Clif Builder’s Bar Review

Clif Builder’s Bar is an organic protein bar that gives you a boost when you need it. If you are ever on the go but too busy to stop and eat a full meal, an energy bar may be a tasty alternative. These convenient and healthy snacks are ideal for fitting into a busy and active lifestyle.

If you have a sweet tooth, then you will love the Clif Builder’s Bar. It provides much-needed vitamins and minerals to your body and tastes great! Need a boost of mid-workout or post-workout energy? Maybe one of these bars will do the trick.

To find out whether these popular vegan-friendly protein bars are as good as they promise to be, we have decided to take a closer look. Today, we will be reviewing Clif Builder’s Bars and looking at the pros and cons of eating these bars of energy.

CLIF BUILDERS - Protein Bars - Chocolate Peanut Butter Flavor - 20g Protein (2.4 Ounce, 12 Count) (Now Gluten Free)

What is a Clif Builder’s Bar?

Although popular with gym-goers and those with active lifestyles, not everyone has heard of Clif Builder’s Bars. If you’re in the dark about what these are, let’s clear that up.

Clif Builder Protein Bars shouldn’t be confused with the traditional Clif Bar. Clif produces two protein bars with one simply named “Clif Bar” while the other is the mighty “Clif Builder’s Bar.” And yes, you guessed it! These Builder Bars are made specifically to help people build muscle.

These bars contain a great deal of protein. However, they also contain some vital nutrients that our bodies crave. Inside is a healthy amount of amino acids that are very helpful when our muscles need to recover after an intense workout.

You are spoilt for choice with flavors too. These include chocolate, crunchy peanut butter, cookies ‘n’ cream, and many more. Although there is a wide variety of flavors, Clif Builder’s Bars are entirely plant-based. Healthy and delicious. That’s a hard combination to beat!

Even Clif’s official website has some bold claims:

“It's the great-tasting protein bar that makes every ingredient count—so you can get the most out of your workout”

By the end of this review, we will find out if this can be backed up.


Clif Builder’s Bars are 100% vegan. This includes all seven flavors that they have to offer. All of these contain non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients. For many of us, this puts peace in our mind that we are not eating some unknown, harmful ingredients.

One of the most popular flavors is Chocolate Peanut Butter. The ingredients in this are:

  • Cane syrup
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Cane sugar
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Vegetable glycerine
  • Palm oil
  • unsweetened chocolate
  • Soy flour
  • Rice flour
  • Roasted soybeans
  • Cocoa 
  • Chicory fiber syrup
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • High oleic sunflower oil
  • Rice starch
  • Natural flavors
  • Soy lecithin
  • Alkalized cocoa
  • Sea salt

Because Clif Builder’s Bars are 100% vegan, they get their protein from whey (most protein bars do). The main source of protein and other vitamins and minerals in Clif’s bars is soy.

Vegans will be over the moon about this choice of ingredient! However, the soybean has been linked to some health issues so not everyone will be so pleased.

You noticed it, right? Yep, there is palm oil in these bars. This is a grave concern for most of us. Yes, palm oil is plant-based but its production causes colossal amounts of deforestation every year which leads to the endangerment of wildlife species. Just for this ingredient alone, we know many consumers will stay away from Clif Builder’s Bars.

There is no doubt about it. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be satisfied by Clif Builder’s Bars. The reason for the distinct sweetness in these bars is down to three ingredients:

  • Cane syrup
  • Cane sugar
  • Brown rice syrup

These processed syrups may add extra flavor to the bars, they are not exactly healthy. If you’re looking to lose weight, these bars may not be your best option.

