Best Energy Bars
Whether you are hiking in the woods, climbing a mountain or just late to work and need a snack; an energy bar is always a great option to give you that extra boost. When looking more specifically at going on an outdoor adventure, you always want to make sure you bring the best snacks that will not take up a lot of room but will give you the nutrients and energy you need to get through your day. Energy bars are a great option and have been a fan favorite of all outdoor enthusiasts around the globe. Finding the right bar can be a bigger hassle than you might think. Some are too sweet, some have no flavor, and others aren't sweet enough. Our list features a bit of everything to help you find the perfect pick-me-up for you.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
Variety of flavors
Great for packing for trips
Top 10 Picks
1. Probar Bar
Variety of flavors
Great for packing for trips
While Probar Bars are often used by people performing CrossFit, they still provide a great-tasting energy bar that will give you the all-natural energy boost you need and want when you are out on the trails. These bars are designed to be all-natural and unprocessed and give you a healthy way to hold you over if you get hungry.Read more
Probar Bars are made to be light in carbs and gluten-free and also made to match a vegan diet. They are USDA certified organic and feature all-natural ingredients to keep you healthy.
Made to be great-tasting, Probar Bars offer a variety of flavor choices you’ll love to munch down on when you are in the middle of your adventures. These energy bars are flavorful, and you won’t have a problem reaching for them when you are on-the-go.
Made with a bevy of natural ingredients, Probar Bars will give you an effective all-natural energy boost. You’ll be able to curb hunger and keep yourself active while you are outside.
These bars are about average priced when compared to competitive energy bar brands. For the price, they’ll give you the taste and energy boost you’ll want when you are on the trails.
Easy to pack for long trips
Not as long of a shelf life as other bars on our list
Larabars are made to offer some of the best-tasting energy bars in the market, coming in a choice of 19 flavor selections. You’ll get an effective all-natural energy boost from these bars, and you’ll love how tasty they are each time you snack on them when you are on the trail.Read more
Larabars come with about two to nine ingredients per bar, depending on the flavor choice you select when you purchase them. The ingredients are all-natural and organic, and also include 4 grams of protein in each bar.
Larabars are some of the best-tasting energy bars on the market today, and this brand is renowned for how flavorful their energy bars are. You’ll enjoy eating a Larabar each time you bite into one since you’ll love their sweet, all-natural ingredients.
Larabars provide an effective all-natural energy boost, designed to keep you going so you overcome hunger on the trails. These bars don’t replace full meals, but they do give you what you need to keep you performing well.
Larabars are priced affordably, and considering how good they taste, you won’t have a problem finishing a box of them after you purchase them. For the price, you’ll get a lot of flavor and an excellent energy bar.
3. Power Bar 20g Protein Plus
Lots of protein
Comes in six flavors
Taste is a little artificial
Power Bar is a well-known manufacturer of great-tasting, healthy energy bars that help pack an effective energy boost. Each time you eat a Power Bar 20g Protein Plus, you know you’re getting an effective bar filled with healthy ingredients and made by a great brand.Read more
Power Bar’s 20g Protein Plus Bars come with 20g of TriSource protein packed into them, giving you a lot of protein with each bar you eat. The all-natural ingredients in these bars help deliver a punch to assist your fatigued muscles.
Power Bar’s 20g Protein Plus Bars come in a bevy of flavors, and they are made to taste great so you’ll never have problems eating them. Each time you are on the trail and on-the-go, you won’t mind reaching for one of these flavorful bars.
With all the protein and healthy ingredients packed into these bars, you get a great all-natural energy boost each time you eat them. You’ll get the performance boost you need whenever you feel hunger coming on.
Power Bar’s 20g Protein Plus Bars are priced affordably and will give you what you need when you are in the outdoors. You’ll have enough energy and great-tasting bars to last you for a while.
4. Kind Bars
Tons of fiber
The bar is smaller than others on our list
KIND’s energy bars offer you a great-tasting product that will remind you of a yummy blended smoothie packed into a bar that isn’t too heavy but can still fill you up. Made to give you plenty of healthy energy while you are active, KIND’s energy bars can help you achieve the performance results you want.Read more
These energy bars are packed with dried fruits and nuts but are also made to be dairy-free and gluten-free, so they are easy to digest. You’ll get a lot of fiber and carbs into your system each time you snack on one of these bars.
