Protein bars are one of our favourite sources of convenient protein. You don’t need to be attempting to gain muscle to consume protein bars. In fact, protein is an essential macronutrient in our diet and increasing your intake can have a number of benefits. Whether you are on a bulking or cutting diet, consuming a high protein intake can keep you feeling fuller for longer. During this post, we take a look at the best low carb protein bars in the UK.
A protein bar is great to increase your protein at any time of the day. Unlike a shake, a bar can easily be packed into a bag and consumed on the go with minimal fuss. This makes them ideal for during work and various activities throughout the day. For those with a sweet tooth, the right flavoured protein bar can also satisfy this and keep you from snacking on unhealthy chocolate bars.
If you are following a keto or cutting diet for weight loss, maintaining low carbs is essential to keep within your macronutrient targets. Low carb diets reduce appetite and can often lead to greater weight loss. The difficulty is that many of our favourite foods are high in carbs, making it difficult to balance a low carb diet with satisfying cravings for food. Luckily, many sports supplement ranges are now featuring low carbohydrate alternatives which are ideal for increasing protein intake, without the excess carbs.
Until recently, we have found it difficult to find enough great-tasting protein bars. Many bars which tasted good would have poor macros and contain a high proportion of carbohydrates. In contrast, many protein bars with high protein to carb content would taste poor enough for us to not consume them again. But over the last few years, many new protein bars have become available which both taste great and are perfectly suited to a low carbohydrate diet.
Best low carb protein bars
With so many great choices now available, we take a look at the best low carb protein bars for 2020. The products below are our favourite choices and are not in any particular order.
When it comes to the gold standard in protein bars, we struggle to find anything better than these Carb Killa bars from Grenade. The Grenade brand has been around for a while now and produces a full range of sports supplements including pre-workout formula and protein supplements. Behind the brand is the mission to inspire everyone to get more out of life. While many of the other Grenade supplements are great, it’s the protein bars which really stand out.
Carb Killa bars are a triple layer protein bar which is coated in chocolate and also low in sugar. Each bar contains roughly 20g of protein, though this does vary which each flavour. There are plenty of great flavours to choose from including Birthday Cake and Fudge Brownie. Our favourite flavour is the White Chocolate Cookie. The reason Carb Killa bars are our favourite of the best low carb protein bars is due to the perfect balance of great taste and nutritional value. Each of the flavours tastes fantastic, with a solid nutritional value. These protein bars are widely available in a box of 12 which makes them great value.
For those who are regular visitors, you will know we are big fans of MyProtein supplements. The range includes a massive collection of sports supplements, as well as vitamins and even clothing. Everything can be purchased easily through the MyProtein website which makes shopping for multiple supplements extremely convenient. We have tried several MyProtein protein bars in the past and generally favoured bars from alternative brands, but Lean Protein Bars are an exception.
These lean protein bars are designed for those looking for a convenient snack to boost protein intake throughout the day. Each bar contains 18g of protein and is low in sugar with 11g of carbohydrates per serving. There are several great tasting flavours to pick from which are also high in fibre. The flavours include cookie dough and white chocolate & raspberry. A box of 12 bars can be purchased for £22.99 from the MyProtein website. MyProtein often has promotions on their website which means these can often be picked up as part of a promotion.
The PhD supplement brand produces many premium sports supplements including whey protein and a number of protein bars. They are perhaps most well-known for their diet whey protein powder which comes highly recommended. PhD sells directly from their website, as well as lots of online stores where many of the supplements can be found for a better price. Diet whey bars are a great choice for those looking for a low sugar protein bar to support weight loss goals. The delicious bar contains a soft velvety centre topped with protein crispies and a caramel layer. Each bar contains 20g of protein and at the same time is less than 200 calories. Many flavours are available including chocolate brownie and salted caramel. Whilst they can be purchased from the PhD website, we recommend buying from Discount Supplements where they can be found for £17.99 for a box of 12.
Bulk Powders produce an extensive range of supplements designed for a full range of goals. The massive collection can be purchased directly from the Bulk Powders website and includes many great high protein foods. We often use Bulk Powders supplements and find them to taste great, whilst also packing a punch. We love that Bulk Powders is extremely transparent with all the ingredients inside their supplements and you can find them all well documented for each product on the Bulk Powders website.
Macro Munch claims to be a revolutionary protein bar from Bulk Powders. Each bar contains a substantial 20g of protein and at the same time, less than 3g of sugar, ideal if you are following strict macros. The taste of these protein bars also comes highly recommended, with a great combination of flavours and texture. If you need to satisfy that sweet tooth, Macro Munch makes a great choice as some of the best low carb protein bars on the market. Flavours available include millionaires shortbread and birthday cake. These bars are available individually and in boxes of 12. They are regularly on promotion on the Bulk Powders website.
