Best vegan protein bars 2022: Top plant-based snacks

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Finding the best vegan protein bars can be tricky if you don't know what ingredients to look for to adhere to a plant-based diet.

Fortunately, we're here to help as we've put together a list of our top vegan picks based on their price, reviews, and their nutritional content, plus any other features that we feel make these bars worth considering as some of the best foods for protein, like chicken and salmon, aren't vegan-friendly.

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Because of this, vegan protein bars are particularly important if you're looking to increase your daily protein intake beyond supplements like the vegan protein powders, especially as protein is essential in the repair of muscle tissue post-workout, but isn't something that's easy to come by in a plant-based diet.

So, if you're searching for something packed with protein, like these No Cow Protein Bars, or simply some of the most well-rounded and best protein bars around, like these Aloha Protein Bars, then we've got you covered.

We've also answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding vegan protein bars to help you make an informed choice on which bars are right for you and your diet. So, with that in mind, here's our list of the best vegan protein bars available now...

Best vegan protein bars

Best all-round vegan protein bars - Vega Protein Bars

Best vegan protein bars Vega product image of a blue and white packaged bar with graphics of nuts and chocolate.
Credit: Vega
Brand: Vega | Protein: 20g | Fat: 10g | Fibre: 4g | Carbs: 27g | Sugar: 18g | Calories: 290 *Per Serving

These Vega Protein Bars cram a lot of nutrients into 290 calories, most notably 20g of protein which is impressively high for a plant-based snack and something some of the best protein powders around would boast about.

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This number is achieved through a blend of pea and brown rice protein mixed with nuts to not only give you protein but also deliver 3-4g of fibre depending on the flavour.

Speaking of flavour, you get a choice of Chocolate Peanut or Salted Caramel, two great sweet tastes that should suit most people's preferences.

It's also worth noting that these bars are non-GMO, gluten-free, and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives, so everyone's a winner with these protein bars

Best high-protein vegan bars - No Cow Protein Bars

Best vegan protein bars Now Cow product image of a white packaged peanut butter chocolate chip protein bar.
Credit: No Cow
Brand: No Cow | Protein: 20g | Fat: 4.5g | Fibre: 16g | Carbs: 26g | Sugar: 1g | Calories: 190 *Per Serving

If you're looking for a protein-rich vegan snack to build muscle and improve your recovery beyond supplements like BCAAs and some of the best EAAs around, then these No Cow Protein Bars could be your answer.

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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.

Best tasting vegan protein bars - Aloha Protein Bars

Best vegan protein bars Aloha product image of an orange packet with and orange and chocolate graphic.
Credit: Aloha
Brand: Aloha | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Fibre: 10g | Carbs: 25g | Sugar: 5g | Calories: 230 *Per Serving

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.

Best vegan protein bars for everyday - MyVegan Carb Crusher

Best vegan protein bars MyVegan product image of a brown and green package.
Credit: MyVegan
Brand: MyVegan | Protein: 15g | Fat: 8.4g | Fibre: 11g | Carbs: 17g | Sugar: 1.8g | Calories: 212 *Per Serving

The MyVegan Carb Crusher snacks are designed to help you beat cravings by providing a more nutritious alternative to sweet treats.

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They come in a range of flavours including Chocolate Sea Salt, and contain 15g of protein, 11g of fibre, but less than 2g of sugar.

You also get 17g of carbs which can be beneficial if you're looking to replenish or fuel your energy stores pre and post-workout.

On the whole, these Carb Crusher protein bars look to be a great choice to adhere to a plant-based diet.

Best vegan protein bars on a budget - Lenny & Larry's The Complete Cookie-fied Bars

Best vegan protein bars Lenny & Larry's product image of a white package containing a cookies and cream falvoured bar.
Credit: Lenny & Larry's
Brand: Lenny & Larry's | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Fibre: 5g | Carbs: 22g | Sugar: 6g | Calories: 160 *Per Serving

Lenny & Larry's is a food production company that manufactures plant-based protein snacks based around cookies.

A great example of this is its Complete Cookie-fied Bars which come in an array of cookie-based flavours and contain 12g of vegan protein.

They're also relatively low in calories which can be ideal if you're looking for a lighter snack to consume straight after training.

Moreover, they're fairly inexpensive to the point, thus making them a great choice if you're after something that won't break the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vegan Protein Bars

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.

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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.

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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, much like some of the best milk thistle capsules and garlic supplements, 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.

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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.

As a result, we feel some vegan protein bars should be considered some of the best food for bulking as they can seriously help you add calories to your plant-based diet.

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.

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