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7 Best Protein Bars For Women 2023, According To Dietitians

Kate Barrington

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

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Transparent Labs Uncut Wholefood Protein Bar

Transparent Labs Uncut Wholefood Protein Bar

  • Optimal macronutrient ratio for muscle growth
  • Naturally sweetened with organic honey
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO

QuestBar Double Chocolate Chunk

QuestBar Double Chocolate Chunk

  • Wide variety of unique flavors
  • Average 5 g net carbs or less per bar
  • Save 10% with a regular subscription

30% Off Coupon: NASM

Perfect Keto Bars

Perfect Keto Bars

  • Formulated for the keto diet
  • Naturally sweetened with stevia and monk fruit
  • Wide variety of tasty flavors

It’s no secret that men tend to weigh more than women, on average. Higher body weight equates to a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the daily number of calories you can consume without gaining weight. 

While it may seem so, caloric needs – and nutritional needs – are not significantly different between men and women. What it really comes down to is your body weight, muscle mass, and fitness goals.

If you’re trying to shed a few pounds or gain muscle, upping your protein intake above the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of .8 g/kg might help. For example, an athlete or older individual might need 1.2 g/kg of protein per day.

Incorporating more protein-rich foods into your diet can help you achieve these goals. If you’re worried about consuming too many calories, however, or if you simply can’t eat the necessary amount of food, you might consider shortcuts like protein shakes or bars. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss the potential benefits of protein bars and how to choose the right one. You’ll also see our recommendations for the seven best protein bars for women to lose weight or gain muscle.

Best Protein Bars For Women on the market in (May. 2023)

  • Transparent Labs Uncut Wholefood Protein Bar – Editor’s choice
  • QuestBar Double Chocolate Chunk – Best Flavor
  • Perfect Keto Bars – Best Keto
  • Health Warrior Honey Sea Salt Pumpkin Seed Bar – Best Low-Protein
  • Orgain Protein Snack Bar – Best Vegan
  • ALOHA Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Plant-Based Protein Bar – Best Organic
  • KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt – Healthy Snack Bar

What To Look For In The Healthiest Protein Bars?

There is no shortage of protein bars on the market. You can find them in the grocery store, online, or in health food stores. But what makes one protein bar different from another, and which one is the best choice for you? 

A healthy protein bar should: 

  • Contain a biologically valuable source of protein.
  • Be made with all-natural ingredients. 
  • Contain 10- 20 grams of protein per bar. 
  • Be made with only healthy fat sources with less than 3 grams (g) of saturated fat per serving.
  • Contain three grams of fiber or more per bar.
  • Be free from added sugars, especially sugar alcohol.

When evaluating the quality of a protein bar, you must review the list of ingredients. Look for a type of complete protein that your body can easily digest and utilize. Whey protein is a great option, but if you’re looking for a vegan protein bar, pea protein may be more appropriate. 

The amount of protein matters as well. Most bars contain somewhere between 10 and 40 grams of protein per serving. Something in the middle of that range might work if you’re trying to shed weight, while muscle gain may require a higher serving. If you’re just looking to supplement your protein intake, you can find bars with fewer than 10 grams of protein per serving. 

After checking the protein content, take a look at the other ingredients. Avoid bars that contain artificial ingredients or too much added sugar. Look for healthy fats (no trans fat) but consider the fat and calorie content if you’re trying to lose weight. If weight loss is your goal, you may also want to limit your carb intake with a bar containing 20 g or less per serving.

Protein bars come in a wide variety of flavors, so try to find the best-tasting protein bar according to your preferences. Some types of protein have a chalky taste, but avoid bars that contain an unnecessary amount of artificial flavoring or other unhealthy ingredients.

7 Best Protein Bars For Women in 2023

Transparent Labs Uncut Whole Food Protein Bar

With the optimal ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat these UNCUT bars are just what you need to fuel you throughout an intense muscle-building workout.

  • Optimal macronutrient ratio for muscle growth
  • Naturally sweetened with organic honey
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • Not dairy-free 
  • Only two flavors to choose from

UNCUT bars from Transparent Labs are uniquely designed to deliver energy and muscle-building protein. They contain a 2:1:1 ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat with higher calorie content than the average bar to fuel your gains. These bars also work well as a meal replacement.

These bars feature whey protein isolate as the primary protein source with other healthy ingredients like all-natural honey, coffee beans, and real chocolate chips. They contain nearly 20 g of added sugar per serving, but most of it comes from honey. These whey protein bars are completely free from artificial sweeteners. The American Heart Association[1] recommends that women get no more than 24 grams of sugar per day and men no more than 36 grams, so this bar has a fair amount of sugar in it.

