Do Protein Bars Help You Gain Weight?

Naturally skinny guys and gals have an unfair disadvantage when it comes to gaining weight. And seeking out help in any additional food and supplements may be the right move.

Do protein bars help you gain weight?

In general, protein bars do help you gain weight because they provide an additional portion of calories in the form of high-quality whey protein and complex carbohydrates based on grains such as rice or oats, as well as fortified vitamins, minerals, and other organic compounds.

But whenever you’re looking to gain weight or lose weight, keep in mind that supplements should always take second place.

Protein Bars For Weight Gain

Protein bars are an excellent way to add extra calories for people looking to gain weight. People who have a hard time bulking up usually consume not enough calories to create a calorie surplus. Adding protein bars between the meals and around the workout can lead to the desired calorie surplus.

If you want to gain weight, before you add more supplements, it is imperative that you first assess your current diet. Hard gainers and ectomorphs who want to add some size may feel like they eat enough calories, but in reality, they may not be in a calorie surplus.

That happens all the time.

They eat based on how they feel. And if they feel full, they stop eating. Which may be irrelevant to the actual energy balance.

So before you get your hands on the protein bars, take a look at your current diet model:

  • See how many meals a day you eat

There is no hard rule to the number of meals per day you should eat. But to optimize muscle protein synthesis you want to have as many as possible. That may require eating every 3-4 hours fully balanced meals that contain protein, carbs, and fats.

  • See how much protein you eat

It seems like skinny folks metabolize carbs quickly. So they can eat non-stop carbs without gaining weight. But with protein is different. Having protein with every meal, together with consistent resistance training will be enough to pick on the slob of weight.

  • See if there are some “blind spots”

See if you’re not missing out on something that can sabotage your goals. Going too long without food, skipping meals, traveling schedule, or weekend alcohol parties can set you back. Use a food journal to write down everything that you eat and you will see do you really need to add extra protein bars.

When you are confident that you did everything you can, then consider adding supplements.

Related article: Can I Eat A Protein Bar For Breakfast?

How Many Calories Do I Need To Gain Weight?

As a general rule, you need to be in a calorie surplus to gain weight. For sedentary people, multiply your current weight in pounds by 17. For moderate active people, multiply your current weight by 19, and for very active people multiply your weight by 21.

This simple estimate will lead you to the right calorie amount for weight gain (source). For instance, a very active person who weigh 150-pounds:

  • 150 pounds x 21 = 3150 calories a day

How Skinny People Gain Weight Fast?

In general, skinny people can gain weight fast by creating a calorie surplus and adding extra calories to their regular diet combined with resistance and strength training. Also, adding extra calories from supplements like gainers or protein shakes may be a good strategy.

So if you’re already doing everything right and still no signs of weight gain, then you can add supplements. The best options include:

High Calorie Protein Bars For Weight Gain

Adding high-calorie protein bars to gain weight can be an effective strategy for people who don’t have time to prepare adequate calories in the form of food. They can be used as an alternative solution to commonly available snacks from the convenience store.

People who can really benefit from protein bars:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Cab drivers
  • Flight attendants
  • Military personnel
  • Police officers
  • Students

In other words, if you’re out all day long, and all you can get access to is a slice of pizza in the cafeteria, then you can definitely benefit from high calorie protein bars.

People who typically work from home or work in a places with a comprehensive access to food should rely on the home cooked food.

Will Protein Bars Help Me Gain Weight?

In general, protein bars will help you to gain weight. Adding extra calories from protein bars should supplement the strong foundation build of high-quality minimally processed food, food quantity that is matching the desired needs, and resistance training with progressive overload.

In other words, that should be your foundation.

  • High-quality food
  • Food quantity
  • Resistance training

Because that’s what really moves the needle. Protein bars are just supplements. Additions.

You should focus on:

  • Proteins – red meat, pork, chicken thighs, oily fish, eggs
  • Carbohydrates – potatoes, rice, whole grains
  • Fats – peanut butter, nuts, high-fat cheese

The most effective way to add slabs of muscle is by lifting heavy and eating more. And if you cannot eat more because you have poor access to high-quality food, then, by all means, knock yourself out.

Some of the bars that make you gain weight like crazy include:

  • BSN
  • MetRx
  • GNC

You can check out the prices on Amazon for my favourite MET-Rx Big 100 Colossal Protein Bars through my affiliate link here.

What Snacks Make You Gain Weight?

In general, the best snacks to gain weight should include protein (beef jerky, cottage cheese, whole eggs, BLT sandwiches, protein shakes, protein bars), carbs (bananas, grapes, watermelon), and fats (walnuts, almonds, avocados, olives).


  • To gain weight you should start by evaluating your current diet model and see if there is something that you may have missed
  • Protein bars are a great way to gain weight but they should not become the staple of your current diet
  • For best results, choose high-calorie protein bars with a combination of carbs, protein, and fats
  • Consider adding extra snacks in addition to your bars if applicable

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc) and a veteran endurance athlete. He loves to experiment and share his successes and failures to help busy men and women who want to lose weight.

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