Whether you’ve just started on your fitness journey, or you have been a junkie for many years, allow me to share one of the most important pieces of advice I’d ever been given: achieving your goals relies on the ratio of 75% diet and 25% exercise. The numbers differ in certain iterations of this principle — 70-30 or 80-20 — but it teaches the same lesson. No matter how hard you work out, if the food you put into your body is not balanced, don’t expect any positive changes. I guess it’s like having your cake and eating it too; which I’ve never understood, because what else is there to do with cake aside from eating it?! (Someone’s getting mad here). But luckily, so many food trends and products have made it feasible to consume clean (or at least cleaner) without sacrificing the taste.
Why Protein Bars I Am Built Bars
My goals involve fat loss and muscle toning, which means I’ve had to accept the painful truth that I have to watch my carbs, sugar, and fat consumption, whilst keeping a fairly good quantity of protein in my diet. For someone like me, with an insatiable sweet tooth, this was/is the hardest adjustment of all. The physical training isn’t, and hasn’t been, my issue. If there’s anything I’m thankful for, it’s that I don’t mind the exercise in any respect. The sweat, the soreness, the sensation of getting stronger and faster with every movement: I live for this.
Then there’s the post-WOD struggle of wanting to eat double my body weight. Facepalm. I need my dessert. I would like my midday snacks. What is a girl to do? The only real answer is finding a healthy alternative for many of my cravings.
This is where protein bars come in handy, supposedly. I’ve tried them all, and when I say all, I mean I have had some pretty decent ones, some rock hard ones, some chalky, a few that tasted like medicine, and some that tasted like cardboard. Even those, I tolerated for a time, but the really terrible ones were those that were promoted as “guilt-free,” only to reveal a large amount of sugar or fats in their nutrient fine print. How. Dare. You. I would’ve been better off having an actual cheesecake.
I Am Built Bars
Introduction to Built Bar
Enter a new kid on the block. I’d been hearing a buzz about Built Bar from friends (is this an alliteration or what), and I knew I had to try it. They can only be bought directly from their website, which I am totally fine with because no one wants a protein bar that has been sitting on a shelf for months. Since I am the kind to go all out or nothing at all, I decided to avail of the BYOB or Build Your Own Built Bar Box. I don’t shy away from savings, and with 18 bars to my $38, that comes out to only a little more than $2 per bar. Sounded like a bargain to me! The box may have up to 3 different flavors, allowing me to try out some of the 15 flavors in total. And like I said, I can get quite extra, so I ordered two boxes in that 1st purchase. Naturally, I picked 3 other flavors I hadn’t picked yet, leaving me with 9 left to try for next time (and believe me, I have had my “next times” several times over by now).
The Hype Was Real I Am Built Bars
The 1st win for me when I took a bite was that I could have sworn it was real chocolate that coated the whole bar. I quickly looked at the ingredients and nearly cried with joy: it WAS real, dark chocolate, and this is something that’s not common in the majority of the competition.
If you aren’t fond of fruit and chocolate combos, be warned. I am the complete opposite, and absolutely love fruit together with chocolate. My favorite flavors include the banana, strawberry, and coconut chocolate crèmes, because they taste like fruit and none of those artificial, supplement-y types. That said, I can vouch for the other 6 variants with no fruit, as well. The people at Built Bar thought this through and have made something for everyone: just good’ol classic dessert goodness like double chocolate mousse and peanut butter, to name my top 2. In case I have not made myself clear, my sweet tooth doesn’t feel neglected and is very satisfied. By taste alone, I’m a Built Bar believer!
Texture I Am Built Bars
So one of the qualities I discriminate by when selecting a baris the texture. Those that get overly hard are a pain to eat, and those that are chalky are unpalatable. When I eat those, I feel like I’m being punished to eat better.
Built Bar has the most unique, marshmallow texture that reminds me of a popular chocolate bar that I used to devour as a kid. Soft and fluffy on the inside, with a crackling outer shell reminiscent of those dipped ice cream cones of my childhood. I can not stress enough how content I feel when I sink my teeth into one (thinking about it this very moment)!
Nutritional Values I Am Built Bars
As much as I resented those fake-healthy barsI mentioned earlier, I had been equal amounts of impressed by the detail and care that Built Bar put into their products.
The company boasts that they are serious about nutrition, and that reflected in the ingredients that they chose to exclude and put in their bars. Each bar offers whey protein, which has a complete amino acid profile, but they have eliminated the elements of casein and lactose, which typically cause reactions in several of people. They’ve chosen erythritol and glycerine for their own sweeteners, two of the healthier options that have little to no side effects, while keeping the bars moist and delicious. The soluble fiber in every bar is maltodextrin, which not only contributes to the yummy texture I gushed about, but is also known to increase health benefits. There are no nuts nor soy in their products, so this is safe for those who have allergies. Last but definitely not the least, may I repeat, REAL CHOCOLATE. ‘Nuff said.
