What Are the Best Energy Bars for Runners (Read This Before You Buy)

Updated On

We are very excited because we are answering the question regarding the best energy bars for runners! Our team did thorough research, and we came up with five top-rated bars that you will love.

But before that, check out our buying guide on why you need energy bars and how to choose them.

The Best Overall Energy Bars for Runners

#1
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count

Free of Gluten & Trans Fat

Low glycemic index

High Fiber 

Very Low Sodium

5 of 5 Stars

Why Runners Need Energy Bars?

Imagine this situation – you’ve been through an exhausting day at work. You haven’t had the time to eat properly, and you feel very tired.

Although you planned to go running in the evening, it doesn’t seem like you have the energy for it.

KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
12pcs
12pcs
12pcs
30pcs
10pcs
Protein
6 grams
14 grams
20 grams
15 grams
7 grams
Sugar
5 grams
5 grams
4 grams
5 - 14 grams
17 grams
Calories
200
205
230-240
210
190
Reviews
5,927 Reviews
2,056 Reviews
789 Reviews
1,874 Reviews
425 Reviews
Price
$14.22
$20.96
$20.86
$29.95
$29.99
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
12pcs
Protein
6 grams
Sugar
5 grams
Calories
200
Reviews
5,927 Reviews
Price
$14.22
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
12pcs
Protein
14 grams
Sugar
5 grams
Calories
205
Reviews
2,056 Reviews
Price
$20.96
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
12pcs
Protein
20 grams
Sugar
4 grams
Calories
230-240
Reviews
789 Reviews
Price
$20.86
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
30pcs
Protein
15 grams
Sugar
5 - 14 grams
Calories
210
Reviews
1,874 Reviews
Price
$29.95
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
10pcs
Protein
7 grams
Sugar
17 grams
Calories
190
Reviews
425 Reviews
Price
$29.99

That is where energy bars come into play. They will give you the boost you were looking for to endure intense training sessions.

Apart from taking them before running, you can also take them after the training is over. The right combination of ingredients will ensure that they minimize fatigue and reduce recovery time.

Finally, energy bars can be an amazing snack and even a meal replacement in some cases. If you are on a weight loss program, these bars can help you to achieve the desired amount of nutrients and calories healthily.

BSN Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Low Sugar Whey Protein Bar, 20g of Protein, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count (Packaging may vary)

If you haven't tried energy bars yet, you should give them a shot to discover why they are so popular among athletes.

How to Choose the Best Energy Bars for Runners

You can choose between thousands of different energy bar brands out there. The question is how to choose bars for lovers of running. Here are the crucial factors you should consider when picking an energy bar.

What Ingredients Should an Energy Bar Have?

For an energy bar, everything starts and ends with ingredients. Runners should pay attention to two crucial groups – carbohydrates and protein.

Carbs may give you that additional boost of energy when you need it the most. If you need a bit of extra push to endure the training, carbs will provide it.

 ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)

On the other hand, the protein will protect your muscles and speed up their recovery. It aims to minimize fatigue and accelerate the recovery process while boosting muscle size. Apart from this, fibers promote satiety and may ensure optimal digestion of the bar.

Make sure always to read the ingredient label, and check out the components of the bar you plan to buy. The goal is to have as many real foods and natural ingredients as possible.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid?

A high level of sugar is not good for anyone, especially those having issues with blood sugar levels. The maximum amount of sugar should be set to about five grams per bar.

BSN Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Low Sugar Whey Protein Bar, 20g of Protein, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count (Packaging may vary)

Additionally, make sure that there are no artificial sweeteners or flavors, or that their quantity has been reduced to a minimum. If you are sensitive to gluten and dairy, you might have problems digesting an energy bar that contains them.

You might get bloated or gassy, which is not something you want, especially during a running session.

Choose Your Favorite Texture and Taste

If you need to be careful about the ingredients, you have a lot more freedom regarding the texture and the taste of the energy bar.

Picky Bars Real Food Energy Bars, Ah, Fudge Nuts!, 1.6oz (Pack of 10)

As for the texture, these bars are usually crunchy and crispy. You can even find some that are chewy, although they are not present as much on the market.

