluten-free and fully certified facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the US. We appreciate how these little bars give you sustainable energy that can keep you at your peak for hours. We are also fond of the packaging: these bars are clearly labeled, compact, and easy to open. GFB Gluten Free Bars great for travelers, nomads, gym rats and anyone else who’s more active than the norm. As for the disadvantages: for the size and quality, we feel the price could be a bit lower. The taste isn’t our favorite. While they are well balanced, they don’t really pack much of a punch. They’re a bit bland. Also, the texture could be better. If you want more bars with higher amounts of flavor and texture for a similar price, you may want to try the Skratch Labs Anytime Energy Bar.
If there was ever a bar that was simple, delicious, and healthy, it would be the Kind Bar. Where should we start? These bars are delicious and come in a huge variety of flavors. They’re also a great overall value! They’re the most inexpensive option on our list followed by the Skratch Labs Anytime Energy Bar. They contain high-quality all-natural ingredients that are healthy, full of nutrients, and very satisfying. These bars are also Gluten free, contain no Genetically engineered ingredients, have 0g of trans-fat, and are completely Kosher. They have a low glycemic index, are low sodium, and are also a really good source of fiber. In addition, each bar contains around 7 grams of protein. That’s more protein than the GoMacro MacroBar. Honestly, we could go on and on, but we will keep it short. Kind Bars taste good, are healthy, come in lots of flavors, and are great overall value. The only thing you may not like is the fact that these are more of a snack bar than a protein style workout bar.