A Dietitian’s Definitive Ranking of the 10 Most Popular Protein Cookies

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Growing up, my dad always rewarded himself for working out by buying himself a junk food snack at the gas station down the street. "Dad, you're totally undoing your workout!" I would nag him, rolling my (heavily) eyelined eyes at him. But he didn't care. He just ran three miles and he wanted some dessert, damnit!

He's definitely not the only one who craves sweets after a workout, and brands have caught on. Behold the rise of the protein cookie. This isn't just a one-off; there's a whole slew of different protein cookie options out there. Which of course begs the questions: Exactly how healthy are protein cookies?

"I believe all foods can be included in a healthy diet, though some protein cookies are definitely healthier than others," registered dietitian Jessica Bouchard, RD says. "When I look at something to see how healthy it is, I primarily look at the ingredients being added, and also the sugar content." Which is exactly what I asked her to do for the 10 most popular protein cookie brands on the market. Here, she ranks them based solely on nutrition (in other word, taste was not taken into account).

Curious about the best healthy protein cookies on the market? Keep reading for the full run-down.

BHU Fit protein cookie
Photo: BHU Fit

1. Best overall: BHU Fit Vegan Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie ($30 for 10)

Protein: 10 grams per cookie

This was Bouchard's top protein cookie pick. "It's 300 calories, which is less than the other cookies on this list, and it has zero grams of sugar because they are using monk fruit, which is a natural alternative," she says. Bouchard says that at 10 grams of protein, this cookie has a bit less than the others on this list, but she's okay with that. "Most people get enough protein in their diet, and 10 grams is still good as far as a post-workout snack," she says. "Plus, the first ingredient is cashew nuts, so it probably tastes yummy too!"

performix protein cookie
Photo: Performix

2. Best for fiber: Performix Chocolate Chunk Protein Cookie ($30 for 12)

Protein: 16 grams per cookie

Number two on Bouchard's list is by Performix. "It has 25 grams of fiber," she says —nearly an entire day's worth in one serving. "One of the main ingredients is avocado oil, and the healthy fats from that will help balance out the carbohydrates, lessening the effects of a sugar crash," she adds. Speaking of sugar, this cookie only has one gram of it, as the blend relies on cocoa powder and raisin juice to sweeten it up.

best protein cookie quest nutrition chocolate chip flavored protein cookie
Photo: Quest

3. Best low-sugar option: Quest Nutrition Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie ($21 for 12)

Protein: 15 grams per cookie

The pros in Borchard's opinion: It's relatively low in calories per serving (making it an appropriate snack size), has nine grams of fiber, and less than one gram of sugar, which is achieved by using stevia. Bouchard adds the protein count is in line with what's recommended in a post-workout recovery snack.

Buff Bake protein cookie
Photo: Buff Bake

4. Best for snackers: Buff Bake Snickerdoodle Protein Cookies ($18 for 8-pack)

Protein: 12 grams per pack

Besides the fun flavors the brand offers, something else that sets Buff Bake protein cookies apart is that they come in packs of little cookies and not one big cookie, which Bouchard says might be more satisfying to nosh on. However, it's a little lower in fiber than the other options. One pack has 12 grams of protein, which Bouchard points out is lower than most of the others on this list, but she says it's still in-line with a good snack.

munk pack protein cookie
Photo: Munk Pack

5. Best for protein: Munk Pack Snickerdoodle Protein Cookie ($24 for 12)

Protein: 18 grams per cookie

Bouchard is into the plant-based protein source in this cookie (a blend of brown rice and pea proteins), as well as the monk fruit, but... "A cookie is still a cookie and this one has 14 grams of [added] sugar to make it taste that way," she says. (Also: One cookie is technically two servings, so keep an eye out for that.) She likes that it's egg- and dairy-free, making it a good option for people with common allergies, but also says that the sodium is a bit high at 340 milligrams. "You really want to aim for below 200 milligrams for one single snack," she says.

Fat Snax cookie
Photo: Fat Snax

6. Best for keto: Fat Snax Chocolate Chip Cookies ($33 for 12-pack)

Protein: 2 grams per cookie

While not explicitly labeled a protein cookie, Fat Snax made the list because it's one of the few keto-approved cookies, and, hey, ketogenic dieters want their post-workout cookie too! "The reason why this cookie is able to be low-carb [seven grams] is because it's made with almond flour, which is a good, gluten-free alternative to white flour," Bouchard says, also calling out the low sugar (three grams) and elevated saturated fat content (3.5 grams) that make it a keto win. However, she points out that it's low in fiber and protein—so you might want to add in some nuts or other low-carb protein foods to fully round out a post-workout snack.

muscle pharm protein cookie
Photo: Muscle Pharm

7. Best for chocolate lovers: Muscle Pharm Triple Chocolate Protein Cookie ($30 per 12)

Protein: 16 grams per cookie

"This one isn't awful," Bouchard says. "Each cookie is only 201 calories and it has seven grams of sugar, which is about what you would expect from a cookie. And the protein is an appropriate 16 grams." Still, it falls within the lower half of her list because of its high sodium content (450 milligrams), low fiber (three grams), and for not being as allergy-friendly as some of the others on this list.

lenny & larry the complete cookie
Photo: Lenny & Larry

8. Best for a healthy-ish dessert: Lenny & Larry's The Complete Cookie, Chocolate Chip ($17 for 12)

Protein: 16 grams per cookie

The first ingredient in Lenny & Larry's Complete Cookie is wheat flour, making it more like a regular cookie. "This one is basically a normal cookie with protein powder added in," Bouchard says. "It's 420 calories and has 25 grams of sugar, which is more in line with what a regular cookie has." One benefit to this  4 ounce cookie is the high fiber count (10 grams), courtesy of the prebiotic chicory root.

Sinfit protein cookie
Photo: SinFit

9. Best for vegetarians: SinFit Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie

Protein: 20 grams

With 20 grams of protein, this cookie packs more than the others, which Bouchard says could be a benefit for some women. "It could be good for someone who is vegetarian and has trouble reaching their protein goals throughout the day, but for the average person, it's a lot," she says. Like Lenny & Larry's, the SinFit cookie also uses chicory root for fiber, but Bouchard says it still only has three grams of it (good but not great, especially compared to the others on the list).

Photo: Cookie+Protein

10. Best for athletes with a sweet tooth: Cookie+Protein Chocolate Chip ($24 for 12-pack)

Protein: 20 grams

Cookie+Protein has the highest sugar content on the list at 40 grams per cookie, which Bouchard says is more than recommended for the entire day. (This is another one where a serving size is just half the cookie.) One cookie has 20 grams of protein, and Bouchard says the source of the protein, faba beans, is pretty innovative and interesting. But given the sugar content, this pick is definitely not for everyone. "This one looks like it's for someone who is a serious athlete, perhaps training for a marathon, and needs the sugar as part of their recovery," she says.

Here's what your post-workout cravings say about your body. Plus, here's what an experts says is best to eat after a workout.

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