Best Energy Bars for Runners – TOP 15 Power & Protein Bars of 2019

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You run for miles and you start to feel low on energy. The best energy bars for runners are here to help.

But are these energy bars for runners really good?

There is no doubt that running impacts your body more than you would expect. If you are a long distance runner, you know that your entire body can suffer when you don’t eat right.

Even more:

Low levels of energy can actually impact your mental state as well. You might not be as motivated to continue running when you lack the boost you need.

But you cannot eat a sandwich while running. You can also carry only small items in most pockets. It is why good energy bars for runners is hard to match.

protein bars

Your Guide to The Best Energy Bars for Runners

Energy bars need to be quick to absorb. They also need to give you energy. It is why they come with higher amounts of carbohydrates than regular protein bars.

But the quality of the ingredients is just as important as their source and quantity.

So what can you expect in an energy bar?

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the quickest source of energy for your body. Runners know the struggle they have when it comes to keeping their bodies in good shape.

Long distance runners suffer the most. They burn the glucose in the blood which comes from carbs and they can also burn muscle as a result of no more energy.

However…

Not all carbs are created equal. An organic source of carbs such as oatmeal can be a great source of instant energy.

They are quick to digest and they can keep you going when you don’t really feel like running anymore.

Cashew Nuts

Protein

When you need the best energy bars for runners, you will often find protein among the most important ingredients.

Protein comes from different sources and it can be one of the ingredients which keep you full for longer.

But protein also prevents muscle breakdown and it can be one of the nutrients which are prioritized by runners.

Protein bars have never been so popular and it is not all about marketing when it comes to running nutrition.

Research on the Importance of Protein for Runners

A 2016 study shows that protein is crucial for runners, especially those who run considerable distances.

While the amount of required daily protein varies from person to person and from male to female runners, it is clear that it cannot be replaced.

Fats

Certain healthy fats are recommended for runners. If you are running multiple times per week, healthy fats can help balance hormone levels.

At the same time, the fats can be recommended when it comes to joint health and mobility, which is considerably impacted while running.

Good sources of fat include avocado, salmon or various nuts and seeds. It is why you will often see these foods in energy bars or protein bars.

Minerals

Often forgotten by the beginner runner, minerals are crucial for your body. They are often added to energy bars and while they do not increase energy directly, they play a role in supporting proper muscle biomechanics.

Minerals can be found in various foods. It is why you should also ensure you actually adhere to a healthy diet which is balanced and which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Fiber

Most energy bars also include fiber. It helps your digestive system work at normal parameters and it also plays a role in keeping you full for longer.

Certain bars such as those made with oats are particularly high in fiber.

So if you are a fan of running after a quick snack, such a protein bar can be a great solution to keep food cravings away.

Bowl of cereal

Sugar

Lastly, sugar is one of the much-debated topics around energy bars. There are many types of sugar which can be used in these bars.

Natural sugars can be a good source of energy. It is why bars made with cashews or other fruit can come with an added sugar boost, which improves your energy output.

15 Best Energy Bars for Runners – The Top Picks Only

Now that you know energy bars can help, you might be thinking about the best power bars for runners. There are hundreds of options on the market.

But which is the best?

One way to see which energy bars you like the most is to simply try multiple products. You can assess how you feel after a few days. You can start with the following products:

Larabar Gluten Free Bar

Review: Made with dates, peanuts, and chocolate chips, the bar is recommended for its small number of ingredients. But it comes with 210 calories per bar. It is enough to keep you running for longer.

At the same time, it contains 12 grams of fats which can be used for energy. The bar also comes with protein and 23 grams of carbohydrates which is a perfect bar for runners.

Pros

  • 23 grams of carbs.
  • Contains Fair Trade Certified chocolate chips.
  • Sodium and potassium.

Cons

  • Only 5 grams of protein.

Takeaway

The bars are one of the best nutrition bars for runners, specifically long-distance runners due to their high carbs content.

Oatmega Nutritional Chocolate Peanut Crisp Bar with Protein

Review: Made with grass-fed whey protein, the bar is among the recommended products for active people. Runners can consider it for its organic ingredients such as the tapioca syrup or the organic sunflower oil.

These ingredients are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids.

