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Energy Bars: Ratings of Sources

Total of 27 Sources
1. BackpackGearTest.org
As of Jan. 2010
Reviews: Energy Bars and Drinks
by Contributors to BackpackGear.org
Our AssessmentThis review site features owner reviews as well as field test reports written by volunteers who try out different products while camping or hiking. Both types of reviews are quite useful, since they discuss not only how energy bars taste, but also how they hold up in a backpack, how they react to hot or cold temperatures, whether the package is easy to open, whether they provide quick and/or sustained energy, and other details. The reviews and test reports cover well-known bars like Clif and Larabar, as well as lesser-known brands. Bars are not ranked or rated, however.
2. Climbing.com
Not Dated
Energy Food Review - Bars
by Dave Sheldon
Our AssessmentDave Sheldon reviews five energy bars and a Snickers candy bar based on the responses of an unspecified number of testers who tried each bar while on a climbing trip. Clif Bar is the editors' top choice and receives a grade of A, while Larabar comes in second with an A-. Bars are rated on their taste and texture, how durable they are in a backpack and at different temperatures, how filling they are, and their nutritional content. Other bars included in the test: Balance Outdoor bar (since discontinued), PowerBar Protein Plus -- described as having an unnatural taste and having a limited temperature range -- and Honey Stinger Bar, which testers found too sweet and dry.
3. About.com
Not Dated
Guide Picks - Top Energy Bars
by Elizabeth Quinn
Our AssessmentElizabeth Quinn, About.com's sports medicine guide, points out that while energy bars may be no better than a piece of fruit at providing energy for athletes, they are often more convenient to transport. Quinn's picks for the best energy bars are the PowerBar Harvest, Luna Bar, Clif Bar, and Gatorade Energy Bar. She also recommends a snack of four Fig Newton cookies, which she says "does the same thing for a lot less." Each energy bar gets a brief review. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
4. Real Simple
Not Dated
Best Energy Bars
by Editors of Real Simple magazine
Our AssessmentReal Simple magazine editors rate energy bars for taste based on the responses of unidentified testers, and have a nutritionist weigh in on each winner in the taste test. Category winners are best chewy energy bar: Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber Cinnamon Raisin bar; best chocolaty energy bar: Larabar Jocalat Chocolate; best crunchy energy bar: PowerBar Nut Naturals Fruit & Nut; and best fruity energy bar: Larabar Cherry Pie. A runner-up in each category is also named.
5. About.com
Updated Oct. 24, 2008
Top 8 Natural Energy Bars
by Wendy Bumgardner
Our AssessmentAbout.com's walking guide reviews the eight best "natural" energy bars, meaning "bars with simple ingredient lists you can understand," and with "no weird flavors from additives." Reviews here are very short, but links lead to full product reviews. They are not compared to one another in this review, but ratings are given in the individual reviews, making it possible to determine how the bars would rank in a comparison chart. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
6. About.com
Updated March 2, 2009
Top 10 Energy Bars
by Wendy Bumgardner
Our AssessmentAbout.com walking guide Wendy Bumgardner picks 10 popular energy bars and offers a very brief review of each one, focusing on its taste, how easy it is to carry and eat while on a long walk, and for some, nutritional makeup. However, she doesn't rank the 10 bars included here. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
7. Good Housekeeping
April 20, 2009
Tips for Choosing a Healthy Snack Bar
by Samantha Cassetty
Our AssessmentGood Housekeeping Research Institute's nutrition director, Samantha Cassetty says those looking for a healthy snack bar should "cap calories at 200 and shoot for at least 3 grams of fiber. Whole grains are another plus while a slew of artificial or processed ingredients lowers the bar." She likes two flavors of Kind Fruit + Nut bars, and all of the Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars. Her favorite Kashi flavor is the Cherry Dark Chocolate, which contains no nuts. She notes that the Kind Fruit + Nut bars are a little "pricey," while the Kashi bars are more affordable.
8. Health.com
Updated Feb. 20, 2009
The Best Energy Bar for You
by Sarah Jio
