10 Best Energy Bars for Runners Tested

1

Searching for the best Energy Bars? Take a look at the best Bars of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them online or in a store.

We’ve always felt that food tastes better when it’s earned. That’s not to say that you need to work in order to deserve a meal or a snack, but rather that is just feels better after a long run or hike. Work up a big sweat and the body craves a few good calories. Average food can taste like a five star meal in these conditions, and we can find a nice rhythm between our burn rate and consumption this way as well.

Our Top 3 Picks
RxBar Protein Bars
  • RxBar Protein Bars
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 100% Natural Ingredients
  • Price: See Here
PowerBar Protein Plus
  • PowerBar Protein Plus
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Helps build lean muscle
  • Price: See Here
Larabar Gluten Free bar
  • Larabar Gluten Free bar
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Convenient, wholesome snack
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Energy Bars for Runners Tested

 

RxBar

RxBar
Last (but certainly not least) we have the RxBar Real Food Protein Bars. These bars are unique in that they use eggs are their protein source and nothing but dried fruit for sweetening. There also aren’t tons of ingredients (with unpronounceable names) which is generally a good indicator. Add in handy pouch style packaging and the usual parade of attributes, gluten free, non-gmo, no soy and no dairy, and you’ve got a premium energy bar.
Expand to see more
7 carefully crafted flavors (NEW Mint Chocolate!)

Each pack includes 14 Bars – 2 Chocolate Sea Salt, 2 Coconut Chocolate, 2 Coffee Chocolate, 2 Mint Chocolate, 2 Pumpkin Spice, 2 Apple Cinnamon, and 2 Blueberry Bars — a huge variety!

RxBars are 100% consistent with the paleo diet, no grains, no added sugars, no gluten, no soy, no dairy,and no artificial additives

A solid 12 g protein per bar

Natural, high quality ingredients that are healthy and tasty at the same time
Pros
  • 12 g protein per bar
  • Great flavor options
Cons
  • No peanutbutter flavor

PowerBar 20g Protein Plus

PowerBar 20g Protein Plus
Power bars are a known commodity. When you decide to add them to your nutrition plan you essentially know what you’re getting: a lot of proteins, a lot of carbs, a good taste (albeit slightly sugary at times). This particular bar is great if you need a heavy load of protein. Eating one is roughly equivalent to a serving (3oz) of tuna fish or two cups of 2% milk. In this case 210 calorie bar delivers a blended dose of protein to keep you going when things get hard or help to pick you up after your muscles have been ravaged.
Expand to see more
Each package contains 15 – 2.12oz protein bars

Has a healthy 20g of TriSource Protein, which is a secret blend of whey, soy, and casein protein

Helps build and maintain lean muscle tissue

Provides sustained energy boosts for runners

Best after training or competition, a great filler of the protein void
Pros
  • Aids in maintaining lean muscle tissue
  • Great source of protein
  • Gluten free
Cons
  • Some thought there were better flavors than Powerbar's vanilla

Larabar

Larabar
Visit any Whole Foods or organic supermarket and you are bound to run across Lara Bars. These treats have become more common with good reason. The thing we like most about Lara bars is that their ingredients are simple. They’re non-GMO, kosher, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. A great pre-workout snack these bars contain natural sugars and complex carbohydrates for quick energy that will keep you humming right along. There are tons of flavor options as well, so if chocolate chip isn’t for you there is sure to be one that is.
Expand to see more
Baked with fair trade certified chocolate chips

Simple, 4-ingredient treat is a perfect blend of dates, peanuts, chocolate chips, and a dash of sea salt

Kosher, minimally processed, gluten-free, non-GMO, and dairy-free

Contains 10% of the recommended DV of magnesium intake, among many other nutritional benefits

Convenient, healthy snack for an active lifestyle
Pros
  • Simple ingredients
  • Kosher
  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free
Cons
  • Short shelf life, bulk ordering not recommended

Paleo Bars

Paleo Bars
The Paleo diet or Paleo style eating has really come into vogue lately and although it’s more associated with Crossfit than anything else it can provide real benefits for runners as well. Here is more about it, if you are unfamiliar. The Bearded Brothers energy bar stays true to Paleo’s caveman philosophy and is light on the carbs. These bars are raw, unprocessed and free of added sugars, oils, high fructose corn syrup, and other “natural” sweeteners. Paleo has felt a bit cultish to us at times, but in the case of these bars you have an excellent way to keep yourself nicely fueled up.
Expand to see more
Raw, unprocessed, vegan, gluten & soy free, non-gmo — the full package!

