Clif Builder’s Protein Bar Review

8.9 score
[Editors rating (8.9) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (WalkJogRun) score (8.9)/10

Editor rating: 8.9 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Clif makes organic energy bars what will give you a quick boost when you need it most. They also make Clif Builder’s protein bar, which is packed with 20 grams of muscle building protein. These bars can satisfy any sweet tooth, providing much-needed vitamins and minerals to the body.

Their protein and fiber content helps keep you fuller for longer. Clif Builder’s protein bars are higher in sugar but they maintain a lower glycemic index with their addition of balanced macronutrients. And the company ensures that organic, non-GMO ingredients are the only source of such nutrients, as well.

Clif is a classic brand in the world of meal supplements and they still haven’t lost their touch.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • 20g Protein
  • 2g Insoluble Fiber
  • Non-GMO
  • Organic
  • Low Glycemic Index
  • Sustainably Sourced Ingredients
  • Added Vitamins
  • High Sugar
  • Pure Soy Protein


Clif was one of the first big name brands for energy bars. Clif bar and company make various energy products and drinks and have been for quite some time. Named after the founder’s father. After spending years in the kitchen after an epiphany during an excruciating bike journey.

Deciding he needed a portable way to get lasting energy, the Clif bar was finally developed. It took two years until the brand finally debuted the first official Clif bar in 1991. The brand loves food, and their love shines through in their recipes. Dedicated to the outdoors, the brand has also paid special attention to improving the world around them.

Taking pride in what you do is easy when you do it well. Clif makes sure that they don’t attempt to do anything halfway. They committed to sustainability, so their food sources are sustainable. They committed to their employees, so they gave them stock in their company. They wanted to make delicious, accessible protein supplements, and the Clif Builder’s bar was born.

Caring for the environment and helping to sustain the earth in any way that they can is one of Clif’s biggest goals. Their employees are considered “partners” in the company to foster a sense of community. They offer living wages and engage their workers in their company values. If you’re looking to support a company that supports the people who invest in them, Clif Builder's bar can help you do that.


Carbohydrates are not inherently bad for you. Athletes know that carbohydrates are a great way to get quick energy to fuel a workout. Clif Builder's bar combines different types of carbohydrates for energy. Complex carbohydrates are better than more simple ones, but both can provide the fuel you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Since this has a mix of both, you will feel that initial pick-me-up without the debilitating crash after eating a Clif Builder's protein bar.

Clif Builder’s protein bars are high in carbohydrates. That makes this ideal for right before a long run or grueling spin class. With 29 grams of carbohydrates, Clif Builder’s protein bar is loaded to have you ready for anything. This is the highest count I have seen in a bar so far.

For those looking for a lower carbohydrate option, there are protein bars that are quite so high. They are still within about five grams of the carbohydrates in Clif Builder’s bar. Due to this number, this won’t be compatible with some specific dietary needs. It does make it an outstanding choice for fast fuel right when you need it.

Just munch on one of these while preparing for your morning run or on your way to the gym. Due to this being so filled with macronutrients, you can use it as a meal replacement or a true supplement. This is a good option for a true meal replacement due to its convenience and packed nutrients.


There are multiple functions of fiber that make it a very helpful addition to any diet. Fiber helps keep your bowels regulated, which is extremely important for those who eat a lot of protein. Insoluble fiber, in particular, in especially good at keeping your insides moving as well as the rest of you.

The Clif Builder’s protein bar does not have a super high fiber count. Bars that are lower in calories and carbs have more fiber than this provides. One of the redeeming qualities despite this is the kind of fiber in this Clif Builder’s bar.

Clif doesn't have remarkable fiber content, the type of fiber is what makes it stand out. Dietary fiber makes up the whole two grams of fiber that are in the Builder’s protein bar. This insoluble fiber is a fiber that does not break down. Not only will adequate fiber in your diet keep you fuller longer, but it can also help prevent constipation and stave off various diseases.

All of the dietary fiber in Clif Builder’s bars will work as a catalyst for your digestive tract. This means it doesn't break down with the food, just helps move it along, helping to burn fat while your body works to digest it. Getting a lot of soluble fiber is important as well but in a protein bar like the Clif Builder's, insoluble fiber is equally valuable.


Anyone with a sweet tooth will love the selection of Clif Builder’s protein bar. They have classic flavors reminiscent of ice cream. Clif Builder's protein bars have combinations like mint and chocolate, cookies and cream, and chocolate peanut butter, so you can get all the yummy taste of an ice cream parlor with a lot less guilt.

If you’re more interested in flavors that remind you of the comfort of home, Clif Builder's Vanilla Almond and Cinnamon Bun provide warm, satisfying tastes. It comes as no surprise with the delightful flavors but reviewers found these to be a favorite among their children. This is completely a grab-and-go bar for a quick breakfast.

Reviewers loved the flavors of these Clif Builder’s protein bars. They didn’t have a sickeningly sweet aftertaste that coats the mouth. So many protein bars tend to have the ability to leave the tongue with an unappetizing film. Reviewers didn’t think this bar had that problem at all. Reviewers even remarked that their flavors have only improved with time!

