Whether you’ve just started on your fitness journey, or you have been a junkie for several years, allow me to share one of the main pieces of advice I had ever been given: meeting your goals depends upon 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 isn’t balanced, do not expect any positive changes. I guess it’s like having your cake and eating it too; which I have 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 possible to consume clean (or at least cleaner) without sacrificing the flavor.
Why Protein Bars I’m Built Bars
My goals involve fat loss and muscle toning, which means I have had to take the painful fact I must watch my carbs, sugar, and fat intake, whilst keeping a fairly good amount of protein in my diet. For somebody like me, who has an insatiable sweet tooth, this was/is the hardest adjustment of all. The physical training is not, and hasn’t been, my issue. If there’s anything I’m grateful for, it is that I do not mind the exercise at all. The sweat, the soreness, the sensation of getting stronger and faster with every movement: I live for it.
Then there is the post-WOD struggle of wanting to eat double my body weight. Facepalm. I need my dessert. I want my midday snacks. What is a girl to do? The only real answer is finding a healthy alternative for all 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 great deal of fats or sugar in their nutritional fine print. How. Dare. You. I would’ve been better off with a genuine cheesecake.
I’m Built Bars
Introduction to Built Bar
Enter a new kid on the block. I had been hearing a buzz about Built Bar from buddies (is this an alliteration or what), and I knew I had to try it. They can only be bought directly from their site, which I am totally fine with because nobody wants a protein bar that has been sitting on a shelf for months. Since I’m 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 own $38, that comes out to just a bit more than $2 per bar. Sounded like a bargain to me! The box can have up to 3 distinct flavors, allowing me to try out some of the 15 variants in total. And like I said, I could get quite extra, so I ordered two boxes in that 1st purchase. Naturally, I chose 3 other flavors I had not picked yet, leaving me with 9 left to try for next time (and believe me, I’ve had my “next times” several times over by now).
The Hype Was Real I’m Built Bars
The 1st win for me when I took a bite was that I could’ve sworn it was chocolate that coated the whole bar. I immediately looked at the ingredients and almost cried with joy: it WAS real, dark chocolate, and this is something that’s not common in most of the competition.
If you are not fond of fruit and chocolate combos, be warned. I am the total 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 these artificial, supplement-y types. That said, I can vouch for the other 6 variants with no fruit, also. 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 two. In case I haven’t 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’m Built Bars
So one of the qualities I discriminate by when choosing a baris the texture. The ones that get too hard are a pain to chew, and those that are chalky are unpalatable. While I eat those, I feel like I am 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 child. 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’m 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 they’re serious about nutrition, and that really reflected in the ingredients that they opted to put and exclude in their bars. Each bar provides whey protein, which has a complete amino acid profile, but they’ve eliminated the elements of casein and lactose, which typically cause reactions in several of people. They’ve chosen erythritol and glycerine for their 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 with 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 not experience this treat.
For the macro counters, I am happy to report that Built Bars have the lowest calorie count among all of the top brands in the market. At only 110 calories, 15 g of protein, and only 7 g of net carbs, 4 g of sugar, and 4 g of fat, they could genuinely claim to be a guilt-free snack or meal replacement. No one can be mad about these numbers. In actuality, Weight Watchers rejoice, since these only count for 3 WW points.
Price and Shipping
I have 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 extra items to cart will shave a bigger percentage off your closing checkout sum.
They also have a sample box with 10 different flavors (only available for 1st timers, which I did not know about before), that bring each bar’s cost down to about $1.76.
Delivery is free on USPS priority within the US, and arrives in a reasonable amount of time, considering they’re all shipped 2-4 days following production. I am all for it if that means fresh goodies for me.
You can probably tell I am a Built Bar enthusiast, and if I haven’t expressed how much I really like it, I’m throwing in some extra FAQ for any of you who are still on the border.
FAQ I’m Built Bars
Which 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 address market demands. But from the last time I checked, here are some of their current flavors (or the last ones that I ordered) 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 have detailed most of the ingredients above. Still, another reason to trust the company is because its creator and has a PhD in molecular chemistry and has an impressive reputation. Fun fact? He makes the chocolate himself, from cocoa beans.
Are there any side effects?
Personally, none for me. If 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 must try more than one variant. I don’t like all the fun-sized variants in those commercial, chocolate party packs, but I found the ones I love by trying them all (well, nobody asked me to…)
Second, they actually have a Built Taste Guarantee. You may contact their customer service within 14 days and request a refund, but they only entertain this for 1st-time buyers. While they do not accept refunds, they do exchanges, and then you will receive flavors that you’ll love as much as I do.
Can they melt?
Yes, exactly like chocolate and other foods that are not laden with artificial stuff. I wouldn’t recommend putting 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 refrigerator.
Does this work?
If you mean has it suppressed 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 goals, so try to see how this fits into your regimen.
Do they provide other products? I’m Built Bars
Yes, they have vitamin blends known as Built Boost that include 11 essential vitamins, 3 plant extracts, and the maximum amount of vitamins B2 and B6. They’re a terrific supplement for a healthier lifestyle.
If you’re searching for a protein bar to try, think about this option for next time. I love it and hope you will, too.