KIND’s energy bars are great-tasting and if you love fruits and nuts, you’ll love the flavor options these bars give you. Designed to remind you of a smoothie, you’ll enjoy the taste of these bars.
KIND’s energy bars feature organic and all-natural ingredients designed to give you an effective, natural energy boost when you are on the trails. These bars won’t feel too heavy but will help hold you over while you are active.
KIND’s energy bars are priced in the average price range, and considering how tasty they are, they are worth it. You’ll get a great, healthy energy boost every time you reach for one of these bars.
5. CLIF Energy
Great for traveling
Some feel the bars could have more flavor
CLIF’s Energy Bars offer you another affordable option in an organic, natural, meal-on-the-go bar choice. Filled with plenty of natural ingredients and protein, you’ll get a nice energy boost and you won’t feel hungry whenever you are playing outdoors.Read more
Packed with 5 grams of protein that is sweetened with dried syrup, sugar, and raisins, you get a lot of natural, organic ingredients packed into these bars. The ingredients are made to help curb your hunger while you get an all-natural boost.
CLIF’s Energy Bars have been around for a long time, and many people will remember their familiar taste from childhood. They have a traditional granola-bar like taste that you’ll love.
You get a nice energy boost with this bar, which can work as a meal replacer or a between-meals snack depending on what you need. The protein and ingredients packed into this bar will help keep you going all day long.
These energy bars are some of the least expensive on the market and cost about a dollar each. You’ll get a lot of value out of these bars that can replace your meals anytime you get hungry.
Great for travel
More sugar than other bars on our list
ZonePerfect’s Chocolate Almond Raisin Bars are designed to give you plenty of healthy ingredients, minerals, and vitamins, all packed into a great-tasting energy bar. These energy bars have plenty of flavor and excellent health benefits that are great to have when you hit the trails.Read more
Made with 15 grams of protein designed into each bar, these energy bars are also designed with plenty of great-tasting fruits and nuts as well. You get a combination of excellent all-natural ingredients, as well as a vitamin boost.
ZonePerfect’s Chocolate Almond Raisin Bars are great-tasting, and their combination of fruits and nuts makes their bars sweet and enjoyable. You’ll love how flavorful these bars are, and you’ll never have a hard time eating them when you get hungry on the trials.
Made with vitamins and healthy all-natural ingredients that are designed to give you an all-natural energy boost, you’ll love how good you feel after eating these bars. These energy bars won’t make you feel full but will help you overcome your hunger.
These bars are very affordable and can be bought in packs that make them cost around a dollar a bar. You’ll love the cost-efficiency of these bars combined with the great energy boost.
7. Picky Bars
10 flavors available
Picky Bars were created by a triathlete who was looking for the perfect, portable, pick-me-up during his routine. These bars are soy, dairy, gluten, and GMO-free. Overall, reviewers have been impressed with the taste, as well as the energy boost they get from these bars.Read more
These bars are perfect for active people and provide a great balance between carbs and plant-based protein. Five of the ten flavors are vegan, but all of the flavors are made with real ingredients that you will be able to recognize and pronounce. They are free of soy, dairy, gluten, and GMOs.
Overall, reviewers agree that these bars offer great taste! There are plenty of flavors packed into each bar and there are ten different flavors to choose from. The only complaint that we have seen is the fact that one person thinks there are too many nuts in the bars, but we personally see this as a good thing! If you are a vegan, pay attention to packing as only half of the flavors offered are vegan.
These bars are easy to carry, pleasurable to eat, and easy to digest. Each bar is specifically created to maintain a balance of satiating fat, complex carbs, and protein to help boost your recovery.
This is one downside of these bars. They are quite expensive, averaging about $2.50 per bar. However, we do admire the ingredients list and the flavors offered. If this is the energy bar that finally tastes good to you and satisfies your hunger while giving you a boost of energy, they may just be worth it.