Paleo friendly snacks

Made in a 100% gluten free facility

Certified USDA Organic

Crafted in small batches not mass produced

Family owned business
Pros
  • Gluten free
  • No added sugar
  • A supplement to the paleo diet
  • No added sweeteners
Cons
  • Made from raw, unprocessed food. So if that's not your thing, these may not be for you

ZonePerfect Chocolate Almond Raisin

ZonePerfect Chocolate Almond Raisin
If you’re someone who is extra partial to taste the ZonePerfect Chocolate Almond Raisin Bar may be for you. This bar simply tastes so good it’s hard to imagine it has very many healthy properties. The taste seems fresh from the bakery and it’s got an antioxidant kick: high in vitamins A, C, and E (accounts for 100 percent of your daily value). Don’t forget a solid 15 grams of protein and a glazed finish that make you forget you are eating a “health food” product. ZonePerfect bars are a good way to replenish your body after a hard day of training.
Expand to see more
Crunchy blend of nuts and soft raisins, fresh tasting

Contains 15 grams of protein

Has 19 essential vitamins and minerals

Can help boosts immune function and work as an antioxidant
Pros
  • Contains 19 essential vitamins and minerals
  • 15 grams of protein
Cons
  • The product changed, and the flavor used to be better. It is still pretty good though

Vega Sport Chocolate Coconut Protein

Vega Sport Chocolate Coconut Protein
Veganism is a growing trend and for good reason. Producing good tasting food without animal products can be a challenge however, and some vegan food simply misses the mark (in our humble opinion). We agree with the ethics, but having a hard time eating things that taste like chalk or cardboard. The good news is there is also some amazing tasting vegan food, that will satisfy vegans and non vegans a like. The Vega Sport Chocolate Protein bar is a shining example of vegan food done right. Boasting ingredients such as sprouted brown rice, pea protein and pumpkin seed butter this is a very healthy bar. Add in chocolate liquor and cocoa butter for the irresistible taste; while dates, sorghum, and quinoa pack in 15 grams of lean protein. Overall a tasty, ethical and healthy choice.
Expand to see more
Contains 15 grams plant-sourced protein, helps to build up muscles

Has 2 grams of glutamine to help rebuild and repair muscle tissue after strenuous excercise

Proudly Vegan and made from organic ingredients, no gluten, artificial flavors and/or colors

Non-GMO Project certified; Informed Choice reviewed and sealed
Pros
  • 2 grams of glutamine to help with muscle repair
  • Vegan
  • free of gluten as well as artificial coloring and flavors
  • Non-GMO
Cons
  • Some aren't crazy about the texture

KIND Bars, Almond & Coconut

KIND Bars, Almond & Coconut
Kind bars taste kind of like you placed a bunch of goodies in a blender and then congealed the results together in perfect harmony. They aren’t going to feel like a full meal like many heavier protein bars, but they are light, nutritious and extremely tasty. Each bar has 13 grams of fat, which are mostly monounsaturated (this can be thought of as the “good” kind of fat), and the carbohydrate-to-protein ratio (20 grams and 4 grams) replenishes exhausted glycogen reserves giving your muscles a boost or a quicker path to recovery. Highly recommended.
Expand to see more
12 pack has 1.4-ounces of delicious fruit and nut snack bars

Great for people with intolerances — wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free

