What are the Main Ingredients of Protein Bars?

What’s the one thing that everyone uses to gain energy or to replace a meal? Active sportsman or just a rookie who is trying to stay in the form nowadays, everyone and everywhere you look, they’re using protein bars.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how well you know protein bars?

Do you know their main ingredients? How about other ingredients used in protein bars?

If you don’t know this, you should learn it,  and this is a perfect topic for you.

But if you do know a bit more of protein bars you can still check your knowledge by reading this article, in case you missed anything.

For the beginning, we can say that protein bars are made from protein and sugar. In the next chapters, we will describe it in depth.

What are the Main Ingredients of Protein Bars?

Every protein bar consists of the same main ingredients. Those ingredients are Protein Powder, Bitter Sweets, Fibre, and a few others. Let’s try to explain in short paragraphs.

  1. Protein Powder

The USP – but the purity of your key ingredient differs hugely.

An explosion in demand has spiked the price of whey, leading many manufacturers to blend it with soy and other proteins of lower quality.

This can affect nutrient availability and difficulty of digestion. If the label shouts about it’s “25g of quality protein!”, don’t just blindly trust it. Scan the ingredients list for pure whey isolate.

  1. Bitter Sweets


They are the reason why these protein bars taste so good.

To cut overheads, a lot of brands sweeten them with crystalline fructose.

Crystalline fructose in small doses delivers an intense sweetness. But if you consume too much of it, you put yourself at the risk of liver damage.

  1. Fiber it up

Individuals will lean in the same direction

Wholegrain oat-blend bars are some of the most popular and can provide 30% of your fiber.

Scout out bars that contain bean gum – a gelatinous fiber used to add texture and make up for a lack of fat to get extra hit.

Most protein bars also bolstered between 15 and 20 vitamins and minerals.

  1. Caught in a Blind

Palm Oil Production

Hydrogenated palm oil is often used to bind the ingredients together.

It’s how manufacturers get everything from flapjacks to wafers vying for your tastebuds’ attention.

New EU rulings are set to compel manufacturers to clearly label their products. Keep an eye out if you’re shopping old stock.

  1. Flavor Profiled

Toffee, banoffee, vanilla sundae crunch… any artificial flavoring offers no benefit bar taste.  But if you have a sweet tooth, they can deliver palatability without the damage dessert does to blood sugar control.

Which Macronutrient has the Biggest Difference in the Protein Bars from Different Manufacturers?

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range

Well, every manufacturer tries to be an original.

To create something that no one has. So the manufacturers begin to explore new ways to create unique protein bar.

First of all, calories play a big role.

Usually, protein bar falls in the range of 200-250 calories.

However, some of the bigger bars can hit to 300-400+ calories. So if someone is trying to bulk himself. He will surely choose a bigger protein bar with more calories and certainly more proteins of 20-30 grams.

Then it comes to carbs.

Most protein bars keep their carb count to 15-20 grams. But some of the bars are energy bars which are aimed at people doing endurance sports for example cycling.

They may be marked as high protein, but also are high in carbs and sugar.  The lowest carb bars have 8-10 grams carbs. Biggest has 25 grams.


To me, it’s the most important.

Every company that is manufacturing protein bars are nowadays trying to avoid unnecessary sugar.

So high-quality protein bars generally keep sugar low and use sweeteners instead. There are also Low-Sugar protein bars that have 2-4 grams of sugar.


Most protein bars have around 7-9 grams fat, 3-5 grams of which is saturated fat. Keep in mind that for nutty bars the fat will tend to be a little higher.

5 Ingredients to Avoid in Protein Bars!


If you are looking out on your body line or you are active sportsman which spend a lot of time in the gym, you must avoid these 5 ingredients in protein bars because they actually do nothing good for your body.

  1. Sugar Alcohols

Xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, and other sugar alcohols are often used to sweeten sugar-free foods. These sugars can cause intestinal gas, leading to irritable bowel symptoms such as intestinal pain, constipation or diarrhea.

  1. Carrageenan

A seaweed derivative that’s used as an emulsifier in many products, carrageenan is often found in protein bars. It has been known to cause intestinal irritation in many people.

  1. Soy

Frequently found in protein bars, soy can be an allergen for some people. And if it isn’t organic, you can be sure it is containing GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

  1. Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup

These are included in many protein bars, and they add unwanted calories that can quickly increase your waistline. They can also feed unhealthy yeast and bacteria, adversely affect cholesterol and promote inflammation.

  1. Casein and whey

If you’re allergic to dairy products or have an intolerance to them, you need to avoid eating these two ingredients.


Now that you have read this article you can ask yourself are you choosing your protein bars your protein bar?

Also, we have seen the top 5 ingredients you should try to avoid in your protein bars. But trust me, you can really find a decent protein bar without Sugar Alcohols or Soy or Sugar fructose that will amaze you with its taste.

In the footnotes called “Which macronutrient has the biggest difference in the protein bars from different manufacturers?” you could find which macronutrients make a healthy protein bar – and that’s something you should stick with. For example, if you are trying to bulk up you are definitely going to buy a protein bar that has a high-calorie value yet lower fat and sugar value.

I think this article can help you to decide and choose your protein bar, but it depends on what kind of fitness goals you’re trying to achieve.

Good luck searching for different kinds of protein bars and feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any questions or need help!

Cover photo from Flickr by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Best Protein Bars