Our AssessmentWith the help of nutrition experts, reviewer Sarah Jio identifies the best energy bars for women in different situations, as well as the one in each category that tastes best. For women craving an afternoon snack, lower-calorie bars like the PowerBar Pria are a good choice, she writes, while the best-tasting is the Clif Mojo Dipped Fruit and Nut bar. For bars made with "real food," the best-tasting is the Clif Nectar Lemon, Vanilla, Cashew. The best bars to provide sustained energy for a long workout are Solo, Balance Gold, ProBar, and PowerBar Nut Naturals bars; the taste-test winner is the ProBar Whole Berry Blast. Some bars are designed to provide a healthy snack for pregnant women; in this category, tasters like the Mommy Munchies' Cinnamon Bun.
9. Prevention Magazine
July 14, 2005
We Test It: Energy Bars
by Denise Foley and Tanya Beers
Our AssessmentWith the help of registered dietician Elizabeth Somer, the authors identify seven brands of energy bars that are relatively low in calories yet provide enough carbohydrates to provide a quick energy boost. All have enough protein to prevent an energy slump after the carbs have worn off, too. A poster linked to the article shows each brand along with a description, comments from testers, a list of its nutrients, available flavors, and the price per bar. The bars are not rated or ranked, though according to the comments, "testers agree that Larabars satisfied hunger best." Testers also agree on Luna Bars; they "love the flavor variety" and find them "light, not dense, unlike most energy bars." We would have ranked this review higher if it were more recent.
10. Redbook
Not Dated
The Best Energy Bars
by Editors of Redbook magazine
Our AssessmentThe editors of Redbook magazine focus on low-calorie bars that "can give you a quick boost of energy during a long walk." Their criteria: The bar should have around 100 calories, with no more than five grams of total fat and 12 grams of sugar. They come up with three that not only meet the criteria, but taste good as well: Balance Bar 100 Calories Snack Bar's Peanut Butter Crisp (now discontinued), Clif Zbar's Chocolate Brownie, and PowerBar Pria's Vanilla Chai Crisp.
11. Consumer Lab
Updated Jan. 24, 2009
Product Review: Nutrition Bars
by Editors of ConsumerLab.com
Our AssessmentConsumerLab.com conducts independent tests of health, wellness and nutrition products to make sure they meet required standards for quality and safety. In this review of nutrition bars, well-known types of bars are purchased on the open market, not supplied by the manufacturer, and are sent to an independent lab for testing. A bar passes if it lists all nutritional components on the label as required by the Food and Drug Administration, and actually contains the components in the amounts listed on the label. All bars tested for this product review pass; they are listed in a table with a detailed nutritional breakdown as well as a list of ingredients. The last column in the table includes comments on their taste or nutritional balance. However, bars are not rated or ranked.
12. MightyFoods.com
Not Dated
Real Food Energy Bar Review
by Rachel Cole
Our AssessmentMightyFoods.com is a website for those interested in natural foods. Reviewer Rachel Cole samples energy bars made with real foods, by which she means "predominantly made with some combination of dried fruit (usually dates) and nuts and without any added sugars or proteins." She tastes 35 bars in all, recommending 11 brands with bars that meet her criteria. She likes the taste of eight bars enough to consider buying them again -- five Larabar flavors (one of them a Larabar Jocalat), two Clif Nectar flavors, and one ThinkOrganic flavor.
13. IAteAPie.net
As of Jan. 2010
Diet Food Reviews, Natural and Organic Food Reviews
by Contributors to IAteAPie.net
Our AssessmentThis site offers reviews of food products categorized as diet foods or natural and organic foods; energy bars appear in both categories. The reviews are written by different individuals and provide an overall rating as well as ratings for taste, nutrition and price for each bar. Some reviews cover only one flavor of a bar, while others discuss the brand as a whole. The reviews are detailed and thorough. There's an alphabetical index that you can search to find a particular product.
14. Outside Magazine
Not Dated
Camping and Hiking Food Reviews
by Contributors to Outside magazine