8. Kashi Granola
Good for a quick snack
High in fiber
Hard to bite into
Kashi’s Granola Bars offer a great-tasting option in energy bars, featuring natural ingredients and that traditional granola bar taste you grew up with. Kashi’s Granola Bars offer enough punch to help curb your hunger without filling you up and help with the energy you need when you need it.Read more
The ingredients in Kashi’s Granola Bars can vary depending on the taste you purchase, but Kashi’s main focus is on using natural ingredients in their granola, and items like nuts and raisins. So, you’ll get a healthy energy bar that also packs a punch.
There are several flavor options with Kashi’s Granola Bars, and all of them bring you that classic granola bar taste that you’ll love and remember from your childhood. With so many options in different flavors, you’re certain to find something you love.
Made to curb your hunger while you are on-the-go, these granola bars do help with energy without making you feel too heavy or full. So, you’ll still be able to eat your next meal, but you’ll get the energy you need while outside.
Kashi’s Granola Bars can be purchased in a large pack at a great price, so these are affordable energy bars. You’ll be stocked up with them and love how inexpensive they are.
9. Rx Bar
Great portion size
Variety of flavors
Some say it is messier than other bars on our list
If you’re looking for a great-tasting protein bar that’s compact with excellent ingredients that are all-natural, then you’ll love what RXBar’s protein bars have to offer. You get a totally natural protein bar with RXBar’s combined ingredients, and 12 grams of protein packed into each bar.Read more
Designed with 6-8 natural ingredients in every bar and 12 grams of protein, you’ll know all the ingredients packed into this bar. They’ll help you get a great boost of energy while relieving your hunger during your outdoor adventures.
The taste of the RXBar’s protein bars is delicious since the ingredients combined into them are made from real food options. So, you’ll get a great-tasting bar that helps calm your hunger down between meals.
You won’t feel overly full from these protein bars, but you will get an energy boost from the protein. Plus, you’ll get past your hunger cravings while you are on-the-go.
These energy bars come at priced in the average range and can be bought in packs of 12 to save a bit of money. For what you’ll get out of these bars, you’ll love their taste and their energy boost.
10. Skout Backcountry
Great ingredient list
Vegan and gluten-free
Overall good flavors
Difficult to open with one hand
If you are looking for sweet energy with all natural and organic ingredients, this one may hit the spot. It is sweetened with dates which omit the use of artificial sweeteners and provides a great boost of energy.Read more
These organic bars provide total transparency with their ingredients. The main ingredient of the bars is dates. Another main ingredient is pumpkin seeds, which are high in anti-oxidants, omega-3, and fatty acids. You will not find any foreign ingredients on the label of these bars.
Skout Backcountry Organic Energy Bars are offered in seven different flavors. Some have claimed that they taste decent but can be a bit too sweet. Seeing as how Skout uses dates as the sweetener, they even claim themselves that the bars have the “same delicious taste of a sugary candy bar with a fraction of the calories.”
Dates are full of low-glycemic natural sugars and are a great fruit to boost your energy naturally. These bars can be used as an energy boost during a workout or even as a mid-day snack to tide you over until dinner. Reviewers claim they work very well!
These bars are slightly expensive, but nothing to cry over. Depending on the flavor you choose, they come out to about $1.80 per bar. If you have a sweet tooth and are looking for a healthy snack to get you through a long work out, or even just through the day, these just may hit the spot.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Since athletes and active outdoor enthusiasts need to eat healthily and typically require more calories and carbs than the average American, you’ll want to make sure you get an energy bar that will help meet your performance needs. Energy bars typically provide you with excellent ingredients and an all-natural energy boost to keep you going without feeling a crash. Plus, all of the energy bars on our list are designed to give you a protein boost, and protein helps keep you going while preventing your muscles from feeling too much fatigue, which can be a real benefit when you are out on the trails for long periods of time.