The taste can vary from sweet and chocolaty flavors to surprisingly salty ones. You should figure out what rubs your belly the right way.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different tastes because you may find multiple flavors that you like.

Best Energy Bars for Runners Reviews

KIND Bars

Here is an interesting mixture for an energy bar. KIND decided to combine dark chocolate with sea salt and nuts.

As the company explains, they took whole nuts and sprinkled them with Brazilian sea salt. After that, they used dark chocolate to drizzle the bar.

KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
5,927 Reviews
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
  • Contains 12 - 1.4oz Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt KIND Bars
  • Our best-selling bar is a simple blend of Brazilian sea salt sprinkled over whole nuts and drizzled with dark chocolate.
  • With 5g of sugar, it's a satisfying, nutty snack that only seems indulgent.
  • Gluten free, Non GMO, 0g Trans Fat, Kosher
  • Low glycemic index, low sodium, good source of fiber

Almonds are the integral ingredient of this product. The item has a low glycemic index, which means it shouldn’t affect your blood sugar levels. It is also non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher.

KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4oz, 12 Count

You won’t find trans fats in KIND bars, but you will find fibers. The label states that a single bar contains six grams of proteins, too.

Some users may need a while to get used to an energy bar with sea salt. However, if you are looking for something else than a sweet flavor, you may be surprised how this product tastes.

KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
5,927 Reviews
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
  • Contains 12 - 1.4oz Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt KIND Bars
  • Our best-selling bar is a simple blend of Brazilian sea salt sprinkled over whole nuts and drizzled with dark chocolate.
  • With 5g of sugar, it's a satisfying, nutty snack that only seems indulgent.
  • Gluten free, Non GMO, 0g Trans Fat, Kosher
  • Low glycemic index, low sodium, good source of fiber

Pros

  • It doesn't contain gluten or trans fat
  • The bar doesn't affect blood sugar levels thanks to its low glycemic index
  • Great source of fiber

Cons

  • It may take a while to get used to the salt
  • Can be pricey

Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack Bars

Athletes are the primary target group of these energy bars, and we are not talking only about runners.

Those that are going through intense training will appreciate Proto Whey, which is an additional boost of protein that secures maximum absorption of this nutrient.

Sale
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
2,056 Reviews
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
  • Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 7 Delicious Flavors
  • Flavors may vary due to product availibilty

You will receive 14 grams of protein per a single bar, which is quite generous. Keep in mind that the product also contains five grams of sugar.

Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
 Users can pick from 11 different flavors or go with a variety pack. One thing to note is that bits of the bar may fall as you are eating it. That may prevent you from eating in the car or at work.
Sale
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
2,056 Reviews
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
  • Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 7 Delicious Flavors
  • Flavors may vary due to product availibilty

Pros

  • 14 grams of protein per bar
  • A wide range of flavors to choose from
  • An additional boost of protein with Proto Whey

Cons

  • Can be very messy - Bits may fall off from the bar while eating it
  • Depending on the flavor, you can pay up to $2 per bar

BSN Protein Crisp Bar

Are you a fan of a crispy bar texture? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider the BSN energy bar.

The first thing that you notice is the generous amount of protein, which totals to 20 grams per bar. 

Sale
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
789 Reviews
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
  • GLUTEN FREE, 230-240 CALORIES PER BAR – help fuel your body with this macro-friendly protein bar
  • PREMIUM PROTEIN BLEND –20g blend of protein-packed whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and milk protein concentrate
  • 4G SUGAR OR LESS – satisfy your sweet-tooth while taking in 2-4g of sugar
  • UNIQUE CRUNCHY TEXTURE – sink your teeth into a light, yet satisfying crispy textured protein bar
  • EASY SNACK OPTION – convenient enough to travel anywhere you go to support your health and fitness goals while on the go

You can expect a blend of milk and whey protein concentrates and isolates. The product is free of gluten, and it shouldn’t contain more than four grams of sugar per bar.

