Best Energy Bars for Runners – TOP 15 Power & Protein Bars of 2021

Jeff Baldelli
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When you’re running, it’s important that you’re able to get plenty of protein to keep your muscles in tip-top shape. It’s also important to eat the right foods to ensure that you have enough energy to get through the long runs.

Along with this, it’s important to eat real, filling foods with you run.

This way, you won’t be slowed down by stomach pains or cramping!

To help, we put together a list of the best energy bars for runners. This list is composed of the top 15 protein bars for runners that are both filling and easy to eat while you are on the go.

All of these protein bars are packed with protein and are great for long runs or as a pre-run snack.

I hope you enjoyed these lists! See you next time.

NameCategoryProduct
KIND BarsBest OverallKIND Bars
Bearded Brothers Vegan Organic Food BarBudget PickBearded Brothers Vegan Organic Food Bar
Perfect BarUpgrade PickPerfect Bar

1. KIND Bars

Our rating: 9 / 10

KIND Bars

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Pros:

  • Uniquely delicious taste of the roasted nuts and sea salt.
  • Low net carbs, no sugar added.
  • 15 grams of whole grains.
  • Gluten-free. Non-GMO. Kosher. While supplies last.

Cons:

  • Small bars, only 1.4 oz.
  • Some say their taste is not sweet enough and crunch too hard.
  • High fat content for some people.

This bar of high-quality ingredients is a consumer favorite. Perfect when you are on the go while you need some nourishment. The sweetened with honey and containing wheat, this bar is among the best bars in our present list.

They are the softest which will leave your mouth happy and wanting more.

Being a picky eater myself, I wear these in my pocket while I walk and eat them throughout the day. These are one of the healthiest snack bars I have ever tried.

2. PROBAR – Meal Bar

Our rating: 8 / 10

PROBAR - Meal Bar

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Pros:

  • Made from high-quality ingredients like coconut, cashews, buckwheat, chia, sunflower, quinoa, and hemp seeds
  • Healthy and natural ingredients lists
  • Moderate amount of sugar – lower than most other bars
  • Easy to digest. Contains both soluble and insoluble fiber

Cons:

  • A little on the expensive side
  • More fat sources than protein
  • Only 200 calories
  • More food bars available with different ingredients

This ProbBar meal bar is an absolute winner. You can tell it’s good quality just by looking at it. They’re very pretty and you can really taste the different types of seeds and nuts. The ingredients are natural seeds and nuts and kind of taste like trail mix.

You feel full and satiated. It’s a decent substitute for a meal replacement. It’s the best plant-based meal replacement bar I’ve ever tasted.

I feel energized after I’ve had it. It’s a convenient on-the-go snack when you need it. And yes, I will purchase them again.

3. The GFB Gluten Free Protein Bars

Our rating: 8 / 10

The GFB Gluten Free Protein Bars

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Pros:

  • Great taste
  • A good amount of protein
  • Low sugar content
  • Wheat free
  • Cholesterol free
  • Particularly good for endurance

Cons:

  • Some people experience digestive issues while using them. Gastric symptoms can be caused by whey protein.
  • Some people who are lactose intolerant will not be able to tolerate this protein bar because it does contain dairy.

This delicious gluten free protein bar is a power packed natural high protein, low sugar, fiber enriched, low glycemic, protein bar for a quick, healthy snack. They come in packages of twelve and can be ordered by the box.

They are developed for people who have gluten intolerance or intolerance to other foods such as milk, sweeteners, preservatives, and so forth and can be used by serious athletes and sportsmen and women as well.

They are delicious, and contain only two ingredients, pea protein and cashews. These are not genetically modified, GMO free, and are not sprayed with pesticides. They are gluten free, partially chemical free, lactose free, has no added sugar, soy free, Kosher certified and are kosher.

4. Bearded Brothers Vegan Organic Food Bar

Our rating: 7 / 10

Bearded Brothers Vegan Organic Food Bar

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Pros:

  • Made from a combination of sprouted seeds and grains, including sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin, flax seeds, garbanzo beans, and curcumin-rich turmeric root
  • Can be consumed by anyone who wants to increase their daily protein intake, from athletes to vegans
  • Do not have to be refrigerated
  • High in fiber, which helps to regulate digestion, reduce appetite, and enhance satiety
  • Free of the top 8 allergens, including soy, gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, and shellfish
  • Low in net carbs, with only 12 grams of net carbs per serving
  • Extremely high in protein, boasting an impressive 20 grams
  • Each bar comprises only 250 calories, making it easy to incorporate into any daily diet
  • The organic, gluten-free, and whole-food ingredients are perfect for promoting heart health
  • These bars are fantastic for weight loss because they also contain 164% of your daily recommended intake of fiber

12 x 2 Bar.

