We’re always looking for ways to keep our body healthy and nourished, but sometimes it can be hard to get enough nutrients in just three meals. Vegan protein bars are often chosen as great additions to one's diet as they are easy, light and small enough to take anywhere. Aiming to stay cruelty free, environmentally friendly and/or low carb? We’ve got you covered.
In this article, we will show you the best vegan protein bars currently on the market and help you find the perfect protein bar to suit your daily lifestyle and nutritional needs. With so much choice it may be hard to pick, but through our chosen sites such as Amazon, you can easily order these from the comfort of your home. Have a look inside for vegan protein bars ranging from 20 grams of protein to soy-free to completely organic!
Jo Travers, author of The Bone Strength Plan is a professional, evidenced-based nutritionist in London. She has carried out over 1500 hours of one-to-one consultations with more than 600 clients, as well as the additional hours of workshops, research, and media work with the BBC, Channel 4, The Islam Channel, and more.
In this buying guide, we will explain what to look out for when buying protein bars and the showcase the best of the best. Be sure to peruse until the end to make sure you can make your purchases with full confidence.
You are spoilt for choice in this modern world of plant based protein. There are a lot of well documented and popular choices to choose from, but today we will go over some basic, well loved ones. Each protein source has differing nutritional values, so stick around to learn more.
The most well known plant based protein, and rare exception that is classed as a complete protein is soy protein. Soy protein is commonly used in vegan protein bars as it is high in BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) with 22 grams of protein for every 28 grams of soy. In addition, soy contains antioxidants which have been found to promote other aspects of your body's health.
Pea protein is steadily becoming a fan favourite for its great nutritional value and high level of BCAAs (though less than soy). 28 grams of pea, which by the way are not green peas but its protein-heavy yellow cousin, will give you 22 grams of protein. Some studies have also shown it can also promote the feeling of fullness and lower blood pressure.
In the world of vegan protein bars, a mix - or blend - of plant-based protein is often used over just one source. As some plant-based protein sources lack some essential amino acids, this is balanced out through an infusion of multiple. Meaning finding a blend of different plant-based protein in one bar is a great idea when searching for the perfect snack or boost.
Even having some oats in your protein bar can fill in the gaps in the amino acid profile of plant-based proteins. Grains contain the amino acids missing from legumes so a mixture can give you the full complement. Branched-chain amino acids are a group of amino acids that are linked to muscle growth and recovery, so are a good choice if you are using your protein bar after a workout.
Naturally, it is right to think that more protein equals better value for your body - and your wallet - but stop! Before you jump at the bar with the highest protein content, it is best to decide why you are purchasing a vegan protein bar, is it for weight loss? muscle gain? weight gain?
If you are aiming to bulk up i.e. muscle gain, it is best to get a vegan protein bar with at least 20 grams of protein. That way you can ensure that your muscles are receiving the best possible care while you make them gains.
The protein you are eating will derive from everything you consume within a day and the recommended amount is around 46 to 56 grams per day. If you are looking for a boost try and stick to a bar with 10 grams of protein or more, but you need not have to get one as high as 20 grams. The most important part is an accompanied balanced diet that will slowly fuel your body throughout the day.
For most people, a top-up to their protein intake is all they need. Most people can only really use around 0.8g - 1g of protein per kilo of body weight, and having too much protein can actually put pressure on the kidneys.
More protein metabolism produces more urea, a by-product of protein metabolism that is excreted via the kidneys. Additionally, protein contains more calories than carbohydrates per gram, so more protein than necessary can mean excess calorie intake.
Reading the nutritional value to understand what a protein bar contains is paramount. One of the reasons we buy vegan protein bars is for the nutritional value, but sometimes a protein bar can simply just be a sugar-filled treat, which is not ideal when you are looking to fuel your body to optimal levels. Deciphering nutritional values can be a pain, but we have provided a small list of what to look out for:
If you are aiming to lose weight, look for vegan protein bars that have less than 200 calories. As these are ideal levels it can be hard to find exactly matching products, but using this as a way to make informed choices and avoid potential red flags such as bars with a protein content lower than 10 grams is a great way to start.
Finally, check the fine print for any potential allergens. Many vegan protein bars make use of blended plant-based proteins and may not include them in the design of the packaging if it is a specific flavour. So if you are allergic to soy or looking for an organic blend of ingredients, be sure to make sure that what you buy does not contain anything that your body may disagree with.
