Best Cereal Bars For Cycling [Review] in 2021
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Whether you’re spending a full day down the trails, looking to beat your score in a race, or looking to discover a new route on a long ride, we can all agree that when we are a little peckish, an energy bar is a godsend. Ever wondered what the best energy bar is to meet your needs?
You’re not the only one.
Energy bars are brilliant for providing you with that little boost to get up that climb, or push for another mile, or shred another trail. They energize you and your muscles, providing you with the natural fuel you need to push the limits.
However, the major problem with most of these energy bars is that they do not have much nutritional value since most of them are full of sugars and chemicals. It can be a challenge to determine good from bad for you, with so many to choose from.
But it’s not all doom and gloom; I have good news.
I know how frustrating it can be to find a tasty cereal bar that actually benefits your body while you workout. Luckily I have spent 6 hours searching through hundreds of cereal bars to devise my top picks of the tastiest and best energy bars for your body.
Here’s a tip: when you’re on the hunt for an energy bar, make sure you avoid bars that are packed with artificial sugar, some companies add chemicals into their energy bars that lead to gastro problems such as stomach bloating, wind, or having to stop to use the toilet frequently.
I will go into this in more detail shortly, but for now, let’s jump in!
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Our Selection of the Best Cycling Energy Bars
RXBAR Protein Bar In Chocolate Sea Salt
best protein bars for cycling
RXBAR is coming in hot at number one thanks to its ‘No BS’ motto; there are hundreds of protein bars on the market that show you all the benefits, then be packed with artificial crap that does more bad than good to your body.
With RXBAR, you can guarantee that what you’re fueling your body with is natural.
These gluten-free bars are guilt-free protein bars for any brownie-loving cyclist. It is created with real food ingredients, 100% chocolate, egg whites for protein, dates to bind, and nuts for texture. This bar will pack your body with 12g of protein and 5g of fiber.
Here’s the best bit.
No more having an energy bar and feeling bloated or fatigue an hour after and having to cut your ride short; this bad boy is 100% natural ingredients that your body will love you for. It is brilliant for a pre or post-workout snack to get the energy you need!
If you’re looking for a clean energy and protein source, you need to try this bar; it is one of the few energy bars that have CLEAN ingredients. It gets the sweetness from the dates, and it’s free of any harmful ingredients like cholesterol.
This protein bar will be sure to give you the boost you need to get up that climb or push another mile.
- 100% natural ingredients
- 12g protein and 5g fiber
- Zero cholesterol and no added sugars
- Good as a snack not a meal replacement
Latest deal: RXBAR Protein Bar
Health Warrior Chia Nutritional Cereal Bars
best nutrition bars for cycling
The second spot has to go to Health Warrior. Chia Bars are the perfect choice for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a guilt-free snack.
What I love about these bars is that they are made with plant-based ingredients and made with real plants, so they’ll fill you up and provide you with the energy you need while riding without the uncomfortable bloating or wind.
These energy bars are non-GMO, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and free from sugar alcohol. With only 100 calories and 3g of sugar, these bars are ideal for an active lifestyle and get you through your ride.
But that’s not all.
These bars provide a substantial amount of omega 3, natural fiber, antioxidants, proteins, calcium, iron, and magnesium, all the goodness you need! You won’t be stuck for choice with their 3 beautiful flavors of mango, acai berry, or coconut.
My only pet peeve about this product is that the 3g of sugar it contains is added sugar rather than natural derived sugar like in the RCXBAR. However, it is only 3g and still has all the natural goodness you need out of an energy bar.
For the ingredient,s benefits, and price Health Warrior is an absolute winner.
Packed with super foods
Keeps you full
They are small
Latest deal: Health Warrior Chia
CLIF BARS Energy Bars
best energy bars for cycling
Next up is a personal favorite of mine; these are packed and ready to go in my saddlebag when I hit the trails. CLIF Bar Energy Bars are packed with 11g of plant protein along with fast-acting and long-lasting carbohydrates that make the perfect fuel for intense rides.
Whether you need some energy for hiking, long road bike cycling, training, camping, or any other activity, Clif Bar Energy Bars provides contains wholesome ingredients that keep you energized.
These protein bars are built around great-tasting, plant-based ingredients free from any nasties like GMOs, high-fructose syrup, or artificial flavors. These organic ingredients include organic rolled oats that nourish your body and keep you fuller for longer.
As if that was enough:
These protein bars also come with smaller amounts of good fats and plant-powered protein to power all kinds of adventures, big and small. Despite not being gluten-free, these bars are still free from harsh, nasty ingredients that can be harmful to your body.
These bars are high in protein, low in sugar, and come with a vast amount of flavors to choose from; what more could you want?
