CAMPING & HIKING

The Best Energy Bars: How to Keep Your Stamina Going

Best energy bars
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

We have all been there in the outdoors, getting in a great hike – when hunger hits, and you know you can’t just scarf down a bunch of potato chips, right? So what can you eat on the go and get all the needed nutrients and energy?

Well, because it has all of the nutrients that you need, the best energy bar you grab and put in your backpack or pocket, will work wonders.

Who said wholesome foods have to taste bad or that snacks have to be packed with a lot of useless calories? Energy bars will provide enough energy for people who have active lifestyles, and who either don’t have the time or access to a regular meal, either don’t want to engage in strenuous physical activity on a full stomach.

But, finding the best stuff is never easy and that’s why we decided to help you out. We’re here to let you know what you should be looking for when choosing a power bar, and how to choose from the grade A items on the market. So, let us start below with the factors you must take into consideration before showing you some food reviews.

Product NameWeightNon -
GMO
Specific FeaturesPrice
Clif Bar White Chocolate Macadamia2.4 ozYesOrganic rolled oats, roasted macadamia nutsCheck price on Amazon
Luna Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter2.5 ozNoNo gluten, vitamin DCheck price on Amazon
Gatorade Prime Chocolate Chip2.5 ozNo2 g of fiber, 5 g of proteinCheck price on Amazon
Kashi Honey Oat Flax14.1 ozNo25 g whole grain, 3 g fiberCheck price on Amazon
Larabar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip0.8 ozYesDairy free, gluten freeCheck price on Amazon
GoMacro Organic Vegan2.1 ozYesNo gluten, high protein, ironCheck price on Amazon
Taste of Nature Organic15.8 ozYesNo gluten, high proteinCheck price on Amazon
Clif Bar Crunch7.4 ozNoNutrient rich, high in calciumCheck price on Amazon
Clif Mojo Peanut Butter2.6 ozYes70% organic, high in proteinCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Below, we are going to dive into the things you need to know before you buy just any snacks for your outdoor adventures.

Daily Activities

Why do you need a power bar? Building more muscle mass, or at least not losing any? Choose something with a high protein content. For getting more energy during the day, a high carb content will help you because carbs are the primary source of energy used by the body.

If you’re looking to replenish after a hard workout, look for something a bit higher in sugar. If you want to feel satiated for longer, healthy fats and high fiber content will do just that, along with low-glycemic index foods.

Ingredients

We always love to see good, natural ingredients in our foods, that don’t pack empty calories. So look for:

trail mix nuts raisins brazil nuts

  • Peanut butter: high in protein.
  • Oats and whole grains: high in fiber.
  • Seeds and nuts: high in healthy fats.

Besides, ignore anything with too many preservatives, artificial ingredients or high-fructose content. Kosher and vegan options are available too.

Weight

If you’re eating these snacks on the go, then you need something compact, lightweight and easy to carry in your pocket, bag or backpack. The bars are generally compact but will satisfy you because everything is packed into the bar and packs a punch.

The Best Energy Bars: How to Keep Your Stamina Going

Some bars are big enough that you can eat half and save half for later. The weight of the bar will tell you how big it is so you can make the most of your snacking options.

Taste

This is definitely not something to ignore. The truth is most of us don’t eat foods we hate, although some of them may be really good for us.

But, bars with organic, natural ingredients tend to taste better, plus they have a good texture, not a sticky one or one that feels like sand in your mouth. These bars are not like olden times, as they are now more delicious and geared towards those with a sweet tooth.

Non-GMO

Being non-GMO means that the food is not genetically modified using organisms. These organisms are made in a lab using techniques to engineer food in a certain way.

non gmo energy bars

Some believe that looking for non-GMO foods means that they are eating healthier. This is due to the fact that there is thought to be health risks with foods that are genetically modified.

Best Products on Today’s Market

After taking all that to heart, let’s see what our taste buds would enjoy. Read on for some tasty reviews.

