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Adam eating chocolate protein bars

Rise of the Protein Chocolate Snack Bars

Protein is an absolutely essential part of your diet, and it’s especially important if you’re someone that exercises regularly and hits the gym.

However, protein has definitely become more of a focus for the mainstream health industry over the last few years, and companies are finding more ways to add protein into traditional products in an attempt to appeal to gym-goers and nutrition-conscious people.

One of the most recent ways that companies have done this is by producing protein bars – they’re everywhere and you’ll most likely be able to pick up a protein bar in your local supermarket.

However, it’s not just protein bars out there anymore – popular chocolate bar manufacturers are now producing high protein versions of their sweet snacks.

I’m a huge fan of the fact that there are high protein versions of some of the most popular chocolate bars, like Snickers and Mars, out there now – the thought of having a substantial dose of protein whilst also enjoying a chocolate bar seems great!

In this article, I’m going to take a look at these protein chocolate bars and see if they really are as good as they seem, as well as compare them to other options, such as more traditional protein snack bars.

Snickers and Mars Protein Bars

How Much Protein Should We Consume?

Before I take a look at the protein within the Snickers and Mars chocolate snack bars, it’s first important to know how much protein you should be consuming daily.

The minimum recommended amount of protein you should consume per day is 0.36g per pound of body weight. So, you can work out the unique amount of protein you should be consuming daily.

However, for the average man, this is 56g per day and for the average woman, this is 46g per day.

Although, if you are someone that does any type of exercise, whether you’re going for a run every morning or hitting the gym a few times a week, you’re going to need more protein than someone who lives a sedentary lifestyle.

If you are exercising regularly, the reason that you will need more protein is that you’ll be tearing your muscle fibers apart which have to be repaired.

These fibers need protein to be repaired, and therefore, you are going to need more protein.

Pro Tip: A great way to get your protein intake whilst getting your micronutrients at the same time is with a Protein Greens Powder.

Looking At The Snickers Protein Bar: What Is Its Nutritional Value?

The first protein bar made by Snickers contained 10g of protein. However, there is now a “Hi-Protein” Snickers bar that contains 18-20g of protein (depending on whether you purchase the original flavor or the higher protein Peanut Butter flavor.

Since Snickers is made by Mars (and we’ll be taking a look at the Protein Mars bar later) you’ll be able to see some similarities between the two!

However, I want to take a look at the nutrition label of a Hi-Protein Snickers Bar.

One Hi-Protein Snickers bar totals 51g, and there is either 18.2g of protein (in a standard flavor) or 20g (in Peanut Butter flavor) of protein.

To put this amount of protein into perspective, a traditional Snickers bar without protein has a 4.3 serving of protein.

Therefore, 18-20g of protein is a substantial dose of protein and you would expect this dose of protein to be found in traditional protein bars or formulas.

So, that’s great!

However, when it comes to working out if the Snickers bar is healthy or not, it gets a little more complicated.

Within one of these Hi-Protein bars, although there are only 199 calories per bar, there’s still 7.1g of fat and 18.4g of carbs (of which sugars make up 9.5g). Therefore, it’s not technically an ultra “healthy” snack.

Looking At The Mars Protein Bar: What Is Its Nutritional Value?

Although Mars produces Snickers, the two bars have different nutritional values, and therefore it’s important to take a look at each so you can figure out if (if you want to consume one) which one you’ll go for.

A Hi-Protein Mars contains 22g of protein, which is higher than its Snickers counterpart, and it’s actually higher than some popular protein bars and formulas out there too.

This is also a much higher amount of protein than in a traditional Mars bar – normal bars contain 2.2g of protein.

However, it’s slightly more calorific, totaling 231 calories per bar. It’s also higher in carbohydrates too, with 25.7g (with 15.1g being sugars).

Although, it does have a lower amount of fat, with 5.3g of fat per bar.

Comparing The Snickers and Mars Protein Bars To A Popular Protein Snack Bar

To come to a conclusion on whether protein chocolate snack bars are healthy or not, it’s important to take a look at the alternative options out there.

For the sake of keeping it simple, I’ve chosen to take a look at one of the most popular protein snack bars on the market – Quest Protein Snack Bar. The nutritional information we will look at will relate to the Quest Peanut Chocolate Crunch Protein Bar.

One Quest Peanut Chocolate Crunch contains 15g of fat, 14g of carbohydrates (which 1g are sugars), 210 calories, and contains only 10g of protein.

Therefore, in comparison to both the Snickers and Mars Hi-Protein bars, this actually doesn’t perform as well.

Both the Snickers and Mars Protein bars contain more protein, less fat, and fewer carbohydrates.

However, the main difference between Quest’s bar and the chocolate protein bars is that the chocolate bars contain more sugar, whereas Quest’s bar contains only 1g of sugar.

However, I would assume this is to be expected since the Snickers and Mars bars are still chocolate bars.

So, overall, I would say that going for a Snickers or Mars Hi-Protein bar is a better choice than a popular protein snack bar such as Quest.

However, obviously, you may be able to find a protein snack bar that contains less fat, fewer carbohydrates, and more protein.

So, Are Protein Chocolate Snack Bars Healthy?

I can’t say that protein chocolate snack bars are ultra-healthy since they obviously contain high amounts of sugar and substantial amounts of fat and carbohydrates.

However, they definitely provide a substantial amount of protein, and since they compare better than popular protein snack bars on the market, they could be the perfect snack for after the gym.

As long as you’re consuming these types of chocolate bars in moderation, they should benefit you.

However, make sure you don’t go overboard – they are still chocolate bars at the end of the day! Just because these chocolate bars contain protein doesn’t mean they’re automatically healthy.

The Benefits of Protein Chocolate Snack Bars

  • Enjoyable sweet treat.
  • Easy to consume.
  • Substantial amount of protein.
  • Low-calorie.

The Disadvantages of Protein Chocolate Snack Bars

  • Contain sugars
  • Contain fats.
  • Can be mistaken as “healthy” snacks by people uninformed about nutrition.
  • Most are not vegan/some are not vegetarian.

Looking To Buy: Where You Can Get Snickers and Mars Protein Bars

If you want to buy the Snickers or Mars Hi-Protein chocolate snack bars, you may be able to find them in your local supermarket, or you can purchase them from Amazon.

The Bottom Line

Although you definitely shouldn’t use protein chocolate snack bars such as Snickers or Mars Hi-Protein as your sole source of protein or consume these bars on a regular basis, if you are looking for a sweet treat and you’d like to benefit from a substantial dose of protein at the same time, these could be a great choice!

With high amounts of protein, low-calorie count, and fairly low amounts of fat and carbohydrates (in comparison to alternatives on the market), they’re a good option!

I have to say, I’m a fan of the protein chocolate snack bars out there, such as Snickers and Mars.

Adam Author

About the LifeHacker Guy

Hi, I'm Adam the founder of the LifeHacker Guy.

I have a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science from Brighton University, specialising in exercise physiology and nutrition. In my youth I was a competitive Triathlete and long-distance runner placing top 10 in most triathlon races I completed.

Since suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I moved into web development, after a couple of years I then moved onto developing a number of online businesses. I've recently taken a sabbatical and I'm now looking to make big changes in my life, hopefully this may resonate with you - join me in my journey!

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