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one protein bars in a row

ONE Protein Bar is high in protein, low in sugar, and gluten-free. But what makes it so special is that it comes in crazy flavors like “maple glazed doughnut,” “birthday cake,” and “blueberry cobbler.” Oh, and yes, the flavors taste incredible!

Health & Nutrition

Looking at these flavors, it’s like you’re in a bakery!

one protein bars in popular baked good flavors

The names and imagery make me a little skeptical of the nutritional value. On top of that, the claims are almost too good to be true. I mean, 20 grams of protein and just one gram of sugar. How can that be?!

Ingredients (Maple Glazed Doughnout flavor)

Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate), Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (Prebiotic Fiber from Vegetable Source), Vegetable Glycerin, Maltitol, Sunflower Seed Butter, Blend of Vegetable Oil (Palm, Palm Kernel), Natural Flavors, Maltodextrin, Nonfat Dry Milk, Soy Lecithin (an Emulsifier), Sea Salt, Tapioca Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali), Distilled Monoglycerides, Sucralose and Colored with Paprika Extract.

That’s not a bad list of ingredients for a protein bar. Protein is the first ingredient. It’s not loaded with sugars. Most of the other substances are fairly common.

The sugar alcohols and artificial sweetener are not my favorites, but they’re fine in limited doses.

Nutrition Facts and Macros

What nutrients are you getting out of this bar?

Calories 220
Total Fat 8g
Total Carbs 23g
Fiber 10g
Sugars 1g
Sugar alcohol 5g
Protein 20g

As mentioned before, it’s pretty incredible to have a bar with 20 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar. The net carbs are pretty low, too.

There are a few big questions, though.

Can your stomach handle that much fiber?

This bar contains 10 grams of fiber. That’s a lot. Most of the other protein bars around my house contain 0-4 grams of fiber.

The only exception is the Quest bar, which contains a whopping 14-16 grams of fiber!

(And this is one of those things you just have to try it and see what happens.)

Can your stomach handle the maltitol?

Sugar alcohols, such as maltitol, are common causes of gastric distress. Cramping, bloating, and gas are possible (and very unwelcome) side effects.

Fortunately, these ONE bars only contain 5 grams of sugar alcohol per bar, which isn’t bad.

Other bars, such as the Think Thin protein bars (which contain 20 grams protein and 0 grams sugar), contain 20+ grams of sugar alcohols!

(This is another one of those things where you just have to try it and see what happens.)

Do you want to consume sucralose?

I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners. I try to avoid them as much as possible, but I have also come to accept them as a necessary evil if I am going to enjoy the convenience of a protein bar.

And if I had to choose one, I’d choose sucralose.

So, none of these ingredients are deal breakers. As long as they don’t upset my stomach!

My one complaint is not a real complaint, and it’s only loosely tied to the ingredients list. But I have to ask. Isn’t it kind of funny that this is a protein bar, yet the name corresponds to the amount of sugar in the bar?!

ONE Bar Taste Test (9 Flavors Tested)

All of the flavors sound amazing, and the actual taste does not let you down. These bars taste great, and they’re a pleasure to eat.

Generally the bars are really soft and really chewy; they have a consistent, chewy texture. Sometimes they just sort of melt in your mouth, much like the corresponding baked goods and desserts do.

Here are the taste test results:

Maple Glazed Doughnut

maple glazed doughnut one protein bar cut open

Ripping open the wrapper, it smells like popping open a box of a dozen glazed doughnuts! It smells amazing.

And guess what?! The taste is literally a maple glazed doughnut. Much like a traditional glazed doughnut, but with that unmistakable maple flavor. It’s the real deal.

You could also compare it to a stack of fluffy pancakes with maple syrup.

For the most part it tasted naturally sweet rather than artificially sweet – just like a real doughnut would – and there was no weirdness like you often encounter with artificial sweeteners.

That taste remained for each and every bite. The flavor is so accurate that my brain thinks I’m eating a real doughnut. It’s like it’s telling me “this is so good we’ll ignore the slight texture difference and say that this is the real deal.”

Speaking of texture, this bar is quite soft and really chewy. It’s far more dense and chewy than a real doughnut, but it’s still impressive when you consider it’s a protein bar. I think I actually prefer this over the real thing because each bite lasts longer!

Also important to note is that the texture is consistent. Every bite is soft and chewy with no surprises. I think that helps make the flavor realistic.

(Honestly, maybe it’s just been soooo long since I’ve had a doughnut that I forget what the real thing tastes like. But I was happy enough with this that I started to buy em by the dozen!)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Here’s a common flavor that quite a few companies do well, because you can’t really screw it up.

chocolate chip cookie dough one protein bar cut open

The bar smells and tastes exactly like you’d expect. I would consider this one “good” or “enjoyable.” It’s your standard chocolate chip cookie dough flavor.

