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When To Eat Protein Bars - Everything You Need To Know

When To Eat Protein Bars - Everything You Need To Know

Protein bars are a convenient (and super tasty) way to get some extra protein into your diet. They're like eating regular chocolate bars... but help you build muscle.

What's not to love!?

BUT - you might be wondering when to eat protein bars, before or after a workout? Maybe as a meal replacement? How many protein bars can you eat a day?

Worry not! Because today we're diving into the world of protein bars so you know exactly how to fit them into your diet to maximise your gains.

What are Protein bars used for?

Protein bars are a convenient and tasty snack, packed full of nutrients that can be used to support muscle recovery, growth, and satiety. They are an excellent way to increase your protein intake without needing to eat full meals or relying on protein shakes.

Protein bars have become increasingly popular over the years with the rise of active lifestyles and the demands placed on our bodies to perform athletically.

Brands such as Grenade, Barebells, Fulfil and PhD are leading the way with nutritious alternatives to regular chocolate bars.

Protein bars can be beneficial in a balanced diet for:

  • Athletes and those engaging in regular exercise need more protein than sedentary people because they are using up their own proteins to build muscle mass. A good quality protein bar will provide around 15 to 20g of protein per 60g bar, which is equivalent to 75% of the recommended daily intake for an average adult male.
  • Additional protein to help repair damaged muscle fibres after training, which should lead to increased muscle strength and faster recovery between sessions.
  • Useful for people who have difficulty meeting their daily protein intake through their diet alone. This could be due to illness or an eating disorder.
  • Those who struggle with eating solid food due to illness or disability.
  • As part of a weight-loss journey when trying to increase protein levels.
  • A nutritional snack for a parent on the go.

When to Eat Protein Bars 

When should eat protein bars? Is it better to eat a protein bar before or after a workout?

Honestly - just like most foods - you can eat a protein bar any time of the day. Aslong as you're hitting your protein and calorie requirements, you will be inching closer towards your fitness goals.

However, protein bars can make a convenient pre-workout or post-workout snack. Let's take a look.

When to eat protein bars before workout?

It is important to consume a pre-workout snack that contains protein within 45 minutes prior to starting your workout because it takes time for digestion before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

If you eat too close to your workout session, you may experience digestive discomfort such as bloating or cramps which will affect your performance during exercise.

If you're someone who likes to hit the gym bright and early, a protein bar can be a great option to give you a little pre-workout energy boost.

Protein is the building block for muscle tissue. When ingested, protein is broken down into amino acids and absorbed through the intestinal wall.

These amino acids can be used directly as energy or stored in the muscles as muscle protein. If there is an adequate supply of amino acids available, your body will use them for growth and repair of muscle tissue.

Eating a pre-workout snack that contains protein will help ensure that you have enough amino acids available to support the synthesis of new muscle tissue before you begin exercising.

Here is our list of the absolute best pre workout snack bars.

When to eat protein bar after workout?

You've just finished an intense workout session, and your muscles are begging for some replenishment. This is a perfect time to have a protein bar! Protein bars are a convenient and portable option to help you refuel. Plus, they can satisfy those post-workout hunger pangs.

The anabolic window of opportunity for optimal protein absorption and muscle recovery is around 30-60 minutes after your workout. So, if you wait until later in the day to eat your snack, it may not have the same impact on your body composition goals.

In addition to eating a protein bar following your workout, it's also important to make sure you're getting enough total protein throughout the day.

The post-workout snack is an important part of the recovery process. It can help you replenish glycogen stores, repair muscle damage, and speed up the rate at which your body synthesises new protein.

On-the-Go Snack

Life can get busy, and sometimes we find ourselves rushing from one thing to the next without much time for a proper meal. That's where protein bars come to the rescue!

They're a quick and easy snack that you can grab on-the-go. Whether you're running errands, traveling, or just need a pick-me-up between meetings, protein bars can keep you fuelled and satisfied until your next meal.

Protein Bars Before Bed

Yes, you read that right! Protein bars can even make a good night-time treat.

Opt for a protein bar that is lower in sugar. This can help provide your muscles with a steady supply of amino acids throughout the night, promoting muscle growth and recovery while you catch those Zzzs.

Between Meals

Sometimes, we might find ourselves feeling hungry between meals, and that's totally normal.

Instead of reaching for a not-so-healthy snack, why not grab a protein bar? It can keep you feeling satisfied, prevent overeating later on, and give you that protein boost your body needs.

Protein Bars as a Meal Replacement

Protein bars are a convenient, portable meal replacement that can be eaten at any time of the day.

Protein bars are usually made with high-quality protein and contain all the essential nutrients your body needs to function. They’re also a good source of fibre and healthy fats, which help to keep you full until your next meal.