5. Larabar, Gluten Free Bar

Our rating: 7 / 10

Larabar, Gluten Free Bar

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Pros:

  • Gluten free and vegetarian friendly.
  • Made with organic ingredients.
  • USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified.
  • High in protein and fiber.
  • Delicious, creamy peanut butter flavor.

Cons:

  • Smaller size bars. Ingredients are peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  • Not as much peanut butter flavor as you might like.
  • Contains peanuts so may not be suitable for an allergy sufferer.

This gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO certified, USDA organic peanut butter and chocolate chip bar is having a moment.

These yummy peanut buttery goodness gluten-free treats with only 6 ingredients, are made with organic peanuts and organic chocolate chips (the milk in the chocolate chips are also organic). It’s all and complete organic bar, so this is a great option for anyone who wants a gluten-free, organic snack.

With only about 200-250 calories for each bar, they are not the most filling snack, however; the 6g of fiber and 12g of protein will keep you full and satisfied for hours. They’re also good for you as they are packed with vitamins and minerals.

6. Perfect Bar

Our rating: 7 / 10

Perfect Bar

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Pros:

  • Entirely organic, gluten-free, vegan, and raw protein bars with raw cacao coating.
  • Full of healthy fats and a complete source of protein.
  • Shaped and baked in small batches.
  • Free from sugar alcohols, soybeans, peanuts, gluten, dairy, dairy, and high fructose corn syrup.
  • All-natural, low glycemic, and non-GMO
  • Lactose-free, paleo, kosher, and non-GMO
  • Made with nine wholesome ingredients.
  • Does not contain added sugar.
  • Contains no soy or gluten.

Cons:

  • Might be an acquired flavor.
  • Perfect Bar Organic Peanut Butter protein bars are an organic, gluten, free, soy free, dairy free, kosher protein bar containing 9 organic ingredients.

It can be eaten as a meal replacement with 21 grams of raw, plant-based protein. It is available in many nutritious flavors, and is free from sugar alcohols, soybeans, peanuts, gluten, dairy, dairy, and high fructose corn syrup.

Perfect Bars are available in various packages.

7. Just Apples

Our rating: 7 / 10

Just Apples

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Pros:

  • Available in five flavors: Apple, Cherry, Fig, Peach, and Vanilla
  • Gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free
  • Net carbs less than five grams per bar
  • Includes probiotics to aid digestion and fight candida
  • Easy to find stores that sell the Just Apples

Our final pick in the best energy bars for runners category is the Just Apples four-nutrient combination pack. These bars have a very strong antioxidant profile and are USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO.

They contain no added sugar, no grains, and no yeast. The vanilla flavor is vegan, so you can also use these bars for pre-workout power needs. They are a little on the expensive side individually, so this set provides a great value for all the flavors.

These bars are also 100% supported by Just Apples who offers a lifetime guarantee on the sourcing, taste, and freshness of their products.

8. Oatmega Nutritional Chocolate Peanut Crisp Bar

Our rating: 7 / 10

Oatmega Nutritional Chocolate Peanut Crisp Bar

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Pros:

  • Grain free, gluten free, and sweetened with less sugar
  • Organic
  • High protein and fiber content
  • Contains healthy ingredients such as quinoa and coconut

Cons:

  • Contains more sugar than most products in this comparison
  • Some chemicals listed on the label
  • GMO ingredients
  • Too much sugar for some

The Oatmega bar’s appeal falls somewhere in between the granola-y and the chewy. That is, they’re not too sweet like the other “softer” granola bars. But they’re also not like the standard granola bar which is mroe tough and crunchy. This is actually the case with quite a few of the products in this comparison, too.

The Oatmega bar is made up of cereals and provides plenty of protein and fiber, plus it’s free of dairy and soy, too. There’s also a large amount of organic ingredients such as coconut, quinoa, and chia seeds, and it’s made without corn, gluten, or soy.

