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Have you have ever wondered which is the best energy bar? The answer is the best choice is the product that pleases your taste buds and settles well in your stomach. You simply need to experiment to determine which products (if any) work best for your body.


A multitude of businesses have jumped on the bandwagon to create sports foods that appeal to a variety of athletes, including those with special diets (such as gluten-free or vegan) and athletes who are just plain hungry and want a “healthier” cookie (most energy bars!).


While busy athletes enjoy the ease of using pre-wrapped sports foods, these commercial products tend to be more about convenience than necessity. Certainly, there is a time and place for these products, but “real” food can do the same job at a lower price. Please don’t underestimate the power of peanut butter, bananas, and honey!


Below is an extensive (but incomplete) list of various types of energy bars. Perhaps the information will help you untangle the jungle of choices.


ENERGY BARS (for extra energy, not a meal replacement):

All natural/organic ((have no added vitamins or minerals):

Clif Nectar, Clif Mojo, Lara Bar, Optimum, Honey Bar, Odwalla Bar, PowerBar Nut Naturals, KIND Bars, Zing Bars, NRG-Bar, Honey Stinger Bars, Kashi Bars, Peak Energy, Perfect 10, Gnu Bar, Raw Revolution Bar, Olympic Granola Bar, Pure Bar, Pro bar, Sun Valley Bar, Bonk Breaker Energy Bar


Caffeine-containing bar: Peak Energy Plus


Dairy-free: Clif Nectar, Clif Builder's, Olympic Granola, Pure, Bonk Breaker Energy Bar, Gnu Bar, Fit, Perfect 10, Larabar, AllerEnergy Bar, Soy Rocks Bar


Grocery store options: Nature Valley Granola Bar, Nutri-Grain Bar, Quaker Chewy Bars,  Fig Newtons


Fructose-free:  JayBar


Gluten-free: Perfect 10, Hammer Bar, EnvirKids Rice Cereal Bar; Omega Smart Bars, Extend Bar Delight, Zing Bar, BoraBora Bar, Wings of Nature Bar, Elev8Me. Wheat-free but may not be gluten free (due to cross-contamination with wheat products in the manufacturing plant): Larabar, Odwalla Bar, Clif Nectar, Clif Builder, Bonk Breaker


Kosher: Pure Fit, Larabar, Extend Bar, Balance Bar, HoneyBar


Meal replacement bar (with 10-15 g protein): Kashi Go Lean Bar, MetRx Mr. Big, MetRx Big 100 Colossal, Balance Satisfaction


Nut-free: AllerEnergy Bars, Metaballs


Peanut-free: Soy Rocks, AllerEnergy bar, Larabar


Protein bars (soy, whey, egg, or blended protein source):

PowerBar ProteinPlus, EAS Myoplex Delux, High 5 Protein Bar, Maximuscle Promax Meal, Tri-O-Plex, Clif Builder's Bar, Detour Bar, Honey Stinger Protein Bar, Pure Protein


Raw food: Raw Revolution, Pure Bar


Recovery bar (4:1 carb:pro ratio): PowerBar Performance


Soy-free: Larabar, Perfect 10, Clif Nectar, KIND Bar, Bumble, Gnu Bar, Raw Bar, Zing

Bar, NRG-Bar, AllerEnergy Bar


Vegan: Pure Fit Bar, Larabar, Hammer Bar, Clif Builder's Bar, Pro Bar, Vega Whole Food Raw Energy Bar, Perfect 10, Soy Rocks Bar


Vitamin+protein-filled candy bar: Marathon Bar, Detour Bar


Women's bars (fewer calories; soy, calcium, iron, folic acid):

PowerBar Pria, Amino Vital Fit, Luna Bar, Balance Oasis   


40-30-30 Bars: Balance Bar, ZonePerfect

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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

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