Some protein bars have lots of sugar added to make them taste better, but too much sugar can cause blood glucose to spike.
A blood glucose spike is bad for two reasons. One, it is always followed by a sugar crash meaning you have low blood sugar and will probably be tired and hungry despite the snack you just ate; and two, the sugar will get converted into fat and stored rather than being used as an energy source.
Vegan protein bars can help you in many ways, but making them work within your monthly expenditure is equally important and that means considering how many are included in 1 box. With this in mind it is important to set a budget in regard to how much you want to spend. You may be buying upwards of 3 boxes a month, so think about how many you will eat in a month, not just the price of 1 box.
A box of protein bars may contain 9 to 16 bars, so it is important to purchase a pack of protein bars that will be cost effective for you. For example, if protein bars are more of a snack, it may be worth opting to find vegan protein bars that contain 15 bars or more, but you may be unable to do this if you are looking for organic ingredients or niche flavours.
Having a variety of different protein bars can be good too, especially if you are using them differently on different days. Having some higher protein, soy bars that are high in BCAAs for workout days for example, and lower protein ones for days when you just need a snack. Variety in flavours and textures can also stop you from getting bored!
The Protein Works
Natural Vegan Protein Bar
Vegan Protein Bar
Sōlgood Vegan Organic Protein Bar
Vegan Protein Bar
Natural Energy Bar
Ridiculous Vegan Protein Bar
Fibrous, Low Calorie Chocolate Heaven. In a Bar.
A Tasty Blend of Chocolate, Coconut and Cashew
Five Sweet and Sumptuous Flavours
An All Organic, Gluten & Soy-free Protein Bar
A Very Hazelnutty Protein Bar
An Overflowing Mix of Energy and Flavour!
A Ridiculously Wonderful Vegan Protein Bar
A Great Plant Based Source of Protein
A UK Branded, Sugar-free Salted Caramel Crunch
20 Grams of Soy Goodness With Natural Chia Seeds!
|Protein amount||20 grams||21 grams||15-16 grams||15 grams||15 grams||13-14 grams||15 grams||11 grams||15 grams||20.5|
|Protein source||Almonds, pea, rice||Pea, soy, cashew||Varied||Organic brown rice, organic pea, organic quinoa||Soy, pea, rice, hazelnut||Varied||Soy, pea, peanut||Brown rice, oat, peanut, soy||Soy||Soy|
|Sugar||9.1 grams||1.9 grams||Varied||3 grams||1 gram||Varied||0.8 gram||19 grams||0.3 grams||19.9 grams|
|Fibre||7.2 grams||15 grams||Varied||14 grams||6.7 grams||Varied||8.1 grams||4 grams||2.4 grams||3.1 grams|
|Fat||14 grams||12 grams||Varied||12 grams||11 grams||Varied||10 grams||7.1 grams||10.6 grams||10.3 grams|
|Amount, price per bar||16 bars (£1.25)||12 bars (£1.27)||12 bars (£1.49)||12 bars (£2.66)||12 bars (£1.79)||16 bars (£1.37)||9 bars (£1.44)||12 bars (£1.24)||12 bars (£1.92)||10 bars (£2.20)|
|Additional ingredients||Date syrup, coconut sugar, sunflower seeds, dairy free white chocolate chips, chia seeds, cashew nuts, cocoa butter||Dairy free chocolate couverture, cocoa butter, soya flour, natural vanilla flavouring, coconut oil, coconut, natural coconut flavouring, green tea extract, chicory root fibre||Varied||Organic Madagascan vanilla bean, prebiotic fibres, organic sunflower butter, organic caramel flavour, organic coconut oil, ancient sea salt||Cocoa butter, hazelnuts, sunflower oil, rice flour, sweetener||Varied||Chicory root fibre, cocoa butter, natural vanilla flavouring, Himalayan salt, coconut oil, green tea extract||Cane syrup, sea salt, barley malt extract, rice flour, B12, B6||Dark chocolate, cocoa butter, gluten free oats, natural caramel flavouring, rapeseed oil||Golden syrup, almond butter, chia seeds, cocoa powder|
So now you have an idea about what type of vegan protein bar you want, let's take a look at the very best the UK currently has on offer!
