Clif Builder’s Protein Bars Review

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Clif Builder’s protein bars are high on protein snacks created by the Cliff Company. The founder of this company, Gary, enjoys long bike rides. While he was gnawing on some “other” energy bars during these rides, he came up with an idea to create a better-tasting bar.

By working on this inspiration, he founded the Cliff Company and successfully accomplished his mission by creating delicious protein bars in his mom’s kitchen. Today, these bars are official protein bars of the Spartan Race.

Clif Builder's bars

are designed to provide a convenient source of protein. By increasing the intake of this vital nutrient before and/or after workouts, your body will initiate training adaptation and recuperate way faster. Besides, your immune system will become stronger and you will maintain good overall health.

These bars come in different flavors: Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Mint, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Cookies ‘n Cream, and Chocolate Hazelnut. In the case vanilla’s more your speed, don’t worry, because Builder’s Protein Bars also come with the Vanilla Almond flavor. These flavors are so good that they will most definitely tempt you to reach for one of these bars even when you are not working out.

Without further ado, let’s see what makes Builder’s Protein Bars a perfect fit for fitness lovers.

Ingredient profile

Clif builders protein bar ingredients

The main ingredients of these bars, despite the flavor, are soy protein isolate and almonds or peanuts, which also contain high values of protein. By combining two different amino acid profiles, one of soy and the other of nut, these bars provide a variety of amino acids. This is really important because human bodies need different proteins in order to be able to recuperate efficiently.

Both soy and nut proteins have high digestibility rates. This means that your body will completely use both of these proteins. The debate among athletes and nutritionists regarding dietary protein needs is almost a century old. Currently, there is more evidence supporting the side that says the body needs more proteins on workout days.

It is a scientific fact that nut proteins play an important role in the dietary management of bad, LDL-cholesterol, meaning that regular consumption of these bars helps mitigate various metabolic and cardiovascular risks.

Soy protein also has many benefits for our health. The research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association claims that soy protein lowers bad cholesterol and significantly improves laxation.

Various epidemiological studies find that regular intake leads to better regulation of body weight by reducing fat absorption and regulating the appetite. In other words, both peanuts and almonds are packed with nutrients that have many benefits for our health.

Saturated fats are also one of the main ingredients of Clif Builder’s Protein Bars. While the review of recent studies tells us that consumption of saturated fats increases heart disease risk, it is important to know that this applies only if your entire diet is based on consuming food products that contain a lot of these fats.

In small dosages (and there are only 5-6 grams of saturated fats in one protein bar) saturated fats are valuable sources of fuel for the body.  They also help our bodies dissolve and absorb the vitamins found in these bars.

These bars also contain a variety of minerals and vitamins. These micronutrients are crucial for the good functioning of the human body, especially during and after training. Thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin are responsible for energy production during the training, while calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium are responsible for regulating muscle functions, energy production, muscle repair, and the cellular metabolism.

One of the ingredients is also Pantothenate – vitamin B5. Eating one bar will supply you with 30% of the needed daily intake of this very important vitamin. It improves athletic performance and helps our bodies properly metabolize carbs, proteins, and fats. From the point of active individuals, Vitamin B5 is important because it reduces body fatigue and weariness.

Don’t let the high dosages of Phosphorus surprise you. It is a source of phosphate which helps our bodies create energy, but also to contract muscles and help the body use B vitamins to the fullest. By adding some extra Phosphorus, the Clif Company has made sure that the Calcium found in their power bars is completely absorbed and that there is some extra for other important bodily functions related to working out.

These bars also contain Vitamin C, one of the most crucial vitamins in our bodies. Among many functions, it helps when utilizing carbs, fats, and proteins, while supporting broken tissues to heal faster.

It is important to note that Clif Builder’s Protein Bars don’t contain any trans fats like some other protein bars do. Instead, they are a blend of everything the body needs to maintain its metabolism during the workout and to sustain it. Besides, they list their ingredients as organic, meaning that they are not treated with pesticides and don’t contain any other dangerous chemicals.