But each bar comes with 14 grams of protein and with 21 grams of carbs and it represents a real solution if you need more energy or if you simply want to boost your daily protein intake.

Pros

  • Organic ingredients.
  • Made with grass-fed whey protein.
  • Includes Omega 3 fatty acids.

Cons

  • Not the highest in protein.

Takeaway

If you want the best energy protein bars for runners, the bars are right for you as they only use grass-fed whey.

Cliff KIT’s Organic Fruit and Nut Bar

Review: Made with dark chocolate and almonds, the bar is one of the most delicious treats you can consider on the days you run and even on rest days.

With an impressive 25 grams of carbs, you should, however, be active on rest days as it can be high in calories.

The bar is not high in protein and it is why it should not be compared to protein bars, as its name suggests. With low amounts of sodium and iron, the bar is recommended for proper muscle function.

Pros

  • 25 grams of carbs.
  • Tasty dark chocolate aroma.
  • A small number of ingredients.

Cons

  • Low on protein.

Takeaway

If you have a sweet tooth, the dark chocolate aroma of the bars might make you addicted to these products.

KIND Bars Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt

Review: These simple bars represent one of the simplest and healthiest solutions you can consider. Available in packs of 12, the bars are also budget-friendly.

At the same time, they are low on trans fats which make them a recommended solution for a low-calorie intake.

They are made following a simple recipe. Using Brazilian nuts, the bars are sprinkled with sea salt and they are then glazed with dark chocolate.

The simple taste makes them an attractive solution for many runners and active people.

Pros

  • Best-seller from KIND Bars.
  • Simple recipe.
  • Low on trans fats.

Cons

  • May lead to water retention.

Takeaway

These will be one of the best protein bars for runners if you’re looking for simple products as they come with a small number of ingredients.

Clif Mojo Sweet and Salty Bars

Review: Made with peanut butter and pretzels, the bars are a simple solution for people with a sweet tooth. They come with 9 grams of protein and they can be recommended for runners.

Made with no-GMO ingredients, they can also be consumed in the long-term with no side effects.

However, they come with plenty of other sweeteners which might not make them the best solution if you don’t like sugar.

On the other hand, these ingredients can provide a good source of energy and you can consume the bar prior to running for that extra motivation and boost of energy.

Pros

  • 9 grams of protein.
  • Non-GMO ingredients.
  • Easy on the stomach.

Cons

  • Not the most delicious bar.

Takeaway

The Mojo is recommended for runners who want extra energy with some protein for muscle nutrition.

SoLo Gi Energy Bar Chocolate Charger

Review: If you are looking for a low glycemic index bar, the Gy Energy solution form SoLo represents an interesting option. It is made with mostly natural ingredients and it can be among the solutions which you consider for a boost of energy.

There are 11 grams of protein and 26 grams of carbs in each bar. Comparing it to the average bar, it comes with a higher amount of protein while maintaining high levels of carbs.

It can be considered by serious runners who want to supplement their diet with extra nutrition on the go.

Pros

  • Comes with vitamins.
  • Includes minerals.
  • High in protein.

Cons

  • Taste can be improved.

Takeaway

The bars are recommended for their higher protein content compared to what you can find on the market.

Perfect Bar Mini Bars

Review: A quick healthy snack is hard to match. If you want a tasty peanut solution, the Mini Bars come with a combination of 20 other superfoods for extra energy.

You also need to take into account that their size is considerably smaller when compared to a normal protein or energy bar. It is why each Mini Bar comes with 5 grams of protein.

But the caloric index is still quite high. With 100 calories per Mini Bar, it is a solution for a quick source of energy.

Pros

  • 5 grams of protein.
  • 100 calories per bar.
  • Made with 20 superfoods.

Cons

  • Not the most affordable.

Takeaway

If you are always counting calories when you want to lose weight, these bars are recommended for you.

The GFB Gluten Free Protein Bar

Review: So you’re a vegan. You’re unsure on the types of energy bars you can eat. GFB offers the perfect solution.

With 12 grams of protein per bar, it is among the most interesting solutions when it comes to gluten-free bars. With all plant-based ingredients, each bar also comes with 4 grams of fiber which makes it a tempting option to keep food cravings away.

Pros

  • Gluten-free formulation.
  • Plant-based ingredients.
  • 12 grams of protein.

