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August 27

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Tasting & Testing Built Bars: How Does This Protein Bar Stack Up?

By Tami Smith

August 27, 2020


I love sharing products and services on my blog that I legitimately use and love, and Built Bar is one of them.

I mean, who doesn’t love a chocolatey treat? Especially when that treat is actually a protein-packed, macro-friendly indulgence?

But with so many protein bars on the market, it’s hard to tell which ones are legit and which ones are just plain gag-worthy. I wrote this Built Bar review based on my personal experience with the brand.

About The Brand

Founded in 2018 in Spanish Fork, UT, these macro-balanced protein bars are poised to change the way we consume our most important macronutrient, protein.

Built Bars are a different kind of protein bar. If you’re someone who regularly consumes this type of supplement, then you know that they tend to be a little chalky in nature and that the taste is usually questionable.

These bars, on the other hand, are not chalky at all. In fact, these have an ooey-gooey interior that many liken to that of a candy bar (think 3 Musketeers nougat). The exterior is made from 100% chocolate, further adding to the candy bar look, feel, and taste.

As I am writing this review in August 2020, the brand just released their newest formula, touting a bigger, fluffier, more protein-packed bar. Built Bar’s mission has always been to make a great tasting protein bar that people actually enjoy and look forward to eating, and it appears that they are living up to that mission, even more so with their latest product launch.

Built Bar Ingredients

Whey Protein

This is the first and main ingredient in each of their bars. Whey is the most common type of protein supplement and it’s most often chosen because of its complete amino profile (most bang for your nutritional buck). The best part is that the version Built Bar uses is free of casein and lactose, which are the two milk components that often give people a reaction (upset tummy, bloating, etc.). Each bar offers 17-19g of protein, which is pretty significant given their low-calorie density.

Gelatin

This is another leading ingredient, and unfortunately, another one that does not make these bars vegan-friendly. This ingredient is what’s responsible for the smooth, fluffy consistency. Again, some people are averse to gelatin, so be aware that this is one of the main components.

Erythritol

This is a sweetener that has zero calories and is generally very well tolerated. It’s related to sugar alcohol, but it doesn’t cause the gastrointestinal distress that most sugar alcohols do. This ingredient is easily filtered through the kidneys and it doesn’t spike your blood pressure. This sweetener is naturally found in many fruits like grapes, pears, and watermelon.

Glycerin

Another ingredient that contributes to the moist, gooey texture of these bars. Glycerin is used as a thickening agent, stabilizing, and controlling moisture levels to give a perfect consistency. It also helps to increase the product’s shelf life and contributes to the sweet flavor.

Chocolate

Each bar is wrapped in real dark chocolate, topping off the unique flavor profile of the bar and giving it the candy bar look and feel. Dark chocolate provides you with extra antioxidants and a great taste with each and every bite of the bar.

Maltodextrin

This is the soluble fiber in these bars that are used to improve the texture and promote additional health benefits. The type of maltodextrin used by Built Bar is water-soluble and non-digestible, so there are no negative side effects on the body.

There are no artificial flavors or preservatives. They mention that they use natural flavors in their bar, however, they don’t specify which ones.

What Flavors Are Available?

Built Bar just launched new flavors this month as part of their updated product. Here’s a list of their current flavor offerings:

  • Peanut Butter*
  • Coconut Almond*
  • Coconut
  • Salted Caramel
  • Orange
  • Raspberry
  • Cherry Barcia*
  • Carrot Cake with Walnuts
  • German Chocolate Cake*
  • Toffee Almond
  • Banana Nut Bread
  • Caramel Brownie
  • Cookies ‘N Cream*
  • Lemon Almond Cheesecake
  • Apple Almond Crisp

*My personal favorites

How Does Built Bar Compare to Other Protein Bars?

The protein bar and supplement market are vast right now. You can walk into any grocery store or browse any online shop and find hundreds of choices. And if you’re anything like me, you’re on a constant quest to discover the best tasting bar that also has the best nutritional value.

I’ve tried many protein bars, and they are certainly not all created equally. Next, I’ll run down a few of my most important considerations when choosing a bar and then compare them to some of their competitors.

Macros

As someone who’s recently jumped into macros and no sign of ever going back to a restrictive eating plan, I pay close attention to macros, always looking to get the most bang for my buck and my daily macros.

So how healthy are these protein bars in relation to macros? Here are the macro breakdowns for one of the most popular flavors, Cookies ‘N Cream:

  • 130 Calories
  • 2.5g Fat
  • 18g Total Carbs
  • 6g Fiber
  • 17g Protein

Here is how these macros compare to other protein bars:

Macros

Built Bar

Cliff

Quest

Pure

Luna

Calories

130

250

210

180

170

Fat

2.5

6

10

4.5

5

Net Carbs

4

38

6

15

8

Sugar

4

21

2

3

14

Fiber

6

5

13

2

3

Nuts

❌ No

✅ Yes

✅ Yes

✅ Yes

✅ Yes

Protein

17g

10

20

21

12

Taste

This is a big deal for me. I really don’t like eating things that don’t taste good, regardless of how the macros look. I’m sure most people can agree. There’s no sense in trying to naw through a chalky bar with a chemical taste just for the sake of health. It’s just not sustainable.