However, the list of ingredients includes sucralose, which some users might not like.

BSN Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Low Sugar Whey Protein Bar, 20g of Protein, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count (Packaging may vary)

You can choose between numerous different flavors ranging from cookies & cream to salted toffee pretzels. With that variety, the chances are you will find the one that suits you.

Sale
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
789 Reviews
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
  • GLUTEN FREE, 230-240 CALORIES PER BAR – help fuel your body with this macro-friendly protein bar
  • PREMIUM PROTEIN BLEND –20g blend of protein-packed whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and milk protein concentrate
  • 4G SUGAR OR LESS – satisfy your sweet-tooth while taking in 2-4g of sugar
  • UNIQUE CRUNCHY TEXTURE – sink your teeth into a light, yet satisfying crispy textured protein bar
  • EASY SNACK OPTION – convenient enough to travel anywhere you go to support your health and fitness goals while on the go

Pros

  • 20 grams of protein per bar
  • It doesn’t contain gluten
  • Available in a variety of sweet and salty flavors
  • A light, but crispy texture

Cons

  • Although the quantity of sugar is low, it still contains sucralose

ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars

If you would like your energy bar to have chocolate, ZonePerfect might have a product for you.

ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
1,874 Reviews
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
  • MADE FOR TASTE: Our protein bars are packed with delicious flavor and nutrition you need to make the most of your day
  • POWER OF PROTEIN: ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars have 10-15g of protein to help you feel fuller longer
  • NUTRITION YOU NEED: A good source of up to 19 vitamins & minerals,* including antioxidants for immune support
  • FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE: Our go-anywhere high protein snack bars are so good you’ll want to have one with you all the time
  • GREAT TASTE GUARANTEED: If you’re not 100% satisfied with a flavor, we’ll give you your money back—guaranteed!

The mixture of chocolate, raisins, and roasted almonds should provide optimal taste and nutrients.

 ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)

When it comes to taste, you can expect a sweet flavor, even though there are no artificial sweeteners in this bar. If chocolate is not your favorite, feel free to experiment with other flavors, too.

As for the nutrients, the product contains 19 minerals and vitamins. They should not only help you push through the training and accelerate recovery, but they will also provide an immunity boost.

A fairly generous dose of 15 grams of protein will help to both recover and build your muscles.

ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
1,874 Reviews
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
  • MADE FOR TASTE: Our protein bars are packed with delicious flavor and nutrition you need to make the most of your day
  • POWER OF PROTEIN: ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars have 10-15g of protein to help you feel fuller longer
  • NUTRITION YOU NEED: A good source of up to 19 vitamins & minerals,* including antioxidants for immune support
  • FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE: Our go-anywhere high protein snack bars are so good you’ll want to have one with you all the time
  • GREAT TASTE GUARANTEED: If you’re not 100% satisfied with a flavor, we’ll give you your money back—guaranteed!

Pros

  • 15 grams of protein per bar
  • A combination of 19 vitamins and minerals
  • Great choice for chocolate lovers

Cons

  • Some users may find it too sweet

Picky Bars Real Food Energy Bars

Picky Bars launched an energy bar with nine different flavors.

Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
425 Reviews
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
  • AH, FUDGE NUTS!: Our most popular flavor, this fudgey goodness tastes more like a peanut butter brownie than a vegan energy bar should. Ready to fuel a workout or sweet tooth craving, dive in for a real chocolate fix.
  • BALANCED NUTRITION: Combining fast-acting carbs and long-lasting fats (with a touch of plant-based protein for recovery) we cracked the code on keeping your engine running happy. Carbs, fat, and protein, oh my!
  • EASY DIGESTION: All Picky Bars are made with easy-to-digest, natural ingredients and are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and 100% non-GMO.
  • REAL FEEL-GOOD FOOD: No fillers, just the good stuff. Real food designed for active people without the chemicals or cheap fillers found in lots of sport-specific products.
  • READY FOR ANYTHING: From pre-workout to recovery, and everything in between, Picky Bars are a delicious source of long-lasting energy. Whether you’re running, biking, snacking, or hiking, these bars give you the power to perform.

