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How to Shop For Protein Bars and Protein Shakes

What Are The Different Types of Protein?

There are many ways to reach the goal of getting additional protein in your diet. Depending on your dietary restrictions and lifestyle, some might be a better fit than others. For instance, if you're lactose-intolerant, a plant-based protein is probably a better choice than milk-based whey protein.

Some proteins may have marginally different results as far as muscle mass or fat-burning potential, but unless you are a serious athlete, it's not a large enough difference to matter significantly.

Plant-based protein vs. whey protein

The two major categories of protein are plant-based protein and whey protein. Whey protein is an animal byproduct from the cheesemaking process, so if you're a vegetarian, plant-based protein would be a better option. Also, while the process of turning whey into a powder removes most of its lactose, it doesn't remove all of it. So if you are lactose-intolerant, you may want to consider plant-based protein. Plant-based protein is also generally easier for the body to digest.

Whey protein

Whey protein is a byproduct of the cheesemaking process. It is typically the least expensive protein powder variety. Whey's natural taste isn't great, so it's usually available in flavors like chocolate or vanilla.

Soy protein

Soy protein comes from soybeans. Some studies show that it can boost weight-loss just as well as animal-based proteins.

Egg protein

Egg protein comes from egg whites and is a high-quality protein that is easy to digest.

Milk protein

Both whey and casein proteins come from milk, though casein is digested more slowly. Both can promote muscle mass growth and fat loss.

Rice protein

Usually derived from brown rice, this protein is gluten-free and low in carbs. It is a high-quality protein, but not a complete protein.

Pea protein

Pea protein comes from yellow split peas and can promote muscle growth as well as many animal-based proteins. It is popular with vegetarians.

Hemp protein

Hemp contains a high amount of amino acids and is easily digested. While it comes from a plant related to marijuana, it is not psychoactive.

What are the best nutrition and protein shakes?

People must consume protein in order to remain healthy. Nutrition and protein shakes can be an efficient and convenient way to consume enough protein to meet your daily goal.

To determine roughly how many grams of protein you should have every day, divide your weight in pounds by three. For example, a 180-pound person should try to eat about 60 grams of protein a day.

The best nutrition and protein shakes will have a low amount of sugar or artificial sweetener. If you're vegan, almond milk is a good base for your protein shake or smoothie.

What are the best nutrition and protein bars?

Whether you're trying to add muscle mass or just lose weight, the best protein bars are ones that aren't loaded with sugar. The ideal protein bar has at least 20 grams of protein, 300 or fewer calories, less than 15 grams of fat, and at least five grams of fiber.

What Different Types of Protein Bars and Protein Shakes Are There?

Protein products serve different purposes

Some products are intended to replace meals, while others are targeted at weight loss or boosting energy.

General ground rules of protein products

An ideal protein product should have at least 10 grams of protein, fewer than 15 grams of sugar, fewer than four grams of fat and less than 350 calories.

Weight loss protein products

Adding more protein to your diet will increase how full you feel, leading you to consume fewer calories, which is the key to weight loss. Weight loss protein products should be high in protein and low in sugar.

Meal replacement protein products

Meal replacement protein products contain all the nutrients you should have in a meal. They can be faster and more convenient than cooking a healthy meal and healthier than fast food.

Energy protein products

Protein can provide a good source of energy for the body but takes longer for the body to process than carbohydrates. As a result, protein bars with higher carb counts are good for short-term energy bursts.

For a snack

Protein bars can provide a healthy snack between meals and come in many flavors like blueberry, caramel, chocolate chip, brownie and peanut butter.

What to Consider when Buying Protein Bars and Protein Shakes

Your protein bar goals

To find out which protein bar is best, consider what you need. If you need energy, look for a bar with more carbs, which will give you a short-term boost. If you're looking for a meal replacement or snack option, pick a bar with fewer calories. Kosher protein bars are available.

Read ingredients list

As raw protein doesn't taste good on its own, protein products generally also contain fiber and some kind of flavor or sweetener.

Nutritional value

The healthiest protein products contain high amounts (six grams or more) of fiber. Try to avoid high amounts of sugar or sweeteners, which can be unhealthy.


You should look for protein products that are made from a short list of ingredients you can pronounce. The longer and more complicated the ingredient list, the more processed the food.


Protein bars won't taste as good as candy bars - they have far less sugar. So picking a favorite flavor can be really important in choosing the best protein bar for you. Fortunately, protein bars and shakes come in a wide variety of flavors, from chocolate to peanut butter (and chocolate peanut butter).

Protein powders also come in different flavors, like vanilla protein powder or chocolate protein powder, so you can make the healthy protein smoothie or milkshake that tastes the best to you.


Sam's Club sells a wide variety of protein bar boxes in the $16-$20 range and different protein powders from $20-$63.

What Brands of Protein Bars and Protein Shakes Does Sam's Club Sell?

  • Zipfizz
  • Boost
  • Muscle Milk
  • Muscletech
  • Orgain
  • Kind
  • Clif
  • Pure Protein

FAQ - Protein Shakes and Bars

What shakes are best for weight loss?

The best protein shakes are made from whole, natural ingredients. Shakes with lots of added sugars, corn syrup, preservatives and partially hydrogenated oils are less healthy. Look for shakes with as little sugar as possible.

What bars are best for weight loss?

The best bars for weight loss have natural ingredients and are low in sugar.

How much do protein shakes cost?

A box of protein shakes usually costs between $15 and $21.

How much do protein bars cost?

Boxes of protein bars cost between $16 and $20.

Where is the best place to buy protein bars?

Sam's Club offers a wide variety of protein bars.

Where is the best place to buy protein shakes?

Sam's Club offers an array of different high protein shakes to fit your needs.

Does protein make you gain weight?

Protein itself does not make you gain weight.

Are protein bars good for you?

Protein bars that are low in sugar and high in fiber can be good for you.