Protein bars are convenient and delicious! At Planthlete we already have tested a ton of different vegan protein bars. At this point, we already have done a lot of research to find the best vegan protein bars of their kind. In this article, we’ll combine our learning of all these articles. In total, we spent more than 40 hours reading research papers and speaking with experts to find out what makes the best vegan protein bar, the best. We’ve also tried every bar in our lists ourselves and watched/read all the taste tests that could find online.
Next to that, because we’ve talked to a lot of vegan athletes and bodybuilders to find out what they were looking for in a vegan protein bar. We found out that overall there was a demand for different kinds of protein bars. Therefore we have chosen to classify the best vegan protein bar into 4 different categories, being:
- The best overall vegan protein bars
- Low-sugar vegan protein bars
- High-calorie vegan protein bars
- Low-calorie vegan protein bars
Because of this, we have a protein bar for everyone out there. We understand that you are curious about the winners. So, let’s continue to the list!
Overall vegan protein bar winner
This is the best vegan protein for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this bar contains 18 grams of protein, which, to be honest, the biggest reasons why you want to eat a protein bar. Secondly, this bar doesn’t contain any added sugars. Lastly, this bar tastes amazing! These bars are vegan and are free of gluten and sugar alcohols.
In addition, this vegan protein bar is free of Artificial ingredients. They smell exactly like Thin Mint girl scout cookies and don’t disappoint in taste.
If you’re looking to buy a Nugo, pay attention! Only 4 flavors out of 7 are vegan: crunchy peanut butter, toasted coconut, Chocolate Mint, and espresso. The others are not.
Available vegan flavors:
- Chocolate Mint
- Crunchy Peanut Butter
- Toasted Coconut
Low Sugar vegan protein bar winner
This is our favorite low sugar protein bar. Logically, The Raw Rev Glo is a best selling vegan protein bar, especially the Peanut Butter and Chocolate. This protein bar is delicious and moist. Surprisingly we have chosen for a protein bar with 2 grams of sugar, while there are a lot of bars that contain 0 grams of sugar. This is because we wanted to avoid any artificial ingredients, the chocolate in these bars is causing the 2 grams of sugar.
Furthermore, the bar carries a whopping 11 grams of protein and is the perfect vegan snack. The protein bars are created with ethically sourced plant-based ingredients that support a healthy & active lifestyle. As we told you already, it’s our favorite. We absolutely love the crunchy peanut butter flavor. These bars are chewy with some large chunks of peanuts, which make them also chunky. The bar doesn’t taste chemical-like, unlike most other protein bars. And is actually really suited for a keto diet as well.
- Birthday cake
- Crunchy peanut butter and sea salt
- Creamy peanut butter and sea salt
- Chocolate chip cookie dough
- Dark chocolate cashew and mint
- Dark chocolate espresso mint
- Mixed Nuts Caramel and Sea Salt
- Double Chocolate Brownie Batter
- Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt
High-Calorie vegan protein bar winner
The Garden of Life Sports bar is our favorite high-calorie vegan protein bar. While it doesn’t contain as many calories as other vegan protein bars that we have tested, that went up to 300+ calories. This bar has 270 calories and other factors make this protein bar so great. Namely, among other things, it has a high protein content and the taste is outstanding. Besides these points the bar is certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, NSF Certified for Sport, Informed-Choice for Sport Certified, Certified Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy free and Soy Free. The bar has 10 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein, existing out of a combination of both brown rice protein and pea protein.
- Chocolate Fudge
- Chocolate Mint
- Peanut Butter Chocolate
- Sea Salt Caramel
Low-calorie vegan protein bar winner
This bar pops up in a lot of ranking lists about the best vegan protein bar. Completely justified! It contains only 3 grams of sugar, which is very low for a vegan protein bar. But that’s not why it’s the winner of this category. It is the winner of the low-calorie category because it contains only 140 calories, while still being a complete and tasty bar. This bar provides essential amino acids that help build and maintain muscle mass. Each bar contains 140 calories and 10 grams of protein to keep you full and facilitate lasting energy. It’s perfect for a pre or post-workout boost. We love it.
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk
- Peanut butter
- Chocolate chip cookie dough
Why vegan protein bars?
By now, you’re probably familiar with protein bars; it’s an affordable supplement that adds protein to your daily intake as easy as grabbing a snack. Protein bars are mostly consumed for a couple of reasons:
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Meal replacement
- Muscle gain
While there is a lot of sugar-filled vegan protein bars available in most stores, there are certain examples of protein bars that are actually healthy and that they can be beneficial. Generally, vegan protein bars can be a convenient way to add carbs, vitamins, protein, and minerals to your diet. Also, they can be used as fuel for a workout or to support muscle repair after exercise. However, we don’t recommend replacing whole foods with protein bars. They simply can’t replace the quality and nutrient composition.
How we picked the best vegan protein bar
At Planthlete we are all big advocates of protein bars. The convenience of a grabbing a snack is just too appealing to us. That’s why we have written already some articles about it. That’s why we started this article with a head start. We had tested and tasted already a ton of bars. However, we had to combine all of our data to decide which protein bar is actually the best. Next to our own experiences, research, and taste tests.
We spoke with experts to find out what makes a great vegan protein bar. In addition to that, we have also talked to a lot of vegan athletes and bodybuilders to find out which bars they love and which bars they eat on a regular basis. The last source we actually used a lot, is YouTube. YouTube is filled with people that are trying to find the best vegan protein bar by taste testing and reviewing a lot of different bars.
How do you decide which vegan protein bar is the best?
We have taken a few things into account to decide on which bar became the winner.
The first being the taste. Noone likes a chalky or dry taste to their protein bar. Our testers didn’t have a clear preference for the structure of the bar, some liked the chewy structures more and some preferred chunky and crispy. However, when it came down to taste, they all agreed. The chalky bars have to go away.
One of the most important things about protein bars is the protein itself. According to our researches, most protein bars have protein content in the range from 10 – 20 grams of protein per 100 grams. Logically, high-calorie bars tend to have more protein content than low-calorie bars.
This is explainable by the fact that there is just more room for protein because the bars weigh more. We’ve tested some bars with lower protein content, but we couldn’t include them in these lists, because in our and other tester’s opinion a vegan protein bar should include at least 10 grams of protein per portion.
We talked with some nutritionists about what we should look for in a bar, together we have a checklist that you can follow to always get the right micro and macronutrients in!
- Carbohydrates: A low carb bar should be less than 20 grams per bar.
- Protein: Look for ingredients like rice and pea proteins. If you prefer soy, we would recommend it in smaller portions and only if you don’t already get a lot of soy in via other products.
- Fiber: Good plant-based bars have more than three grams per serving. This will make you feel more full.
- Fats: A good bar shouldn’t have any trans fats and should be low in saturated fats, also less than three grams per bar.
- Oils. You should avoid protein bars with a lot of oil, especially palm oil, or kernel oil.
- Sugar. If sugar, sucrose or high fructose corn syrup is the main ingredient, don’t buy it. We recommend to avoid any bar with added sugar, or that is high in natural sugar. We also don’t recommend sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, and maltitol at all.
Lastly, we took a look at the companies behind the products. We took several factors into account. Like where do they produce their bars and how are these bars made? Is it created sustainable? Luckily a lot of companies passed the tests, however we excluded some brands of our competition because we couldn’t find any information on them.