Clif Bar News: Protein to Go and Panforte! by Grannygear

Or so the advertisement for the new Clif Builder’s Protein bar reads.  The website for the new bar has all kinds of info on why, as a high performing athlete, you should desire the right amount of protein.  “CLIF BUILDER’s has 20g of complete protein, the vitamins and minerals you need to boost protein metabolism, and carbohydrates for sustained energy. BUILDER’S never contains ingredients like artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols or trans fats.”

Only 35 Percent of Americans Know How Much Protein They Need
According to New Nationwide Survey
CLIF Builder’s® Finds Protein Knowledge Lagging Behind Other Health and Fitness Topics

EMERYVILLE, Calif., March 14, 2012 – CLIF Builder’s®, the great tasting high-protein bar, revealed the results of a new survey today showing that most Americans are unsure of how much protein they need on a daily basis, even though they know other essential health and fitness facts like how much water to drink and how often they should exercise.

Just 35 percent of Americans understand their protein needs, according to a nationwide phone survey of 1,000 people ages 18 and over conducted recently by CLIF Builder’s and Kelton Research. Key nutrition knowledge about protein lags far behind Americans’ awareness of other basic health and fitness concepts. For example, the survey discovered that more than twice as many Americans understand how often they should work out (76 percent) or their ideal weight range (69 percent). To help people learn about their individual protein needs, CLIF Builder’s has created a guide to protein and nutrition, including an interactive protein calculator, available at

The survey also uncovered widespread misconceptions about the benefits of a post-workout snack containing a mix of protein and carbohydrates. After a workout, eating protein and carbohydrates together is the ultimate one-two punch for total body recovery, explained Ron Mathews, a leading personal trainer and CLIF Builder’s ambassador. Post-workout protein repairs muscles, while carbohydrates replenish a body’s storehouse of energy. However, 43 percent of Americans believe that eating carbohydrates after a workout will cancel the work they have just done, and 89 percent reach for a protein-rich snack first, without considering also replenishing carbohydrates.

“As a professional trainer, I educate my clients to look for a protein bar like CLIF Builder’s that not only includes protein to build muscle, but also high-quality carbohydrates,” Mathews said. “Carbs translate to energy, and whether you’re lifting weights or running hills, carb-based energy is what makes it happen.”

Nearly half of those surveyed said nutritious ingredients are an important factor in their selection of protein snacks. Those respondents said they don’t want their protein snacks to contain trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols.

“Sometimes what’s not in your food is just as important as what is,” says Tara DelloIacono Thies, R.D. and nutrition strategist for Clif Bar & Company. “You won’t find in CLIF Builder’s ingredients like artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and sugar alcohols that provide zero energy, as they don’t contribute to muscle performance and total body fitness.”

CLIF Builder’s (SRP: $1.99) is crafted for performance by athletes and foodies in the CLIF kitchen. Each bar contains 20 grams of great-tasting protein, carbohydrates for sustained energy and an optimal blend of specifically-selected ingredients that work as hard as you do so you can get the most out of your workout. Three delicious new flavors have just been introduced—Chocolate Chip and S’mores for those who crave chocolate, and Crunchy Peanut Butter for those who want to revel in the rich, creamy taste of peanut butter.

In addition to the three new flavors, CLIF Builder’s is also available in Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Mint, Cookies ‘n Cream and Vanilla Almond.
I received a few Builder’s Bars to taste test.  I split them between my son, a martial arts instructor, and myself to see how they fared.  One day my son was in the middle of a hard day and lunch was wearing thin.  He ate a Builder’s Bar and found he had had the energy to make it through the day.  Not scientific, but he noticed the difference after a stressful day on his feet.  I ate them post ride to see how they treated me and even took one to eat on a ride just for fun.  Now I know that they are not a substitute for a regular Clif Bar or even a meal replacement bar, so I took it outside its boundaries a bit.  But after all that, I do have some impressions.

  • Taste – Not especially yummy. But most protein bars I have had seem to have a grainy, slightly bitter aftertaste and that seems true of these.  My fav was the crunchy peanut butter.  My son had the same impressions…taste was so so.
  • Effectiveness – My son sure found them to get him to the end of a couple of hard days.  I am not sure I noticed a difference to my recovery, but perhaps I just needed a longer trial period than two bars to chart the results.
  • They melt in the pack.  Not a ride time bar.
  • Got milk?  A cold glass of milk was nice to have handy during taste tests.

Panforte comes to a wrapper near you!  Now the other new product, for a limited time, is a special Clif Bar flavor inspired by the owner of Clif Bar as he rode over Italy’s Passo di Gavia.  (This pic is not Gary…pretty sure, anyway…but on the internet, who knows?).  Panforte, a traditional Italian recipe made with honey, fruits, nuts and spices, goes back to the 1300s, apparently, and now is nicely wrapped up for you in a Clif Bar wrapper.  No trip to Italy required.  The taste is completely unlike any energy bar I have ever tried.  In fact, the aroma is unique and it lets you know something is up as soon as you unwrap it.  It smells really nice.  The taste?  Think fruitcake, pretty much.  But that is not so bad unless you hate fruitcake.  I enjoyed the samples I had and actually liked it very much with a nice cup of hot tea.  In fact, on a ride it was a bit over the top, taste wise, especially if I was way into a hard ride.  But I find all kinds of reasons to eat a Clif bar and if I was steeping a nice cup of tea for the morning, the Gary’s Panforte would be welcome to join me.

But you better act fast to get this taste of Italy as this is a limited edition flavor and will not be around forever.  Better that or be ready to ride behind the guy in the pic to get another chance at it.

Note: Clif Bar sent over the samples for review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being bribed or paid for this review. We will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.