The bar is chocolate-coated and contains chocolate chips inside, making the taste very chocolately. Overall it is more chocolate than it is cookie dough.

The flavor is good but not overpowering, with a moderate sweetness, so the result is a well-rounded flavor experience. This would be a good choice if you’re on the fence, unsure which flavor to try.

I will caution you though, the aftertaste on this one leaves a tiny bit of artificial sweetener flavor in my mouth. It’s just a tiny bit, but it’s noticeable.

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt

Everyone is doing this flavor nowadays. But… not everyone gets the basics right. You have to have visible sea salt on the top!

dark chocolate sea salt one protein bar cut open

One Bar gets it right. The presentation is fantastic, and that sea salt is divine!

You take a bite and instantly it’s so good. It’s a decadent, indulgent mix of dark chocolate and sea salt. I love it!

Now, the inner part is just sort of a plain chocolate protein bar. It’s not bad, but to me it’s boring. The trick is to chew that part completely before all the chocolate coating and sea salt crystals melt! (Easier said than done.)

On most bites, I truly enjoy the beginning, but then it ends up as just a plain chocolate flavor, and I find it “meh.”

[Update: This flavor has been discontinued. I can’t say that I’ll miss it.]

Almond Bliss

This coconut and almond combination is clearly their take on an Almond Joy candy bar. (Almond Joy, Almond Bliss… practically the same thing.)

almond bliss one protein bar cut open

The layout is virtually identical: a bar of coconut, almonds on top, and then everything is coated in chocolate.

The bar smells sweet, like coconut. The taste is first like chocolate, and then you taste the coconut. It’s okay.

The texture is not quite as dense as the other bars. You don’t notice a lot of shredded coconut, but I assume that’s what is making this bar lighter and more airy than the others.

Overall, this one is sort of boring. It’s not bad at all, it’s just not that exciting. It would never be confused for an Almond Joy candy bar!

(If you like coconut, check out the Perfect Bar – their coconut flavor is far superior.)

Birthday Cake

Sprinkles on top?! Okay, this one wins the beauty pageant!

birthday cake one protein bar cut open

Wow. It’s like yellow cake inside. There is white icing coating the entire bar. And the finishing touch, sprinkles.

It smells like confetti cake and has a pleasant, familiar flavor. And it’s extremely sweet!

I’m having trouble picking out individual flavors. Is it vanilla? Confectioner’s glaze?

Overall, I guess it tastes… sort of like birthday cake. It tastes more like a Little Debbie snack cake – the decidedly second-tier, yet conveniently portable, cake-like product. I’ve had birthday cake flavored ice cream that’s much better than this.

If you don’t like birthday cake with a thick layer of rich frosting, this bar will probably be too sweet for you. And if you’re a birthday cake lover, this might not be good enough to live up to your expectations.

Cinnamon Roll

You can see – and taste – the cinnamon!

cinnamon roll one protein bar cut open

Now this is incredible. It combines two of my favorite flavors: vanilla icing and a fresh-baked cinnamon bun. They nailed that cinnamon roll cinnamon flavor.

The overall experience is not as grand as having a fresh, warm cinnamon bun. But the flavor is so good, it’s a close second. (And there’s no mess! So in a way, this is better than the real thing!)

I will warn you though, this one is sweet. The flavor leans heavier on the sweet icing than on the cinnamon.

Fortunately I can eat the whole thing without thinking “oh it’s too sweet.”

Unfortunately, I detected a hint of an aftertaste with this one. But again, not enough to stop me from buying these by the dozen!

Blueberry Cobbler

blueberry cobbler one protein bar cut open

Wow, the smell is heavenly. It smells soooo good. (I wasn’t excited about this flavor until I smelled it.)

I also really like how it looks inside, with the two layers.

So my eyes and my nose were very happy, but my taste buds were not impressed. The taste was simply “alright.”

It has a light blueberry flavor and some mild sweetness. The sweetness hits right away and then tapers off (where as some other flavors of one bar get sweeter as you chew).

There are no actual blueberry pieces in there. It’s basically all one texture – sort of like if you put a blueberry cobbler into a food processor and pulverized it, then formed that paste into a bar. You don’t get any of the texture, but the flavor remains.

I bet you could call it “blueberry pancakes” or “blueberry ice cream” – or even “blueberry Pop-Tart” – and it would be the same thing.

Overall, if you like blueberry flavored snacks and baked goods, you’ll like this. Just don’t expect it to compare to fresh blueberry cobbler.

Peanut Butter Pie

peanut butter pie one protein bar cut open

This smells just like peanut butter pie. You can tell it’s peanut butter pie and not just peanut butter, because it smells sweet!