Transparent Labs UNCUT bars are gluten-free and non-GMO, made with all whole food ingredients like roasted almonds and cocoa butter. Enjoy tasty flavors like Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Coffee. 

QuestBar Double Chocolate Chunk

QuestBar Double Chocolate Chunk for Women


30% Off Coupon: NASM

See QuestBar Nutrition Reviews

Eating the same bars day after day gets boring pretty quickly, so why not choose a brand that offers plenty of variety? QuestBar is the perfect pick.

  • Wide variety of unique flavors
  • Average 5 g net carbs or less per bar
  • Save 10% with a regular subscription
  • Fairly pricey
  • Not dairy-free or vegan

Packed with protein from milk protein isolate and whey protein isolate, Quest Bars are a moderate-calorie, high-fiber option. These bars contain an average of 20 g of protein per serving and generally fewer than 200 calories. 

Quest Bars come in an impressive variety of flavors, including classics like Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, try Birthday Cake or Blueberry Muffin. 

These bars can be a little pricey, but you’ll save 10% when you subscribe for regular deliveries. If you follow the ketogenic diet, you’ll be glad to know that these bars are also low in net carbs. Most bars contain 5 g or fewer net carbs per serving.

Perfect Keto Bars

The keto diet is one of the most popular diets out there, but it can be tricky to follow. Perfect Keto Bars will help you keep your macronutrient ratios in balance.

  • Formulated for the keto diet
  • Naturally sweetened with stevia and monk fruit
  • Wide variety of tasty flavors
  • Fairly expensive 
  • Contains tree nuts and coconut
  • Made from collagen; lacks essential amino acids

Perfect for the ketogenic diet and one of the best-tasting protein bars out there. Perfect Keto Bars contain just 3 g of net carbs with no added sugar or sugar alcohols. They’re free from fillers and artificial additives as well, so you can feel good about enjoying them. 

Perfect Keto Bars come in a variety of flavors, including Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Banana Bread, and Cinnamon Roll. Each bar contains 13 g of protein derived from grass-fed collagen. These bars are naturally sweetened with stevia extract and monk fruit extract with other healthy ingredients like coconut oil and MCT oil powder. It might be noted that collagen is not a complete protein and therefore does not contain all of the essential amino acids necessary for muscle synthesis and protein metabolism.

These bars are a little pricey, but you can save 20% on your order when you sign up for a regular delivery every 30, 45, or 90 days. Simply put, if you’re looking for low-sugar protein bars, these are a great option.

Health Warrior Honey Sea Salt Pumpkin Seed Bar

If you’re tired of the typical flavors, Health Warrior protein bars may be right up your alley. They come in tasty fruit flavors packed with fiber-rich chia seeds.

  • Low in calories and fat
  • Rich in dietary fiber and wholesome grains
  • Made with healthy chia-based protein
  • Protein content may not be high enough for some
  • Contains almonds, cashews, and coconut

Whether you’re allergic to dairy or follow a vegan diet, Health Warrior bars are a great choice. These bars are naturally sweetened with brown rice syrup and packed with wholesome ingredients like white chia seeds and whole grains. 

Health Warrior chia bars are a particularly appropriate choice if you’re looking for something more like a nutrition bar and less like a traditional protein bar. They contain about 3 grams of protein per bar with only 100 calories. Each bar has roughly 5 grams of dietary fiber and 16 grams of total carbohydrate. 

These protein bars contain just 3 grams of sugar per bar, much lower than other protein bars. They do contain almond, cashew, and coconut ingredients, but they’re made with natural flavors and no unhealthy ingredients.

Orgain Protein Snack Bar

Protein bars made with whey protein isolate aren’t appropriate for a vegan diet. Orgain protein bars are free from animal products, and they taste great.

  • Made with organic plant proteins
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic and made with ingredients that have no genetically modified ingredients (non-GMO)
  • Half a dozen flavors to choose from
  • Contains tree nuts (almonds)
  • May not contain enough protein for muscle gain

If you don’t need a high protein bar, Orgain bars might be the perfect pick. With 10 grams of protein per serving, they’re great as snack bars while also contributing to your daily protein intake. 

Orgain bars are gluten-free and vegan. They’re made with organic brown rice protein, organ pea protein, and organic ground chia seeds. These bars come in half a dozen flavors that taste just like a candy bar without so much sugar. Try the classic Chocolate Brownie or indulge in Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. 

While Orgain bars are vegan and gluten-free, they do contain tree nuts (almonds). They’re also fairly low in calories and protein, so they may not be the best choice if you’re trying to gain weight or build muscle.

ALOHA Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Plant-Based Protein Bar

If you really care about what you put in your body, you may want to consider going organic. ALOHA protein bars are made from plant-based protein and are USDA-certified organic.