Clif Bar White Chocolate Macadamia Energy BarClif Bar White Chocolate Macadamia Energy Bar

Price: Approx. $11 for a 12-pack

Weight: 2.4 oz

Specific features: Roasted macadamia nuts, white chocolate, non-GMO, organic rolled oats

Best use: Hiking

Description: The Clif White Chocolate Macadamia Energy Bar is amazing when it comes to getting all your vitamins and nutrients for your hiking trip. Since it’s made with macadamia nuts, you’ll be sure to get enough protein to replace a whole meal.

The rolled oats inside are organic and a good source of fiber, while the white chocolate is there to give it a bonus of healthy fats and of delicious taste. The vitamins and nutrients you’ll find in this bar are the following: 4 g dietary fiber, 41 g carbs, 9 g protein, 23 vitamins and minerals, like calcium, iron, and vitamin A.

Plus, you can rest assured there are no: Artificial flavors, GMOs, high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, Trans fats. So, no artificial ingredients are involved in the production of this bar, which is 95% organic.

If you want to include this energy bar in your fitness routine, it’s best to eat it a couple of hours before strenuous exercise, with lots of water. That way, the nutrients will have enough time to be absorbed by your body and fuel it properly. Or you can eat it afterward, to replace the energy you’ve lost.

But the great thing about the Clif bars, is that they actually taste good and have a good texture, not one that gets them all crumbly, mushy or melty. That’s probably also courtesy of the natural ingredients used.

PROS:

  • Tasty
  • Lots of fiber and protein
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Sweet
  • Dry
  • Grainy

Related: To add to your stamina, the Skechers Men’s Stamina Plus Rappel Sneaker are great shoes. Affordable and stylish, these shoes are made of leather and textile, have a rubber sole and include a memory foam insole.

Check the price on Amazon

Luna Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter BarLuna Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar

Price: Approx. $10 for a 12 pack

Weight: 2.5 oz

Specific features: Peanut butter plus nougat, no gluten, low glycemic, 12 g protein, 3 g fiber, iron, vitamin D

Best use: For women that are physically active

Description: The Luna Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar is the best power bar for women since it was specially designed for their nutritional needs when it comes to the total high protein content.

However, this bar is not exclusive to the female gender, and anyone who’s planning to endeavor in a prolonged, high-intensity exercise routine has a good source of energy here.

That’s because this bar has a very low glycemic index, and foods with this feature take longer to release sugar into your bloodstream. Since sugar isn’t released all at once, but rather rationed in small, constant amounts, you’ll get just the right amount of energy delivered in a longer time span.

Another nice thing about this bar is that it’s made with organic ingredients, such as: almonds, cocoa, nougat, peanut butter. Almonds are a reliable source of fiber and healthy fats, nougat is renowned for its fiber content, and peanut butter is great when it comes to offering a reliable source of protein.

Cocoa is there for the taste, and for energy and calcium. Speaking of which, the vitamins and minerals you’ll get are: calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin D.

Plus, there are no artificial ingredients in this low-calorie snack, that only has 200 calories. So no gluten, trans fats, corn syrup or GMOs here, just plain natural ingredients, responsible for giving this bar a wonderful taste, soft yet crunchy.

PROS:

  • Soft nougat with peanut butter
  • Gluten free
  • Includes iron and vitamin D

CONS:

  • Too thick
  • Tastes grainy
  • Melts easily

Related: Stay hydrated by taking a water bottle with you. The #Stamina 20oz Water Bottle is made of stainless steel and comes in 2 colors!

Check the price on Amazon

Gatorade Prime Chocolate Chip Fuel BarGatorade Prime Chocolate Chip Fuel Bar

Price: Approx. $14 for a 12-pack

Weight: 2.5 oz

Specific features: High in carbs and protein, 220 calories/ bar, chocolate chip flavor

Best use: Hiking, mountaineering, after working out, for athletes

Description: The Gatorade Prime Chocolate Chip Fuel Bar has a good, nutritious composition. The nutrients it provides in an abundance are: Carbs – 45 g, from which: Sugar – 19 g, fiber – 2 g, protein – 5 g, fat – 3.5 g.