Protein bars are great for people who are looking for an easy way to get their daily dose of protein in one sitting. Protein is essential for muscle growth, maintenance and repair and can help build lean muscle mass when combined with strength training exercises.

A protein bar may replace one meal or serve as dessert after your dinner meal; however, it's important that you eat other foods throughout the day as well so that you get adequate nutrients and calories for energy.

If you are using protein bars as part of your diet plan then make sure that you are getting enough calories from other food sources such as fruits and vegetables that are high in fibre and low in fat so that you feel full for longer periods of time between meals.

Is it better to drink a protein shake or eat a protein bar before working out?


Protein Bars are the MVPs of convenience. Throw one in your bag, and you've got a portable snack ready to go. No mixing, no mess, just unwrap and enjoy. Plus, with the wide variety of flavours available, there's bound to be one that tickles your taste buds.

Protein Shakes often require a little more effort if you are creating your own or purchasing a ready-to-drink shake.

Nutritional Content: The Protein Powerhouses

When it comes to protein content, both protein bars and shakes can deliver a solid punch. However, there are a few factors to consider:

Protein Bars usually contain around 15-20 grams of protein per serving. They also tend to have additional ingredients like nuts, seeds, or even chocolate chips, which can offer extra nutrients and flavours. Just be sure to check the label for added sugars and artificial additives.

Protein Shakes often offer a higher protein content, ranging from 20-30 grams per serving. This is great if you're looking for a protein boost without the extra calories or carbs.


Protein Bars are great if you prefer something to chomp on before a workout. They require a bit of digestion, which can provide a slower release of energy throughout your exercise session.

Protein Shakes are like the fast track to protein town. They're easily absorbed by the body, making them a quick and efficient option for pre-workout fuel. If you're running late or have a workout that requires a lot of movement, a protein shake may be the way to go.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people enjoy the satisfaction of biting into a protein bar, while others prefer the smoothness of a protein shake.

Experiment and figure out what works best for you – after all, enjoying what you consume is just as important as the nutritional benefits.

So, which is better – protein bars or shakes? The truth is, both have their pros and cons.

Protein bars offer convenience and a satisfying snack, while protein shakes provide a quick and easily digestible option. Ultimately, it's about finding what suits your lifestyle and fitness goals.

If you're in a rush or prefer a grab-and-go option, protein bars are a great choice. On the other hand, if you're looking for a quick protein fix or have specific dietary needs, protein shakes might be your go-to.

Can I eat a protein bar after workout to lose weight?

So, can you eat a protein bar after a workout to lose weight? Absolutely! Protein bars can be a convenient and nutritious option for post-workout recovery. However, it's essential to choose wisely and consider them as part of an overall healthy eating plan.

Remember, sustainable weight loss is about finding balance and enjoying a variety of foods that nourish your body. If protein bars fit into your lifestyle and help you meet your health and fitness goals, go ahead and enjoy one guilt-free!

Is it OK to eat a protein bar every day?

So, is it okay to eat a protein bar every day? Well, it all comes down to balance. Protein bars can be a useful tool to support your protein intake, especially when you're short on time or on-the-go. However, they shouldn't be your sole source of nutrition.

Instead, aim to incorporate a variety of whole foods into your diet and use protein bars as a supplement, not a replacement. Be mindful of the ingredients and choose bars that are lower in added sugars and additives.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to whether it's okay to eat a protein bar every day. It's essential to consider your individual needs, goals, and preferences.

If you enjoy protein bars and find them helpful in meeting your nutritional needs, go ahead and enjoy them in moderation. But remember, variety is the spice of life, so don't forget to mix things up with whole, nutrient-dense foods too!

How Many Protein Bars a Day?

Eating protein bars is considered very safe, provided you're not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Be careful to check the nutrition label of the protein bars you are eating though. Some contain high-sugar alcohol, and having too much of this can give you an upset stomach.

Some have a lot of fibre, and too much of that can bung you up.

Whilst the number of protein bars you can eat a day will vary person to person, eating up to 2 bars a day is considered fine.

The Best Protein Bar Before Workout

If we could choose a protein bar brand to recommend it would be Barebells. Not only are they delicious but they are available in soft bars and vegan too.

The protein content ranges from 15-20g and there are 11 different flavour bars to choose from. We would highly recommend the best-selling Caramel Cashew, Salty Peanut or Cookies & Cream.

If you aren’t sure what flavour to try first, why not try the Barebells Mixed case taster box which features 6 bars in various popular flavours.

Never want to run out of protein bars? Subscribe and save with our Barebells Protein Bars Bulk Bundle including 36 bars in your choice of best-selling flavours. Choose your delivery frequency anywhere from every 7 days-90 days.

Or if a quick digesting protein shake is more your thing, try one of Barebell’s ready to drink protein shakes, available in Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Raspberry and Banana flavours.

Shop our full pre-workout snacks & drinks here and post-workout collection here

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