10 Best Powerbars for Sports & Running Reviewed

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Protein Snack Bar
Test Winner: Protein Snack Bar
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Powerbars brand energy bars are a quick grab for a mid-day energy boost but were crafted to keep you energized while active, aiding in pre and post work out recoveries. There are many options to choose from offering different levels of protein profiles and flavors.

Energy bars, in general, can be a great way to boost your diet and keep up energy levels while trying to maintain a healthy diet. They also offer many vitamins and minerals and amino acids to keep you balanced and feeling less fatigued.

Scroll through and Check out the FAQs below for in-depth info on how we’re able to rate Powerbar products based off our extensive search criteria. This is a good place to start on personally deciding what makes an energy bar stand out to you and how each one is individually designed, offering different advantages to your activities and overall health.

Standout Picks

Another strain of the Protein Plus Powerbar, this one has even more protein. It is another step up for when you need to gain muscle mass, or aid in hardcore recovery from a grueling long run or intense speed workout
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Offering a solid gluten-free option that is safe for lactose sensitivities as well, Powerbars Clean Whey Gluten-Free bar is a great option for those trying to keep muscle repair high while indulging in other energy-based vitamins. They are delicious and perfect for any pre- or post-workout and are offered in many chewy, yummy, non-artificial flavors.
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This bar can be expected to deliver long lasting energy through the complex carbs it contains, while still deliver enough protein to repair muscles. Consider the performance energy bar for long runs, as it is great at providing and replacing electrolytes.
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The Powerbar protein snack combines the performance with snack. It is real food, and still packs a punch when it comes to providing the energy and nutrition needed for physical activity.
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Take the power gel, and add a little extra salt and carbs. Boom. Now you have the energy gel. Go that much further. Ultra? No problem, you have an energy gel from powerbar. Do that much more sweating and push that much further.
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If you want that extra protein, start with the Powerbar Protein Plus that packs 20 grams of protein into their 270 calorie bar.
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The Clean Whey Bar uses high quality whey protein to provide you with 20 grams of protein per bar. It uses clean ingredients--meaning it does not utilize any artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners--making this a healthy, Gluten Free option.
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Who doesn’t love fruit snacks? That’s what these taste like, and they are easy to take with you, and pop in one at a time. Great option when you aren’t in the mood for a bar, but still need the energy and nutrition for your workout.
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With the exception of soy, Powerbar's Plant Protein bars get their protein and nutrients from nuts, pees, rice, pumpkin seeds and more. One bar will give you 10 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbohydrate, 8 grams of dietary fibers with no cholesterol.
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If you need all the energy and performance of the regular power bars, but don’t want a burst of energy, this one is reduced sugar. It still has all the protein of a typical powerbar, but with lower calories. It is less like candy, and more like performance.
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Criteria Used for Evaluation

Power Source

Make sure to look for things that are important to you as well--such as allergens, gluten, or non-vegan ingredients.

Carbohydrates: All protein bars have protein, however, they all have a variable amount of carbs. If you participate in intense workouts you will need a higher carb count and if you are actively trying to lose weight--or eating them as a snack to hold you over--you may want one with a lower carb count.

Fat: Fat is a necessary component in our diets and protein bars typically have small portions of it

The Energy gained from a Protein bar: Many protein bars are also called energy bars., This is because they provide you with fuel in protein for and help you recover post workout.

Fibers: Fiber is a necessary part of our daily diet but should be taken in moderate amounts to prevent stomach issues.

Application

Different sporting activities will require different protein bars. It’s very important to pick a protein bar that matches your sporting activities. Before beginning any training session or competition, athletes need to be fully energized and hydrated. When both those needs are met, muscles are ready to work. Not only sporting activity, other protein bars may act like meal replacements during sporting activities.

Product Purity

Long runs require an energy bar that is easily digestible and that won't cause any stomach issues or fluctuations in the sugar level in your blood. Opt for a bar that is honey based.  Honey, has sugar components: glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose and the trisaccharides. Fructose and glucose in honey are usually in their simplified form hence the body can utilize them very fast.  Sucrose, on the other hand, is a compound of fructose and glucose. Unlike the normal table sugar, natural honey contains small amounts of iron, calcium and B vitamins. Sodium and calcium help prevent one from having cramps.

Advanced Features

If you are looking to lose weight, PowerBars are a great meal replacement. Look for bars with about 230 calories and that have fewer carbs.

You can take the bar as a meal replacement but make sure it has a high-calorie content, adequate amounts of protein, and extra fiber. They shoul be about 350-500 calories and contain a minimum of 9 grams in protein.

The more advanced and intense your training exercise is the more antioxidants you will need to make a full recovery.  Antioxidants help protect the body's immune system and help reduce inflammation.

Our Top 10 Favorites

1. Protein Plus 30g

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Protein Plus 30g
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Another strain of the Protein Plus Powerbar, this one has even more protein. It is another step up for when you need to gain muscle mass, or aid in hardcore recovery from a grueling long run or intense speed workout

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Nutrients/ Performance:
30 grams of protein, and 34 grams of carbs in this bar. That means it is one of the most balanced options for aiding in muscle building. It does have 360 calories, so you are getting towards a meal replacement bar for some. But that isn’t too bad for the amount of protein the bar delivers.

