5 Protein Bars That Don’t Taste Like Cardboard

Yes, they actually exist.

protein bars
Image: Instagram user @jacqueline_ aniece

When you want to refuel after a gym session, protein bars are easily the most convenient option. They’re easy to stash in your bag and they’re not messy, so you can easily eat them on-the-go. Plus, you know you’re going to get a decent amount of protein within that crucial one hour window for muscle growth.

There’s only one problem: most protein bars taste like absolute garbage. Not only do they have that weird artificial taste (which is especially noticeable if you eat clean most of the time) but they tend to have a really hard, chewy texture. And the last thing you want after a grueling workout is to have to exercise your mouth!

The good news is — although they’re hard to come by, yummy protein bars do exist! But to save you going through a lot of duds to find the perfect bar, I’ve done it for you. Here are 5 tried and tested protein bars that actually taste good.

1. Body Science High Protein Low Carb Bars

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for this one. It just looked a little too ‘gym bro’ to me. But you guys, this is easily the best protein bar I’ve had in my entire life. It actually tastes like a chocolate bar — with a deliciously gooey inside. Everything, from the texture and taste to the flavour selection (cookie dough and mint are my faves so far) are on point. Oh yeah, and with only 3.9 carbs and 18.6 grams of protein per serve, the stats are pretty good, too. It’s not the most natural option on the market, but it’s not the worst you could do, either.

Shop the Body Science High Protein Low Carb Bars.

2. Quest Bars

I used to be obsessed with these bad boys, eating at least one per day. Then, I think I slightly overdid it and got sick of them. But there was a good reason they were my OG favourite: they make for a damn tasty snack (especially the chocolate chip cookie dough and strawberry cheesecake flavours.) They’re also super high in protein (20 grams) and low carb. The texture is a little chewy for some people’s taste, but that’s easily fixed by popping it in the microwave for a few seconds.

Shop Quest Bars here.

3. Oatmega Protein Bar

If you’re after a ‘cleaner’ option, Oatmega is a great choice. Not only is it non-GMO and made from grass-fed whey, it actually contains good-for-you nutrients like omega-Gs. As far as the texture goes, it’s more like an oaty granola bar than a traditional protein bar.

Shop Oatmega here.

4. Lenny & Larrys The Complete Cookie

The Complete Cookie is egg, dairy and soy free — making it perfect for vegans and cookie lovers alike. As well as being high in protein, it’s also packed with fibre. Not only is it great as a post-gym snack, it’s also a good option when you want a healthy-ish dessert.

Shop The Complete Cookie here.

5. Health Lab Protein Balls

Okay, so this one technically isn’t a protein bar, either. But Health Lab bite-size balls deliver a hefty dose of protein — while being the cleanest option on the market. They’re 100% natural and don’t contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners. While they’re made from whey protein, they’re also bringing out a vegan version this month.

Shop Health Lab protein balls here.