Healthy snack upgrade - when to have protein bars and how to choose the best one for you

Free Soul vegan protein bar dripping in liquid chocolate

In any supermarket or health food store you can find a huge range of different protein bars on offer - but how do you know which is right for you? 

If you’re new to the world of protein bars and protein supplements in general, the choice can be pretty overwhelming. It can be a challenge to figure out which protein bar is right for you and when you need to be having them. That’s why we’re breaking down the essentials of protein bars to answer all your questions.

Read on to find out more.

Protein bars vs protein powder 

What’s the difference between protein powder and protein bars? When should you be eating them? Who are they good for?

While there’s no hard and fast rules for when to eat protein bars or have protein powder, the two offer slightly different benefits. Choosing the best product for you depends on your lifestyle and what you get up to during the day.

Protein bars are designed to be a quick and easy source of protein that requires zero prep. You can pack one in your bag and it’s ready for you whenever you need a snack, whether that’s at work, or when you’re out and about.

Protein powder is customizable so you can mix it into whatever recipe you like. You can also add more scoops if you’re looking for an extra protein boost. On the other hand, protein bars are ready-to-eat. They’re a sweet treat with none of the drawbacks of regular chocolate bars and you don’t have to think about what recipe you want to make!

Protein bars are ideal for busy people who still want to eat clean. They’re not just for athletes or regular gym-goers, everyone can benefit from adding the protein into their diet. The best part is, Free Soul protein bars also contain prebiotic fiber and antioxidant-rich ingredients too.

When to eat protein bars

Protein bars are ideal for when you don’t have time to eat a full meal or you just want a small snack to keep your energy levels up. Unlike other bars and sweets, Free Soul protein bars contain 15g of clean, plant-based protein so they’ll keep you feeling full until your next meal. 

For best results, we recommend having a combination of protein powder and protein bars in your diet. Opt for protein powder at breakfast for mixing into your porridge, pancake batter or baking. Then pull out a protein bar around mid-morning when you start to get snackish.

Alternatively, try having a protein bar after lunch when you fancy something sweet. Finish off your day with a dinner that’s high in vegetables, healthy fats and whole foods.

High protein meal plan

Here’s a high protein meal plan to give you a better idea:

Breakfast: Tofu scramble with spinach sun-dried tomatoes

Snack: Vegan yoghurt with added Free Soul protein powder, walnuts and banana. Remember it's so much more than just protein - it's a blend specifically formulated to support happy hormones & the menstrual cycle.

Lunch: Red cabbage, quinoa and avocado salad with vegan pesto dressing

Snack: Free Soul chocolate and raspberry protein bar

Dinner: Mushroom and lentil ragu with cauliflower rice

Snack: Apple slices with almond butter

Protein bars are a super convenient way to supplement your daily protein intake and have a sweet snack with none of the bad stuff. They work best as part of a healthy, balanced diet that’s rich in whole foods and they can be used alongside protein powder or dual use.

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Check out our Instagram or the Recipe of the day section on our Website. 

What to look for in a protein bar

When you’re choosing a protein bar to add to your everyday diet, it’s really important to flip it over and look at the ingredients list. Not all protein bars contain the good stuff that you want to be putting in your body! 

Here are a few things to watch out for:

Protein content

While some protein bars claim to be high in protein, their boast might be bigger than their bite. Protein bars can quickly turn into glorified chocolate bars with minimum amounts of protein inside if you’re not careful which brands you choose.

Experts recommend consuming between 10-20g of protein 3x a day to get the best benefits so look out for protein bars that hit that mark. Free Soul protein bars contain 15g of protein in every bar so you can rest assured you're getting the amount you need.

Thanks to added ingredients like chicory root fibre and tapioca fibre, they’re also high in fibre for better gut health.


The biggest hidden ingredient in protein bars? Sugar! While protein bars are often touted as a healthy snack, many brands contain shockingly high amounts of sugar with some adding up to as much as 30g in every bar.

If you’re looking to boost your energy without hitting your body with a sugar bomb, you need to be careful which protein bar you choose. Free Soul protein bars contain just 0.2g sugar in every bar so they’re ideal for health conscious snackers.

The pea protein also helps you feel fuller for longer so just one bar will tide you over until your next meal.

Added ingredients

Many vegan protein bars are also packed with cheap, ultra-processed ingredients that will give you a temporary boost but can leave you feeling groggy and lacking energy soon after.

Look out for artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners that can topple your healthy eating plan in one short hit. Free Soul protein bars are made with real cocoa powder and only natural flavouring.

Finding the right protein bar for you

If you’re going to be having protein bars regularly, it makes a difference what’s inside! Instead of stressing about what you’re putting into your body, just grab a Free Soul protein bar and get on with your day.

They’re vegan, low sugar, non-GMO and most importantly, high protein! 

**At Free Soul, your wellbeing is our priority, and although we pride ourselves on our expertise in women's health and wellbeing, it is important to acknowledge the individuality of each person. Features published by Free Soul are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease, or replace the advice of your GP. We always recommend consulting with a healthcare provider if you encounter any health concerns, and we’ll always be here to support you so you’re never alone on your journey.