Super-tasty post-ride recovery snack

The Clif Builder's Bar has transformed my training. The 20g of protein is packaged in a tasty bar that I usually end up eating as a snack. It's probably too hard to chew during the main part of a ride, and isn't designed to be anyway, but it's perfect for post-ride or cool-down snacking.

My old routine after a race or hard training session, on the bike or at the gym, was to consume a disgusting protein shake that I bought because it had the highest calorie and protein count I could find. I tried to consume it as quickly as possible but, more often than not, half would be left after I conveniently 'forgot' about it.

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When these landed in the office for testing, it coincided with snack time. How convenient. Snacking away, the first thing I noticed was the distinct layers within the bar. You get an outer layer, a chunky peanut butter layer, and a biscuity base. The taste is surprisingly pleasant. I'm used to weird tasting energy bars, so having something that I was happy to simply snack on was brilliant.

The nutrition profile is also pleasing: 20g of protein is pretty much ideal for recovery. I spoke to Ted Munson, performance nutritionist at SIS, who said that research has shown our bodies can only really absorb between 20-25g of protein every 2-3 hours. The exact figure varies between athletes, but 20g should be good enough to cover my harder training sessions.

The 27g of carbohydrate is also a welcome sight. Replacing used carbs after a ride is important for recovery as it's the main source of fuel for cycling, especially at a reasonable tempo. The 22g of sugar that contributes to the carb count is possibly what makes this taste so good – the bar isn't sickly sweet and the peanuts really help to keep the bar neutral.

It's quite a solid consistency, so I avoided eating it during harder riding, preferring to nibble on the flat, or at the back of a group. It also stayed that way in my back pocket, happily not melting in the spring warmth. My favourite time to eat this, though, was when I was cruising back home, a couple of miles from my door.

Out on the bike, I've had no stomach issues, although you'll need a little water once you've eaten it.

Overall, I'm very impressed by the Builder's Bar. The taste is very pleasant and the nutrition profile is perfect for post-ride recovery. Highly recommended.


Super-tasty post-ride recovery snack

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Clif Builders Bar (12 x 68g)

Size tested: 68g per bar

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

From Clif:

"CLIF BUILDER'S has 20g of protein for the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. BUILDER'S never contains ingredients like partially hydrogenated oils or sugar alcohols.

You put everything into your workout. Get everything out of it.

What is CLIF Builder's?

CLIF Builder's is a high-protein bar offering 20 grams of protein for the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.

What makes CLIF Builder's different from other protein bars?

CLIF Builder's is made solely with ingredients that you can recognize and taste like soya protein, oats, nuts, peanut butter and cocoa.

When should CLIF Builder's be eaten?

CLIF Builder's is a nutritious and convenient source of protein to be eaten after a workout."

Brilliant for post-ride replenishment.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

20 grams of protein for the growth and maintenance of muscle mass

High in protein

Vitamin B6 contributes to normal protein and glycogen metabolism

Free of hydrogenated oils and sugar alcohols

Rate the product for quality of construction:

The wrapping is easy to open while riding, and the chocolate didn't melt in my pocket.

Rate the product for performance:

Replenished what I lost to my intervals.

Rate the product for value:

At £28 for a box of 12, they're not the cheapest. But the great taste and good nutritional profile makes them worth it.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well. If you don't like the taste of these types of things, you won't usually eat them.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

So tasty, I've been snacking on them in the office.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A little hard for anything more than steady riding, but really they're meant for post-ride replenishment.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

They're very tasty bars with an ideal nutrition profile for post-ride recovery.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 177cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.


part_robot [304 posts] 2 years ago

That price though  7

Russell Orgazoid [574 posts] 2 years ago

£2 each even in multi-pack?

Have a glass of milk ffs

MNgraveur [109 posts] 2 years ago

You got to watch the calorie count on these things. I was eating them a few years ago, after lifting, and I ended up gaining some weight. for me at least, it was too many extra calories. You don't really need that much after most workouts, if you are also eating reasonable meals.

beezus fufoon [972 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

I take all my calories the french way, these are the wrong shape!

Nick T [1420 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

More sugar than a Mars bar, and it's transformed your training? Ok. This product's list of ingredients is a disaster, do yourself a favour and bin them. Beans on toast is vastly more nutritious than one of these, would you claim that eating that for lunch every day transformed your training? So why would a Mars bar with a spoon of protein powder be any better?

bendertherobot [1543 posts] 2 years ago

Was it a buttery biscuit base?


captain_slog [486 posts] 2 years ago

Chocolate and peanut butter is a great combo.

A while back there was a recipe in the Times from Noa Zingher who runs a juice bar on D'Arblay Street. From memory it's something like this. A banana, two pitted dates, three tbsp peanut butter (crunchy, preferably, but up to you), two tbsp cocoa powder, 200ml unsweetened almond milk and two or three ice cubes. Whizz in a blender. (OK, it's a bit more effort than tearing open a wrapper.)

Biscuitfrisky [12 posts] 2 years ago

A pack of beef jerkey and a nurishment shake does the trick.

Kendalred [434 posts] 2 years ago

Been using these as my breakfast with a banana after the cycle to work for the past year or so(as I don't eat beforehand). The Peanut Butter flavour can be a bit sickly for some tastes, but the Chocolate Mint is a better flavour IMO.

And they are good for a vegan source of protein.

Given the calorie content, no more than three a week though.

Team EPO [225 posts] 2 years ago

Or go for the SiS protein gloop sachets at £1 each from Amazon