Are protein bars good or bad for you? What's your favorite?

Are protein bars good or bad for you? What’s your favorite?

Do you, or someone you know love to eat protein bars? Protein bars have over the years transformed from being chalky, bland, and dry, to having a delicious taste to to them that can be nowadays be comparable to a chocolate bar. Though protein bars are a great way to grab some protein while on the go, and are usually filled with muscle building protein, not all protein bars are created equally. So are protein bars good or bad? Well that all depends on the ingredients that you find in them. I’m a huge advocate when it comes to fitting foods into your daily macros, and if you can fit a protein bar in there, why not right right?

Many people often overlook the ingredients that are in a protein bar, simply because when they think of protein supplements/snacks, they immediately think that it’s going to be healthy and good for them.

The truth is; that many protein bars that are on store shelves, are packed with ingredients that a health nut should not be putting into their body, yet most people are clueless as to what is in the protein filled snacks. So grab your favorite protein bar, and check for these often labeled “worst protein bar ingredients” that you can find, in this often reached for popular muscle building snack food.

1) Soy protein isolate

Though soy protein is a good source of protein, some people argue that this is the lowest quality source of protein out there. And I can partially agree. Soy protein isolate is often considered a waste product in soy processing, but since money can be made by passing it off as a protein source, it is allowed to pass as a food source. Studies have also shown that soy products can link to increased estrogen hormone levels in the body, and unfortunately, soy protein is often used as the main source in protein bars, especially those bars that are marketed to women. Check your ingredients and stay away from soy proteins. Find a protein bar that is high in whey protein isolate.

2) High fructose corn syrup

I don’t know what to say about this ingredient, but it should be a no brainer. I could list 5 bad things about high fructose corn syrup right now and why you should not be consuming it, yet most protein bars are using this as a primary ingredient. Actually I’ll link the article right here, but make sure you finish reading this one first! Click here to see 5 reasons why high fructose corn syrup will kill you

3) Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil 

Now this is something that most people have not heard of. It may seem like a lot, but in layman’s terms, it just means that the oil processing cycle is split up/divided/fractioned, whatever you wanna call it. Palm kernel oil cannot be obtained organically and is the most processed, since the oil must be extracted from the pit with a gasoline-like solvent. Yuck, stay away from this ingredient in protein bars for sure.

4) Sugar alcohols

Malitol syrup, xylitol, sorbitol, lactitol, mannitol, and erythritol. That was a handful to type. These sugar alcohols are in protein bars marketed as “low carb” or “carb controlled” for added sweetness. Sugar alcohols don’t impact blood sugar as much as regular sugar because they are not absorbed into the digestive tract as well as regular sugar. In small amounts, sugar alcohol levels should not pose a problem to your health, but when you’re getting into the 20’s and 30 grams of sugar alcohol (again, the low carb bars that have this) then, you might experience digestive issues.


There are many protein bars that you can find on store  shelves that contain all of these ingredients in one bar, and that to me, is horrendous. So are protein bars good or bad? The biggest problem to me regarding protein bars, is that they can, and are deceptive. Like I’ve stated in the beginning, most people are clueless to how much crap is in a protein bar when they chomp down on it. And these “healthy” alternatives, that are quick and convenient, are sometimes as bad or worse than eating a candy bar.  Down below is my favorite protein bar and is highly recommended if you are looking for a good protein snack to go. See you all in the next article!


Join 3000+ readers and get science-based muscle building and fat loss tips, diet tips, motivational strategies and more sent straight to your inbox every week!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.
Be Sociable, Share!


John considers himself as a fitness enthusiast who loves to do anything to keep the body in peak physical performance (much like a highly tuned machine). He mainly focuses on sports nutrition and supplement research, but is also highly knowledgeable in relation to muscle growth and fat loss. He's helped numerous people over the years achieve the body that they've always wanted and hopes his information will guide you to the goals you want.

More Posts