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Cleanest Protein Bars: Top Picks

January 15, 2024
Cleanest Protein Bars: Top Picks

Hello there, snack-stronauts! 

Let's be honest; we've all picked up a protein bar, squinted at the label, and thought, “Should I need a Ph.D. in chemistry to understand this?” No, you shouldn’t! 

But one thing we can all agree on is that with so many options available, and each claiming to be the best, choosing the cleanest protein bar can be quite challenging. You might be wondering, “What makes a protein bar clean, anyway?”

Fret not! In this article, we’ve brought you 5 protein bars that not only pack a punch but are also clean & tasty. 

We're talking taste, texture, and all the other elements that make us want to dance with joy when we take a bite. Dive in! 

What Makes a Protein Bar “Clean”?

The cleanest protein bars are made with high-quality, natural ingredients. They typically have a short and simple ingredient list without artificial additives or preservatives.

These bars often contain a good balance of macronutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. They can be an excellent source of energy and help support muscle recovery after workouts.

Some clean protein bars may also include additional superfood ingredients like chia seeds or spirulina for added nutritional benefits. Many people find clean protein bars’ taste just as delicious as traditional ones, if not better!

It's important to read the nutrition label carefully to ensure the bar fits your dietary needs and preferences.

RAWR Organics Bar

Created by fitness fanatics Jake and Rachel Beaudry, Rawr Organics Bar is a powerhouse of plant-based protein packed with high-quality, organic ingredients that don’t skimp on flavor. 

It’s made with an exceptional blend of pea protein, nut or seed butter, raw coconut nectar, ground flaxseed, and dark chocolate, to name a few -  it's an ode to clean eating. And with 18-21g of protein per bar, it's a fuel source as stable as it gets.

Variety? They've got it covered. Flavors like Lemon Poppy, Dark Chocolate + Almond Butter, or the intriguing Birthday Cake offer a delightful smorgasbord of tastes. Plus, Rawr Organics Bars are not just all talk and no action. 

They're a social enterprise, with 10% of net proceeds going to feed starving children - making each bite not just tasty but meaningful too.

All in all, Rawr Organics Bar is a protein bar that doesn’t just keep you full and fuelled but also contributes to a greater cause. A tasty treat that's great for you, your taste buds, and the world!

Wild Zohra Meat and Veggie Bars

Wild Zora's Meat and Veggie Bars and Paleo Meals to Go offer an innovative and health-conscious approach to on-the-go food. Boasting an all-natural ethos and a focus on quality ingredients, Wild Zora is a beacon for those seeking gluten-free, paleo, and primal food alternatives. 

The Meat and Veggie bars are flavorful and devoid of the toughness commonly associated with jerky. However, their limited calorie content (130 calories at most) makes them unsuitable for sustained energy on multi-day trips. Their packaging also requires care to prevent spoiling. 

The Paleo Meals to Go, such as the Caldera Chicken Curry and Butte Cacao Banana, also provide a surprising burst of flavor. With 400 and 430 calories, respectively, these meals are satisfying, but their consistency may not appeal to everyone. 

One major caveat is the pricing. Wild Zora's meals range from $10.95 to $12.95 each, which might not be budget-friendly for some.


The PROBAR Meal Bars impress with their nutritionally packed formula and cater to a wide audience with an impressive variety of flavors. From 'Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip' to 'Blueberry Muffin,' there’s something for everyone! 

What stands out about these bars is their focus on whole, organic ingredients and plant-based proteins. The brand's commitment to health and sustainability shines through. The bars are vegan, dairy-free, and GMO-free, which meets the needs of health-conscious consumers and those with dietary restrictions. 

A single bar contains between 8 to 11 grams of protein and 5 to 6 grams of fiber and is priced at $39.99 for a 12-pack. This pricing seems fair considering the quality of ingredients and the fact that each bar is a meal replacement, not just a snack. 

RBar Energy and Protein Bars

If you’re looking for something simple with a moderate protein amount, this one’s for you. 

Each bar consists of only 3-6 ingredients, a rarity in the world of meal supplements. Despite this simplicity, the bars are packed with flavor and nutrients, giving a noticeable boost in energy without overloading you with calories or leaving a disagreeable aftertaste.