When it comes to muscle building, USN is the go-to choice for many for a great range of high protein supplements. The muscle fuel protein powder is one of the most popular on the market for great taste and nutritional value. We had previously not seen many protein bars from USN but these Trust Crunch bars have quickly become a popular favourite. Each bar is high in protein with up to 20g and also deliciously indulgent. The amount of sugar varies with each flavour and the cookies and cream flavour contains just 1.7g. Each bar is also high in fibre and makes a great alternative for sweet cravings. Multiple flavours are available including white chocolate cookie and cherry chocolate. Trust Crunch bars are stocked at many popular retailers online, where they can be purchased in a box of 12. We found them to commonly be available for £18.99 on most websites.
Benefits of a low carb diet
While low carbohydrate diets have sometimes been controversial, most agree that they can have a number of benefits. Some low carb diets can be extreme, such as the keto diet. But for most of us, just reducing our carb intake can provide benefits, without the need for too many restrictions. Some of our favourite benefits are listed below.
The hardest part of a diet is often the appetite and need to eat something, particularly when we have made a significant reduction in calories. Still feeling hungry is one of the top reasons for cracking when following a diet and can also make the process less enjoyable. But for those following a low carb diet, the benefit of a reduced appetite is often enjoyed. This leads to less snacking during the day and overall increased results.
There are multiple reasons for this reduction in appetite. Some evidence suggests it is due to the ketogenic effect on appetite-regulating hormones such as leptin and ghrelin. A major reason is due to the increased protein intake which naturally occurs when following a low carb diet. Fewer carbs lead to increased consumption of high protein food sources. Protein has an appetite reducing effect, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Therefore, consuming more protein leads to feeling fuller and therefore eating less and also cutting down on snacking between meals.
Increased initial weight loss
For many of us, our diet consists of a fairly high proportion of carbohydrates. So when we suddenly switch to a low carb diet, this can be a notable shock to the body which can see some effects fairly quickly. You may have heard of the term ‘water weight’ which is excess fluids held by the body. When we start a low carb diet, we quickly lose this water weight. This change gets rid of excess water in the body and also lowers insulin levels. The benefit is that you may see some fast results within the first few weeks of a new diet plan. This can be motivating and help improve your results on short-term diets. But be aware that this benefit is going to be less noticeable over a longer period of dieting and weight loss.
Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels
Ketogenic diets are often favoured by those with high blood sugar and diabetes. Those with high blood sugar have often been found to consume diets which are high in carbohydrates. This is usually due to an abundance of unhealthy foods which contain large amounts of sugar. Studies have found that cutting carbs can have a significant reduction on both blood sugar and insulin levels. This can potentially benefit those with type 2 diabetes. We always recommend speaking to a medical professional before consuming any new supplement. Especially if you have an underlying health condition.
Tips for maximising results with low carb protein bars
While protein bars contain a range of benefits, using these tips with the best low carb protein bars can maximise your results. If you are looking to burn fat or increase mass, protein bars can be used effectively for each.
Check the nutrients & calories
Before making a decision to consume any supplement, it’s key you know exactly what is inside. We often just presume all protein bars are healthy, but many can contain significant amounts of fat, whilst not actually containing that much protein. For a high-quality bar, we recommend over 15g of protein in every serving. This is the ideal amount to provide a boost in protein intake and reduce appetite. The protein inside of a protein bar can also come from different sources. This can be found when looking at the ingredients on the packaging. Whey protein is a fast-digesting form, whilst casein protein takes longer to digest and provides a steady supply. Some bars may also contain further vitamins and minerals to support overall health and energy release.
Know when to consume
We often find picking the best time to consume a protein bar can be difficult. Especially when they taste great, we often want to eat several of them every day. This is not the solution and will be leading to increased calorie intake. When building muscle, it is often thought to consume a protein bar after a workout. This can be a great source of protein, but remember the bars recommended in this post are low carb options. Your body is also craving carbs to support muscle growth after a workout, so just consuming a protein bar may not be the best solution without a good source of carbohydrates as well. We like to consume low carb protein bars during the morning to provide a protein boost, but the optimum time may vary depending on your schedule.
Find the best value
The price of supplements can soon add up. Especially if you are using multiple supplements, for example, whey protein, pre-workout formulas and protein bars. Per serving, we find protein bars to be one of the most expensive supplements on the market. The truth is that we are paying for their convenience. As a rough guide, we aim to purchase protein bars for less than £1.80 per serving. This can be easily achieved when shopping around and being prepared to purchase in advance. Most low carb protein bars are available in multi-pack boxes for good value. Using different supplement websites each time including Discount Supplements and Amazon means you can get the best price every time you purchase. We are a fan of Amazons subscribe and save feature which offers a low price for regular orders.
Overall, there is now an incredible amount of choice for the best low carb protein bars. Our favourites include Grenade Carb Killa and MyProtein Lean Protein Bars. With so many great options available, there’s no reason to settle for anything less than a great taste and good nutritional value. The benefits of low carb diets are well known, particularly for supporting improved weight loss. Protein bars can play a role in reducing appetite and maintaining a high protein diet.
We always recommend taking the time reading the nutritional value and ingredients inside each protein bar. It’s key to ensure the calorie count is reasonable and the number of carbohydrates is low. Some bars will contain different sources of protein which can have an effect on results. Which of the best low carb protein bars will you be using next? Let us know below.
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