|Amount, price per bar||10 bars (£2.20)|
|Additional ingredients||Golden syrup, almond butter, chia seeds, cocoa powder|
|Protein amount||15 grams|
|Amount, price per bar||12 bars (£1.92)|
|Additional ingredients||Dark chocolate, cocoa butter, gluten free oats, natural caramel flavouring, rapeseed oil|
Crunchy Peanut Butter
|Protein amount||11 grams|
|Protein source||Brown rice, oat, peanut, soy|
|Amount, price per bar||12 bars (£1.24)|
|Additional ingredients||Cane syrup, sea salt, barley malt extract, rice flour, B12, B6|
Wild Chocolate Peanut
|Protein amount||15 grams|
|Protein source||Soy, pea, peanut|
|Amount, price per bar||9 bars (£1.44)|
|Additional ingredients||Chicory root fibre, cocoa butter, natural vanilla flavouring, Himalayan salt, coconut oil, green tea extract|
|Protein amount||13-14 grams|
|Amount, price per bar||16 bars (£1.37)|
Hazelnut & Nougat
|Protein amount||15 grams|
|Protein source||Soy, pea, rice, hazelnut|
|Amount, price per bar||12 bars (£1.79)|
|Additional ingredients||Cocoa butter, hazelnuts, sunflower oil, rice flour, sweetener|
|Protein amount||15 grams|
|Protein source||Organic brown rice, organic pea, organic quinoa|
|Amount, price per bar||12 bars (£2.66)|
|Additional Ingredients||Organic Madagascan vanilla bean, prebiotic fibres, organic sunflower butter, organic caramel flavour, organic coconut oil, ancient sea salt|
|Protein amount||15-16 grams|
|Amount, price per bar||12 bars (£1.49)|
Choc Coconut and Cashew
|Protein amount||21 grams|
|Protein source||Pea, soy, cashew|
|Amount, price per bar||12 bars (£1.27)|
|Additional ingredients||Dairy free chocolate couverture, cocoa butter, soya flour, natural vanilla flavouring, coconut oil, coconut, natural coconut flavouring, green tea extract, chicory root fibre|
|Protein amount||20 grams|
|Protein source||Almonds, pea, rice|
|Amount, price per bar||16 bars (£1.25)|
|Additional ingredients||Date syrup, coconut sugar, sunflower seeds, dairy free white chocolate chips, chia seeds, cashew nuts, cocoa butter|
Protein can derive from a whole range of food such as tofu, nuts, and wholegrain such as oats or quinoa. There are many different ways to get protein into your diet and vegan protein bars are a perfect addition to anyone's daily life, whether you regard this as a snack, part of a bulking aim or a weight loss journey.
Plant based protein is sometimes cited as an incomplete protein due many plant sources lacking one or more essential amino acids, but as long as you are consuming a good balance of other foods, you can rest easy as it is a perfectly viable and healthy way to live.
"If you have the time, there are plenty of tasty vegan protein bar recipes to try yourself. Making your own means you can add the things you like. Most can be kept in the fridge for several days or frozen, so you can make a batch to keep you going for a while."
As Jo said, making your own vegan protein bars is also a great option because you know exactly what's gone in and you can customise the recipe to your mood and preferences. Take a look at this fantastic 4 ingredients no-bake recipe and check out the recipe on the website for further instructions!
Ingredients:Easy Vegan Protein Bars | Minimalist Baker Recipes
・70 g amaranth (1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups popped as original recipe is written)
・~25 g vanilla or unflavored vegan protein powder*
・22-30 ml maple syrup (or sub stevia // more or less to taste)
・256 g creamy salted peanut or almond butter (or sun butter if sensitive to nuts)
・15-20 g melted dark vegan chocolate (optional)
Whether you're a vegan, vegetarian or simply aiming to try and lower your carbon footprint, vegan products are great for everyone. Feel free to browse our range of other vegan articles to find more ways to enhance your vegan food life. It is okay to spoil yourself on such great things, plus - we won't tell anyone.
Well, there you have it! The top 10 vegan protein bars in the UK. We hope this list helped you in making some decisions in regard to your own personal fitness journey and how these products can fit into your life. Vegan protein bars are not a one size fits all and it is important to find the right food for your body and lifestyle.
Above all else, remember that vegan protein bars will only work with a balanced and highly nutritious diet. Make sure every meal time is packed with a variety of foods to keep your body happy, inside and out.
Author: Josh Welch
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