Looking for the best vegan protein bar to support your plant-based diet can be a bit of a challenge. To ensure you're getting the right balance of nutrients and protein without compromising on taste or quality, it's crucial to understand the key ingredients and features that make these bars stand out. This, rather conveniently, is exactly where we come in...
Our list of the best vegan protein bars is here to point you in the right direction, with our selection taking factors like price, customer reviews, nutritional value, and any additional features into account. Seeing as most of the best foods for protein aren't vegan-friendly, this guide really is here to help ensure you get enough protein in your diet with protein playing such an essential role in the repair of muscle tissue.
So, if it's a protein-packed snack, like these No Cow Protein Bars. you're after, or you're searching for something a little cheaper, such as Lenny & Larry's Cookie-fied Bars, we've got you covered. And, if protein bars aren't your thing, check out our list of the best vegan protein powders too, or read on to uncover some truly excellent vegan protein bars.
Best vegan protein bars
- Vega Protein Bars - best option overall
- No Cow Protein Bars - a great pick for plenty of protein
- Aloha Protein Bars - one of the tastiest snacks
- MyVegan Carb Crusher - best for everyday supplementation
- Lenny & Larry's The Complete Cookie-fied Bars - a great cheap option
1. Vega Protein Bars
Best vegan protein bars overall
These Vega Protein Bars come with an impressive nutritional profile within a modest 290-calorie package. Notably, they provide an impressive 20g of plant-based protein, a noteworthy achievement that rivals even some of the best protein powders available.
This substantial protein content is derived from a thoughtful blend of pea and brown rice protein, intricately combined with nuts. This not only guarantees a high-quality protein source but also contributes 3-4g of dietary fibre, depending on your flavour preference.
Speaking of flavours, the enticing choices of Chocolate Peanut or Salted Caramel provide a gratifying sweetness that is sure to appeal to a broad spectrum of taste preferences.
Moreover, it's worth emphasising that these bars proudly bear the labels of being non-GMO and gluten-free. Additionally, they steer clear of artificial flavours and preservatives, positioning them as an excellent choice for individuals committed to a health-conscious lifestyle.
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2. No Cow Protein Bars
Best high-protein vegan bars
If you're looking for a protein-rich vegan snack to build muscle and improve your recovery beyond supplements like top-tier BCAAs and some of the best EAAs around, then these No Cow Protein Bars could be your answer.
They are gluten, soy, and GMO-free, and contain 20g of pea and brown rice protein. However, what's, arguably, more impressive is they only contain 1g of sugar. On top of that, you get 16g fibre which has been linked to improved digestion and reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
All of this comes in a 190-calorie bar, thus making it a great option to consider.
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3. Aloha Protein Bars
Best-tasting vegan protein bars
These tasty snacks from Aloha look to be a particularly great option to consider thanks to some of their ingredients.
What we like about these bars, in particular, is that you get 14g of USDA-approved organic plant-based protein and 10g of dietary fibre, all packed inside a 56g bar. Also, while the taste is subjective, we feel the wide variety of flavours, including Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Vanilla Almond, mean there's likely a box out there to suit your taste.
All in all, we feel these Aloha Protein Bars are highly likely to be some of the best-tasting vegan protein bars on the market, which is why we've included them in our list.
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4. MyVegan Carb Crusher
Best vegan protein bars to eat every day
MyVegan Carb Crusher snacks are specifically crafted to help you overcome cravings by offering a healthier option compared to sugary indulgences. Available in various flavors such as Chocolate Sea Salt, these tasty treats pack in 15g of protein, 11g of fibre, and, impressively, less than 2g of sugar.
Additionally, they provide 17g of carbohydrates, making them useful for replenishing or fueling your body before and after workouts.
In short, these Carb Crusher protein bars are an excellent option to consider adding to your diet. They provide a ton of protein along with energising carbs as well. Definitely a great vegan protein supplement.
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5. Lenny & Larry's The Complete Cookie-fied Bars
Best budget vegan protein bars
Lenny & Larry's specialise in creating plant-based protein snacks centred around cookies, creating a tasty, healthy snack option to supplement your diet.
