More often than not, I find protein snacks to be pretty average.
Very rarely does a product come along that I love unconditionally. Not to mention how rare it is to enjoy every flavor variation, too.
But that is exactly what we have with Barebells protein bars. They are, hands down, my favorite protein bar on the market right now.
They’ve been quickly gaining popularity year after year, and they recently won my “Protein Bar Madness” competition in 2022, where I had my audience of 100,000+ people vote on their favorite protein bar.
I’ll break down each flavor below for you, but believe the hype: these protein bars are really good.
What exactly are Barebells protein bars?
Barebells are a fairly new protein bar to the game, having been founded in 2016. However, that was in Sweden, and they didn’t make their way to the US for several years after that.
So, if you haven’t heard of Barebells, or have seen them and assumed they were called “barbells protein bars,” then you’re likely not alone!
Nutritionally, Barebells are on par with most protein bars you’ll find. Each bar contains around 200 calories and 20 grams of protein, which has become the industry standard.
They’re not insanely high in fiber like Quest Bars, and they don’t contain a ton of sugar alcohols either (only around 5g per bar).
What sets Barebells apart is their candy bar-like texture. If you’re used to dense & chewy protein bars, Barebells will completely change the way you view protein bars.
Biting into a Barebell protein bar is truly like biting into a candy bar. Yes, they’re a little bit thicker than your standard candy bar (that’s just the nature of protein), but not enough to be off-putting.
Compared to most other protein bars out there, they are definitely softer.
If you’re sick and tired of the typical chewy protein bars, these bars will be a really welcomed change.
Barebells took it one step further and more recently released their soft protein bars, which are truly a candy bar-like experience.
Let’s dive right in…
Salty Peanut Barebells Protein Bar
The salty peanut Barebells bars have a chewy nougat interior, a pleasant caramel layer, and prominent peanut pieces throughout the entire bar.
No, it doesn’t quite taste like a Snickers, and it is definitely denser than your average protein bar. If you did a blind taste test, you’d still know this was a protein bar.
But the combination of nougat, caramel, and peanuts makes this eat very much like a candy bar, especially when compared to most other protein bar options out there. There is no artificial flavor or protein taste, making this a really delicious bar.
I wish it were a little bit less chewy overall, but it’s still a very good protein bar.
Chocolate Dough Barebells Protein Bar
I have to be honest here: I thought this bar was “chocolate chip cookie dough,” so I was really surprised to see a completely chocolate protein bar.
But, I was certainly not disappointed.
This protein bar has a very rich chocolate taste, and a hint of salt comes through as well. The crunchy pieces on the outside contrast the chewy bar really well, too.
However, I’ll admit that this tastes more like a protein bar than any of the other flavors. There’s a distinct protein flavor that I can taste in most chocolate protein bars, and this is no exception.
Still, as a fan of all things chocolate, this is a truly delicious protein bar. It won’t fool you into thinking it’s a candy bar, but if you love chocolate, the rich chocolate flavor of this protein bar won’t disappoint you.
Cookies and Cream Barebells Protein Bar
If you want soft, then Cookies & Cream is the Barebells bar for you.
The nougat interior is extremely soft and almost melts in your mouth, and it may be the best texture I’ve ever had in a protein bar.
I don’t quite think this protein bar resembles Oreos, but the interior definitely has a cream flavor to it.
There are crunchy cookie pieces lining the exterior of the bar, which I assume are meant to resemble Oreo cookie pieces, but they are overshadowed by the chocolate coating of the bar.
The great news is that this protein bar doesn’t taste artificial, which I can’t say for most cookies & cream-flavored products out there, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it tastes like Oreos, either.
Caramel Cashew Barebells Protein Bar
The caramel cashew Barebells protein bar was the first protein bar I ever tried of this brand, and it won me over immediately.
The flavor of this one reminds me very much of a candy bar with chocolate and caramel, but the texture holds it back from being a true candy bar.
Whereas some flavors, like cookies & cream, are extremely soft, the caramel cashew flavor is a bit denser. When you bite into this bar, it’s clear that it’s a protein bar, but the flavor is so good that I don’t mind the slight chewiness.
I’d prefer it if this bar were softer, sure, but the flavor is too good to pass up.
Hazelnut & Nougat Barebells Protein Bar
Wow, I was not expecting the gooey caramel that revealed itself when I broke open this bar, but I certainly cannot complain.
Now, that’s certainly not a bad thing. The interior is soft & chewy, which is pleasant, and it tastes good, just not what I was expecting. It’s mostly chocolate with a white chocolate coating.
If you love white chocolate, this is a great bar. But since it’s offset by a chocolate interior, it’s not as strong of a white chocolate flavor as I was expecting.
Creamy Crisp Barebells Protein Bar
I saved the best for last: Creamy Crisp.
This bar takes the best parts of all the other bars, combines them into one bar, and somehow makes them even better.
The creamy crisp bar has the soft interior of the cookies & cream bar, the delicious caramel flavor of the caramel cashew bar, and the crunchy exterior of the chocolate dough bar.
In terms of flavor, this bar actually reminds me of a Twix bar, which is one of my favorite candy bars of all time.
It doesn’t have the same crunchy shortbread interior as a Twix bar, but the crunchy cookie pieces on the outside, combined with the extremely soft & caramel-y interior, make this resemble a Twix.
If you want a protein bar that truly resembles a candy bar, this is the flavor to buy.
This protein bar is good enough that even if every other flavor of Barebells protein bars was extremely average, I would still consider them the best protein bar on the market.
The flavor is tough to describe, and I can truly only describe it as a candy. The nougat interior is extremely light & airy, there’s a gooey caramel layer, a delicious chocolate coating, and crunchy cookie pieces lining the exterior of the bar.
I won’t call it perfect… but it’s very close.
Barebells Protein Bars: Overall Ranking
Barebells are the most candy bar-like protein bar out there, and they’ve totally changed the way I view protein bars.
Historically speaking, protein bars have been very dense and chewy. For bars that have tried to mimic the candy bar textures, I’ve found that the flavor is not quite there, or they end up tasting very artificial (like Fit Crunch Bars).
Barebells has somehow figured out how to capture the texture you want in a candy bar, while still providing delicious flavor AND very favorable nutrition facts.
I’m typically very critical in my reviews, so this should tell you just how much I enjoy these protein bars. If I had to rank the flavors, here’s my order:
7. Salty Peanut
6. Chocolate Dough
5. White Chocolate Almond
4. Caramel Cashew
3. Cookies & Cream
2. Hazelnut & Nougat
1. Creamy Crisp
If you only try one flavor, definitely try to get your hands on the creamy crisp and thank me later.
To be fair, the Barebells Soft Bar is not on this list (because it got its own dedicated review) but that is very close to being my number one overall along with creamy crisp.
REVIEW: Barebells Protein Bars (Ranking Of Every Flavor)
Barebells are my favorite protein bar on the market right now, and every single flavor of theirs is excellent. If you want a protein bar that eats like a candy bar, you won't find one better than Barebells.