Luckily, Built Bars are delicious. I already touched on the texture, which I think adds to the taste, but the taste itself is great, too. Do they taste exactly like a candy bar? No, of course not. Are they the closest thing I’ve found to it? For sure.

I haven’t tried all the flavors yet, however, so far there is only one that I found that I didn’t care for, salted caramel. It could be just a personal preference, but I didn’t love that one. Otherwise, these are hands-down some of the most delicious bars I’ve ever tried.

Texture

When it comes to protein bars, the texture can be just as important as the taste. Like I mentioned in the beginning, Built Bars are basically in a category of their own when it comes to texture. There are no other bars on the market that mimic them.

Where most protein bars are chewy, hard, and chalky, these are smooth, gooey, and chewy. And of course, delicious!

Why Eat These Bars?

Built Bars serve many purposes, namely satisfying hunger. The brand doesn’t make any bold claims about weight loss or muscle growth, but they do claim that their bars will satiate your hunger and provide a healthy serving of protein.

By consuming one or two Built Bars per day in your diet, you can satisfy your sweet tooth while also supplementing a vital macronutrient, protein. If eaten along with a healthy diet, these bars can supplement your healthy lifestyle and help you accomplish your goals.

Who Are These Protein Bars For?

These bars are great for anyone who works out or who wants a quick snack or meal that provides them with the protein they need to keep their body fueled. Built Bars are not safe for vegans, vegetarians, and those who adhere to a kosher diet.

They are also not advised for those who are sensitive or allergic to milk products as these do contain dairy. Aside from that, these bars are considered safe, even optimal, for most people to consume, including diabetics.

Like Macro-based or keto diet?

If you follow a macro-based diet, keto diet, or are watching your carb intake, these bars will work well for your diet. With anywhere from 4-6 grams of net carbs each and minimal sugar, these are easy to work into your daily intake. They use erythritol as the sweetener, making them a popular choice amount the keto community. And the macros are wonderful for those of us who count macros.

If your doing Weight Watchers, each e bar is just 3 Weight Watcher points. Lastly, these are soy-free, so they are safe for those allergic to soy products.

Reviews of Built Bar: What Are Customers Saying Online?

As of writing this review, there are 53,850 reviews, with an overwhelming amount being absolutely favorable. Their customers love the taste, texture, and flavor varieties offered by Built Bar. Many of the reviewers state these are the best tasting protein bars they have ever tasted and that they eat these as part of their daily diet.

Whether or not these taste like a candy bar is a polarizing subject. Many say that they do, while others disagree, it depends on who you ask. Regardless, they are most certainly a much healthier and more satisfying option.

There’s also an overwhelming notion that these bars are unlike any other protein bars on the market, with many stating that they would never guess that they contain so much protein. I have to agree, these are truly a unique bar that gives me the feeling of eating a treat without all the calories and guilt.

Where Can You Get Them?

Currently, the only place to order Built Bars is online through their official company website. The great thing is that there are a ton of options to choose from, including 18 different flavor choices. Some are discouraged that they can’t purchase single bars from their local grocer to make sure they love them before committing. For those people, I highly recommend purchasing the mixed box that gives one of each flavor to try.

Other options including purchasing a box of 18 of a single flavor or building out your own box with three flavors of your choosing. I would start with the mixed box to get a feel for which flavors your like best and then order more. The company stands behind their products, so if you end up with a flavor you don’t love, they offer a full refund.

The awesome news is that the more you order, the more you save. Here’s an example of the savings you can expect as you increase your order size:

Are Built Bars Healthy?

Overall, yes, Built Bars are a very healthy protein bar option. Unlike many of their competitors, they are not loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. Their macro profile is outstanding and they keep their calories low, too.

That said, these, or any protein bars are not intended to be a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle nor should they be used as a meal replacement. These bars are intended to be a great post-workout snack and to hold you over between your meals. Lastly, they can be a great healthy dessert option thanks to their candy bar taste and consistency.

What’s The Best Built Bar Flavor?

This is a highly debated question, with the answer looking different depending on who you ask. I scoured the internet and read dozens of reviews to discover that these are the top 3 flavors:

  1. Peanut Butter Brownie
  2. Coconut Almond
  3. Peanut Butter

I can personally attest to the fact that all three of these flavors are wonderful and sure to satisfy any sweet tooth or craving.

Final Thoughts

Built Bar is one of the best tasting and most satisfying protein bars on the market right now, especially after the recent release of their new formula. They are low sugar, low carb, and high in protein, making them the ideal complement to almost any healthy diet.

With so many flavors to choose from, you’ll surely find one that tickles your fancy, I know I did! In fact, I have a few favorites and I always keep them stocked in my house for quick snacking and post-workout fuel.

Pro tip: Put your bars in the freezer and enjoy an icy cold, chocolate treat.

Have you tried Built Bar yet? What are you waiting for? Now is the best time to order and check out their new formula!

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