Are CLIFF Bars Healthy?

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CLIF Bar offers several lines of nutrition bars:

  • CLIF Bar – original energy bars
  • CLIF Builder’s – protein bars
  • CLIF Crunch – granola bars
  • CLIF Kid – snack bars for kids
  • CLIF Kit’s Organic – organic fruit and nut bars
  • CLIF Mojo – trail mix bars
  • Luna Bar, Luna Fiber and Luna Protein – bars for women

Which type of CLIFF bars that you choose would depend on your energy needs or dietary/nutritional goals. The manufacturer of CLIF bars prides itself in using mainly organic ingredients and their products are free of trans fats, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.

For this review, we will look at the ingredients and nutrition facts of CLIFF Builder’s protein bars.

CLIFF Builder’s Bar Review

There are 3 types of CLIFF Builder’s bars:

  • CLIFF Builder’s Snack Size (10g protein). Size of 1 bar = 34g; 130-140 calories.
  • CLIFF Builder’s (20g protein). Size of 1 bar = 68g; 270-280 calories.
  • CLIFF Builder’s Max (30g protein). Size of 1 bar = 97g; 380-390 calories.

When should CLIF Builder’s protein bars be consumed?

According to the manufacturer of CLIF Builder’s bars:

“We crafted CLIF Builder’s specifically to help active people get the most out of their workout, offering different levels of protein to help people customize protein intake based on the day’s activities. For best results, choose:
–  Builder’s Snack Size (10 grams of protein) on lighter workout or rest days.
–  Builder’s (20 grams of protein) during and after an everyday workout.
–  Builder’s MAX (30 grams of protein) following your toughest, most intense workouts.

In general, eat a CLIF Builder’s bar with the level of protein that is right for you within 30 minutes of your workout for the most efficient and effective muscle recovery and growth.”

Pros and Cons of CLIFF Builder’s Bars

– No trans fats, partially-hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, chemically derived additives or ingredients sourced from GMO.
– 23 vitamins and minerals (in regular Builder’s and Builder’s Snack Size); 15 vitamins and minerals (in Builder’s Max)

– All 3 types of Builder’s bars contain soy protein (isolate and concentrate), which is a highly processed and cheap source of protein. There are also potential health concerns arising from high consumption of soy products as discussed here.
– As regular protein bars, the Builder’s bars (20g protein) are high in sugar (22g out of total carbs of 29g in chocolate mint flavour bars). Builder’s Max have even more sugar (30g out of total carbs of 40g in caramel peanut flavour bars) due to the larger serving size (1 bar = 97g).
– Low in fibre


Due to their high calories and sugar content, both regular Builder’s (20g protein) and Builder’s Max are not suitable to have as a high protein snack late at night or in between meals. An alternative would be Builder’s Snack Size, with a serving size of 1 bar = 34g. Builder’s Snack Size are exactly like regular Builder’s but lower in calories and sugar (11g out of total carbs of 15g).

However, consider the overall good and bad of Builder’s protein bars to determine if you should include them in your eating plan.

Click here to discover the 3 best healthy protein bars


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