One of its standout products is the Complete Cookie-fied Bars, available in a variety of delicious cookie-inspired flavours, and packed with 12g of vegan protein.
These bars offer a great post-workout option as they are relatively low in calories, making them an excellent choice for those seeking a lighter snack after training. Additionally, they are inexpensive to buy, making them a wallet-friendly option for those who want a quality snack without overspending.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
People tend to have a lot of questions regarding vegan protein bars, and even just protein bars in general, but we're here to clear up some of the more typical queries you may have.
Are vegan protein bars worth it?
Some protein bars out there can be quite expensive and, when you dig a little deeper, you may find they don't actually contain as much protein as you first thought.
This can often be the case with vegan options as they can't use the most common protein ingredient, whey.
Instead, vegan bars have to utilise plant-based ingredients to add protein, therefore, making it difficult to maximise the protein content.
With that being said, some vegan protein bars do contain tons of protein, like the No Cow Protein Bars, so can be worth it if you find the right option to supplement your diet.
Why aren't all protein bars vegan?
Simply put, most protein bars are not vegan because they contain either casein or whey protein which come from dairy products like milk or yoghurt.
However, vegan alternatives tend to use plant-based protein sources like soy, pea, or brown rice protein.
As a result, vegan protein bars tend to contain less protein in total compared to non-vegan alternatives as more plant-based ingredients are required to reach the same protein content.
Do vegan protein bars help you gain muscle?
Simply eating vegan protein bars will not make you more muscular instantaneously.
You need to team eating protein bars, and a high-protein diet in general, with adequate amounts of exercise otherwise they could have an adverse effect on your weight.
To build muscle, you'll need to team weight training with a protein-packed diet. As a result, protein bars can help supplement your muscle growth by supplementing your diet to help your body repair broken-down muscle fibres from training.
Be warned though, protein is just one piece of the puzzle, with a number of other factors like sleep and stress also influencing your training and muscle gain. Therefore, you'll need to strike a good balance to maximise your gains.
Can you eat vegan protein bars every day?
Considering the type of foods consumed as part of a plant-based diet, vegan protein bars can be a great way of increasing your daily protein intake, but they should never be a complete substitute for whole foods and meals.
However, if you're looking for something quick, tasty, and easy to eat, perhaps after a strenuous workout, then a vegan protein bar is probably a more nutritious option compared to a sweet snack.
Generally speaking, eating one bar a day is perfectly fine, but be warned, as vegan bars have to use plant-based ingredients, they can sometimes contain large amounts of sugar which is, of course, not something you want to overindulge in.
Ultimately, Shape describes protein bars as a supplement, so should only be consumed as such and not replace whole foods in general.
Do vegan protein bars contain as much protein as regular bars?
As one of the main sources of protein used in protein bars isn't vegan, vegan protein bars have to look elsewhere to find a source.
This means vegan protein bars tend to be made using plant-based alternatives like pea and even brown rice protein.
Unfortunately, this also means vegan protein bars aren't typically packed with as much protein compared to most of the standard protein bars available.
That said, there are some, like these No Cow Protein Bars, which come close if not match some of the best standard protein bars around, so there are some protein-dense vegan bars out there if you do a little digging.
When should you eat a vegan protein bar?
The best time to eat a protein bar is post-workout as this is when your body will require additional nutrients to help repair and grow the broken-down muscle fibres you've trained.
This period is known as the anabolic window, a 30-minute timeframe where eating protein and carbs is critical for increasing protein synthesis, reducing muscle protein breakdown, and restoring glycogen.
However, this is only the optimal period in which to consume a protein bar. Realistically, you can consume a bar at any point during your day.
For instance, if your daily routine involves long breaks between main meals, then a protein bar can provide a handy top-up of protein and calories to your daily intake.
Are vegan protein bars gluten-free?
This depends on the ingredients and the type of protein bar you buy. However, you'd be wrong to assume all protein bars are gluten-free as gluten is simply a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley and, therefore, suitable for a vegan diet.
If you're unsure, most manufacturers will specifically declare if their vegan protein bars are gluten-free, so we'd recommend checking out the product description and nutritional information before you go ahead and buy.