Taste/ Palatability:
The chocolate brownie and salted caramel flavors are popular options for this bar. They are quite satisfying flavors that taste like candy, but still fill you up. Great option for when you are hungry, but need something packed with protein that is compatible with exercise.

Price/ Availability:
These get a touch more expensive than some of the less nutrient dense options. That makes sense, you are paying for a lot more nutrition. The main flavors should always be easy to get, although you might have to compromise on the count.

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2. Clean Whey Gluten Free Protein

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Clean Whey Gluten Free Protein
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Offering a solid gluten-free option that is safe for lactose sensitivities as well, Powerbars Clean Whey Gluten-Free bar is a great option for those trying to keep muscle repair high while indulging in other energy-based vitamins. They are delicious and perfect for any pre- or post-workout and are offered in many chewy, yummy, non-artificial flavors.

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Performance

Clean Whey Protein Powerbars have a high fiber content, which keeps you feeling fuller longer while it’s 20 grams of protein help aid muscle repair. The high-quality protein isolates extend energy levels and curb hunger to help maintain weight loss as well.

All Powerbars offer a high amino acid content and are loaded with calcium for solid bones and endurance. These are great for boosting performance before during and after a work out making them a well-rounded part of anyone regimen. Clean weight bars are also OK to give you a boost for those days you stuck in the grind and need some sustainability.

Taste

Depending on what you like, Powerbars Clean Whey Gluten Free Protein Powerbars come in 5 flavors and never have any added sugar, soy or with artificial flavoring.

Cookies and cream, vanilla coconut crunch, white fudge raspberry, chocolate nut brownie, and Chocolate chip cookie dough are what you get to choose from and each one offers a bit of a different texture as well. However, all the deliciousness is chewy easy to swallow.

Value

The Clean Whey line are a bit more pricey than the other styles but this is because they are more carefully designed to offer a choice for those that may have sensitivities to ingredients that are in the other bars. These are crafted with care to make sure you are safe while still being able to keep a clean diet free of artificial fillers and sweeteners as well. We feel for the value, that is a pretty sweet deal.

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3. Performance Energy

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Performance Energy
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This bar can be expected to deliver long lasting energy through the complex carbs it contains, while still deliver enough protein to repair muscles. Consider the performance energy bar for long runs, as it is great at providing and replacing electrolytes.

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Nutrients/ Performance:
With 25 grams of complex carbs, the Performance Energy bar will keep your body burning long lasting fuel that doesn’t burn out or spike your energy. The 9 grams of protein start working right away to build muscle, and B vitamins provide electrolytes to replace those lost during intense sweating and exercise.

Taste/ Palatability:
Filling with a great taste, the performance energy bars pack a big punch. There are delicious flavors like peanut butter caramel and milk chocolate. The best part is that there are no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Price/ Availability:
You can buy these ones in packages of 24 which helps reduce the cost, but don’t expect to get them for cheap. But for how much nutrition they give you, you are pretty much getting whole meals for under two dollars.

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4. Protein Snack Bar

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Protein Snack Bar
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The Powerbar protein snack combines the performance with snack. It is real food, and still packs a punch when it comes to providing the energy and nutrition needed for physical activity.

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Nutrients/ Performance:
With 12 grams of protein in each snack bar, the Powerbar Protein Snack gets your muscles the nutrient needed to build and repair muscles after a long run, or strength training session. These also have a good amount of fiber, and other essential minerals and vitamins needed to refuel the body.

Taste/ Palatability:
This snack bar tastes more like a candy bar than a typical protein bar. It has a chocolate coating, and a sweet candy like inside. There are different flavors like peanut butter caramel and cookies and cream that give all the satisfaction of a candy bar, but with a little more nutrition.

Price/ Availability:
Depending on how many you order at once, these are about the same price as a candy bar. The price also depends on the flavor, and certain flavors will not always be available immediately. So there is actually some variance in the price and availability depending on which flavor you want.

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5. Energy Gel

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 Energy Gel
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Take the power gel, and add a little extra salt and carbs. Boom. Now you have the energy gel. Go that much further. Ultra? No problem, you have an energy gel from powerbar. Do that much more sweating and push that much further.

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Nutrients/ Performance:
The main benefit of this energy blend is that is has more salt, and lots of carbs that your body can burn to keep you kicking strong. These have 10 grams of sugar, but it is a blended sugar to release slower in the body. You will want to bring water to wash these down due to the salt content.

Taste/ Palatability:
They taste a little salty, and maybe not quite as yummy as the power gels, but they are designed for that long lasting energy. And with all the flavors to choose from, you should be able to find something you like.

Price/ Availability:
This is pretty much the same deal as the other gels, they cost different based on the flavor, which reflects availability. They are a bit more expensive than the power gel in general, closer in price to a typical energy bar.

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6. Protein Plus 20g

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Protein Plus 20g
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If you want that extra protein, start with the Powerbar Protein Plus that packs 20 grams of protein into their 270 calorie bar.