Made of organic ingredients
Enhances your performance
Ideal for everyone
Some customers complained about the product being 'dry'
Latest deal: CLIF BARS Energy Bars
Gatorade Prime Protein Bar, Chocolate Chip
best power bars for cycling
Stealing the show at the number four spot is these Gatorade Prime Protein Bars that are designed to replenish and rebuild your muscle while on the go. These bars have a whopping 20g of high-quality whey protein, ideal for any training cyclist.
These bars are delicious both in taste and texture.
Whey protein is by far the best protein supplement for your body, and it works to replenish, build and recover muscles from intense workout rides. These bars are also packed with 42g of carbs for maximum energy while riding and replenish your body for the next ride.
Gatorade has scientifically developed these protein bars for athletes to refuel riders and athletes in general. They are trusted by the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB, so you can buy with confidence that you’re getting the best product.
The range of flavors is delicious; they’re available in different forms such as peanut butter and chocolate, chocolate chip, honey oat or oatmeal, and raisin– you definitely won’t be stuck for choice.
These bars are perfect for my intense riders.
Perfect energy booster
Available in different forms
Has added sugars
Latest deal: Gatorade Prime Protein Bar, Chocolate Chip
Kind Bars Energy Bars
Now I know I’ve left this till last, but this is still nutritional energy be that you cannot miss! Kind Bars follow a motto that if you cannot pronounce an ingredient, it shouldn’t go in your body; they have created whole nuts, fruits, and grain bars without the artificial stuff.
These bars have no secret ingredients, no artificial flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners; you can see whole ingredients in their bars that are enriched with goodness needed on your ride.
No one should have to compromise flavor for healthy goodness when it comes to their snacks. Kind Bars utilize premium quality ingredients that are kind to your body without having to sacrifice flavor.
But wait, there’s more.
These bars are definitely lower in sugar than a lot of similar products, they’re an ideal alternative, and all the flavors are brilliant. The majority are low glycemic, so riders with diabetes can digest these bars without spiking their blood sugar levels.
Whether you’re looking for a quick snack for a full day of riding or a healthy pre-workout alternative, you cannot beat these bars.
No secret ingredients, no artifical flavours, preservatives or sweenters
100% natural ingredients
Nutritious without compromising flavor
Latest deal: Kind Bars Energy Bars
The Best Cycling Energy Bars– A Buying Guide:
When it comes down to getting a snack on the go, we all want something that will provide us an energizing boost without all the horrid artificial stuff that can be harmful to our body.
The last thing we want is a stomach ache or wind while in the middle of nowhere, an hour after having an energy bar.
Energy bars have taken the world by storm in the past few decades. Still, by there being hundreds or even thousands to choose from, there is a fair share of bars packed with bad preservatives, artificial colorings, and sweeteners covered up by marketing gimmicks.
To avoid this and ensure you’re getting the very best product, I would go for products that disclose the full ingredients list and don’t lie about what they put in their products; some brands may claim they’re ‘natural,’ but the ingredients will speak for themselves.
Let’s talk about things to look out for in more detail to ensure you’re getting the very best energizing bar for your workout!
Types of Cycling Energy bars
If you are a cyclist, the following are the most common types of energy bars you can find today:
Carbohydrate bars: These ones are also known as real energy bars. They provide fuel for your workouts. You can use them either before or after strenuous exercises.
These bars provide your working muscles with fuel and can be used before, during, or after intense rides. These will be sure to get you up tough climbs, through intense sprints, or allow you to push that further mile.
Protein bars: These ones help to repair the muscles after exercises. They are not only rich in proteins but they also contain low carbs which means that they do not provide a lot of energy.
You may find some protein bars include carbohydrates in the ingredients making them ideal for a snack mid-ride or after your workout as a form of recovery.
Meal placement bars: Meal placement bars contain all the nutrients which include protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Even if they cannot replace the nutritional benefits of a full meal, they are very important for those with limited time for eating.
They’re convenient and useful for on the go, such as getting a snack while spending a full day down the trail. However, you should not rely on them as part of your diet.
Low calories bars: These may not be the best because they provide very little energy or nutrition to help aid the recovery of your muscles. They are used as snacks and are suitable for those who want to lose weight.
What to look for when buying energizing cereal bars for cycling:
Energy bars are made of different ingredients, which means that picking any will be a bad idea; there are some key things to look out for and consider before buying any cereal bar to ensure you’re getting the right nutrients your body needs.
Natural sugars vs. artificial:
You may notice that brands claim their product is healthy in many cycling bars, but then they pack them with artificial sugars and artificial flavoring that can cause havoc in your digestive system.
These artificial sweeteners are often found in low-calorie bars that claim they are ‘sugar-free’; watch out for these kinds of energy bars as they’re packed with artificial flavorings and sweeteners to add flavor.