Low glycemic index, won’t inflate blood sugar

Excellent source of fiber

No hydrogenated oils or trans fats, minimally processed

Individually wrapped bars , transparent packaging — see what you’re buying!
Pros
  • Minimally processed
  • Great source of fiber
  • Will not inflate blood sugar
  • Gluten and dairy free
Cons
  • Portions are small

Honey Stinger Organic Waffle

Honey Stinger Organic Waffle
If you are running longer distances and need a boost while you are moving, the Honey Stinger Organic Waffle is another good choice. This is a honey based treat that contains both glucose and fructose which will provide you with added energy with spiking your blood sugar in an unhealthy way. Another benefit of these bars is high iron content, which can help the delivery of oxygen to the muscles (through the support of red blood cells). This can be an invaluable respite for tired and fatigued muscles. Did we mention they taste great as well!
Expand to see more
Comforting honey flavor makes these waffles a perfect snack

USDA organic certified

Provides a pure natural energy

Bars are individually wrapped for easy portability and access

Proudly made in Canada
Pros
  • Honey based product
  • Provides natural energy
  • USDA certified organic
Cons
  • Crumble apart easily

 

CLIF CRUNCH – Peanut Butter

CLIF CRUNCH – Peanut Butter
Clif Bars are a staple of the energy bar aisle, and the ethic set down by founder Gary Erickson are still in place today. This particular offering is 70% organic, nutritious, and tasty. A cultured blend of rye, oats, and barley provides you with a comprehensive serving of grains and gets you plenty of fuel to run off of. They contain zero grams of trans fats, no high-fructose corn syrup and most critically no partially hydrogenated oils. Each package comes with two bars, and each bite offers a crispy, satisfying peanut buttery taste. Overall a highly enjoyable treat pre, during, or post run.
Expand to see more
Crispy peanut butter chips mixed with whole grains, an irresistible snack

Made from 70% organic ingredients

Has 4g protein in each bar

Less than 200 calories per serving, won’t break your diet

A great source of fiber (contains 9g total fat as well)
Pros
  • 70% organic ingredients
  • Each bar contains 4 grams of protein
  • Great way to get fiber
Cons
  • Portions are much smaller than many expected

 

Kashi Chewy Granola Bar Cherry Dark Chocolate

Kashi Chewy Granola Bar Cherry Dark Chocolate
Kashi is a brand of high pedigree and increasing popularity. Their Cherry Dark Chocolate Granola Bars are considered to be more of the most healthy out there due to their minimally processed ingredients and whole grains. Each bar contains a nice blend of 15 whole grains, 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Without a heavy protein load these bars are a bit easier to digest than some others, and give you quick access to carbs that a ready to burn. Kashi bars are a brilliant way to power your next workout.
Expand to see more
Naturally Sweetened (nothing artificial), 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein plus 7 Whole Grains

Relative high in fiber and a nice little protein boost

all natural, packaged in recycled materials
Pros
  • Great source of protein and fiber
  • Contains 7 Whole Grains
  • No artificial sweeteners
Cons
  • Some found them to bee a little too sweet

 Beyond this dynamic there is however, the all important aspect of nutritional functionality to consider. As an athlete, particularly a endurance athlete one such as a runner, what you put in your body is of critical importance. Sports nutrition is a deep and complicated topic, with tons of research and thousands of books that can be read and analyzed. In other words talking about nutrition is in effect wading into deep waters. In this article you won’t find any deep scientific discussions, but what you will find is a thorough review of energy bars, and which ones are best optimized for runners.

Energy bars are one of our favorite snacks, and for good reason. They are generally pretty cheap, they’re convenient, a lot of them taste good, and they can be pretty nutritious. There are a lot of different brands though, a million variations, so choosing can be hard.

Disclaimer

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional nutritional advice. If you have any allergies or intolerances be sure to read ingredients carefully. If any adverse reactions occur to any nutritional products be sure to seek professional medical/nutritional advice as soon as possible.

Win a 36 Serving Sample Pack
Next Giveaway draw
Your email is safe with us. Pinky swear
Share:
WIN RUNNING GEAR