9. Skout Backcountry Organic Date and Pumpkin Seed Energy Bar

Our rating: 6 / 10

Skout Backcountry Organic Date and Pumpkin Seed Energy Bar

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Pros:

  • Just the right amount of carbs for an afternoon snack
  • No added sugar
  • Rather chewy and thick in texture, not crumbly or sandy in the mouth
  • The smell of pumpkin seeds is terrific

Cons:

  • Availability restricted to certain parts of the USA
  • Can be on the salty side
  • Pumpkin seeds have a tendency to separate into little clumps

From the makers of Skout's Jerky, Skout Backcountry Organic Date and Pumpkin Seed Energy Bar is the perfect pick for what is regards to the sorts of bars you can get for an afternoon snack when you're out running around in the wild.

Made from the perfect blend of ingredients that is easy on the stomach and has long-lasting energy, its great to keep in your backpack or even your pocket ahead of your run.

You can purchase these energy bars in many places, but we like to buy it from Amazon, as it comes with free shipping and you can get it delivered at your doorstep, plus, you can get a great deal as well.

10. CLIF MOJO

Our rating: 6 / 10

CLIF MOJO

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Pros:

  • Healthy and simple ingredients: organic rolled oats, organic peanut butter, organic banana chips, organic dried cherries, organic brown rice crisp, sea salt, chocolate chips.
  • Good flavor, salty mix of ingredients, good banana taste.
  • Better than a granola bar.
  • Simple ingredients.

Cons:

  • Not the tastiest, but that is something you get used to.
  • Not too sweet.
  • Small serving size.
  • The packaging is not simple to open.

This CLIF Mojo bar comes in many different flavors and is one of the best energy bars you can find on the market for runners. It’s tasty and simple and direct and delicious, but never too sweet. It’s a classic trail mix bar. It’s hearty and has a nice balance of flavors and textures.

It’s made with organic ingredients, including bananas that are pressed into the bar, and granola, honey, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips. The banana chips have a good banana flavor amongst the salty mix and granola and brown rice crisp flavors.

11. KIT'S Organic

Our rating: 6 / 10

KIT'S Organic

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Pros:

  • Organic, all natural
  • Made with organic and local ingredients
  • Sustainable business model
  • Very smooth texture
  • Healthy ingredients
  • Not a lot of sugar

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • May seem small in size

This is my favorite tasting single-serving chocolate bar. It’s super creamy and melts in your mouth. It is loaded with nuts, oats, and very moist dark chocolate.

My favorite flavors are the dark chocolate sea salt and the dark chocolate coconut. Absolutely delicious. This would be a great snack to take on a trip or to the movies or for a lunchbox.

It’s not organic, but it’s non-GMO, gluten free, and kosher. They are available in four other flavors – Cranberry Almond, Pumpkin Spice, Raspberry Coconut, and Maple Sea Salt.

12. Cacao Coconut Organic Nutrition Bar,1.8 oz

Our rating: 6 / 10

Cacao Coconut Organic Nutrition Bar,1.8 oz

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Pros:

  • All Organic
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-Free
  • 20% of your daily recommended fiber intake

The Cacao Coconut Bar is a unique choice for a protein bar. The main ingredients are Cacao, Coconut, and Chia seeds.

What’s in Cacao Coconut?

They list their ingredients as: organic cacao, organic coconut, organic chia seeds, organic raw agave syrup, organic brown rice syrup, organic tapioca syrup, organic cacao butter, organic hemp seeds, organic salt, organic evaporated cane juice, organic natural flavor (vanilla bean), and Himalayan sea salt.

13. Simple Squares Paleo Snacks

Our rating: 5 / 10

Simple Squares Paleo Snacks

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Pros:

  • Good taste
  • All natural
  • Good price
  • Good serving size
  • Delicious flavors

Cons:

  • Coconut taste is a little strong
  • Bars are a little “crumbly”
  • Some find these bars taste thin

Simple Squares are a terrific tasting, simple and all natural paleo snacks with no dairy. These all delicious tasting protein bars are completely gluten free, contain no GMO’s, and are made with only non-gmo ingredients.

The ingredients in Simple Squares Paleo snacks include: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Peanut Butter, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Draize Egg (Egg yolk powder), Organic Sunflower Oil, Sweetened Coconut, Organic Honey, Organic Flax Seeds, Sea Salt, Enzyme Amylase, Enzyme Protease, Enzyme Lactase, Enzyme Invertase, Natural Flavors, Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Vitamin E).