As expected, it has that taste, too. That sickeningly sweet taste of pie, plus the flavor of peanut butter. The texture is smooth, too. So it’s just like a real peanut butter pie!

While I dislike peanut butter pie, I don’t dislike this flavor. It’s pretty good. I simply prefer a more robust, salty peanut butter flavor, when it comes to peanut butter. (I get my fill of sweetness with the Birthday Cake flavor!)

If you happen to like peanut butter pies…. maybe you’ll like this!

Iced Gingerbread (Seasonal Flavor)

iced gingerbread one protein bar cut open

The bar is brown, like gingerbread, it’s covered in white icing, and it seems to have walnuts sprinkled on top.

And wow, this is amazing! It tastes like actual gingerbread. Even the texture is similar to a soft gingerbread plank. With icing, of course!

If you could serve this warm, it would be pretty darn close to actual iced gingerbread.

It’s not overly sweet, nor overly spicy. It’s very pleasant. The sweetness and spice hit you with just the right amount of potency, then dissipate gradually.

You hardly notice the walnuts.

Clif Bar does an iced gingerbread as part of their seasonal flavor lineup, and it’s really good, but I have to give the edge to ONE Bar – this bar is really good and much closer to the real thing.

Fruity Cereal (Limited Edition)

N/A

The ONE Bar Experience

So the flavors were incredible, but what happened afterward?

Is there an aftertaste?

Sometimes a slight aftertaste would remain, but it was not a bad aftertaste. Not like you get with other bars where the artificial sweetener leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Stomach issues?

Thankfully, I had no stomach issues attributed to these bars. None!

Over the course of testing each and every flavor, I tried them at various times of the day, sometimes on an empty stomach, and sometimes pre-workout. Not once did I have any stomach issues.

How filling are they?

After eating a ONE bar, I found myself quite full. I was not stuffed, but satiated.

It’s really impressive to be able to eat a moderate-sized bar with a moderate amount of calories, that is this sweet, and feel satisfied. That’s even without drinking a glass of water afterward.

Normally, sweet things make we want to keep eating! Whether it be an energy bar or a glazed doughnut. But with these ONE protein bars, I enjoyed the sweetness, and then I was content.

Obviously the high fiber content plays a role. Along with the substantial amount of protein and decent amount of fat. But I think the density and chewiness play a role as well. You have to do so much chewing to finish one of these bars, that maybe your jaw signals to your brain that you have eaten enough.

I didn’t track exactly how long I felt satiated, but it was long enough that I was happy about it.

large assortment of one protein bars

Who Are These Best For?

The ONE protein bar is a good choice for most anyone who wants a protein bar. (Assuming you’d be looking for a protein bar because you want a convenient way to consume 20+ grams of protein without too much else, and you want it to taste good.)

You could eat one before or after your workout.

These would also be good as snack bars if you want to eliminate sugar from your diet. These give you the taste of a decadent treat with just one gram of sugar.

They’re easy to eat at your desk or on the go. They don’t create many crumbs and don’t get too melty. Sometimes there are excess bits of icing and/or toppings, but overall, they’re pretty clean.

They’re also great for gifts! Not just because they taste good, but because the seasonal wrappers are festive:

one protein bar seasonal wrapper decoration

And they come with a sense of humor:

one protein bar goes with ugly sweaters

Oh, and did I mention they look good? These are bars you could take out of the wrapper and admire before eating. Hopefully your gift recipients would appreciate that!

There’s really only one situation where I would not eat these…

Don’t plan to use these as during-ride performance food. Then you’d get too much fat, fiber, and protein (i.e. here comes the gastric distress), and not enough carbs (i.e. here comes the bonk). They are not energy bars.

Where to Buy

You can buy these in local stores or online. They’re getting easier to find.

Many grocery stores sell these. Trader Joe’s in particular has a good selection, and you can buy them individually or by the box. Expect to pay about $2 each. Sometimes you find boxes for $20.

Of course you can buy them on Amazon, by the box. (One box contains 12 bars.) But this is one situation where the price is similar or even higher when purchasing on Amazon.

If you have a favorite flavor, sure, set up an Amazon subscription delivery so you can “subscribe and save.” But if you like to switch up flavors, just buy whatever ones look best any given week at the local grocery store.


My final verdict is…

The ONE bar is probably the best tasting protein bar I’ve ever had. I’ve had some good ones, but ONE bar sets themselves apart because they’re not just good, they’re as good as the foods whose flavors they are based on.

So they have high protein, low sugar, and superb flavor, all at a fair price. As long as you don’t mind the artificial sweetener, these are my #1 protein bar recommendation.

Official website: www.One1Brands.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com (the trusty maple glazed doughnut flavor) | www.Amazon.com (4-flavor variety pack)

Product Review Details
Company: One 1 Brands
Product: ONE Protein Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2021-04-24
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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