You can find protein bars in grocery stores, convenience stores and, well, pretty much any location that sells candy bars. The problem with premade protein bars is that a lot of them are simply protein-boosted candy bars and they have a lot of calories from added sugars and fats. Eating two of the premade protein bars every day could easily add 400 to 500 calories that you may not want. You can also find protein bars sweetened with sugar alcohols, but they aren't always low-calorie and the sweeteners can do a number on your digestive system.
I can also add that premade protein bars are expensive - you pay more for the convenience of having a little prepackaged snack. Even if you buy them by the box, they cost a lot of money.
Make Protein Bars at HomeYou can make protein bars at home in your own kitchen. You control the ingredients so you can use recipes with a little less sugar or a litter more fiber - whatever you'd like. They're no more difficult than baking a batch of cookies, and you can wrap them individually and carry them with you for a mid-day snack at work or school, or for a little recovery meal after your workout.
Here are some homemade protein bar recipes to get you started:
Dairy Free Protein Bars
These protein bars feature soy protein power, oats, dried fruit, soy yogurt and peanut butter. Dried fruit like raisins or apricots adds sweetness and flavor, along with some pure maple syrup. They're perfect for vegans, too.
Homemade Protein Bars
Another recipe that features soy and oats. It also contains yogurt for additional protein and moisture. There is some sugar and chocolate chips, but according to the cook's notes, you can adapt the recipe to use less sugar.
No-Bake Protein Bars
This recipe uses oats, peanut butter and protein powder, along with non-fat dry milk. You can also add some flax seeds for a boost of omega-3 fatty acids. These bars are inexpensive, but need to be kept in the refrigerator to maintain their shape.
Chocolate Energy Bars
These dairy-free bars contain a balanced amount of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and fats. And they're chocolate. This is another no-bake recipe, but they will maintain their shape when individually wrapped and tucked into your workout bag. (And did I say they're chocolate?)