Our AssessmentThis site has information and user reviews concerning many outdoor activities and their related gear. Food reviews are under the camping category. There's a helpful top-10 list that shows the top-ranked products in each category as well as how many people have posted reviews of each one. Of the top 10 camping and hiking foods, nine are energy bars. There are over 350 user reviews of the top-ranked Luna Bar and over 50 of many others, so the site is a good place to look for first-person perspectives on energy bars. Many reviews are gathered from other sites, including Drugstore.com and REI.com; others are posted directly to this site.
15. Amazon.com
As of Jan. 2010
Nutrition Bars
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentThere are so many user reviews of energy bars at Amazon.com that we looked only at those bars with 100 reviews or more and a rating of four out of five or better: Clif Bar, Clif Builder's Bar, Luna Bar, Larabar, and Balance Bar. PowerBar Harvest bars get high ratings from more than 50 people. Brands are rated here rather than individual flavors. Doing a search on the site is a little tricky because energy bars are a subcategory within nutrition bars; it's best to start with the category so you'll see everything. Luna Bars, for example, don't show up under the subcategory energy bars.
16. Drugstore.com
As of Jan. 2010
Reviews of Natural Foods Bars
by Contributors to Drugstore.com
Our AssessmentThis online retailer published its own ratings and reviews of energy bars. The brands with the highest ratings and greatest number of reviews are Clif Bar, Balance Bar, Balance Bar Gold, Larabar, Luna and Clif Nectar. These reviews are especially helpful because each flavor is reviewed individually so you can see what the general favorites are.
17. Team First Endurance Blog
Oct. 2, 2008
Energy Bar Review
by Kris Walker
Our AssessmentEndurance athlete and physician Kris Walker discusses what nutritional content to choose in an energy bar, depending on how you're using it -- as a meal replacement or snack, before a workout, during a long workout, or after a workout. A comparison chart gives the most comprehensive information we saw anywhere; it includes not only each bar's total calories and total fat, saturated and trans-fat, protein and carbohydrates, but also each bar's electrolyte, vitamin, iron, and fiber content, its carb-to-protein ratio, and other information. Bars on the chart are not rated or ranked, however. Brands are listed here, but individual flavors within a brand are not.
18. ShapeYou.com
Not Dated
Gear Awards: Bars
by Editors of ShapeYou.com
Our AssessmentShapeYou.com, a site for fitness buffs, gives Gear of the Year awards to health and fitness products; in the natural and organic food products category, several kinds of bars are given awards. For 2009, Kashi TLC Chewy Trail Mix and two flavors of Larabar bars win awards, while 2008 Gear of the Year awards go to two Pure Bar flavors. According to the site, companies nominate their products for an award, and a team of judges that includes athletes, trainers and nutrition experts evaluates them, but it's not clear what criteria they use to evaluate energy bars.
19. The Green Life
June 22, 2009
The Taste of Power: Top Ecofriendly Energy Bars
by Editors of The Green Life
Our AssessmentThe Green Life, the Sierra Club's e-mail newsletter, reviews energy bars made by 25 companies that are environmentally conscious. To determine which taste best, 15 Sierra Club staffers conduct blind taste tests. The top five bars are given short descriptions, along with comments from the staffers about their taste. Flavors of the Luna Bar, Clif Bar, Honey Stinger and bars from two less well-known brands, One Lucky Duck and Olympic Granola, make up the top five.
20. Health.com
March 3, 2009
Battle of the Bars: 2 New Snacks to Try
by Editors of Health.com
Our AssessmentThis review recommends two bars with only 120 calories, and enough fiber and protein to give you an energy boost that will last: Kellogg's FiberPlus Antioxidant Bars and Kashi TLC Fruit & Grain Bars. Staff at Health.com taste different flavors of each brand, favoring both flavors of the Kellogg's bars, though some find them a little too sweet. Among the three Kashi varieties, the favorites are Pumpkin Pie and Dark Chocolate Coconut; staffers find the third flavor, Raspberry Chocolate, too heavy on the raspberry flavor, which "distracts from the chocolate."
21. BarsAreFood.com
Not Dated
Hall of Fame
by Editors of BarsAreFood.com
Our AssessmentBarsAreFood.com is dedicated to "Protein, Energy and Nutrition Bar Reviews and News," and provides hundreds of product reviews. The five bars featured in the site's Hall of Fame all earn five stars in individual reviews posted between May and October, 2009. According to the editor, "you'll find bars that are a step above the rest, featuring the perfect blend of flavor, function, and packaging." A link takes you to the full review of each one. The editor reviews the bars himself, so the reviews are subjective, but they're thorough.
