Built Bar Review - Do They Deserve the Hype?
August 7, 2021 97 Comments
This Built Bar review was inspired by a bunch of comments on a previous post and is my personal (non-sponsored) opinion of these bars.
Built Bar stopped producing their bar in June 2020 and went offline for over a month before they launched a new version of their product. I am sure many fans are worried that they messed it up.
I have seen many great products go downhill with new formulations - so I was skeptical when I received this box with the new bars from Built:
Over a year ago, I wrote What Are the Best Protein Bars for Weight Loss? based on all the bars that looked good at my local Whole Foods.
I was looking for bars that tasted good, had a high amount of protein, and weren’t high in calories. I took a look at Quest Bars here: Quest Bars Review. There are so many protein bars! Honestly, I don't know how anyone can choose. They take up an entire side of an aisle at my supermarket.
When you take a look inside the protein bar, you usually find a ton of sugar to make them taste really good.
They can easily end up in the "treat" end of the spectrum when you are looking for a simple, protein packed snack. Many people are looking for something healthier than a cookie when they buy these bars - and sometimes the bar has more sugar than a cookie.
It is incredibly difficult to find a protein bar that tastes good and isn't packed with sugar. I have been looking for a long, long time.
I must say I had never heard of Built protein bars until Helene wrote this on my protein bar post:
Built Bars are only 3 points for the whole bar, not that I would eat it at once. I purchased the Double Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Raspberry Creme, and the Chocolate Strawberry Creme. They have a marshmallowy consistency when you bite into them - delicious. I've also tried cutting them up into 6 pieces and putting them into the freezer. Feels like a little treat to grab a piece.
How could I not try them? Marshmallow? Treat? In a protein bar? Could these replace my favorite chocolate dessert? I decided to go out and buy my own box to see what all the hype was about. I was pretty excited when my box arrived.
The only way to buy them is online at Built Bar and that is probably why I hadn’t seen them at the store. Duh. You have to commit to a whole box to try them out.
You can buy a mixed box of Built Bars (which I would recommend to figure out your favorite flavors). At the end of this post is a coupon for 10% off your purchase.
These are very different from most of my previous forays into the protein bar world. The nutritional profile of the bar is great because it doesn't have much added sugar.
Here are the main ingredients. They do vary a little bit depending on which flavor you choose: protein blend (whey protein isolate (milk), partially hydrolyzed whey protein isolate), water, dark chocolate (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lechithin, vanilla), digestion resistant maltodextrin, glycerin, erythritol, natural flavor, citric acid
I’m not sure what “digestion resistant maltodextrin” is but my guess is that you don’t absorb calories from this type of sugar substitute. You may get a stomach ache from the this type of sweetener.
Somehow the makers of Built Bar made a product that reminds me of a 3 Musketeers bar but it doesn’t have sugar or fat. The texture is like a marshmallow and it is wrapped in chocolate.
The chocolate actually tastes like chocolate - no small feat in the protein bar world.
What Changed about Built Bar?
The new Built bar has 6 new flavors and a varying amount of calories and fat depending on which bar you choose.
Here are the 18 flavors of the new Built bars and their nutrition information including calorie/WW Points amounts:
130 Calories/3 Blue, 3 Purple, 3 Green WW Smartpts
130 calories, 2.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 18 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugar, 18 g protein, 6 g fiber, 40 mg sodium
2. Salted Caramel
3. Double Chocolate
4. Mint Brownie
6.. Caramel Brownie
7. Cookies N Cream
8. Cherry Barcia
160 Calories/4 Blue, 4 Purple, 4 Green WW Smartpts
160 calories, 5.0 g fat, 2.0 g saturated fat, 19 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugar, 18 g protein, 6 g fiber, 50 mg sodium
10. Apple Almond Crisp
11. Banana Bread
12. Carrot Cake with Walnuts
13. Toffee Almond 14. Lemon Almond Cheesecake
180 Calories/5 Blue, 5 Purple, 5 Green WW Smartpts
180 calories, 7.0 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 19 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugar, 19 g protein, 7 g fiber, 55 mg sodium
15. Coconut Almond
16. Peanut Butter Brownie
17. German Chocolate Cake
18. Peanut Butter
What can I say? They didn’t mess them up. I think these are marginally better than the OG Built Bar. The consistency is a little fluffier and the flavors are good. They didn’t really change very much from their original recipe.
I think these Built Bars are better cold but they taste pretty good for what the ingredients might indicate. Initially, I thought they would taste like a science experiment but they remind me of a candy bar. They stick to your teeth a bit (like a Three Muskateers). I am actually surprised about how much these tasted like a childhood treat.
As an adult, my treats have gotten more sophisticated (think dark chocolate squares) so these don't hit my happy spot but I can see how people would love these.
You might even feel like you are cheating on your diet!
I have a small reaction to erthritol (tummy trouble) that I did not get with these bars probably because they don’t use that much of it. I would not eat two in a day just to be on the safe side.
Overall, I think these are a good choice especially if you are a candy lover and want to wean yourself off of it. I like the idea of slicing these bars into pieces and having a chunk when you are craving something sweet. That way, you don’t eat too much of it at once and you save yourself some money.
Some people absolutely love these and can't get enough. I definitely see the appeal because so many of us are desperate to stop eating sugary treats. If Built bar stops you from eating candy, cookies, or chocolate - why not get them? I would hope that they would be a stepping stone to a less processed option.
I wouldn't stuff these into my bag on a hot day because they would melt. You need to keep these at room temperature or colder.
Do I think these are the best choice or a healthy choice? Because they are filled with processed ingredients instead of fresh, healthy food - I would not call them healthy.
For a healthy snack, I would eat unprocessed food (like an apple with peanut butter) when you can. But, I would stash one of these in my purse for those long days when I can’t bring along something fresh.
Click here Built Bars and it will automatically give you a 10% discount at checkout.
Snack Girl is a professional review site that receives compensation for some products that we review. We are independently owned and opinions expressed are own own. We do have an affiliate relationship with Built Bar and receive a small portion of sales.
Have you tried Built Bars? What is your review?
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