14. 22 Days Nutrition Organic Protein Bar

Our rating: 4 / 10

22 Days Nutrition Organic Protein Bar

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Pros:

  • 22Days Nutrition bars are made with vegans in mind. They are certified vegan and also gluten-free.
  • Each bar is packed with a whopping 15g of protein, but also has only 4 g of sugar.
  • The ingredients are simple and easy to read and understand. This is especially important when it comes to products that contain protein.
  • The bars contain probiotics.
  • Because they contain 22 g of protein each, it aids in building muscle and can have fantastic benefits for metabolism.

Cons:

  • Not all are created equal, some customers are not fans of the taste. A lot of the customers that were not fans of the taste recommended freezing the bars to alter the texture of the bar and the taste.
  • The price may be a bit high for some to stomach. Some consumers felt the dollar to nutritional value ratio was out of whack.
  • Some consumers were confused by the size of the bar. The bar is labeled as a snack level bar by 22Days Nutrition.

15. SoLo Gi Energy Bar Chocolate Charger Gluten Free Low Glycemic

Our rating: 4 / 10

SoLo Gi Energy Bar Chocolate Charger Gluten Free Low Glycemic

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Pros:

  • Clean ingredients
  • Good amount of fiber
  • Gluten-free
  • Low-glycemic and low fat
  • Great on the go snack
  • Chocolate taste is not artificial
  • Nuts and seeds add texture

Cons:

  • Many people complained that the taste was too bland
  • Too much fiber might cause gassiness
  • Measures only 3.5×1.75x.25 in
  • Chewy rather than crunchy

The SoLo Picnic Bars are very low in fat and high in plant-based protein. These bars are ideal for runners who are training and need a bar with no artificial ingredients and low glycemic levels.

It’s one of the lowest carb energy bars on the market with 6 grams of fiber and weighing in at only 130 calories.

They are chewy bars, but it is not unpleasant as they have a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds that add a nice nutty crunch and texture to the bar.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are protein bars good for runners?

Protein bars are great for runners. Many people do not understand that while protein bars are marketed towards bodybuilders and weight lifters, they can be an interesting and tasty addition for anyone looking for extra protein in their diets. Proteins are responsible for building up your physical body, and are the building blocks. A great source of proteins for a runner is found in protein bars.

Many times, if you are running for a long period of time, the only food in your belly is the last meal you ate. If you are like most of the runners out there, you are going to run right after work, and most of those that work will already have a full meal in their belly.

What are the best energy bars for runners?

Nowadays there are so many types of energy bars on the market that helping you pick the right one can be quite tough. There are many energy bars that are absolutely full of fats and sugars. Endurance athletes do not want that.

The best energy bars for runners should provide the right amount of carbs and proteins to keep the runner’s energy levels high along the way. These are the things that: Protein bars with vegetarian ingredients, more protein, less sugar and additives, low fat, no gluten, less sodium and more carbohydrates.

Reason for a good energy bar: You’re looking for healthy and nutritious food to power your running sessions. With an energy bar, you can satisfy your cravings and feed yourself when hungry. These healthy bars can also be a great snack food for any other time of the day.

Which energy bar is the healthiest?

Buy energy bars according to how much protein you need per bar. 20 grams is the minimum while 30 – 40 grams is the better maximum.

Buy energy bars according to the colors of food used. Choose brown or green ingredients.

Buy energy bars according to whole nuts. Avoid food bars with the nut juice only.

Buy energy bars according to the ingredients list number. 4 – 6 ingredients represent a safe choice.

Buy energy bars according to balanced nutrition. Check the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Buy energy bars according to the protein sources. Make sure you get chicken, fish or lean meat.

How long before a run should I eat an energy bar?

It is best to eat your energy bar 15 to 45 minutes before a run or endurance event. That gives you time to digest the bar before you begin running. Plus, you'll avoid cramps that sometimes occur if you eat something just before the event.

Conclusion

As a runner, do you also consume energy bars?

We are sure that you love to eat healthily, so that you will have enough energy to keep running.

It is so easy to get stuck in a rut of eating the same thing every day …some people use low fat yogurt, low fat ice cream, or bagels. These items may have less calories, but they can also be a less desirable alternatives nutritionally.

You may want to think outside the box – if you buy a low fat yogurt, you are barely getting any protein in your diet and worse you are only consuming a couple of grams of protein.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
KIND BarsBest OverallKIND Bars
Bearded Brothers Vegan Organic Food BarBudget PickBearded Brothers Vegan Organic Food Bar
Perfect BarUpgrade PickPerfect Bar