Nutritional value

Clif builders protein bar nutrition facts

Builder’s Protein Bars are not heavy packed in terms of nutritional value. All the flavors of these bars contain 270 calories, except Crunchy Peanut Butter which contains 280 calories. The serving size of one protein bar is 68 grams, of which 20 grams are proteins, 8 grams are Fats, 2 grams Fiber and 29 grams of Carbohydrates. There are slight differences in Fat quantity among the flavors. The chocolate protein bar has the lowest count of 8 grams, while the rest have 9 grams, except Crunchy peanut butter (10 grams of Fat). The protein to sugar ratio in all bars is approximately 1 to 1.5.

Considering the high amount of proteins per one serving, 20 grams, these protein bars can be looked upon as muscle builders. Since there is also a high amount of carbohydrates in these bars, they will provide the necessary energy for the muscles during training. The amino acids from two different protein structures, soy, and nuts, provide the necessary materials for muscle building to a consumer.

The variety of vitamins and minerals in these bars will help in maintaining a healthy metabolism during and after training. These micronutrients are also extremely beneficial for our body to recover and recuperate after the workout.

Many of the micronutrients listed in the table are crucial for our health. When we compared the values found in the Nutrition Information and daily needs of the average human body, we came to a conclusion that these bars provide more than enough considering their size and weight.

With a high dosage of Potassium, up to 470 mg per serving, these bars provide 15% of our daily needs. Potassium is an incredibly important mineral that has many benefits: it keeps the blood from clotting, maintains healthy blood pressure, and promotes heart health. Potassium also helps muscles to store and use carbohydrates. If your diet doesn’t include a lot of vegetables and fruits, consuming these bars will provide you with a significant amount of this mineral.

When we take a closer look at the nutrition table, it is quite clear that these bars cannot substitute a regular healthy meal. Their primary purpose is to provide that extra kick to get you through the training and to make entire post training/training cycle smoother and easier on the body. And, this is exactly why the Clif Company created them.

Flavors, taste, and texture

Considering the difficulty of the “create a healthy snack and satisfy the sweet tooth” task, the Clif Company did very well when creating these bars. The nuts and oats provide a mouthful texture to these bars. Usually, the protein bars leave this chalky taste in the mouth. This is not the case with Clif Builder’s Protein Bars. The perfect blend of ingredients will slowly melt in your mouth and leave you with a delicious mix of flavors.


Clif builder's protein bar chocolate flavor

The company advertises this one as “chocolate-packed protein that tastes so good you will hardly manage to keep your hands off it even when you don’t train.”

Chocolate hazelnut

Clif builder's protein bar chocolate hazelnut flavor

If you ever dreamed of chewing on a protein bar that has a rich and creamy taste, Chocolate Hazelnut is a dream come through.

Chocolate mint

Clif builder's protein bar chocolate mint flavor

With just a little hint of mint, the chocolate mint protein bar tastes pretty much delicious and crispy.

Chocolate peanut butter

Clif builder's protein bar chocolate peanut butter flavor

This flavor is one of the customer’s favorites. Compared to other protein bars, this one tastes like a regular candy bar, except it is full of proteins and minerals instead of carbohydrates.

Cookies ‘n cream

Clif builder's protein bar cookies cream flavor

This bar stands as a perfect blend of crunchy and creamy. Nobody knew cookie crumbs in a creamy bar can be this healthy.

Crunchy peanut butter

Clif builder's protein bar crunchy peanut butter flavor

With no chocolate, this bar tastes completely nutty. It tastes like a regular snicker bar, a just bit healthier. This is because it has way less sugar than a regular candy bar.

Vanilla almond

Clif builder's protein bar vanilla almond flavor

Although the intention was to provide a unique experience for the consumer, these bars don’t achieve this in a good way. They taste like medicine, leaving a grainy texture in your mouth roof and your tongue.