When you’re picking a good energy bar for you, you want to make sure you check on the protein, carbohydrates, and fats you know you’ll need whenever you are active. The best bars have a ratio of 60% carbohydrates, 20% fats, and 20% protein, and you want to make sure the energy bar you choose has a balance that resembles this so you get the energy and healthy ingredients you’ll need when you are out on the trail. Having a higher ratio of carbs is important with bars because carbs will give you a lift in performance very quickly, and help you continue your activities with ease. Also, pay attention to how many calories the energy bar gives you. If the bar has more than 100 calories, it can be a meal replacement bar, but if it is less than that, then the bar should be used to ward off hunger and give you the energy boost you need to stay active.
Also, when you examine your energy bar’s ingredients, keep in mind that the more ingredients you see in the bar, the less all-natural the bar probably is. Make sure you pay attention to the ingredients in the bar as well to see if there are many sugars included in the ingredients and anything like high fructose corn syrup. If you’re trying to focus on getting an organic energy bar, make sure to check out the sweeteners that the brands use in the bars to ensure that they are also all-natural.
Many of the bars we’ve provided on our list are full of all-natural ingredients and contain a limited list of ingredients. We also provided options that are gluten-free and vegan. So, if you are on a special diet, know that you can still purchase an energy bar that can match your diet needs and help you perform better on the trails.
Also, if you’re looking for an energy bar that can work as a meal replacement bar, pay attention to how much protein, grain carbs, and fiber are used in the bar. Also, check out the sweeteners used to ensure they’ll work with your diet. Most meal replacement bars also include a lot of antioxidants and vitamins as well and use carbohydrates that can keep you going for a long period of time. Also, make sure your meal replacement bar has plenty of fiber in the bar as well because if too much sugar is in the bar without fiber, you’ll feel a lot of blood sugar changes that you won’t enjoy when you are trying to stay active.
Some of the bars on our list that used limited, all natural ingredients include Kashi, Larabars, RX Bars, and Paleo Bars. These bars list organic ingredients that most people are familiar with, and are designed to give an effective, all-natural energy boost. Many of these bars also feature natural ingredients that will help boost your performance, like chia seeds, oats, and flaxseeds. So, when you’re deciding what energy bar you want to use, make sure you analyze how it will fit your diet, and what the ingredients are in the bar.
No matter how great an energy bar is at boosting your performance, you’re not going to want to eat it if you don’t like the taste. Thus, taste becomes a very important factor when deciding what bars you want to purchase. Taste, however, can vary widely and be based on personal preference, and it will depend on what types of flavors you prefer when you select your bars.
Some bars are made to taste like chocolate, while others have fruit and nut combinations that are also flavorful. Depending on what flavor you lean toward, you’ll want to consider that when you make your energy bar purchase. Most of the energy bar manufacturers on our list offer a lot of flavors, so you can pick and choose based on what you know you like already. Go for flavors you prefer; for example, if you are a chocolate lover, then try out one of the chocolate flavored bars to see what you think. If you enjoy fruit, then go for that flavor option so that you know you’ll like the taste of your bars.
Different brands of bars use different varieties of sweeteners, some are all-natural and others are not. If you are worried about artificial sweeteners like Sucralose or aspartame, then try to avoid bars that have ingredients like that on their list and opt for a manufacturer that uses all-natural sweeteners.
Some bars also come with more calories packed into them and feature more protein and fats designed into their bars. Many all-natural bars have higher calorie counts, so if you are leaning on the side of an all-natural energy bar, just know you might be getting a bar that has more calories and protein packed into it as well. If you don’t mind that about the all-natural bars on our list, then you’ll be just fine with taste and ingredients.
The energy boosts your energy bar will give you depends on its carbs, protein, and fat content combined into the bar. If you’re using a bar to replace your meals, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting an effective all-natural energy boost to meet your performance demands, since you need the energy to keep yourself going when you hit the trails for long periods of time.
If you’re eating your energy bars while you are working out or active, then you need to make sure you purchase a bar that is easy to digest and will give you a quick energy push when you are active. You don’t want an energy bar that will make you feel too full, or pack in too many proteins or fats to slow you down as you workout.
Also, depending on your body, you’ll find some types and flavors of bars are easier to digest than others when you are active. Some athletes don’t like eating high-fat fruit and nut bars before being active because they find them hard to digest, while others feel these bars are easier to digest and give a great energy boost during a workout. So, in some cases, the energy boost you get and want will depend a lot on your own digestive system and personal preference.