Five of them are suitable for vegans, such as fudge nuts, almond, and blueberry.

The nutrition value may vary depending on the flavor, but you can rest assured that you will get a generous dose of carbs and protein. Since the product is free from gluten and dairy, that means the protein is plant-based.

Picky Bars Real Food Energy Bars, Ah, Fudge Nuts!, 1.6oz (Pack of 10)

The total dose of carbs is set to 24 grams per serving, which should be enough to give you the energy to get through that intense running session. The ingredients have been carefully chosen, but the bar still seems a bit pricey, especially when compared to others.

Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
425 Reviews
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
  • AH, FUDGE NUTS!: Our most popular flavor, this fudgey goodness tastes more like a peanut butter brownie than a vegan energy bar should. Ready to fuel a workout or sweet tooth craving, dive in for a real chocolate fix.
  • BALANCED NUTRITION: Combining fast-acting carbs and long-lasting fats (with a touch of plant-based protein for recovery) we cracked the code on keeping your engine running happy. Carbs, fat, and protein, oh my!
  • EASY DIGESTION: All Picky Bars are made with easy-to-digest, natural ingredients and are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and 100% non-GMO.
  • REAL FEEL-GOOD FOOD: No fillers, just the good stuff. Real food designed for active people without the chemicals or cheap fillers found in lots of sport-specific products.
  • READY FOR ANYTHING: From pre-workout to recovery, and everything in between, Picky Bars are a delicious source of long-lasting energy. Whether you’re running, biking, snacking, or hiking, these bars give you the power to perform.

Pros

  • Several vegan flavors available
  • Seven grams of plant-based protein per bar
  • Non-GMO and free from dairy, gluten, and soy
  • A generous dose of carbohydrates for an energy boost

Cons

  • A bit pricey
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
12pcs
12pcs
12pcs
30pcs
10pcs
Protein
6 grams
14 grams
20 grams
15 grams
7 grams
Sugar
5 grams
5 grams
4 grams
5 - 14 grams
17 grams
Calories
200
205
230-240
210
190
Reviews
5,927 Reviews
2,056 Reviews
789 Reviews
1,874 Reviews
425 Reviews
Price
$14.22
$20.96
$20.86
$29.95
$29.99
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, 1.4 Ounce, 12 Count
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
12pcs
Protein
6 grams
Sugar
5 grams
Calories
200
Reviews
5,927 Reviews
Price
$14.22
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
Power Crunch High Protein Energy Snack1.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12), Variety Pack of 6 Delicious Flavors
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
12pcs
Protein
14 grams
Sugar
5 grams
Calories
205
Reviews
2,056 Reviews
Price
$20.96
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
BSN Protein Bars - Protein Crisp Bar by Syntha-6, Whey Protein, 20g of Protein, Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Salted Toffee Pretzel, 12 Count
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
12pcs
Protein
20 grams
Sugar
4 grams
Calories
230-240
Reviews
789 Reviews
Price
$20.86
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars, Chocolate Almond Raisin. 1.76 oz, (30 Count)
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
30pcs
Protein
15 grams
Sugar
5 - 14 grams
Calories
210
Reviews
1,874 Reviews
Price
$29.95
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
Picky Bars Ah, Fudge Nuts Vegan Energy Bars (10 Pack)
Prime Status
Rating
Contains
10pcs
Protein
7 grams
Sugar
17 grams
Calories
190
Reviews
425 Reviews
Price
$29.99

Conclusion

Ultimately, we should pronounce the winner of our roundup for the best energy bars for runners.

KIND bars will take the title of the number one bar on the market. The bars are free from gluten and artificial sweeteners, and they have a low glycemic index, which makes them suitable for those that have issues with their blood sugar levels.

The addition of sea salt makes their flavor specific and worth trying, too. Make sure to check out our reviews once again before you make the final call.

Taking a moment to think is the best way to ensure that you will choose a bar that meets your expectations.


Last update on 2020-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API