Basically, you’ll get a lot of carbs to give you the energy boost you need before a rough workout or before a few hours of hiking with your backpack on.

And, at just 220 calories/ bar, you can easily eat a couple of Fuel Bars to give you an even bigger energy boost, which is primarily courtesy of the high sugar content. There are some fibers there as well, but that’s not the main purpose of this bar.

The protein and fat content are pretty high too. These nutrients work together to keep you satiated, but protein will help your weary muscles and the healthy fats will add to the nice taste.

The taste is further improved by the chocolate chip cookies, so you’ll get a nice, crunchy texture. The Gatorade bar is also rich in Calcium and Iron, and each of these vitamins helps you resists a prolonged effort.

PROS:

  • Made for athletes
  • Great meal supplement
  • 5 g of protein

CONS:

  • No taste
  • Too much sugar
  • Gets stale

Related: The AngelGG Compression Socks are great socks for outdoor use and sports. Affordable, these improve your blood circulation and are medical grade.

Check the price on Amazon

Kashi Honey Oat Flax Crunch BarsKashi Honey Oat Flax Crunch Bars

Price: Approx. $28 for 4 boxes

Weight: 14.1 oz

Specific features: 320 mg ALA omega-3, 25 g whole grain, 3 g fiber, coconut, honey

Best use: Hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, sports

Description: The Kashi Honey Oat Flax Crunchy Bars is the best power bar for people who want to savor a kosher product, with healthy fats and a lot of fiber. Basically, this bar is perfect for keeping you healthy and fit, while aiding your digestive process thanks to a mix of seeds and whole grains, that are tasty as well as nutritious.

So with just 1.4 ounces per bar, you’ll get: 320 mg ALA omega-3, 25 g whole grain, 3 g fiber. The first nutrient is actually a healthy fat, but with the added benefits of prolonged energy release. That’s because they lower a number of triglycerides in your bloodstream, or in laymen’s terms, they lower the sugar level.

Basically, instead of consuming sugar at accelerated levels, and in big gulps, your body will have a slower go at this. And apart from the advantage of more energy, you’ll also lower the risk of hearing problems and diabetes.

The high grains and fiber content will add to your energy boost while keeping your stomach full for longer, so you won’t feel so hungry. Plus, the added coconut and honey will improve the taste of this bar, offering you a delicious snack.

PROS:

  • Has 7 grains
  • Includes fiber and Omega 3
  • Crunchy and tasty

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • Harder to find

Related: The Venture Pal Packable Backpack is a light backpack that you can take with you outdoors or anywhere. Affordable, there are a lot of pockets and color choices, and it is comfortable to wear.

Check the price on Amazon

Larabar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip BarLarabar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar

Price: Approx. $16 for a 16-pack

Weight: 0.8 oz

Specific features: Dates, peanuts, chocolate chips, sea salt, gluten-free, non-GMO, dairy-free, 10% DRV magnesium

Best use: When low on energy, after working out or long walks in the outdoors

Description: The Larabar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar is made from natural ingredients, like dates, peanuts, chocolate chips, and sea salt. They’re kosher, with only natural ingredients, and no gluten or GMOs involved.

Plus, they give you a high energy boost thanks to the high amount of carbohydrates which reaches 26 g, or almost 9% of the daily recommended amount.

You’ll be ready to use up this energy and still keep your muscles working perfectly since this bar has 6 g of protein too. That will keep you feeling full enough, along with the high healthy fat content of 11 g.

And if you’re worried you’ll soon be gaining a lot of weight, fat is not your foe here. On the contrary, we all need balanced meals, that make us feel satiated enough.

And, the right amount of healthy fat is what makes you burn more body fat since it actually accelerates the sugar consumption. Besides, at just 200 calories per bar, this is the kind of snack you need – unless you eat 4 or 5 at a time.

Which you could do, since 4 or 5 hours of hiking burn double or triple that amount. But even if you use this bar as a quick snack during your work day, it’s still good enough because of its low glycemic index, offering you a prolonged energy release, thanks to the high amount of healthy fats.

