The 6 Best Protein Bars For Healthy Travel
The right protein bars make great travel snacks. These are our top picks.
Protein bars can be the perfect travel snack option for travelers who care about their health and fitness. Choosing the right protein bars can be tricky if you're not paying enough attention to the ingredients. Many protein bars are nothing more than candy bars in disguise.
So what should you be looking for in a protein bar? The most important factor is carefully reading the ingredients. "Many protein bars have a lot of junk added to them," says Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSC, team nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals and CLIF Nutrition Partner.
The less ingredients, the better. Many protein bars contain around 20 ingredients in them; far too many. Stick to the ones with 3-10 ingredients and contain nothing that you don't recognize.
Still unsure what protein bars you should pack for your next trip? Here are a few that you can enjoy while traveling and not worry that you're eating a chemical-laden sugar bomb.
RXBAR has developed an amazing protein bar that is made from only real food, tastes great and contains no unnatural processed garbage. You won't find any ingredients here that you can't pronounce and have no idea what they are.
Recommended Flavor: Chocolate Sea Salt
Ingredients: Egg whites, almonds, cashews, dates, cacao, sea salt, natural chocolate flavor.
Epic Bar + Epic Performance Bar (Good for Paleo)
Epic Performance Bars are made from simple, non-GMO ingredients and protein from cage-free egg whites, while Epic Bars combine grass-fed protein with dried fruit to create a Paleo-friendly travel snack. They both contain around twelve grams of protein per bar and taste great (similiar to RXBAR). Epic Performance Bars are gluten and soy free.
Recommended Flavor: Peanut Butter Chocolate
Ingredients: Dates, peanuts, egg whites, unsweetened chocolate, peanut oil, and sea salt.
EXO Protein Bars
I know what you're saying to yourself right now. Cricket flour? Yes you read that correctly. Before you decide to skip this one, hear me out. It's not as bad as it sounds.
EXO protein bars do not taste like bugs and the benefits of insect-based food has been gaining some serious traction in recent years. Get ready for a quality snack, increased energy and mental clarity if you decide to give these a shot.
Exo protein bars are now available on some JetBlue flights.
Recommended Flavor: Peanut Butter and Jelly
Ingredients: Peanuts, strawberries, apricots, cricket flour, gluten-free oats, ground flaxseeds, puffed brown rice, honey, vanilla extract, sea salt.
Macrobar, made by GoMacro, contains minimal ingredients, is all organic and uses plant-based protein to provide you with a great, healthy travel snack option. They taste great: soft, sweet and chewy. The only downsides are they can be pricey and do not contain as much protein as the other bars listed here. Still, MacroBars are a great snack to bring on your next trip.
Recommended Flavor: Banana + Almond Butter
Ingredients: Organic brown rice syrup, organic almond butter, organic protein blend, organic bananas, organic puffed brown rice, organic sunflower seeds, organic walnuts, organic coconut sugar, organic cinnamon, organic natural banana flavor.
Quest Bars have some good things going for them. The list of ingredients is short, there’s no added sugar, they’re gluten free, and they taste good. There’s also a wide variety of flavors (over twenty that we know of), so if you don’t like one, there are plenty of others you might like or even fall in love with. Like RXBAR, Quest Bar has exploded in popularity in recent years thanks to clever marketing and heavy use of Instagram.
Recommended Flavors: Birthday Cake, Maple Waffle, and Peanut Butter Brownie Smash
Ingredients: Protein Blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Isolate), Soluble Corn Fiber, Water, Erythritol, Almonds, Palm Kernel Oil, Natural Flavors, contains less than 2% of the following: Sodium Caseinate, Sea Salt, Gum Arabic, Spirulina extract (color), Red Cabbage extract (color), Turmeric extract (color), Radish extract (color), Sucralose, Sunflower Lecithin.
Naked Bars by Naked Nutrition contain only seven ingredients that are sourced from real food and come in two flavors, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Almond. There’s 15 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, so you’ll have a snack that packs quality nutrition and tastes great when you’re traveling.
Recommended Flavor: Chocolate Almond
Ingredients: Almond Butter, Almond Flour, Grass-Fed Whey Protein, Cacao Powder, Brown Rice Syrup, Grape Juice Extract, Salt.
Packing healthy snacks will help you avoid making bad food decisions while you travel. It's half the battle in staying fit while traveling. Carefully check the ingredients. Remember that there should be ten or less listed and nothing that you don't recognize.
Cover photo by RXBAR.