protein snack

Protein Bars, Bites and More

Need something for energy? Or to carry you through the afternoon? These healthy snacks are chock-full of protein to keep you full longer.

By Rebecca Heaton

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How Much Protein Do You Need?

The USDA recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is specific to both your age and gender. In general, adult women need 46 grams/day, and adult men need 56 grams/day. Here’s how to calculate your specific RDA:

  1. Weigh yourself.
  2. Convert your weight from pounds to kilograms. There are 2.2 pounds per 1 kilogram. So if you weigh 150, divide 150 by 2.2 to get 68 kilograms. (Or type “pounds to kg” into your search engine, and use the conversion calculator that pops up.)
  3. The RDA is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Endurance athletes such as runners and cyclists require 1.2–1.4 g/kg, while strength-training athletes need 1.6–1.7 g/kg.
  4. So if you weigh 68 kilograms, your RDA is 54.4 grams/day. If you are active, you’ll need more.

Here are some of our favorite snacks, each with a healthy dose of protein.

Turkey Perky Jerky – More Than Just Original

A peppery, subtly sweet soy-sauce marinade flavors this tender, all-natural turkey jerky, free of nitrites and preservatives. A nutrition plus: It’s low in calories and fat.

Our reviewers say: “Really like that this is practically fat-free; I could eat a lot.”

SERVING: 1 ounce | Calories: 80 | Fat: 0.5g | Sugars: 7g | Sodium: 350mg | Fiber 0g | Protein: 10g


GoMacro Macrobar – Protein Purity Sunflower Butter + Chocolate

Certified-organic, raw and gluten-free, this bar is full of flavors, from sunflower-seed butter to sprouted flax, natural vanilla, cinnamon, a sprouted brown rice and pea protein blend, and chunks of organic fair-trade chocolate.

Our reviewers say: “Love the flavors and texture; so many healthy ingredients.”

SERVING: 1 bar | Calories: 260 | Fat: 8g | Sugars: 9g | Sodium: 80mg | Fiber 3g | Protein: 10g

Wilde Boldr – Maple Bacon Blueberry

Made with slow-roasted, humanely sourced free-range turkey, plus a blend of quinoa, chia, flaxseed, maple syrup, natural hickory flavor and dried blueberries. This bar is paleo-friendly, and nut-, dairy-, soy- and gluten-free.

Our reviewers say: “Nice texture, not greasy. Like the flavor combination.”

SERVING: 1 bar | Calories: 130 | Fat: 5g | Sugars: 6g | Sodium: 290mg | Fiber 1g | Protein: 10g

Simple Truth Protein Bar – Peanut Butter Extreme

With a peanut butter coating on the outside, this bar gets even more protein from a blend of soy, whey and milk, plus almond meal. That explains the whopping 40-plus percent daily requirement of protein in just one bar.

Our reviewers say: “Dense and filling; good energy bar option.”

SERVING: 1 bar | Calories: 210 | Fat: 8g | Sugars: 7g | Sodium: 125mg | Fiber 1g | Protein: 21g

ThinkThin Protein Bites – Chocolate Almond Brownie

Coated in dark chocolate, a serving of these tasty, little non-GMO and gluten-free bites packs serious nutrition, with 20 percent of your daily needs for fiber and magnesium, and 10 percent for vitamins A and C, plus several B vitamins.

Our reviewers say: “Like the small-bite option versus a full bar.”

SERVING: 8 pieces | Calories: 170 | Fat: 8g | Sugars: 7g | Sodium: 160mg | Fiber: 5g | Protein: 10g

Zing Nutrition Bar – Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter

Free of soy and gluten and developed by a team of registered dietitians, this non-GMO vegan bar is reminiscent of peanut butter cups, minus the sugar and fat, and double the protein from a whey protein blend.

Our reviewers say: “Rich and chewy, with little crisps in every bite.”

SERVING: 1 bar| Calories: 210 | Fat: 10g | Sugars: 15g | Sodium: 150mg | Fiber 5g | Protein: 13g

Kind – Sweet & Spicy Chipotle Honey Mustard Almond Bar

Full of almonds and seeds (pumpkin and hemp), this savory bar gets an added protein boost from pea protein. Spiced with a blend of salt, onion, chipotle, ancho chili, garlic, mustard, turmeric and paprika. Non-GMO, and gluten-, soy- and whey-free.

Our reviewers say: “Nice spicy flavor.”

SERVING: 1 bar| Calories: 230 | Fat: 16g | Sugars: 6g | Sodium: 115mg | Fiber 3g | Protein: 10g

Clif Bar – Sierra Trail Mix

Simply put, this is trail mix in a bar form. Made with 70 percent organic ingredients, this bar gets its chew and crunch from rolled oats, raisins, peanuts, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds. The chocolate bits come from Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa.

Our reviewers say: “A go-to snack for walks or bike rides.”

SERVING: 1 bar| Calories: 260 | Fat: 8g | Sugars: 22g | Sodium: 220mg | Fiber 4g | Protein: 10g


Lärabar – Cashew Cookie

You’ll find just two ingredients in this bar: cashews and dates. Vegan, non-GMO, and soy-, dairy- and gluten-free, it provides protein plus other daily needs, including 25 percent copper, 20 percent magnesium, 15 percent phosphorus and 10 percent iron.

Our reviewers say: “Moist and creamy texture; can’t believe it’s made with only two ingredients!”

SERVING: 1 bar| Calories: 230 | Fat: 13g | Sugars: 18g | Sodium: 5mg | Fiber 3g | Protein: 6g

Epic Bar – Chicken Sriracha

A blend of sea salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, paprika, onion, cumin and oregano give this snack—made with 100 percent naturally raised chicken—its kick. Chia seeds add a bit of nutty taste and crunch. Gluten-free and paleo-friendly.

Our reviewers say: “A nice option from dry, chewy meat jerky.”

SERVING: 1 bar| Calories: 100 | Fat: 4g | Sugars: 0g | Sodium: 290mg | Fiber 0g | Protein: 15g

ThinkThin High Protein Bar – Creamy Peanut Butter

Coated in rich milk chocolate, this gluten- and sugar-free bar gets its protein from a soy and whey blend. The sweetness, which comes from maltitol, a sugar alcohol, is balanced out with a touch of sea salt.

Our reviewers say: “Rich and filling.”

SERVING: 1 bar| Calories: 240 | Fat: 9g | Sugars: 0g | Sodium: 300mg | Fiber 1g | Protein: 20g

Quest Bar Protein Bar – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Gluten- and soy-free with no added sugar, this bar is sweetened with stevia to keep the calories down. It also offers 56 percent of your daily fiber. Pop one in the microwave for a few seconds, and enjoy a warm “cookie.”

Our reviewers say: “Filling. Satisfied my sweet tooth without the sugar.”

SERVING: 1 bar| Calories: 190 | Fat: 9g | Sugars: 0g | Sodium: 210mg | Fiber 14g | Protein: 21g


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