CLIF Bars, Shot Bloks, Shot Gels and Builder's – A review

I was sent a box full of goodies from CLIF a few months ago now. They were a sample of their products designed for sports for me to try. I must say as a new runner I was a bit unsure at first given that I had never understood fully the need for protein bars or energy gels and saw them more as an extra item that is unnecessary and sold to those that will waste their money on anything. I do have to say however I was wrong in this assumption and hadn’t realised that protein bars do have more use than just an overpriced chocolate bar for the weight lifters at the gym!

The goodies Clif Bar & Company sent for me to try.
What are protein bars used for?
Protein bars are used for high energy in a tasty easy to eat bar. They can be used before during, or after exercise. They are designed to build muscle and provide the body with energy for long periods of exercise.

What are energy gels used for?
Energy gels are used for during exercise to keep the energy levels up for long amounts of exercise. Energy gels are designed to be easily portable and very concentrated pouches of energy to make them easy to carry whilst running or doing any other sports.
Builders Bar – mint, out of wrapper and was delicious!

Clif Bars….what did I think?
These were very tasty oat based bars that were easy to eat and came in a variety of flavours. Although the taste of them was clearly different to that of a generic oat based biscuit bar it wasn’t that dissimilar and was enjoyable so was nice. After a 10k race I had some Clif bars and definitely felt the difference in how I felt afterwards compared to similar runs without the Clif bars afterwards. They filled me up and made me feel like I could run it all again…..though I didn’t! They are a yummy and effective protein bar in my opinion and seemed to a new runner like me to do the job they are designed for. After my positive experiences with them for the 10k I took them when I did the Great North Run half marathon and again found them very helpful after the run.

Builder’s Bars…..what did I think?
The Builders bars were more chocolate based than the Clif bars but equally nice. Again they didn’t taste like anything too different to oat/chocolate type bars you may otherwise by for a snack. They were also effective in making me feel much more full of energy after a long run and were easy to open and didn’t fall apart as you ate them. Whilst I ate these after a run rather than during I feel it important to note how sturdy both these and the Clif bars were, should I chose another time to take them to consume whilst running I would be confident they wouldn’t fall apart and would be easy to eat.
Clif Bars out of wrapper, very nice and kind of flapjack like!
Bloks…..what did I think?
I was a little skeptical about these because I generally do not like jelly type sweets as I do not like the texture but I was pleased with these and first tried them during a 10k run and thought they were ok. Whilst I wasn’t overly keen on the texture they were better than I thought and certainly gave me a boost of energy when I needed it at around 7km. I was so impressed by the effectiveness of these that I took some with me for the Great North Run and opened them whilst running at around 8 miles. I had a couple of the bloks at 8 miles then the remainder of the pack at about 10 miles and they really helped. Without them I am not sure I would have been smiling and so full of energy still as I crossed the finish line after 13.1 miles! They were easy to open and the texture is growing on me a little as I loved the flavours, particularly the tropical one! Vegetarian too which is a plus as sometimes things like this aren’t!

Shot Gels….what did I think?
I wasn’t keen on the texture of these however as I’ve said previously I really don’t like gel or jelly textures so this was due to my preferences not the product. My partner Stuart liked them and found them a great help and again easy to open whilst running and a great selection of flavours!

Me enjoying a Clif bar and a Builders bar after Mansfield 10k.

Would I buy any of these products myself?
I will definitely be buying the Bloks and the Clif bars for another big run as found both very tasty and helpful. The great selection of flavours available appealed to me too. I am grateful to Clif for sending me the samples as I don’t think I would have spent money on the Bloks or Shot Gels as I wouldn’t have known if I would like them given my dislike of gel/jelly textures! It was a pleasant surprise that I got on so well with the bloks and I am considering trying the gels again too.

Value for money?
Whilst they are quite expensive they seem to be a comparable price to other big brands of protein bars and energy gel type products so I would say they are a reasonable value for money. There are cheaper products on the market however knowing that these work for me I don’t think I would spend money on other brands as they may not be as effective so whatever their price there is a chance the money may be wasted so I am inclined to think I will stick with these.
Running towards the finish line after Bloks helped me
complete the 13.1 miles of the Great North Run still smiling!

How to buy them yourself?
Clif bars, Builders bars, Bloks, and Shot Gels are available at a variety of sports shops across the country and even across the world. By clicking on this link you can see where your nearest retailer is Find a retailer. Alternatively online companies such as Amazon also sell them.

I was sent these products by Clif free of charge to try out and I offered to then review them on my blog. I was not paid for this review and was not asked to write a positive review. This review is my true feelings on the products and my experiences on tasting and using the products. I will always review items from a non biased perspective giving my readers my honest feedback.

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