After an hour of heart-pumping cardio and weight training, there’s one thing that I crave more than anything else, and that’s protein cookies—the ultimate post-workout snack that lets me enjoy the best of both worlds. But here’s the problem: Finding tasty, protein-rich treats that actually tick all of my boxes is a lot more challenging than I thought.

So after weeks of settling for homemade trail mixes, I embarked on a mission to find the best protein cookie, scouring the internet and researching a variety of brands before I narrowed them down to a final list of 10. And then, over the course of two weeks, I sampled each of these cookies on my workout days, taking note of their overall taste, protein content and how they affected my cravings. But before I get into my individual ratings for each cookie, here’s what I factored in for the best protein-rich treat.

  • Value: Is it worth the money?
  • Quality: Is it made from ingredients that I can actually pronounce?
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: If it has significantly more sugar than it does protein, that’s a big red flag.
  • Texture: Does it have the texture of a regular cookie, or is it grainy?
  • Taste: Is there any depth of flavor? Does it have an artificial aftertaste?
I made sure to select a mixture of popular and lesser-known brands, and each of these were sampled either immediately after a workout or later in the evening, when those snack cravings began to kick in. Surprisingly, I wasn’t blown away by too many of these, but they all do offer at least one benefit for those who are active and on the go. Keep reading for my honest thoughts on 10 brands, from Munk Pack to Quest.

RELATED: 25 Healthy Protein Snacks That Actually Taste Good

protein cookies lenny harrys boss
Lenny & Harry's

10. Lenny & Harry's Boss Cookie

  • Value: 16/20
  • Quality: 17/20
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: 20/20
  • Texture: 15/20
  • Taste: 10/20
  • Total: 78/100
Considering the popularity of Lenny & Harry’s Complete cookies (which are significantly higher in sugar), I decided to try the Boss variation, mainly because they boasted 18 grams of protein, 6 grams of prebiotic fiber and only 1 gram of sugar per serving. But to be quite honest, the vibe of these cookies were stale and medicinal. The texture is a bit grainy and the chocolate chunks aren’t very flavorful, but the high protein content definitely inspired me to power through an entire serving after I finished my brief workout. If you’re simply looking for a protein-packed cookie and not as concerned about flavor, then you might want to give this one a try.

Buy it (12 cookies for $20)

protein cookies shrewd food
Shrewd Food

9. Shrewd Food

  • Value: 15/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: 18/20
  • Texture: 17/20
  • Taste: 12/20
  • Total: 80/100
If you’re partial to guilt-free cookies that pack way more nutrients than your typical snack, Shrewd Foods Protein Cookies might be the way to go—although I should warn you that they’re not bursting with flavor. I tried the Oat & Berry and the Oat & Chip, both of which contain probiotics, 10 different fruits and vegetables and a decent 8 grams of protein per serving. And while both had a satisfying crunch, they lacked flavor (even with 12 grams of sugar per serving) and were a bit dry for my taste. I did detect faint notes of cranberry in the Oat & Berry flavor, but not enough to make me want to finish the entire bag. Still, given its protein content and nutritional value, it’s a decent enough option for a post-workout snack. (Just make sure to have water or a glass of milk handy.)

Buy it (16 packs fo $40)

protein cookies nugo
NuGo

8. NuGo

  • Value: 17/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: 15/20
  • Texture: 18/20
  • Taste: 15/20
  • Total: 83/100
On the plus side, this vegan and gluten-free cookie is hearty and quite chewy. I gave the dark chocolate chip flavor a try after an intense workout, and while I wasn’t blown away by the taste—I detected notes of vanilla and barely tasted the dark chocolate—I was definitely surprised at how quickly it was filling me up (thanks to 6 grams of fiber per serving). Still, when I glanced at the nutrition label, I had to stop in my tracks because, as it turns out, one cookie is actually made up of two servings. This means that one protein cookie has 380 calories, 26 grams of sugar and 16 grams of protein. Since many of us are quick to assume that one full cookie is one serving, it’s very unlikely that anyone would stop at just half of a cookie. And it certainly doesn’t help that there’s a lot more sugar content than protein. But if your top priority is to snack on something that’ll keep you full, this brand ought to do the trick.

Buy it (12 for $38)

protein cookies susies smart cookie
Susie’s Smart Breakfast Cookie

7. Susie’s Smart Breakfast Cookie

  • Value: 17/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: 14/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Taste: 18/20
  • Total: 86/100
They're dense, they're delicious and they're filling enough to keep you away from the snacks for hours at a time. I sampled the Gingerbread Apple flavor, made with whole grains, ground flaxseeds, ginger puree and dried apples, and I was immediately taken by the cakey, fresh-baked texture. The cinnamon, cloves and ginger weren’t too overpowering (a major plus for someone who isn’t too keen on spicy cookies) and the dried apples paired nicely with these spices. But one big turn-off is that it has twice as much sugar (16 grams) than it does protein (7 grams). Even so, it's a convenient, heart-healthy meal replacement that can double as a post-workout snack after your morning run.