Cons

  • Taste is debatable.

Takeaway

With 12 grams of protein per bar, this tasty solution is a go-to option as one of the best energy bars for marathon runners.

Skout Organic Energy Bar

Review: With 150 calories per bar, the product is not among the solutions which can get you fat quickly. The ingredients include organic dates, peanuts, and organic pumpkin seeds.

If you are a long-distance runner, they are even among the products which are the easiest for your body to absorb, especially with all the organic ingredients the bars come with.

Pros

  • Only 150 calories.
  • Made with organic ingredients.
  • Contains pumpkin seeds.

Cons

  • 18g natural sugars.

Takeaway

Some runners are obsessed with organic foods. If this is your case, the bar is perfect for you.

ProBar Meal Bar

Review: The bars are a little larger than what you might expect. Each bar with its 85 grams comes with an impressive 360 calories. The high number of calories recommends these bars for the serious runners.

At the same time, they are among the solutions which work best when it comes to ingredient quality, as they are gluten-free. Each bar comes with 9 grams of protein.

Pros

  • Gluten-free formulation.
  • 9 grams of protein.
  • High-quality ingredients.

Cons

  • High in calories for some runners.

Takeaway

It goes without saying that at 360 calories, these bars are definitely the best protein bars for runners who are trying to gain weight.

22 Days Nutrition Organic Protein Bar

Review: Based on plant protein, the protein bar can be a great solution for all types of runners. With 150 calories per serving, it represents a solution which is up to date in terms of nutritional value.

There are 9 grams of fiber in each bar and 4 grams of sugar. Based on organic brown rice protein, the bar can be a great solution for those who do not want a bar with whey protein.

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly.
  • Only 150 calories.
  • 9 grams of protein.

Cons

  • Low on carbs for some runners.

Takeaway

Vegan runners have had a difficult time in the past with energy bars. But it is not the case with 22 Days Nutrition.

Just Fruit Bar – 4 pack

Review: With full servings of dried fruit in each bar, these bars are the recommended solution for the natural approach. With easy to absorb fruit sugars and carbs, they are perfect for energy.

The bars come with 4 full servings of fruit which include apples, cherries, raspberries, and blueberries.

Pros

  • Made with real fruits.
  • Great source of natural sugars.
  • Sold in packs of 4.

Cons

  • Low on protein.

Takeaway

If you love fruits, you will also love the simplicity of the Just Fruit Bars.

Simple Square Treats – Organic Nut

Review: With delicious cashews, almonds and honey ingredients, the organic bars are a great source of energy. They use some of the most popular ingredients in the class to offer 17 grams of carbs and 6 grams of protein per serving.

They are recommended for those seeking only organic ingredients.

Pros

  • Made with cashews and almonds.
  • 17 grams of carbs.
  • Organic ingredients.

Cons

  • Not the highest in protein.

Takeaway

Cashews are the new superfood. If you like their taste, you will also love the energy bar.

Bearded Brothers Energy Bar

Review: With just a small number of ingredients, the bars are recommended for Paleo or Keto diets.

Each bar contains dates, almonds, blueberries, chia seeds and vanilla flavoring. Each bar comes with 190 calories to boost your running efforts with extra energy.

Pros

  • Paleo and Keto-friendly.
  • Only a few ingredients.
  • 190 calories.

Cons

  • Only 5 grams of protein.

Takeaway

There are many diets runners follow. If you are on a Paleo or a Keto diet, the bar is right for you.

Cacao Coconut Organic Nutrition Bar

Review: With 16 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein, the Nutrition bar is one of the distinct products.

It comes with raw nut butter as the first ingredients and it is why you should actually like the taste of peanut butter if you want to make them your go-to option before, during or after each running session.

Pros

  • 100% organic.
  • 16 grams of carbs.
  • Peanut butter taste.

Cons

  • Not free of sugar.

Takeaway

With organic ingredients and a strong peanut butter taste, the bars are recommended for most runners.

Final Considerations

When you seek the best energy bars for runners, you can choose from these options both for taste and for their nutritional value.

Good energy bars should offer quality ingredients as often times, they are used by athletes or active people who need the ultimate nutrition.

Which of these energy bars is your go-to solution and which flavors you enjoy the most?

Let us know in the comments’ section.

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