Since I prefer to eat vegan and hike hard, I've been looking for a way to get a little extra protein into my dinners, to help muscle recovery. What better way than to have a protein bar for dessert? So I bought a bunch of protein bars from a variety of sources, and tasted them over the last few months. The main parameters I was interested in were:

  1. Caloric Efficiency - since I don't want to carry any more food weight than necessary.
  2. Protein Density - since the goal is to get some extra protein, what percentage of the bar weight is protein?
  3. Taste - at the end of a hard day, it has to taste good.
Vegan Protein Bars

This was a completely unscientific test, and reflects my personal taste, but you are welcome to check out the spreadsheet. A couple of observations:

  • The bars I found tastier tended to have a lower % protein
  • The bars that were generally more 'wholesome' tended to have a lower % protein
  • Eating peanuts (or almonds) does a pretty good job in terms of extra protein

Those of you that eat protein bars, do you have a favorite I've missed? Any other supplemental protein strategies not involving animal products?

February 10, 2012 — Brian Fryer