The busy nature of the modern lifestyle makes it very difficult to ensure that we are getting the adequate dietary intake to keep us going. The average male adult requires roughly 2500 calories every day to remain at a net calorie balance. The average adult female requires a bit less, around 2000 calories, but between work, family, and social engagement, it can be hard to find time to fit in all the necessary nutrients we need.
Whether you’re wanting to lose weight, build muscle at the gym, or simply sustain a high level of physical activity, having a nutritious source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and energy on hand can make a significant difference.
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The Clif Bar fits this description perfectly, as it represents a highly popular on the go meal replacement option. Original Clif Bars are made from crunchy almonds mixed with peanut butter, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, giving them an ultra crunchy feeling of satisfaction when eaten. These bars are also an excellent source of protein, fiber, and they even sport 23 essential vitamins and minerals that will provide us with all the needed nutrients for the day. Clif Bars are also energy boosters, as they can revitalize the body with their ingredients making users more energized and focused during the day.
Clif Bars really sound promising but are they truly healthy and nutritious? To find out simply continue reading this unbiased review!
Clif Bar Ingredients
Clif Bars are made with only organic and natural ingredients, without any GMO or animal substances which makes them 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
The ingredients list itself is fairly long and different for each of the Clif Bar options, however, we will list the main and most important ingredients used in almost every Clif Bar.
Organic Brown Rice Syrup – Is a healthy sugar alternative made from cooked rice starch. This sweetener has a fairly high glycemic index that is easily absorbed in our bloodstream (1). Because of this effect, Brown Rice Syrup can provide an additional source of energy to its users. However, experts do recommend that diabetics avoid this ingredients since it can negatively impact their health (2).
Organic Rolled Oats – Are the main carbohydrate source in the whole formula. Rolled Oats are one of the healthiest sources of complex carbs on the planet. Complex carbohydrates supply the body with lasting energy that is released slowly inside the body, allowing users to be energized for hours (3). Rolled Oats also contain a fairly high percentage of protein that can contribute to the daily intake of proteins, which are the building blocks of muscle. Rolled Oats also contain quite a bit of fiber, which is important for proper digestion and satiety (4).
Soy Protein Isolate – Is definitely not the best source of protein, however Soy Protein Isolate is a pure form of this macronutrient and contains all the necessary amino acids (5). Soy in general was used to treat high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and obesity, since it has a relatively low calorie count (6).
Organic Peanut Butter – Represents a healthy source of fats, fiber, protein, B-vitamins, and minerals. Peanut Butter is also a good source of antioxidants that are beneficial for our overall health (7). The slight issue with Peanut Butter is its high calorie content, which might cause some problems for the individuals that are looking to lose some inches.
Organic Honey – A natural sweetener that does have a higher calorie and sugar count, but is still far more superior than any artificial sweetener out there (8). Honey is purposely added to the Clif Bar formula as this ingredient can help athletes maintain proper glycogen levels, improving their performance and recovery. Honey also features many vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that can improve overall health (9).
Dark Chocolate – Is very rich in antioxidants that can help protect the body against free radicals and other harmful substances. Free radicals are known to impact and induce heart disease, cancer, and other issues. And for this reason, Dark Chocolate can prevent heart conditions, lower blood pressure, and even protect our skin from the sun (10).
Cinnamon – Popularly used as a sweet spice, this ingredient has amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and can even boost metabolism. Scientific research supports the potential useful effects of Cinnamon in weight loss and overall health improvement (11).
Sea Salt – Salt in general gets a bad rep for its supposed negative properties. However, Sea Salt has numerous benefits and should not be avoided entirely. Sea Salt is a lot less processed than regular salt, and for this reason, it contains numerous essential minerals that regulate many functions in the body (12).
Clif Bar Options and Flavors
Clif Bars come in a range of different options and flavors that will meet the needs of almost any user.
Clif Bar Options:
Original Clif Bar – Represents the original Clif Energy Bar that packs quality carbohydrates, protein, and fiber and will provide valuable nutrients and energy.
Clif Kit’s Organic – This Clif Bar option contains only organic fruits and nuts and is gluten, soy, and dairy free.
Clif Crunch – Contains crunchy ingredients, such as peanuts and whole grains that serve as a perfect snack.
Clif Mojo – If you’re a fan of trail mix snacks, then you’ll love this Clif Bar option since it contains a sweet and salty trail mix bar.
Clif Builder’s – This Clif Bar option packs 20g of high-quality protein, with a complete amino acid specter that will help with the muscle building process.
Clif Kid – Represents the Kids version of the Clif Bar that features only USDA organic and non-GMO ingredients.
Luna Clif Bars – Is the range of Clif Bars specifically made for women. There are three options available, the original, the fiber, and the protein option.
Clif Bar Flavors:
Nuts & Seeds
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
Black Cherry Almond
Peanut Toffee Buzz
Berry Pomegranate Chia
Oatmeal Raisin Walnut
Coconut Chocolate Chip
Crunchy Peanut Butter
Sierra Trail Mix
Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch
Banana Nut Bread
Cool Mint Chocolate
Chocolate Almond Fudge
Clif Bar Benefits and Results
Clif Bars are definitely a healthier snack to reach for than regular candy bars and sweets. These bars have a surprisingly high nutrient value and more importantly, contain only non-GMO and organic ingredients. They are also very portable and convenient. If you’re in a hurry, but hungry, just pick up a Clif Bar and you will receive a nutrient-dense meal that is both tasty and healthy.
As far as results go, having a Clif Bar before and after your workout will absolutely make a difference in your muscle building process. As these bars do contain a bit more calories, you might want to consider other options if you’re looking for weight loss results. Clif Bars can be consumed with the purpose of weight loss, however, in that case, you should strictly track your overall calorie intake in order to stay in the necessary deficit.
In the end, we can only conclude that Clif Bars are a great tasting nutrient-dense option from a well-known and reputable brand, perfect for those who are lazy but still want to be healthy. Clif Bars contain a high amount of healthy carbs and proteins that are perfect for those who are looking to build and maintain muscle mass. The crucial dietary fiber found in these bars will promote proper digestion, removing any sign of constipation or discomfort. The only thing to watch out for when consuming these bars are their high-calorie content. Their flavors are truly delicious, so users often end up indulging in multiple bars at once, pushing them into a big calorie surplus.
Summarizing everything, with an affordable price of $1-2 per unit, you can’t go wrong with a Clif Bar.
Prasad Rasane, Alok Jha, Latha Sabikhi, Arvind Kumar, and V. S. Unnikrishnan. “Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value added foods – a review.” J Food Sci Technol. (2015 Feb). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325078/
Jayne A. Barbour, Peter R. C. Howe, Jonathan D. Buckley, Janet Bryan, and Alison M. Coates. “Effect of 12 Weeks High Oleic Peanut Consumption on Cardio-Metabolic Risk Factors and Body Composition.” Nutrients. (2015 Sep). Viewed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586538/
Emily has spent the last 8 years comparing, reviewing and analyzing ingredients in the supplements industry. She has worked extensively with dieticians, nutritionists and personal trainers to separate fact from fiction and help people achieve their fitness goals. In her free time she works and enjoys the outdoors with her husband and 2 children. You can contact her via the "About Us" page.