Finding the right energy bar can sometimes be an arduous process filled with Internet research, nutrition label reading, and frustration. With many bars on the market today containing processed ingredients, large amounts of sugars, and empty calories, it can be hard to decipher which bars are actually nutritious and which ones are pretty much masquerading as candy. If you’re looking for a bar that will be gentle and beneficial to your stomach, it’s a good idea to look for a bar that contains prebiotics, probiotics, or both.

While similar in name, prebiotics and probiotics are not the same. Probiotics are live bacteria strains that are considered “good” and help your stomach break down food, settle minor digestive issues, and help defeat harmful bacterial microbes. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are specialized plant fibers that beneficially nourish the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon. To put it simply: probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut, prebiotics act as a fertilizer for the good bacteria that’s already there.  Here are 10 energy bars available online that contain prebiotics, probiotics, or both!

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  1. Macrolife Macrogreens Superfood Bars

    While there are plenty of ways of getting green superfoods into your diet, MacroLife Macro Greens SuperFood Bars makes it easy by packing a bunch into one convenient energy snack. The raw, organic, casein and wheat free bars are made primarily from Brazil nuts, date paste, agave nectar, apples, and a blend of macro green powders, such as spirulina, chlorella, spinach, and barley grass. They also contain one billion probiotics! This particular posting is for the Apple Lemon flavor which reviewers are reporting is perfect for allergy-prone consumers and is just the right amount of sweet. You can get a pack of 12 bars for $33.50.


  2. Truth Bars

    Chocolate and coconut is a tried and true flavor combination. While you can certainly enjoy this combo in plenty of candy bars, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, consider buying Truth Bars in the Chocolate Dipped Coconut flavor. These bars are just 200 calories, contain 13 grams of fiber, and are gluten-free, low-sodium, low-sugar, and GMO-free. They also contain omega-3s and pre and probiotic Live Bacillus Coagulan cultures. Reviewers are saying that these bars taste just like a healthy-version of a Mounds bar and are perfect for coconut lovers. You can get 12 of these bars for a little over $35.


  3. Vega One All-in-One Meal Bars

    There are two types of energy bars on the market: ones that are consumed as an energy-boosting snack and ones that are made to replace a daily meal. Vega One All-in-One Meal Bar clearly falls in the latter category. Each bar contains one full serving of greens, hemp, chia, and savi seeds, one billion probiotics, and 12 grams worth of plant-based protein. Reviewers are saying that these gluten-free bars may be a bit pricey, but due to the high levels of omegas, fiber, antioxidants, and probiotics, they are worth it. You can get 12 of these meal-replacing bars for a little over $32.


  4. EffiFoods Probiotic Carebars

    EffiFoods Probiotic CareBar is a raw and gluten-free bar that is a combination of goji berries, cashews, cinnamon, pea protein, and two types of probiotics: Microcrystalline Cellulose and Bacillus Coagulans. EffiFoods also points out that they do not use high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sugars or flavors. Reviewers are reporting that these bars are addicting and “the perfect healthy treat.” You can get a 12-pack of these bars for $35.


  5. Good! Greens Blueberry Bliss Bars

    Good! Greens Blueberry Bliss Bars may be coated in yogurt, but that isn’t where these gluten-free bars get their probiotics. They are made from a blend of antioxidant-rich fruit juices, seed butters, superfood powders, and plant-based proteins, then are infused with probiotics and dipped in soy yogurt. The 20 different fruits and vegetables inside satisfy 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of vegetables. Reviewers are saying that these bars are yummy and “taste just like blueberry yogurt.” To see for yourself, you can get 12 bars for a little under $24.


  6. San RawFusion Bars

    San RawFusion Bars essentially take all of the ingredients found in the company’s protein powder including almonds, dates, pea protein, tapioca syrup, prebiotic vegetable fiber, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and puts it in bar form. Each one has 15-16 grams of protein and eight grams of prebiotic fiber. It is also free of soy, gluten, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. Reviewers report using these bars as a replacement for meals or just a mid-morning snack when breakfast doesn’t cut it. In regards to flavor and texture, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. One reviewer reports that these bars have a chalky texture that is “hard to swallow” while another claims that they taste “healthy but amazing.” If you want to test ‘em out yourself, these bars are definitely on the expensive side with 12 bars costing $40.


  7. Zing Nutrition Bars

    Zing Nutrition Bars have eight grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein for less than 200 calories making them a pretty healthy choice for people on the go.  The gluten-free and soy-free Zing Bar is also high in iron, providing 20 percent of the daily recommended value. The Double Nut Brownie flavor is made primarily from a blend of rice protein and pea protein, nuts, prebiotic tapioca fiber, and cocoa powder. Reviewers are reporting that this bar tastes just like a brownie, is very satisfying, and has helped with their digestion. You can get 12 of these bars for $24.


  8. ProBar Meal Bars

    ProBar Meal Bars are another possible option for when you want to replace a meal easily. They are made with nutrient-rich greens like broccoli, spinach, and spirulina, as well as a “superfruit blend” that contains a generous amount of pre and probiotics. Each bar also contains five grams of fiber and eight grams of protein. Reviewers are reporting that these bars are filling, not overly sweet, and pleasantly dense. It is worth noting, however, that one reviewer, after leaving her bars in the cupboard for an extended period of time, discovered mold. She suggests that unless you’re going to eat your bulk pack fairly quickly, it may be a good idea to freeze them, noting that they thaw out easily and it doesn’t affect the taste. You can get 12 of these three-ounce bars for about $27.50.


  9. Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins Bars

    Think the only way to get fermented probiotic cultures is via yogurt? Think again! As Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins Bars prove, dairy is not required to make a nutritious fermented product. These bars are soy-free, non-GMO, gluten-free, and low-sugar. They are made primarily from plant-based proteins – pea, sesame, brown rice, hemp – as well as almond butter, quinoa, chocolate, and spirulina. In total, they have 15 grams of fermented protein and eight to ten  grams of fermented prebiotic fiber per serving. Reviewers are reporting that these bars are great for dairy-intolerant people, tastes like a brownie, and are healthier than a lot of other bars on the market. You can get a 12-pack for $30.


  10. Strong Stride Recovery Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Bars

    Strong Stride Recovery Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Bar is made specifically with athletes in mind, with the company claiming that this bar will help rebuild muscles after a workout. These bars are made primarily from fruit juice, sunflower paste, dark chocolate, soy protein, and a superfood powder that contains ingredients like spirulina, barley grass, nori, and acai berry. The inclusion of probiotics also helps maintain digestive health. You can get one box for $22.

    Have you tried any of the bars on this list? Are you planning on trying any new ones? Tell us in the comments!

    Lead image source: Anastasiia Vorontsova/Shutterstock