Protein Bars Vs. Protein Powder: Which Delivers Better Gains?

Protein Bars Vs. Protein Powder

Both will pump you with protein, but which is better?

We all know we need protein, but with the debate over protein bars vs. protein powder, it can be challenging to decide which is best for our gains. After that grueling workout, it may be better to drink a protein shake with a great powder mixed in. But for our midday snack, a protein bar may be more convenient for our gains. Ultimately we are faced with this choice often and choosing our outlet to take in protein can be difficult. We know we need it, and both forms can help greatly, but which is better and where should the emphasis go?

Protein is the building block of all muscle and we must not limit our protein intake considering this will form the basis of our muscle building goals. After a tough workout, our bodies may feel rather depleted and on a smaller level we can’t see, our muscles are torn. Protein works to heal and repair these worn down muscle fibers working to increase strength and size, as well as boost recovery time. Protein will also aid in weight loss and management goals as a way to keep you full.

Let’s jump into this question here of protein bars vs. protein powder to see which will deliver better gains. While both are healthy supplements worthy of taking, with both offering great benefits, you will want to know which is better to better optimize all of those gains.

Benefits Of Protein Bars

Protein bars are awesome supplements used for convenience and a great way to keep you full while also providing for a worthy snack. A good balance of macronutrients will prove that one of these bars is absolutely worth taking. Simple, tasty, and convenient, protein bars are a quick way to get protein, and other nutrients, into your body.


Benefits of protein bars include:

  • Packed with protein so you get adequate amounts for growth, recovery, and satiety.
  • Full of fiber to aid in digestion and help keep weight off (1).
  • Convenient options to get a healthy snack while also benefiting your gains.

With all this said, protein bars can be tricky in that when eaten frivolously, it can actually lead to weight gain. These are not meant to be treated like candy bars and really should only be used when you can’t get whole foods in that meal, or if your busy schedule just doesn’t allow for it (2).

Protein Bars Vs. Protein Powder

Benefits Of Protein Powders

As a very popular supplement in the sports nutrition world, protein powders provide for tons of options when it comes to variety and your gains. For dairy options, whey isolate and whey concentrates work well, but thankfully, non-dairy protein powders have come to the market for those following certain diets, be them plant-based or vegan diets. While most associated with post-workout supplementation, protein powder can also be used for replacing a meal or adding onto a meal to get more calories in a healthy way.


Benefits of protein powders include:

  • Increase muscle growth by pumping you with vital protein to repair and stimulate protein synthesis (3).
  • Better recovery for faster bounce back by repairing tears in the muscle fiber (4).
  • Helps keep you full for better weight loss and weight management to see body composition changes.
  • Plenty of variety with whey-based powders or something more plant-based, like brown rice or pea proteins.

Which Is Better For Gains?

When it comes to choosing which is better, both are great. But, to answer this question, you will get more out of protein powders for what they offer overall.

Protein bars will give you a tasty and convenient option to get protein, but you also have higher amounts of carbs, fat, and often times sugar that can creep in. For bodybuilders watching their macronutrient intake strictly, this can be a problem. So while protein bars are good options for those on a busy schedule, you have to be wise about when you consume them for they may cause more harm than good if abused.

On the other hand, protein powder is an efficient way to get plenty of protein while controlling the amount of carbs and fat, especially if you supplement with a whey isolate or a plant-based powder. Offering clean protein, and an effective way to get this into your body post-workout, which is when we need protein most, you won’t be disappointed with what a good powder can do for your goals.

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Best Of Each To Boost Growth

Having the right supplements will be of great assistance to you for they will make your choosing that much easier. It can be daunting to scroll through pages online, stare at shelves in the store, and ultimately make that final decision to click and buy the product. For protein bars, we feel that Jacked Factory Authentic Bars are great protein bars with authentic ingredients, taste, and results. When it comes to protein powders, Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is an awesome choice for this will offer an honest and transparent label with a clean source of whey isolate great for growth, recovery, and weight loss.

Check out our lists of the Best Protein Bars and the Best Protein Powders for even more great protein products so you too can boost your supplementation routine!

Wrap Up

When it comes down to it, protein bars vs. protein powders might as well end. Both are great for your gains and it isn’t right to pit them against each other. They each work respectively for different parts of your goals, but if faced with the decision, a protein powder will offer more in terms of protein and variety. For those health conscious, there are great products to choose from which can really give you a great boost to health and performance, but looking into which products will work best for you can be a game changer. Check out our lists of the best of each, protein bars and protein powders, so you too can beef up your routine to only see huge gains.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Anderson, J.; et al. (2009). “Health benefits of dietary fiber”. (source)
  2. Shmerling, R. (2015). “Are protein bars really just candy bars in disguise?”. (source)
  3. Pasiakos, Stefan M.; McLellan, Tom M.; Lieberman, Harris R. (2015). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. (source)
  4. Pasiakos, Stefan M.; Lieberman, Harris R.; McLellan, Tom M. (2014). “Effects of protein supplements on muscle damage, soreness and recovery of muscle function and physical performance: a systematic review”. (source)
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.