These artificial flavors and sugars are used as energy sources in synthetic bars and can lead to gastro problems like stomach bloating, wind, or the frequent need for unpleasant toilet breaks– that’s not what we want when spending a day down the trails.
Instead of going for artificial bars, I would recommend going for natural energy bars that derive carbohydrates from dried fruits, oats, or whole grains. Bars that have natural fructose and glucose will provide the maximum amount of energy for your body.
Natural taste vs. synthetic:
The best way to fuel our body is with the food we enjoy; if the energy bar tastes bad, we won’t repurchase it and less likely to bring it with us on our ride. The taste and texture of the food we are eating are actually significant for digestion as we break down food more efficiently if we enjoy it by chewing every last taste.
Our bodies are more responsive to smells and flavors of real food over artificial cra[p that leaves a horrid aftertaste. If we like the flavor of the energy be, we look forward to eating one as a snack or after a long ride.
Natural tastes come from natural ingredients that are much better for your body than any artificial bar on the market.
Synthetic bars also tend to be highly processed and dry; manufacturers design these bars to prolong shelf life and use large amounts of powered ingredients to keep the manufacturing cost down. Eating these bars is like chewing cardboard, gross!
These dry bars are not only horrible to eat, but they’re also tough to digest; you’re more likely to bloat and feel uncomfortable after having a critical cycling bar. Natural bards contain up to 7 times more water, so they’re easier to eat, more hydrating, and better for your body.
Natural vitamins vs. artificial:
Ingredients are so important in cycling bars; are you sensing a theme here? Natural energy bars provide natural energy and naturally derived vitamins, minerals, and fiber– which your body and your digestive system will love you for.
Natural vitamins also enhance your performance too.
You’ll find that some brands will cram their bars with artificial sugars while providing little vitamins and minerals, so you may think that you’re getting a nutritious snack when really you’re just eating a ‘healthy’ branded candy bar.
When it comes to buying any nutritional bar, cycling bar, protein bar, or whatever cereal bar, you should always opt for natural ingredients as you’re more likely to get more vitamins from those bars and benefit more than any artificial crap.
When should I eat an energy bar?
Timing actually plays an important role when choosing to eat your energy bar; let’s talk about this in more detail:
For beginners or for those that ride short distances,, you won’t need to eat many energy bars to supply yourself with the energy needed for a good bike ride. Our body can fuel our muscles for around 90 minutes with its own store of carbohydrates.
If you’re wondering when the best time to have an energy bar,, then I would say either before your ride or at the start of your ride (especially if you haven’t eaten too much beforehand).
This will provide your body with the energy it needs for that ride; natural bars are also ideal once you’ve completed your ride, especially if you have a long period between your ride and your next meal.
If you ride regularly and looking to build up your riding or riding for over 2 hours, then an energy bar will play a very important role in your performance anfuelng your training.
I would recommend 60-80g of carbohydrates per hour of exercise. I would recommend taking your energy cereal bar before your ride, after the first 90 minutes, and then every 90 minutes after that.
Natural bars are majorly beneficial before and after long rides, especially if you’re squeezing in a quick snack between your busy timetable.
For long-distance riders I would recommend taking a bite out of your cereal bar every 20 minutes to maintain optimum energy levels while riding. You’ll want one that is tasty and nutritious.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should you use the energy bar?
The best time to use energy bars depends on personal preferences. However, if you are a professional cyclist, you can use energy bars after long rides. On the other hand, beginners should use these bars before they start cycling.
Are energy bars healthy?
This depends on the ingredients used in the energy bar. A bar with high fiber is not the best for exercises. Sugar energy bars are great but they should not have a lot f added sugars.
Do energy bars really work?
Energy bars may not boost your energy level better than the real food but they are a great option when you do not have a lot of time to east or when you need to boost your energy levels instantly.
Why do people eat energy bars?
If you are involved in vigorous activities like cycling, you need to keep your body energized. Energy bars contain proteins and carbohydrates which are very important to your muscles. Carbohydrates provide the required energy while proteins help in repairing your muscles.
If you enjoy vigorous exercises like cycling, energy bars will be the perfect solution to keep you energized. The good thing about them is that you can easily carry them,, especially during long and tiring bike rides.
If you are searching for the best, you can pick any of those I have reviewed in this article. I have spent time researching and hunting down the very best energy bars for your rides to ensure you’re maintaining optimum performance while being kind to your body.
Choose any of the cereal bars I have selected for you today,, and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed, these are the tastiest, most natural and most nutiricous energy bars you’ll find on the market.
Natural is always better than artificial, natural ingredients is the way to go my friends!
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.