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For the next week, I’ll be reviewing the top energy bars and snacks which are great for traveling. I know this is a travel gear blog, but I feel like food is such an important part of travel, that it would make sense to review it. In the past, I’ve written about why I don’t like bringing snacks with me to travel, but I’d admit that that advice is probably more relevant when it comes to overseas travel and flights.
Note: I’m not a health professional, just a traveler and occasional runner, so this review is written from a travel perspective.
Are Clif Bars Healthy?
Clif Bars taste so good they can’t possibly be healthy right? Well, they aren’t really healthy.
Here are the ingredients (taken from ClifBar.com):
Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Rolled Oats, Chocolate Chips (Dried Cane Syrup, Unsweetened Chocolate‡, Cocoa Butter‡, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Organic Cane Syrup, ClifCrunch® (Organic Oat Fiber, Apple Fiber, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Psyllium), Organic Date Paste, Organic Soy Butter (Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soybean Oil, Salt), Organic Sunflower Oil, Molasses Powder, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon. ALLERGEN STATEMENT: CONTAINS SOY. MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF MILK, PEANUTS, WHEAT, AND TREE NUTS.
To summarize the nutrition facts, Clif Bars:
- Have a lot of sugar, 23g
- Have a lot of protein, 10g
- Have a lot of calories (meaning they should be sustaining)
It’s hard to judge a food on it’s own, so I’ve decided to compare it with 3 other common foods: a banana, a donut and a can of Coke.
A Clif Bar has more sugar than a donut and a banana, but less than a can of Coke.
Considering how large and filling they are, Clif Bars should be treated more as an extra boost for those doing strenuous activities like running long distances or hiking and less like an afternoon snack.
I like to think traveling is a high output activity, especially if you’re the adventure travel type, or if you’re hauling a big backpack around with you.
- Very filling, more so than Kind Bars
- Good travel snack
- Lots of protein
Clif bars are tasty and chewy and come in 20 different flavors, although I haven’t tried them all. They taste good, but I think they are a bit too sweet since I get thirsty after eating a Clif Bar. From my experience, the bars are very filling and keep you going. When hiking in Ecuador, I ate a white chocolate macadamia nut Clif Bar which tasted awesome and gave me the energy to last till lunch time. 🙂 The bars are compact and easy to travel with.
- Lots of sugar (23 grams per bar)
- Taste a bit too sweet
- Somewhat expensive
Clif Bars are kind of expensive ($32 for 24 bars), however it’s understandable since they are made of quality ingredients and are filling.
Clif Bars are a great option for backpackers and adventure travelers who need for a filling snack. They are easy to pack with you and will keep you full in case you get lost on the road.
If you’re looking for a Clif Bar that’s healthier and more for snacking rather than for high output adventures, you should probably try one of the other CLIF bars listed below.
Clif Bar Ratings
Where to get it:
- At your local grocery store
- Also at Amazon.com
- And I’ve also found that TheClymb.com ocassionally sells Clif bars at Costco-type prices. The Clymb isn’t your average ecommerce website, so read my review of The Clymb here.
Types of CLIF Bars
CLIF makes a variety of bars. See which one fits your needs.
CLIF Bar Coffee Collection
CLIF Nut Butter Filled
CLIF Kid Zbar
CLIF Whey Protein Bars
CLIF BLOKS Energy Chews
CLIF BUILDERS Protein Bars
LUNA Bars by CLIF
This Clif Bar Review is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice. The information provided on this site should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.
Do you think Clif Bars are healthy? Leave your comment below.