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Nutrients/ Performance:
Balanced fairly well is the Protein Plus bar with 30 grams of carbs to the 20g of protein. It can deliver a whole lot of nutrients on the go when you need to get back the energy expelled during exercise, and supply your muscles.

Taste/ Palatability:
Flavor is definitely right with the Protein Plus bars. They are very sweet so you might feel like you are eating a candy bar. They go down easy, you might want more than one.

Price/ Availability:
Shop around with the different flavors to find the best deal if you aren’t picky. There is a significant difference in price, but all are very reasonable. Some flavors may only be available for purchase in certain quantities.

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7. Clean Whey Bar

Where to buy
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Clean Whey Bar
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The Clean Whey Bar uses high quality whey protein to provide you with 20 grams of protein per bar. It uses clean ingredients--meaning it does not utilize any artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners--making this a healthy, Gluten Free option.

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Nutrients/ Performance:
At 190 calories, this bar also provides you with 20 grams of protein, making it a perfect post workout bar. It also has 5 grams of net carbs (Total carbs-dietary fibers-sugar), 2 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of fiber/

Taste/ Palatability:
The harvest energy bars come in a variety of flavors that are generally readily available. The price is lower than other bars, as it seems you pay per gram of protein. At only 190 calories, they are not meant to be used as meal replacement, but rather as a post workout snack.

Price/ Availability:
These bars come in five different flavors and are a bit more affordable than other powerbar options.

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8. Performance Energy Blasts

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Performance Energy Blasts
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Who doesn’t love fruit snacks? That’s what these taste like, and they are easy to take with you, and pop in one at a time. Great option when you aren’t in the mood for a bar, but still need the energy and nutrition for your workout.

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Nutrients/ Performance:
With 200 calories, these are getting into the realm of substantial nutrition. That will keep you going for quite some time, especially with the 46 carbs, though most are from sugar. There are 3 grams of protein, just to give a little love to the muscles. Powerbar energy gels even sneak a little vitamin c in there.

Taste/ Palatability:
They taste like gushers, remember those? Well maybe they taste a little better than gushers, but they have that same cool liquid center which bursts with flavor into your mouth. You will feel like a kid again. But these are easy to eat because they are full of fruity goodness.

Price/ Availability:
These are on the upper end for price, like one of the more densely calorie packed energy bars. The availability depends largely on the number of gels you want to come in the package, so if you are flexible on size of package, you will always have plenty available.

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9. Plant Protein Bar

Where to buy
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 Plant Protein Bar
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With the exception of soy, Powerbar's Plant Protein bars get their protein and nutrients from nuts, pees, rice, pumpkin seeds and more. One bar will give you 10 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbohydrate, 8 grams of dietary fibers with no cholesterol.

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Available flavors include Dark Chocolate/Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate/Almond/Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate/Salted Caramel Cashew. A great thing about this particular bar, is that they are not solid blocks of chocolate with a few nuts sprinkled in there. They do contain dark chocolate, but it is drizzled on without overdoing it, turning it into just another candy bar. Also, you will be able to pronounce everything in the list of ingredients.

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10. Reduced Sugar Protein Plus

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 Reduced Sugar Protein Plus
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If you need all the energy and performance of the regular power bars, but don’t want a burst of energy, this one is reduced sugar. It still has all the protein of a typical powerbar, but with lower calories. It is less like candy, and more like performance.

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Nutrients/ Performance:
The reduced sugar protein plus still has 20 grams of protein, but only 2 grams of sugar! That is pretty amazing in a food bar category that typically is packed with sugar. They have 36 grams of carbs, so they will deliver all the energy you need, and work with that protein to rebuild the muscles. Plus, these are gluten free!

Taste/ Palatability:
This really depends on the person, but most people still think these are pretty tasty and palatable. If you don’t want the sugar, you will definitely be able to stomach the taste, since it is such a large reduction. Same goes with the gluten free aspect. For what you are getting, they are good.

Price/ Availability:
These are actually the cheaper options. You will spend less on these most likely than anything else on the list. There is a drawback, and that is that flavors will be severely limited.

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Sources

  1. Selene Yeager, How to Choose the Right Energy Bar, Fitness Website
  2. Editorial Team, , REVIEW: PowerBar ProteinPlus 20g Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, , Nutrition Review Website,
  3. Coach Levi, , Tested: PowerBar Performance Bar, , Fitness Website,
  4. David Else, , PowerBar Natural Energy Bar, , Consumer Website,
  5. IndianapolisEater, , Review: PowerBar Performance Energy Chocolate Peanut Butter Wafer Bar,, Food Website,
  6. Bryan DiSanto, , [Review] The Energy Bar Power Rankings — The 52 Best Energy Bars Ripped Open And Ranked,, Fitness Website,
  7. NATALIE STEIN, Are Power Bars Good for You? , Fitness Website
  8. NATALIE STEIN, The Best Sugar-Free Protein Bars, Fitness Website
  9. Zac Pritcher, [Review] PowerBar Energy Gel Blasts (Raspberry), Food Website
  10. MICHELE TURCOTTE, MS, RD, The Best Protein Bars, Fitness Website

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