That means you’ll get more energy during the day, as well as somewhat lower your risk of coronary problems and diabetes. Plus, take into account the natural, healthy content. This bar is a combination of nuts and fruits, packed with a good balance of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Just think of the 10% magnesium intake, which is pretty high and will keep your energy up. There are no preservatives, GMOs, and gluten involved here, just a plain old kosher bar for a healthy snack.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Wholesome, real flavors
  • Vegan product

CONS:

  • Can get dry
  • Taste manufactured
  • Other flavors are tastier

Related: The Lotuyacy Outdoor Wide Headband is a wide headband that is elastic and doesn’t show the seams. It can also act as a scarf and is UV resistant and wicks moisture.

Check the price on Amazon

GoMacro Organic Vegan Protein BarGoMacro Organic Vegan Protein Bar

Price: Approx. $30 for a 12-pack

Weight: 2.1 oz

Specifications: No gluten, non-GMO, no soy, kosher, organic, vegan, high-carb, high-protein, calcium, iron

Best use: Hiking, after working out, sports

Description: The GoMacro Organic Vegan Protein Bar is another great power bar made with whole-food, nutritious ingredients. That means you’ll get the nutrients your body needs, and still enjoy a pleasant taste.

The fact that this bar has no additives nor preservatives makes it a good, healthy choice and it explains why it has won some awards in the field.

So, you’ll get a mix of organic: Almonds, brown rice syrup, butter, dates, puffed brown rice, raisins, rolled oats, unsweetened coconut, walnuts.

Apart from offering you the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need for just one meal, this bar has long-term effects on boosting your immune system. That’s probably because of its complex carbs, that burn very slowly and actively lower the amount of triglycerides in your blood.

This will help keep your energy levels elevated, keeping you full, but also promote the burning of fat and sugar decomposition. That has the proven benefit of lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of diabetes. Basically, with just 220 calories per bar, you’ll be happy to know there are enough healthy fats, about 7 g, to keep you satiated.

The 36 g carbohydrates are responsible for a high energy level, replenishing the sugars you lose once you start exercising, while the 4 g of protein will keep your muscles in working order. The high calcium and iron content will give you a supplemental energy boost too.

PROS:

  • Gives a good energy boost
  • Plant based protein, organic
  • Easily digested

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • Gets dry, stale

Related: Besides energy, on your outdoor adventures, you will also need a pair of high-quality pants to protect you from the elements. The CQR Men’s Tactical Pants are affordable tactical pants that are light and come in a ton of colors. The button and zipper are high strength and the pants repel liquids and debris. Plus there are 8 cargo pockets!

Check the price on Amazon

Taste of Nature Organic Snack BarsTaste of Nature Organic Snack Bars

Price: Approx. $32 for an 18-pack

Weight: 15.8 oz

Specific features: USDA organic, kosher, no gluten, non-GMO, 190 calories, high in carbs, protein and healthy fats, natural ingredients

Best use: Before or after high intensity physical challenge

Description: The Taste of Nature Organic Snack Bars is a delicious mix of healthy ingredients that are USDA organic, kosher, and free of any gluten. Plus, it only has 190 calories total, which render it the perfect on-the-go snack for busy people or for the ones who want a plus of energy before or after a high-intensity physical challenge.

That’s because it has a high level of healthy fats, which amount to 17% of the daily recommended value. This is what will keep you feeling full for longer, and encourage your body to burn more sugar without building additional fat deposits.

Besides, there are no bad trans fats here, nor any cholesterol to cause health problems. The sodium content is next to nil at just 5 mg, and therefore you won’t be gaining any water weight, although you have a rich carb content of 19 g. Carbs will give your body more energy, and with a low enough amount of sugar – just 10 g to speak of.

The high content of dietary fiber reaches 16% of the recommended amount, keeping your digestive tract working and making you satiated. Plus, the 6 g of protein will take good care of your muscles.