Since the purpose of these snack bars is to help people recover quickly after a workout and build muscles, the healthier taste seems very logical. They do taste better than other protein bars, considering the high amount of protein in them. If you were wondering why there is graininess, it is exactly because of the high dosage of protein.

Pricing and where to buy Clif Builder’s protein bars

You can order these bars for about $2 a piece. If you want to save some cash, you can order a 12-pack which will come out to about $1 depending on the flavor you choose.

Check price

Pros and cons

Let’s see the pros and cons of Clif Builder’s protein bars in order to have a full insight.

Why we like it

  • These bars are a healthy snack that will not hurt your progress during your workout regime;
  • Considering the high amount of proteins they contain, they actually have a great taste;
  • A healthy and convenient snack for people that are on the go, especially on workout days;
  • The ingredients found in these protein bars are not chemically treated, nor do they contain pesticides;
  • It increases energy levels;
  • Provides a significant protein intake boost for light-weight people who want to gain muscle mass;
  • Considering their fitness value and their price, these bars are a good buy;
  • They contain a decent amount of much-needed minerals and vitamins, sodium, potassium, Vitamin C, D, B etc.
  • Since they contain two different proteins, soy, and nuts, which are also easily digestible, these bars provide a broad amino acid profile easily absorbed by our bodies;
  • They come in 7 different flavors.

What we don‘t like

  • Some might say that these bars contain too much sugar for a protein bar;
  • The added sugar may provide you with a false sense of energy;
  • They contain 6g of saturated fat per serving, which is a considerable amount;
  • For a professional bodybuilder, they don’t contain enough proteins;
  • If you are in a cut phase of your workout, a high amount of carbohydrates will slow you down;
  • By consuming them, you might waste calories.


If you have a sweet tooth and you also have a workout regime, consuming this bar is way healthier than consuming a regular candy bar. The variety of minerals and vitamins found in these bars will help you recuperate faster after your workouts, while proteins from two different sources will help your body easily absorb and use the amino acids crucial for building muscles.

When you compare it with other protein bars, this bar deserves to be mentioned because of its fantastic taste and good value. They are very easy to find – you can order them online, find them in local grocery stores, wholesale stores, gym clubs, etc.

Overall, the Clif Builder’s Protein Bar makes a more than decent protein snack you can consume a couple of hours before your workout or after it. It can also serve as a healthy, midday snack. Bear in mind though, that these bars contain a significant amount of sugar which can affect your workout performance and progression.

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Vlad is an experienced fitness trainer and nutrition junkie with over 15 years in the industry behind his back. He has a passion to help people achieve optimal health and wellness through education.

1 thought on “Clif Builder’s Protein Bars Review”

  1. I am a 75-year-old woman with two hip replacements, two knees which need replacing, and advanced osteoarthritis in my shoulders and back. A year ago I decided to change my lifestyle in order to try to keep from having more surgery. I started drinking a protein shake for breakfast along with 1/2 of a Cliff Chocolate Mint Protein Bar with my morning coffee and watching my calories. I do not eat anything else with refined sugar. I no longer take Vicodin for pain, have lost 47 pounds, no longer walk with a cane, sleep through the night again, have almost no knee or leg pain when sitting, can walk for long periods of time on shopping trips again and am able to live a normal life. A year ago I was unable to do any of those things. My blood pressure and energy levels are great. I credit my weight loss and better health mostly to the Cliff Protein Chocolate Mint bars. I have a sweet tooth and the combination of something chewy, crunchy and sweet keeps me from craving other sweet things. And the chocolate used in this bar is excellent. I am very fussy about chocolate so that’s saying a lot. I eat one to one and a half of these bars each day. I start my day with half a bar as a sweet treat with coffee, sometimes have one half as lunch, and end my day with half as dessert after dinner. I keep them in the refrigerator because I like them best when cold and chewy. If I have fewer than five boxes in the refrig I immediagely stock up. This is the first time in my life I have ever been on a weight control regimen and not had cravings. These bars are as good as any candy bar and much more filling and satisfying. Please, please keep making them even if it’s just for this old lady.


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