  • Made with plant-based proteins
  • Completely USDA certified
  • Rich in dietary fiber for satiety
  • Not appropriate for peanut allergies
  • May not be ideal for a low carb diet

Whether you’re vegan or simply concerned about your impact on the environment, it’s worth considering a plant-based protein bar. ALOHA bars are all organic and made with plant proteins like brown rice protein and organic pumpkin seeds. 

ALOHA bars are a healthy snack and a great way to boost your protein intake with 14 grams per serving. They’re rich in dietary fiber and wholesome carbohydrates to help keep you full until your next meal, and they come in a wide range of tasty flavors. 

These protein bars are free from artificial sweeteners, but they do contain peanuts, so be mindful if you have a peanut allergy. 

KIND Bars Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt

When you just need to add a few extra grams of protein to your diet, a KIND protein bar may be just what you need.

  • Moderate source of healthy protein
  • Rich in fiber to promote satiety 
  • All bars are gluten-free
  • Bars contain peanuts, almond, and soy
  • Contains some added sugar

High protein bars may not be appropriate if you already consume plenty of protein in your daily diet. In this case, a bar that contains 12 grams of protein might be just right. KIND bars are made with plant protein, and they have a satisfying crunch. 

Modeled after the classic granola bar, KIND bars are packed with healthy ingredients like nuts and plant protein. They come in plenty of tasty flavors like Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate, Caramel Nut, and Crunchy Peanut Butter. All KIND bars are gluten-free, low glycemic, and free from trans fat. 

KIND bars are a good source of protein and fiber, but they’re also very filling. Keep in mind that they do contain peanuts, almonds, and soy.

How To Choose The Best Protein Bars For Women?

We’ve already discussed some of the general features to look for in a healthy protein bar, but what about a protein bar specifically for women? 

Again, men and women don’t have drastically different protein requirements based on gender alone. That being said, there is some evidence to suggest that women are more responsive to increased dietary protein intake than men. 

A 2018 study[2] published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition Exercise and Metabolism tested the impact of high versus low protein intake on women engaged in an 8-week resistance training program. The study revealed that a high-protein diet (even with the consumption of an additional 400 calories per day) resulted in greater improvement in lean body mass than a low-protein diet. 

What it really comes down to is determining your individual protein requirement based on your fitness goals and finding a protein bar that contains enough grams of protein per serving to help you fulfill that requirement.

If you’re following a specific diet, look for a protein bar that fits those requirements. The keto diet, for example, requires very low carbohydrate intake, so you’ll need to find a protein bar that works well for a low-carb diet. If you have allergies, you may need to find a gluten-free or dairy-free bar. 

Final Thought

Whether losing weight or muscle building is your goal, increasing your dietary protein intake can help. If protein powder isn’t your style, a protein bar might be more appropriate. These bars come in plenty of delicious flavors, made with plant protein, egg whites, or whey protein to fit your dietary preferences. 

Remember that the best protein bars will be made from wholesome ingredients with an appropriate number of grams of protein per serving to meet your needs. These bars can also double as nutrition bars, as they are often supplemented with calcium, potassium, and other essential nutrients. 

If you’re looking for a high-quality protein bar you can trust, check out our top sevenrecommendations from the list above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are protein bars worth buying?

It depends on your fitness goals. Increasing your protein intake by eating protein bars may help if you’re trying to gain lean muscle mass. If weight loss is your goal, however, you’ll want to watch your total caloric intake.

Can I use protein bars as a meal replacement?

They can certainly be used that way. These bars work particularly well as a replacement for breakfast, but be sure to eat something balanced for your next meal. Low-calorie protein bars are a great meal replacement if you want to lose weight.

Can protein bars help women to lose weight?

While not specifically proven to induce weight loss, a protein-packed bar combined with regular exercise may help you shed fat and gain lean muscle.

What should I look for in a good protein bar for women?

The best protein bar for women is one that contains a high-quality protein source without unnecessary amounts of added sugar, carbohydrate, or calories. Look for ingredients derived from whole foods with low sugar and moderate fiber content.

+ 2 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. The Nutrition Source. (2013). Added Sugar. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/added-sugar-in-the-diet/#:~:text=The%20AHA%20suggests%20an%20added,comes%20from%20eating%20added%20sugar..
  2. ‌Campbell, B.I., Aguilar, D., Conlin, L., Vargas, A., Schoenfeld, B.J., Corson, A., Gai, C., Best, S., Galvan, E. and Couvillion, K. (2018). Effects of High Versus Low Protein Intake on Body Composition and Maximal Strength in Aspiring Female Physique Athletes Engaging in an 8-Week Resistance Training Program. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, [online] 28(6), pp.580–585. Available at: https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijsnem/28/6/article-p580.xml.
Kate Barrington

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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