From Built Bar’s website:
The typical protein bar is dense, gritty, and difficult to chew. Not Built Bar. The texture is light and fluffy, and it is covered in perfectly tempered, 100% pure, dark chocolate. With each bite you take, you will think you are cheating on your diet, indulging on a chocolate dessert! We think you’ll agree, there isn’t a more delicious way to get your protein.
Many thanks to my sweet friend Pam in Georgia who sent me a few of these protein bars to try and do a review on. All I can say is “WOW” they really are good! I tried the vanilla chocolate cream last night and the black cherry chocolate cream today. My wife Loraine had the banana chocolate cream bar too. We both loved these protein bars and ordered a box last night.
What I like about the Built Bars:
First I really enjoyed the flavors and texture. The dark chocolate coating was delectable and perfect compliment for the inside caramel like nougats. Biting into the Built Bar I was surprised that it was a lot like biting into a candy bar, a Mar’s Bar in particular. I had no preconceived notions of what to expect beforehand. The vanilla cream was my favorite, but the black cherry cream was pretty good too. These bars truly taste like what they are advertised as tasting like instead of tasting like flavored cardboard as some of the bars on the market are known for. Between the taste and the texture, one might come to believe they are cheating on their nutrition, except these bars are filled with good ingredients:
Whey protein isolate is the first ingredient listed for the bars. Because whey protein isolate it is a complete protein, it has all the essential amino acids, high digestibility, and a mild taste.
The soluble fiber, maltodextrin in the bars, help with the texture and add to the health benefits of consuming them. There are many different types of maltodextrin. Most are fairly easily digested, so are often used as a ‘slow carb”. This non-digestible, water soluble fiber, called Fibersol, is the source of fiber used in Built Bar. It has no negative effects and is extremely well tolerated.
Although there is a small amount of added sugar in the chocolate coating, its effects are mitigated by the amount of fiber in these bars. Erythritol is the main sweetener used in Built Bars. Erythritol is chemically related to sugar alcohols, but has fewer carbon atoms. This puts it in a unique position. It is a small enough molecule that it passes into the bloodstream rather than stay in the intestines, but it’s big enough that the kidneys filter it out. This means that almost all of it is passed out in the urine undigested. Because of this, it effectively has zero calories and yet it’s extremely well tolerated, unlike normal sugar alcohols. It adds sweetness with few side effects, other than a cooling sensation when it dissolves. It’s a naturally occurring compound present in several foods such as pears, watermelon and grapes, and is widely sold in health food stores. We use erythritol as a sweetener in most of our treat recipes we provide here under our recipes menu.
Glycerin is listed after erythritol. It is similar to erythritol, but has one less carbon in the molecular chain. It’s a sweet, syrupy liquid that forms the backbone for many important biological molecules. Used with erythritol, it also adds some sweetness while reducing the amount of available water which increases the shelf life of the product. Unlike erythritol, glycerin is digested and so does add nominally to the calorie count. In addition to supplementing the sweetness of erythritol, these two molecules, erythritol and glycerin, used together form a sweet syrupy liquid that is resistant to crystallization, much like corn syrup. Consequently, the protein mix containing these has a moist texture that is retained longer than use of either of these sweeteners individually would provide.
Built Bar is coated with a high quality dark chocolate which is the source of all the actual sugar in the bar. This chocolate is more expensive than chocolate compounds which are commonly used in nutrition and snack bars. These compounds typically have more carbohydrates and chemicals which we consider undesirable. Though I recommend not eating added sugars, the fiber and protein present in these bars greatly decrease the rate of sugar absorption, which is known to significantly reduce, or potentially eliminate, blood sugar spikes in either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetics.
These bars are not Vegan friendly if you care about this.
Gelatin, which is an animal protein is used to stabilize the structure of the bears. Therefore our Vegan friends might want to skip Built Bars.
I like protein bars on occasion. While I do not think anyone should ever use them as a meal replacement item, they are great for one who is on the go. I might pack one in my lunch box to have after my lunch to hold me over until dinner time at home. They are a far superior alternative to any type of candy bar, but you have to watch the ingredient and nutritional labels before eating any of them as many are nothing more than glorified candy bars. These bars provide only 110 calories with 15 grams of whey protein, 7 net grams of carbs, with 6 grams of fiber. This makes the Built Bar a much healthier snack than a regular candy bar that provides zero nutritional benefit to the consumer.
Note: You will find that some of the bars can be a little different in nutritional values.