22. OutdoorBaby.com
Sept. 14, 2009
Energy Bar Review
by Heidi Ahrens
Our AssessmentEditor Heidi Ahrens, who maintains OutdoorBaby.com, describes the site as for "families who enjoy the outdoors." Her review of energy bars includes two Larabar varieties (original and Jocalat) and Clif Bars. Ahrens likes the fact that both Larabar bars are made from "real, whole foods," but her family finds the original Larabar too sweet, with a "mushy texture." She says both Larabar varieties are a little low in protein. Ultimately, Ahrens says that all three members of her family would choose to take Jocalat bars along on their outings.
Bar Exam: Energy Bars Flunk
by Bonnie Liebman and David Schardt
Our AssessmentThe Nutrition Action Health Letter, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, examines energy bars provides an accompanying ratings chart. Though these findings were published almost 10 years ago, the article and chart are still valuable because they discuss and rate bars based on their nutritional content alone. The authors say that according to nutrition experts, no one really needs an energy bar except endurance athletes or as a healthier substitute for a candy bar. However, recognizing that people do eat energy bars, they provide a ratings chart.
24. GaltTech.com
Not Dated
Protein and Energy Bars Review and Guide
by Editors of GaltTech.com
Our AssessmentGaltTech.com gathers information from other sites and provides product reviews, buying guides, and do-it-yourself instructions. This general review of energy bars, protein bars, low-carbohydrate and meal-replacement bars discusses what other reviews say about bars in each category. We looked at the review's picks for best energy bars: Clif Bar comes out on top, with mentions for Luna and PowerBar Harvest bars. Women are said to prefer Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber bars, as well as the Larabar Jocalat. No information is given about the methodology used to identify these bars as best.
25. Stack Magazine
Sept. 1, 2007
Five Best Energy Bars
by Editors of Stack Magazine
Our AssessmentThis article gives very brief reviews of five energy bars; it's not clear how they were picked as the best bars. The reviews include the total calories and the total grams of fat, carbohydrates and protein each bar provides.
26. Bicycling.com
Not Dated
Accessories: Nutrition -- Bars
by Editors of Bicycling.com
Our AssessmentIndividual reviews of 11 bars are provided from the point of view of a cyclist -- some bars are can be eaten while biking, while others are best for a post-biking treat. Testers also rate them for texture, taste, whether they hold up in a pack, and whether they're too dry or chewy. They're not ranked or rated against one another, however. Five of the 11 brands win Gear of the Day 2009 awards: PowerBar Performance, Promax 70 Bar, Clif Builder's Bar, Oatmeal on the Run! and Bonk Breaker bars. It's not clear how or why they were chosen.
27. Fitness Magazine
Not Dated
2008 Healthy Food Awards: The Best Snacks
by Editors of Fitness magazine
Our AssessmentThe editors of Fitness magazine choose the healthiest snacks in different categories, first narrowing the field down to those with no more than 250 calories per serving and no trans fats. In the category of best energy bar, the winner is the Clif Bar Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, described as "an ideal snack pre- or post-workout, or any time you need an energy boost." The criteria for choosing the winners here are not clear; they appear to be taste and general nutrition.

Energy Bars Runners Up:

Clif Nectar *Est. $1.35

4 picks including: Outside Magazine, Health.com…

Larabar Jocalat *Est. $1.65

3 picks including: Amazon.com, BackpackGearTest.org…

ProBar *Est. $2.50

3 picks including: About.com, Amazon.com…

Clif Bar Nectar bar Lemon, Vanilla & Cashew - 9 x 1.6 oz Bars
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $16.11   
Average Customer Review:  
LARABAR Jocalat, Chocolate, Gluten Free (Pack of 16)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $31.84 $17.85   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
ProBar - The Flirty Dozen Sampler (12 bars)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
Average Customer Review:  
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