Are Clif Bars A Healthy Snack

Clif Bars are a nutritious energy snack created by the Clif Bar & Company, debuting in 1991. Clif Bars soon became popular among the customers as they were portable, high-energy snacks. Clif Bars are especially popular among people who enjoy sports and other physical activities.

Although their target audience is people who enjoy sports, hikes, or other pursuits involving physical activities, Clif Bars have become a go-to snack for people who prefer a more leisure lifestyle, and it begs the question, should they be eating it?

Many people have noticed that Clif Bars have a high carbohydrate and sugar content, making them wonder if they are as healthy as they seem. This article will address those questions and suggest some alternates to Clif Bars.

What Do Clif Bars Contain?

The company, Clif Bar & Company, claims to prioritize organic, plant-based ingredients whenever they can. Most of the company’s products are vegan, except a few. They claim to use 70% of organic ingredients in their energy bars.

There are wide varieties of Clif Bars manufactured and sold, so the ingredients vary. However, most of the essential ingredients used in the Clif Bars are the same. These ingredients include:

  • Rice flour
  • Soy flour
  • Sunflower oil
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Oats
  • Soy protein
  • Sea salt
  • Sugar

Clif Bars contain a lot of energy but are also rich in protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Other than these main nutrient compounds, Clif Bars also contain various minerals and vitamins, including but not limited to:

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • B vitamins

Carbohydrate Content

A Clif Bar contains 40 to 45 grams of carbohydrates, providing one-third of the 130 grams daily requirement. This may seem like a lot of carbohydrates but are perfect for someone who needs a joust of energy during their physical activities.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a limit of 36 grams of added sugars per day for males and 20 grams for females. Clif Bars contain 20 grams of added sugar, well within the requirements. A can of soda can contain 32 grams of added sugars.

Protein Content

The recommended among of proteins is 56 grams for males and 46 grams for females, as suggested by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A Clif bar, on average, contains 10 grams of protein, providing about 20% of the daily requirement.


Current Guidelines recommend consuming 20% to 35% of daily calories as fats. Clif Bars, on average, contain 7 grams of fat, equaling 63 calories, 3% of the recommended daily calorie intake of 2000.

Should You Eat Clif Bars

The company itself suggests that people eat a Clif Bar before or during physical activities that last more than an hour, such as hiking. This is because Clif Bars are suitable for replenishing glucose content in the body. However, it should be avoided before intense exercise as it may cause digestive discomfort. Still, it can be taken an hour or so before a person begins their high-intensity exercise.

However, Clif Bars have a high sugar content and could result in weight gain if eaten regularly without any exercise or physical activity. This makes the Clif Bar unsuitable to be eaten as a snack. Using it as a snack may lead to diabetes, obesity, or other health concerns.

Types of Clif Bars

There are wide varieties of Clif Bars that can be used by people that are doing different physical activities.

Clif Bar


The original Clif Bar is suited for physical activity and comes in many different flavors, including chocolate chip, crunchy peanut butter, cool mint chocolate, etc. These contain the highest amount of carbohydrates, 40 grams to 45 grams per bar.

Clif Bar Minis


The Clif Bar Minis are a snack version of the original bar and contain the lowest amount of fats, 2 grams to 3 grams per bar.

Clif Builders


This version is best for people who wish to build muscles and contains essential amino acids that help muscle growth. They have the highest number of calories, about 300 calories per bar, and the highest amount of proteins, 20 grams per bar.

Clif Nut Butter


This variety is best for satiating your hunger with quick and easy food. These are a good balance of all other varieties and can be used before during an easy jog or a sports game. However, people with a nut allergy should avoid this particular type of Clif Bar.

Clif Thins


Clif Thins are the thin versions of the original bar and contain the lowest amount of calories, 100 calories per bar, and the lowest amount of protein, 2 grams per bar.

Alternatives to Clif Bars

If you are someone who does not enjoy processed foods, there are many options among whole foods that can replace Clif Bars

If you are looking for food that is easy to transport when hiking or is suitable for intense physical activities, you could go for:

If you want something you can snack on while you’re relaxing at home but do not want to gain weight, you could choose:

  • Yogurt with fruits
  • Oatcakes
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Lower Fat cheese

Our Final Thoughts

A Clif Bar is primarily suitable as a snack for people who are about to or in the middle of physical activities such as hiking or cycling, and it helps replenish the glucose in the bed to keep you going for longer. However, if you’re going to laze around at home, this snack may not be for you as it can cause an increase in weight.

Are Clif Bars a healthy snack? Yes. Are Clif Bars for everyone? No. Always keep an eye on what you eat and whether you should eat it.