Unfortunately, whey protein and another ingredient, gelatin, fall under the category of non-vegan and non-vegetarian, in addition to non-halal and non-kosher. My heart goes out to you people who can’t experience this treat.
For the macro counters, I am delighted to report that Built Bars have the lowest calorie count among all the top brands in the marketplace. At only 110 calories, 15 g of protein, and only 7 grams of net carbs, 4 g of sugar, and 4 grams of fat, they can actually claim to be a guilt-free snack or meal replacement. No one can be angry about these numbers. In fact, Weight Watchers rejoice, as these only count for 3 WW points.
Cost and Shipping
I’ve touched on this earlier, as I recounted my first order, but another wonderful thing about Built Bars is that the more you buy, the more you save. They have deals that pile on the discounts, like adding additional items to cart will shave a bigger percentage off your closing checkout sum.
They also have a sample box with 10 unique flavors (only available for 1st timers, which I didn’t know about earlier ), that bring each bar’s cost down to about $1.76.
Shipping is free on USPS priority over the US, and arrives in a reasonable amount of time, considering they are all shipped 2-4 days following production. I’m all for it if that means freshly made goodies for me.
You can probably tell I am a Built Bar enthusiast, and if I have not expressed how much I really like it, I am throwing in some extra FAQ for some of you who are still on the boundary.
FAQ I Am Built Bars
What are the other flavors of Built Bar?
So glad you asked. They change their offerings every so often, possibly to keep giving us die-hards something new, or to deal with market demands. However, from the last time I checked, here are a few of their current flavors (or the last ones that I purchased ) along with their macros.
Double Chocolate Mousse — 110 calories, 15g protein, 4g fat, 6g fiber, 4g sugar
Vanilla Chocolate Creme — 110 calories, 15g protein, 4g fat, 6g fiber, 4g sugar
Raspberry Chocolate Creme — 110 calories, 15g protein, 4g fat, 6g fiber, 4g sugar
Orange Chocolate Creme — 110 calories, 15g protein, 4g fat, 6g fiber, 4g sugar
Coconut Chocolate Creme — 110 calories, 15g protein, 4g fat, 6g fiber, 4g sugar
Black Cherry Chocolate Creme — 110 calories, 15g protein, 4g fat, 6g fiber, 4g sugar
Banana Chocolate Creme — 110 calories, 15g protein, 4g fat, 6g fiber, 4g sugar
Salted Caramel Chocolate — 110 calories, 15g protein, 4g fat, 6g fiber, 4g sugar
Coconut Almond — 130 calories, 18g protein, 5g fat, 7g fiber, 3g sugar
Peanut Butter — 170 calories, 20g protein, 7g fiber, 7g fat, 3g sugar
Banana Nut Bread — 150 calories, 18g protein, 5g fat, 6g fiber, 5g sugar
Peanut Butter Brownie — 170 calories, 20g protein, 7g fat, 7g fiber, 3g sugar
Mint Brownie Delite — 110 calories, 15g protein, 4g fat, 6g fiber, 4g sugar
How sure are we that these are healthy?
I’ve detailed most of the ingredients above. However, another reason to trust the company is because its founder and has a PhD in molecular chemistry and has an impressive reputation. Fun fact? He even makes the chocolate himself, from cocoa beans.
Are there any side effects?
Personally, none for me. In case you have allergies, please thoroughly check the ingredients before consuming.
What if I don’t like how it tastes, and I’m left with 17 bars from the BYOB?
First of all, you have to try more than one variant. Even I don’t like all the fun-sized variants in those commercial, chocolate party packs, but I found those I love by trying them all (well, nobody asked me to…)
Second, they actually have a Built Taste Guarantee. You can get in touch with their customer service within 14 days and request a refund, but they solely entertain this for 1st-time buyers. While they do not accept refunds, they do trades, and then you’ll receive flavors that you’ll love as much as I do.
Do they melt?
Yes, exactly like chocolate and other foods that are not laden with synthetic substances. I wouldn’t recommend lugging them around with you on a hot day; they have to be kept at least room temperature. But if you wish to try eating them like I do, eat them cold, straight from the fridge.
Does this work?
If you mean has it curbed my sweet cravings and given me a healthier snack alternative, definitely. I feel fuller for longer, and gives me a boost of energy for my workouts. Then again, it really depends upon our individual objectives, so try to learn how this fits into your regimen.
Do they offer other products? I Am Built Bars
Yes, they have vitamin blends called Built Boost that contain 11 essential vitamins, 3 plant extracts, and the maximum amount of vitamins B2 and B6. They’re a great supplement for a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re looking for a protein bar to try, consider this option for next time. I really like it and hope you will, too.