Protein Bar Vs Granola Bar: The Difference You Need Know

These two bars might look and taste the same, but their macronutrients can be very different.

A protein bar will contain a high amount of protein per serving, while a granola bar will usually contain a high amount of carbs per serving. And there are protein granola bars that contain granola but are still packed with a good amount of protein per serving.

What makes a protein bar a protein bar is the amount of protein the bar contains. So, you will be able to find protein bars made with granola and protein bars made without granola.

But both of these bars can be considered protein bars because of their protein content.

And granola bars usually only contain oats, fruits, and sweeteners. Making these bars high in carbs and low in protein macronutrients.

I know it can get confusing, but don’t worry; I have your back. We’ll talk more about the differences between the two bars, some common questions about protein bars, and discuss which bar is right for you and your goals.

Protein Bar With Granola And Fruit

What’s The Difference Between Protein Bars And Granola Bars

What you really want to consider is your goals. Each bar has its place, and plenty of people use each for various reasons.

The main difference between protein bars and granola bars is their macronutrients. Protein bars contain more grams of protein and are better for people wanting that extra protein content in their diet. Granola bars contain high carbs and are better for people wanting more carbs.

So it’s important to understand your goals and what you are looking for in a bar…

Protein Bars

There are many different types of protein bars out on the market. But the main benefit of these bars is the high amounts of protein in the bar.

You can usually find protein bars with around 20g of protein per serving or more.

Protein is used for muscle growth, recovery, and retention. And the reason why people want to opt for protein bars is to help with these goals.

Granola Bar With Chocolate Chips

Granola Bars

On the other hand, you have granola bars. These bars are usually made from oats, grain, and fruits. These bars tend to have a high amount of carbs per serving.

You can find granola bars with around 22g of carbs per serving or more.

Carbs are your body’s primary fuel source. People tend to opt for granola bars when they need energy to help with strenuous activities like hikes, runs, etc.

Girl Holding Up Fitness Goals Sign

Is A Protein Bar Better Or A Granola Bar For Your Goals

So you can start to see protein bars and granola bars each have a benefit and a place for everyone. Now let’s talk about which is right for you, or maybe both will be good for you and your goals.

Protein Bars: These are great for you if you’re primary concern is muscle growth, recovery, and retention. If you spend time working out at the gym and have daily protein intake goals, the protein bars will be your best bet.

Granola Bars: Great if you need energy on the go. Suppose you don’t care for protein but need fuel (calories) for a particular activity. Then granola bars are the pick for you.

Both bars are great. They are very convenient and an easy snack you can carry around with you on the go. But at the end of the day, pick whichever aligns with your goals the most and what tastes the best for you!

Or use both! (I’m not here to judge.)

Common Questions About Protein Bars

Below are a few common questions I’ve seen being asked on the forums and online fitness communities.

These are questions you might be wondering about protein bars as well, so I decided to go ahead and answer them for you, just in case.

Lady Laying On Couch With Bowl Of Chips

Can You Eat A Protein Bar Without Working Out

Yes, you can absolutely eat a protein bar without working out. And if you want to learn more about this topic. Go to this post: Is it bad to eat protein bars without working out?

Treat protein bars as you would any food. Obviously, you will gain weight if you are overeating and in a calorie surplus. But if you are tracking your macros/calories.

Then, eating protein bars even when you don’t work out is a great way to get your protein intake in for the day.

Granola With Raisins

Is A Granola Bar A Protein Bar

Sometimes, people will use these two terms interchangeably, confusing some people. But don’t worry, I’ll clear up the confusion for you.

A granola bar usually comprises mostly grains, oats, and fruits with very little protein content, making it far from a protein bar. A protein bar contains a substantial amount of protein per serving, which is what gives it its name of a protein bar.

What gets confusing is some granola bars can be protein bars. There are granola bars with high amounts of protein as well. And I believe this is what confuses a lot of people.

But in general, most people will consider protein bars anything with a good amount of protein per serving.

So make sure you read the nutrition facts label to see if your granola bar has a high amount of protein (around 20g).

And you judge whether it’s a regular granola bar or a protein granola bar.

Man With Money Bag On Plate

Why Are Protein Bars Expensive

There are so many reasons why the cost of these bars can get pretty high, especially if you want to include them in your everyday diet.

See this related post on why protein bars are so expensive.

I go over in more detail why they are pretty pricey and how you can save when it comes to buying protein bars.

Final Thoughts On The Differences Between Granola Bars And Protein Bars

Now, you should know the differences between protein bars and granola bars. I know it can be a little confusing, especially when a granola bar can be a protein bar, depending on how much protein content is in the bar.

But usually, when people refer to a granola bar. It is the bars with very little protein content. And when people refer to protein bars, these are bars with high protein content.

Always make sure you read the nutrition facts label to understand what kind of bar it is. Also, keep in mind your fitness goals. These two things should help you judge which bar is best for you and your goals.

I hope you found value in this post and you got all your questions answered!

Jordan Arenas

My name is Jordan Arenas and I am the owner and author of RFKN Fit. I created RFKN Fit to help others achieve their fitness goals. My mission is to share helpful workouts, nutrition tips, delicious recipes, tips on mindset, some motivation, and some good ol' gym humor with this blog of mine. Hope you enjoy!

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