Nutrition

Taste Tested: 4 Packaged Protein Picks for Workouts and Recovery

Stock your pantry with these protein-rich bars for post-workout recovery.

While self-isolation and public health orders may be keeping you at home, they’re not preventing you from exercising. And even at-home training requires you to refuel with protein to support muscle repair and immune function (in addition to carbs, which help replenish glycogen). Sports dietitians recommend anywhere from 20-25 grams of protein consumed in the 30-45 minutes immediately following the workout. Also, fueling with protein an hour or two before a workout can help spare muscle glycogen during training. With grocery trips few and far between these days, you can have these shelf-stable packaged protein bars delivered to your door, then keep them on hand to make sure you can maximize every workout. 

Rise Bar Mocha Almond Whey Protein Bar

Packaged Protein
Made with just five ingredients—four of which you can determine from the flavor name—this newly released packaged protein organic bar wowed testers with its well-balanced, clean taste. Its delightful chocolate-coffee flavor and easy-to-chew texture left testers wanting a second 2.1-ounce bar. Each non-GMO, gluten-free bar delivers 15g of protein, 24g of carbs, 4g of fiber, and 260 calories, plus 25mg of caffeine from the 100% Arabica Coffee.

$27.99 for box of 12, risebar.com

Honey Stinger Protein Waffle

Packaged Protein
Building on the popularity of the brand’s stroopwafel-like energy waffles, the newly launched Protein Waffles boost recovery with 10g of pea protein, whey protein, and casein. Available in two naturally flavored options, apple cinnamon and wild berry, both are sweetened with cane sugar and—what else?—honey. The fruity filling between two mildly crumbly waffles tastes even better, reminiscent of a Pop-Tart, after 10 seconds in the microwave (and holds together better!). Each 1.3-ounce waffle provides 150 calories and 15 grams of carbs, and makes for a perfect portable recovery snack.
$26.99 for box of 12, honeystinger.com

KIND Protein Almond Butter Dark Chocolate

The newest flavor in the KIND Protein line of bars nails the sweet/nutty flavor combo, which is almond butter–forward, features just a bit of dark chocolate and has a hint of a sea salt aftertaste. Made with whole almonds and peanuts, it has a pleasantly crunchy texture that’s just a little harder to chew than other bars. The gluten-free packaged protein bar features delivers 12 grams of protein between the nuts and soy protein, and is sweetened with honey and sugar. Each 1.76-ounce bar also contains 230 calories, 18g of carbs and 5g of fiber.
$21.10 for box of 12, kindsnacks.com

Built Bar

If you’re sick of dry, nut-flavored protein bars, these bars might be for you—the naturally flavored bars are covered in a layer of dark chocolate with the protein coming from whey protein isolate. Available in more than a dozen flavors, including coconut chocolate crème and salted caramel chocolate, they are all sweet, chewy, and moist, similar to a cookie dough consistency, with no sweetener aftertaste, though they do stick to teeth. Each bar delivers 110 calories, 15g of protein, 5-6g of fiber, and 13g of carbs. Of note on the ingredient list are processed sweeteners (erythritol and glycerol), chemically related to sugar alcohols, as well as gelatin, an animal protein that gives the bar its texture.
$37.80 for box of 18, builtbar.com