When you’re looking around for bars to help boost your performance when you are out on the trails, know that you have plenty of affordable options to choose from even if you are shopping on a budget. One nice thing about most of the bars we’ve provided on our list is that they can be purchased in bulk, making them very cost effective. If you do decide to purchase your bars in bulk, just make sure you check out the shelf life on your bars as well so that you know how long they will last and you don’t overstock and wind up wasting some of the bars.
Some bars will last longer in your cabinet than others, so check on that before you buy too many bars. However, shopping in bulk is one great way to get plenty of bars for your money.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When reading the health information on a protein bar, keep in mind that a lot of sugars in these bars comes from fruit. While the sugar content may seem high, it is good to know that these are natural sugar and not corn syrup.
Be careful where you pack your protein bars when going on an adventure! These bars are usually fairly easy to smash and while they will taste the same, a squished bar is just slightly less appealing to eat.
While we do fully support the use of energy bars to help push you through a grueling workout or as a snack to hold you over until dinner, they are not recommended to eat just for a burst of energy. If you are not actively burning calories, or behind for the day, these bars will just end up in your body as empty stored calories.
Other Factors to Consider
You’ll need to think about your food allergies when you purchase bars since they can include nuts and other ingredients that may not be healthy for those with food allergies. If you know you have a food allergy, then you need to be aware of the ingredients in the energy bar you select. Make sure you pick an energy bar that won’t create any problems with food allergies and doesn’t include anything you are allergic too on the list of ingredients. Even all-natural energy bars can still irritate people with food allergies, so be careful before you make your selection.
Also, the textures of these bars can vary, and the way a bar is textured can affect how much people enjoy the taste of the energy bar. Some bars come harder and break apart more easily, while others are chewy in nature and easier to eat. Some brands even combine both chewy and hard textures into their bars, giving you at least three options to pick from with energy bar texture. So, factor in the type of texture you like with your bars as well so you know you’ll get something tasty you can enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do I need to think about the type of activities I’ll be doing before I purchase my energy bar?
It’s a very good idea to consider the types of exercises you’ll be doing when you use your bars. Not all workouts are the same, and not all bars are made to help you through all workouts. So, knowing what you plan to do can help you determine exactly what you need to get out of your energy bar. For example, if you prefer to do more weight lifting when you work out, then you’ll want to focus more on calories, fats, and proteins in your bars to help your body recover from your workouts. Runners, on the other hand, and those involved in more high-cardio activities will need more carbs packed into their bars for a more effective performance boost.
q: How will energy bars work with my diet?
Most athletes take dietary factors into consideration to help increase their performance each time they are active or train. As such, you need to know what nutrition you utilize in your diet, and also what nutrition you’ll need to match that in your energy bar. So, consider your athletic activities and your dietary needs, and make sure you match an energy bar with your diet to get the best performance boost.
q: What’s the difference between a protein bar and an energy bar?
Really, there isn’t all that much difference between sports bars advertised as either protein bars or bars, and the two terms are very similar. Just know that “protein bars” don’t necessarily have more protein packed into them than an energy bar, and their ingredients can also vary widely. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, and the two bars share many of the same ingredients. Since you won’t get that much of a difference between a protein bar and an energy bar, just make sure you purchase an energy bar or protein bar that offers you the athletic boost and dietary ingredients you need.
q: What’s the purpose of an energy bar?
Energy bars offer a lot of versatility and are used for a variety of reasons. Most athletes use bars to help aid them with hunger or provide them with an effective energy boost either before, during, or after their work out activities. However, some people use bars as meal replacement bars, and others even use them as yogurt toppings. Really, there’s a lot you can do with bars, but their main purpose is to help replace meals and/or provide effective energy boosts for busy athletes that are on-the-go.
q: When is the best time to eat my energy bar?
Most people eat bars either before, during, or after their work out activities. When you decide to eat your bars will depend a lot on the energy bar you wind up purchasing, how heavy it feels when you eat it, and if you feel you can eat it while still remaining active. Since much of this is based on personal preference, you’ll want to think about when you’ll want to eat your energy bars before making your selection.