PROS:

  • All organic, gluten free
  • Good source of fiber
  • Low sodium

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • Falls apart easily

Related: Since you won’t be gaining weight by eating protein bars, you might need a belt to keep your pants on in the wilderness. So, we recommend the CQR Tactical Belt, which is a great tactical belt that has nylon webbing, costs under $10 and is rip resistant. It comes in sizes small to XXL and is 1.5 inches thick.

Check the price on Amazon

Clif Bar Crunch Granola All Natural Chocolate ChipClif Bar Crunch Granola All Natural Chocolate Chip

Price: Approx. $10 for a 10-pack

Weight: 7.4 oz

Specific features: Chocolate chip flavor; 190 calories; nutrient-rich; high in calcium and iron; organic

Best use: Hiking, mountaineering, backpacking

Description: The Clif Chocolate Chip Crunch Granola Bar is the perfect snack for prolonged physical activities, high-intensity training or people with very active lifestyles who don’t have time for three full meals and need to snack fast during the day.

That’s because of its low caloric content of just 190 calories, less than 10% of the recommended amount per day. However, these are not just empty calories, as they offer a good proportion of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins.

The 28 g of carbs will give you the energy boost you need to get through your hectic schedule or intense training, aiding your digestion and keeping you full thanks to a high dietary fiber intake.

The 3 g of protein are good for your muscles, and the 8 g of healthy fat will promote the consumption of glucose, lowering your blood sugar levels. Along with that, the vitamins and minerals included will also boost your energy levels. Besides, everything is organic, and the mix of ingredients offers an overall palatable result, with a nice, full texture.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Organic ingredients
  • Not artificial flavors or preservatives

CONS:

  • Falls apart easily
  • Gets hard

Related: The Granola Bar will keep you energized and healthy, but you need clothes and protection from the water to keep your health.The Tsonmall Hiking Gaiters are waterproof gaiters that breath well and are made for both men and women. They are snow proof, anti-tear and great for all kinds of unsavory weather.

Check the price on Amazon

Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel Trail Mix BarClif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel Trail Mix Bar

Price: Approx. $12 for a 12-pack

Weight: 2.6 oz

Specific features: Peanut butter rich, 9 g protein, 70% organic, non-GMO, no artificial ingredients

Best use: Before high intensity physical activities

Description: The Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel Trail Mix Bar is a wholesome snack. It’s quite delicious, combining a sweet and salty taste, with a lot of peanut butter.

Yes, even the added chips and pretzels are made from peanut butter. That will give you a whole lot of protein, about 8-9 g for each bar, to conserve your muscle mass, or help you build more muscle while you feel full enough.

Besides, the 70% organic ingredients don’t have any traces of trans fats, GMOs or other artificial/ high-fructose ingredients. You’ll basically get a mix or peanut butter pretzels and chips, along with the soy, rice crisp,s and peanuts, which contribute to the crunchy texture of this savory snack.

The included peanuts are amazing when it comes to taste, but they’re also rich in healthy fats, which is exactly what your body needs to promote a healthy burn of glucose and a constant, slow energy release, so you get more momentum during the day.

The explanation is that this bar is a low-glycemic food, which is digested very slowly. That’s what makes your stomach feeling full while releasing the necessary energy at a slow, but constant pace.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Organic
  • Lots of protein

CONS:

  • Too hard, like a brick
  • Product goes stale before expiry date
  • Hard on the teeth

Related: A first aid kit is necessary when outdoors. The Elite Provisions First Aid Kit is affordable, compact and comes with 131 pieces. The case is durable and it is FDA approved and water resistant.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

We have reached the end of our article. So, if you want to fight hunger and keep your energy levels up during the day, choosing the most appropriate snack for you is a must.

energy bars in the snow

After reviewing all these power bars and having seen they’re made from wholesome, natural and nutritious ingredients, it’s time to take your pick. Consider all the factors we’ve talked about before and let us know which one of these bars seems more appealing to you.

So why do you need a good energy bar, is it because you have busy work days, because you work out a lot, or because you need something nutritious for your survival pack?

What sort of snacks do you generally like? What foods give you more energy? Since your opinion is really helpful to us and other readers, don’t be shy and leave us a comment just below on what you prefer on your outdoor activities.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.