What's striking about these bars is their focus on natural, uncomplicated nutrition. The brand forgoes artificial additives and unnecessary ingredients in favor of whole foods like dates, nuts, and dried fruit. This commitment to pure and healthy nutrition is evident in every bite.

The chewy texture of the bars is another major draw. They offer a pleasing, dough-like consistency far removed from the chalky or rock-hard textures often associated with energy bars.

In terms of nutrition, these bars pack a punch with under 200 calories and 4 grams of protein per serving. They're also non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, which makes them a great option for athletes with dietary restrictions.

RXBAR Real Food Protein Bars

Nutritionally, an RXBAR has around 200 calories and features a good balance of macronutrients - 7g of fat, 25g of carbs, and 12g of protein. 

They are also a good source of fiber, iron, B vitamins, and magnesium, thus making them a suitable choice for a pre or post-workout snack, given the balanced carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. 

The bars don't contain any ultra-processed ingredients; instead, they are made from just a handful of simple, everyday ingredients. 

Dates serve as the primary ingredient, providing a healthy dose of carbohydrates, while egg whites offer a complete, high-quality protein source. The inclusion of natural flavorings and sea salt enhances the overall taste of the bars.

However, their high sugar content, although derived from natural sources, might be a concern for some individuals. Depending on the flavor, they also contain allergens like eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts. 

Note: If you follow specific dietary plans like keto or vegan, or if you're managing conditions such as FODMAP intolerance, you'll need to look elsewhere, as RXBARs may not fit into these dietary requirements.

Buyer’s Guide

Before making a final decision, evaluate your pick against the following points: 

  • Ingredients: Look for protein bars that have clean and natural ingredients, such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, and minimal added sugars or artificial additives.

  • Protein Source: Consider the type of protein used in the bar. Opt for bars that use high-quality sources like whey protein isolate or plant-based proteins like pea or hemp.

  • Sugar Content: Check the amount of sugar in the bar. Aim for options with low sugar content or those sweetened with natural alternatives like stevia or monk fruit extract.

  • Fiber Content: Look for protein bars that are also high in fiber to promote digestion and satiety. Choose options with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

  • Allergens: If you have any food allergies or sensitivities, make sure to check if the protein bar contains any common allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, or nuts.

  • Calorie Count: Consider the calorie content of the protein bar based on your dietary needs and goals. Some bars may be higher in calories than others due to additional ingredients like nuts or nut butter.

  • Taste and texture: While not directly related to cleanliness, it's important to find a protein bar that you enjoy eating. Read reviews or try different brands/flavors until you find one that suits your taste.

Avoid These Red Flags at All Costs

  • Carrageenan Warning: A common thickening agent that's linked to potential health risks. Considered “possibly carcinogenic” by International Agency for Research on Cancer, it may disrupt normal epithelial function and promote intestinal inflammation.


  • Say No to Sucralose: Commercially known as Splenda, this artificial sweetener alters the beneficial bacteria in our gut, which could lead to poor blood sugar control, inflammatory bowel disease, mood changes, and metabolism disruption.

  • Beware of Maltitol: Despite its lower caloric value and glycemic index, this sugar alcohol is not fully digested by our bodies, often leading to bloating, gas, and diarrhea. 

  • Avoid Processed Soy: While organic, unprocessed soy is nutrient-dense and healthy, processed soy often acts as a filler and may cause adverse reactions in many individuals.

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup Alert: This ingredient, frequently found in candy-like protein bars, is a major driver of inflammation and may lead to obesity, fatty liver, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Plus, it provides no essential nutrients, offering no health benefits.


Well, there you have it, our rundown on the cleanest protein bars. Now, before we conclude this epic snack adventure, here are some pro tips and hacks to amp up your protein bar experience. 

Remember, you can always use your protein bars as ingredients in your favorite dishes. Melted and mixed into a bowl of oatmeal, they make a perfect breakfast!

Sliced and chilled, they can be a refreshing, healthy dessert. And don’t forget the power of pairing - a glass of almond milk or a cup of your favorite coffee can be a protein bar's best buddy!

The Protein Bar Team

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