Glycemic Index

Those who are health conscious about the way their body processes food are aware of the importance of the glycemic index. These index measures how the body digests sugar and the Clif Builder's protein bar is considered in the low range. The more quickly the body processes sugar, the higher the glycemic index is. Simple sugars or flavoring syrups are high glycemic index foods.

To stop the breakdown of sugar, there need to be other ingredients to slow how quickly the body can metabolize it. When foods are carbohydrate rich, this index measures the rate at which the sugars from the carbohydrates, or elsewhere, are absorbed. Protein bars like this Clif Builder's can be high sugar but have a low glycemic index for this reason.

By no means is this protein bar by Clif Builder’s low in carbohydrates or low in sugar, but it still maintains a low glycemic index. That means people that want to be careful about sugar spiking their insulin levels can enjoy these freely. Just don't expect this to be a low carbohydrate treat! This is unexpected for such a sweet treat but welcome.


Clif as a company has a lot of commitment to its customers. One of the most important displays of it is the company guaranteeing quality ingredients in their foods. In Clif Builder's protein bars, that means organic ingredients and absolutely no GMOs.

While this is promising, their ingredient list is still confusing. The Clif Builder’s protein bar contains about 18 ingredients in every one of their flavors. Among the organic peanut butter, oat fiber, and natural flavors, there are a lot of syrups. While their ingredients may promise to be from sources that were not genetically engineered, many of them are still processed.

This may not be a priority for you to avoid but it is necessary to point out misleading advertising. People tend to read “natural” or “not genetically-modified” and think the ingredients are whole, which isn’t true. While the Clif Builder's bar ingredients are transparent, they are also able to list “natural flavoring” without specification to protect flavoring secrets.


There can be many different sources of proteins. So many protein bars now experiment with various plant protein, like protein sourced from peas. The Clif Builder’s bar uses soy protein, a popular choice. Clif does produce a non-soy protein bar. This is just called Clif Whey Protein.

Their whey protein option has only six grams of sugar to 12 grams of protein, which is a better ratio than their Builder’s bar yet only is half the protein. This is the less popular option from Clif in terms of protein supplements. Their 20-gram bar has soy protein, which could cause bloating in some.

Some may want to avoid soy protein, so it needs to be mentioned that the protein in this Clif Builder’s bar is derived completely from soy. Soy not only can agitate some allergies but it can cause bloating. Gastrointestinal distress is a side effect of soy protein. It can cause diarrhea, constipation, and pain. If you are sensitive to soy protein, you are going to want to forgo the Builder’s line, and instead, opt for their less protein-packed whey option.

Sugar Content

Their glycemic index may be low but their sugar content is not. The sugar in the Clif Builder’s protein bar surpasses the protein in every single flavor. Every bar has 20 grams of protein, with sugar at 22 or 22 grams a bar. Since these are almost 300 calories a bar, that number is substantial.

This is a significant amount of sugar and anyone who has to be conscious about their sugar intake should probably avoid Clif Builder’s protein bars. Their glycemic index is lower means that the sugar is slower to digest. However, when the amount is this substantial it can still cause wariness.

Serious athletes usually want a high sugar and high carb option for an energy boost. Since this is slower to digest, it gives long term, more sustainable energy to whoever eats it. This isn’t going to be a good diet option, or even the perfect snack option, for that matter. Those who are very active and looking to add a protein supplement are going to get more out of this Clif Builder’s bar.


Reviewers thought that this was an incredibly affordable protein bar. Though I wouldn’t recommend feeding them to children regularly, many loved them for quick breakfasts. This much sugar in a meal or a snack shouldn’t be a regular occurrence, however, so be careful with supplementing meals with these frequently.

Their variety packs are affordable and filled with a ton of flavors to enjoy. This is one of the few packs of protein bars that you can enjoy for a unit price lower than a dollar. With the rising cost of food, finding the time and money to properly nourish your body can be difficult. Inexpensive items like the Clif Builder’s protein bar can help make ends meet when you need something fast and easy.

Vitamins and Minerals

Protein bars often will completely lack additional vitamins and minerals, which is a scary reality. People frequently supplement full meals for protein supplements like the Clif Builder’s bar. Macronutrients are extremely important but vitamins and minerals also play a crucial role in your overall health. Being vitamin deficient can make you lethargic and susceptible to illness, which can both lead to a lack of motivation to reach your fitness goals.

Clif Builder's protein bars are packed with a ton of nutrients. With amounts ranging from 10 to 15 percent of the daily value of essential vitamins and minerals, Clif can’t be beaten in this department. They have vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, and B12. B complexes are great for energy, Vitamin C supports immune health, Vitamin D helps you to absorb other essentials much more efficiently.

If you are frequently skipping meals and living an active lifestyle, you want something like the Clif Builder’s bar to compensate for the nutrition you’re missing. With fulfilling so much of your recommended daily value, these are a no-brainer. This is based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, so these percentages are going to be higher for many. Keep this in mind when choosing Clif Builder’s protein bars as a supplement.

Bottom Line

Clif has been at it since 1991 and they seem to have perfected their formula. This Clif Builder's protein bar is by no means a low sugar option but it makes up for it in added nutrition and a low glycemic index. Their company has integrity, just like their protein supplements. These sweet and creamy Clif Builder’s protein bars are packed with 20 grams of protein and a ton of energy to give you a boost on your next long-distance journey or morning rush.