Nutritional information

So, these bars have high levels of sugar but just how much? Let’s take a look at some of the main nutritional values in these protein bars. For every 68 grams of servings, Clif Builder’s Bars offer:

  • 280 calories
  • 20 grams of protein
  • 10 grams of total fat
  • 29 grams of carbohydrates
  • 22 grams of sugar
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 200 milligrams of sodium
  • 0 milligrams of cholesterol

As with most protein bars, Clifs contain high levels of protein, carbs, and a ton of energy. This is what makes these bars so good for pre, mid, and post-workouts. While they can be a reliable protein source and snack, you shouldn’t replace a meal with a Clif Builder’s Bar.

We mentioned that these contained a lot of sugar but you may be surprised by how much there is per serving. Compared to many other protein bars, the sugar levels in these bars may be verging on a bit too much for healthy lifestyles. If your main objective is to lose weight, this is just too much sugar to deal with.

Carbohydrates are not always bad for you. They can be an effective way to gain energy quickly before a workout. Clif Builder’s Bars contain different kinds of carbs to build up your energy. These bars have a mixture of both simple and complex carbs. While complex carbs are usually better for you, both can create enough fuel to work out of your comfort zone. Because these bars combine both, you shouldn’t experience the crash after eating one.

Clif Builder’s bars are high in carbohydrates but this is another reason why they are ideal after a grueling workout.  29 grams of carbohydrates is probably the highest count we have ever seen in a protein bar but at least you’ll be energized for a while.

Fiber is important in any diet. It helps keep your bowels regulated which is critical for those who consume high levels of protein. However, these bars do not have a very high fiber count. What it does have is dietary fiber. This makes up the 2 grams of fiber that are in Clif Builder’s Bars. This insoluble fiber does not break down. Therefore, you will feel fuller for longer and the fiber helps prevent constipation and some diseases.

Your digestive tract will thank you for this dietary fiber. It helps your food move along more smoothly and helps to burn fat while your body puts in the work to digest it. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Many protein bars lack additional vitamins and minerals completely. This is why it is a very bad idea to supplement your meals with protein bars. If you are vitamin deficient, you can become lethargic and more likely to suffer from illnesses. This can also lead to a lack of motivation when striving for your fitness goals.

Thankfully, Clif Builder’s Bars are jam-packed with nutrients. 10 to 15 percent of the daily value of essential vitamins and minerals are contained inside these bars. Vitamins included are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12

The range of vitamin Bs in Clif Builder’s Bars is ideal for building more energy while vitamin C supports your immune system. Vitamin D works by helping you absorb other essential minerals more efficiently.

While you shouldn’t skip meals regularly, Clif Builder’s Bars can compensate for some of that nutrition you’re missing on those busy days. No protein bar comes close to these in terms of nutrients. Of course, this is based on a 2,000 calories a day diet. Therefore, these percentages may be higher for many others. This is why you should figure out your daily calorie intake and what you need when considering eating Clif Builder’s Bars.


There are seven flavors to choose from with Clif Builder’s bars:

  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate Hazelnut
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Vanilla almond
  • Cookies ‘N’ Cream

All of these flavors are popular with consumers but if we had to choose one, we would probably go for the chocolate peanut butter. Or cookies ‘n’ cream. Or crunchy peanut butter. It’s hard to choose, okay?

None of these flavors have a sickening sweet aftertaste but the chocolate mint is the least popular amongst customers. Due to its high sugar content mixed with chocolate mint, it tastes more like a candy bar than a protein snack. Of course, this may be exactly what some of you want from a protein bar.

Potential side effects

Many people suffer from allergies. Therefore, there will always be a risk with certain foods. 

With Clif Builder’s Bars, people who suffer from a soy allergy should be aware. If you notice any symptoms such as hives, nausea, or swelling of the mouth, seek medical assistance immediately.

As you know, Clif Builder’s Bars contain high sugar contents. If you eat too many of these, you could put on weight, start to suffer from acne, and even experience depression. Therefore, these should be eaten in moderation to limit any potential side effects.

In Summary

Clif Builder’s Bars are good at building up energy for workouts but due to the questionable ingredients such as palm oil and the high levels of sugar, it’s not at the top of our recommendations.