Posted on 30 Apr 2015
5 min read
Protein bars are the go-to supplement for busy bodybuilders and athletes, and have become a staple part of many people’s supplemental regime.
But it’s often hard to find the sweet spot with protein bars – the perfect balance between taste, amount of protein, low sugar and price.
In this post we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular brands of protein bars in the UK and test them out.
Who will be crowned victor of the protein bar showdown?
Let’s find out…
CNP Protein Flapjacks were the first bars I was introduced to.
Being readily available and on offer pretty much constantly, they are a great beginner’s bar at a great price.
Loads of websites offer CNP Protein Flapjacks in bulk amounts of 36 at a time, often for less than a quid per bar.
A good all round cheap snack with a decent amount of protein, but these aren’t for those on low carb diets as they do contain quite a bit.
Good for: a quick and cheap protein hit
Protein Flapjack Luxe Bars from The Protein Works (full review here) are a rarity in the fitness world, as they aim to combine a convenient bar with not only protein but plenty of micronutrients too in the form of superfoods like flax seed, spelt flour, and more.
These bars are probably the most ‘natural’ tasting bars, and they are absolutely delicious – a real treat.
The texture of these luxury flapjacks is also perfect – not too ‘dense’ like most protein bars.
There’s a bit of sugar in each bar, but, when they taste like this, it’s worth it.
Good for: completely relieving cravings
People rant and rave on Twitter about Quest Bars – especially the girls (hashtag fitfam) who seem to think they are a miracle created by Jesus himself.
But in actual fact, I found it very hard to find a Quest bar flavour that wasn’t like chewing an old bit of leather.
The one that did stand out was the Cookies & Cream flavour, which tastes a lot like Oreos and even has little biscuit pieces.
But regardless of the texture of Quest bars, there’s no way you can ignore the macros.
With 21 grams of protein and a ridiculous 1 gram of sugar, they have the most impressive ‘spec’ of any bar, let down only by an often expensive price tag.
Good for: carb conscious dieters
Syntha 6 Bars taste like they were sent from heaven, and at 90 grams are a lot bigger than most protein bars out there.
But that’s not a problem as the texture is utterly incredible – genuinely like a delicious candy bar.
There’s absolutely no denying that these are the tastiest protein bars on the market.
But that kind of taste and texture achievement comes at a price, quite literally, as they often work out at over £3 per bar, which you could probably buy a meal for, and the bars also contain up to 18 grams of sugar!
Good for: those with a sweet tooth and plenty of cash
Similar in size to the Syntha 6 Bars, Supreme Protein Bars are very satisfying and extremely delicious.
What’s nice is that they aim to be more of a meal replacement bar, containing 18 essential vitamins and minerals.
But much like the BSN bars, they are let down by high cost and contain 10 or so grams of sugar per bar.
Good for: vitamins and minerals boost
Maxi Nutrition have made no effort here to disguise the Progain Flapjack as being low carb, and instead have created a higher carb bar aimed at those looking to build muscle.
And it tastes really good.
The bar itself is soft and has a texture a lot like a flapjack, and what’s more is often available in Holland and Barrett or Amazon for less than £2.
An excellent all round mass gaining bar.
Good for: mass gainers
Grenade Reload Flapjacks are seriously delicious, and you can grab them at most GNC stores for little over a quid, so they are excellent value.
Where the bar is let down though is in its high sugar content – up to 15 grams, which considering the bars are only 70 grams each, seems a little excessive.
That’ll be the great taste then!
The bars also only contain around 15-17 grams of protein, which is lower than most bars out there in this category.
Good for: post workout glycogen replenishment
The recently released Optimum Nutrition Complete Protein Bars are very low calorie at 166 cals per bar, which is excellent considering they contain 20 grams of protein and only 12 grams of carbs.
The taste is also awesome – the ‘Caramel Crunch’ flavour literally tastes like a Mars bar, which is excellent for cravings.
The bars are near enough perfect if it weren’t for the sticky, dense texture that easily melts in a bag.
Good for: hitting those sugar cravings without adding calories
Out of all the bars reviewed, these PHD Flapjack Plus Bars stand out for their flavour options including ‘Forest Berry’ and Peanut Butter’, giving them a much more natural taste than most bars.
This does however mean that they won’t really satisfy sugar cravings, but at 19 grams of protein and 2 grams of sugar per bar, for around £1.20 per bar if you shop in the right places, these are an excellent all round protein bar.
Good for: an all round go-to value protein bar, keep one in your bag at all times
The Protein Flapjack Luxe from The Protein Works takes the overall title of best protein bar, simply for the awesome ingredients list and its incredible taste and texture.
These take the title of runner up as the combination of price and macros make them the perfect bar to keep in your gym bag at all times, ready for when you need a quick protein hit.
If you think there’s a bar we’ve missed off the list, then give us a shout!
We want this article to become the best resource for those looking to purchase some protein bars in the UK, so if you think yours stacks up against the competition, we want to know!