Buy it (18 cookies for $45)

protein cookies siren
Siren

6. Siren

  • Value: 18/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: 19/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Taste: 16/20
  • Total: 90/100
Need something healthy to satisfy your cookie dough cravings? Allow me to introduce Siren’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites, complete with cashew butter, dates, chocolate chips and plant-based protein. The package contains about a full handful of cookie dough balls, which are soft and chewy with a slight crunch from the chocolate chips. The guilt-free snack, which has 10 grams of protein and 9 grams of sugar per serving, also has just the right amount of sweetness, but it tastes even better when paired with Greek yogurt.

Buy it (10 for $29)

protein cookies munk pack
Munk Pack

5. Munk Pack

  • Value: 18/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Sugar to protein ratio: 16/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Taste: 19/20
  • Total: 90/100
The Coconut White Chip Macadamia flavor is easily one of the best that I’ve tasted from this list. From the satisfying crunch of macadamia nut pieces to the soft, fudgy texture and subtle coconut notes, I was sold from the moment I took my first bite. But as much as I enjoyed snacking on this, I couldn’t help but feel guilty when I looked at the calories and sugar content. Each large cookie (like NuGo) has two servings, so per cookie, there are 340 calories, 18 grams of sugar and 16 grams of protein. If you’re watching your calorie and sugar intake, then you might want to go easy while trying this brand. (But fair warning: You will want to eat more than one serving.)

Buy it (12 for $24)

protein cookies quest
Quest

4. Quest

  • Value: 16/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: 20/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Taste: 19/20
  • Total: 92/100
I’ll admit, this was the one brand I was really hesitant to try. I feel like I see Quest everywhere and I’ve heard so many good things, I was nervous it wouldn't live up to the hype. But sure enough, it did. I tried the soft and chewy chocolate-chip protein cookie which, at first glance, already seems like the perfect post-workout cookie (less than 1 gram of sugar, 15 grams of protein and 4 grams of net carbs). But when I took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised at how much it tasted like a normal cookie. With the exception of a slight artificial aftertaste, these are very chewy and not too sweet at all.

Buy it (12 for $19)

protein cookies the empowered cookie
The Empowered Cookie

3. The Empowered Cookie

  • Value: 17/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: 18/20
  • Texture: 20/20
  • Taste: 18/20
  • Total: 92/100
If someone were to unpack these cookies and stick them on a plate, I'd swear that they were baked just yesterday. Fresh, soft and filled with flavor, these non-GMO paleo cookies include 7 grams of protein and 9 grams of sugar, with 270 calories per serving. I tried the Chocolate Chip Walnut, a soft and crumbly cookie that’s loaded with tasty nutty flavors and dark chocolate, and it was gone in less than two minutes. If you’re on a low-carb or Paleo diet and you’ve yet to try this healthy treat, you’re seriously missing out.

Buy it (12 for $39)

protein cookies yes bar
YES Bar

2. YES Bar

  • Value: 16/20
  • Quality: 20/20
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: 18/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Taste: 20/20
  • Total: 93/100
I know, I know. They're more like chewy, cookie-shaped granola bars, but given how amazing they taste, I just had to add this allergy-friendly brand to the list. The Dark Chocolate Chip flavor is incredibly tasty, mixing nuts and seeds with a hint of salt and delicious dark chocolate chips that melt on the tongue. With 220 calories, 5 grams of protein and 8 grams of sugar, these vegan bars are relatively small (slightly bigger than a Chips Ahoy cookie)—but don't let the size fool you. Snacking on this actually managed to curb my cravings for at least two hours, giving me plenty of time to make it home and prepare dinner before binge-eating handfuls of Cheez-Its.

Buy it (6 for $13)

protein cookies lenny harrys crunchy
Lenny & Harry's

1. Lenny & Harry's Crunchy Cookies

  • Value: 18/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Sugar-to-protein ratio: 19/20
  • Texture: 20/20
  • Taste: 19/20
  • Total: 94/100
Yes, I know that I already mentioned this brand, but I’d be remiss if I didn't include Lenny & Harry’s line of Complete Crunchy Cookies. I stepped out of my local gym with a bag of the double chocolate flavor in hand and, in what felt like mere seconds, I had already devoured the entire thing. They’re so delicious and super crunchy (although, I'll admit, tough to bite into at first) and the chocolate chips don’t taste artificial or waxy, so I would’ve never guessed that these were actually plant-based protein snacks. Each bag is 160 calories with 9 grams of sugar per serving, 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Excuse me while I go buy another batch…

Buy it (12 for $15)

RELATED: What’s the Best Store-Bought Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? We Tested 9 to Find One for Every Palate

From Around The Web