Yes, Clif Bars are a healthy option – Just make sure you eat them at the right time

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It only takes one bonk for you to learn how important it is to fuel your outings with the right nutrients. Pocket foods to go do wonders for this, and when you walk down the energy bar aisle at the grocery store, one name you’re sure to recognize is Clif Bar. But are Clif bars healthy for you?

The brand that was “born on the bike” has built a reputation for having the right ingredients to fuel your body for any type of ride, from the longest and toughest to the shortest and sweetest. But even still, you want to know everything about what’s in your bar before relying on it long term. So we turned to Mascha Davis, Los Angeles-based registered dietitian and creator of Nomadista Nutrition, and Jessica Chon, board-certified sports dietitian and nutritionist and nutrition scientist at Clif Bar, for all the details. what you need to know.

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A nutritional breakdown of Clif Bar:

A Chocolate Chip Clif Bar, one of the most popular flavors, contains the following:

As for the ingredients, this bar contains: organic rolled oats, organic brown rice syrup, soy rice crisps (soy protein isolate, rice flour, barley malt extract), organic roasted soybeans, organic tapioca syrup, organic cane syrup, unsweetened chocolate, chicory fiber, organic soy flour, organic high oleic sunflower oil, natural flavors, sea salt , organic cinnamon, as well as a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

A high-carb bar gives your muscles the fuel they need to keep pedaling, and Chon says Clif Bars, whichever flavor you choose, contain a blend of complex carbs for sustained energy and carbs simple ones that your body is capable of breaking. down quickly for immediate energy. Protein and fat are also major fuel sources, which balance out carbs, she says.

Davis adds that when you’re doing endurance activities your body needs more readily available energy, which is why this bar contains 17 grams of sugar – it’s digested fast enough to give you a boost when you do. you need the most. It is important to emphasize that not all sugars are created equal. The source of sugar here is organic brown rice syrup, organic tapioca syrup, and organic cane syrup, not high fructose corn syrup, which our bodies haven’t evolved to process effectively and can easily be converted into fat.

Clif Bars also contains minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium to improve aerobic capacity and help your muscles contract.

Is it bad to eat a Clif bar every day?

Since Clif bars contain a higher amount of carbohydrates and sugar, they are not an ideal healthy snack in all circumstances. Chon recommends eating a Clif bar before or during moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity when you need sustained energy. After that 45-minute Spin class? Not really. Our body usually has enough fuel stored in our muscles for efforts of less than 60 minutes. And consuming too much sugar too often can lead to conditions such as obesity or diabetes.

That said, there are plenty of other bars to suit different needs. Skratch Anytime bars can be enjoyed, you guessed it, anytime, thanks to their low sugar content (just 4-7 grams depending on flavor) and easy-to-digest plant-based ingredients.

Other protein bars such as RX Bar are a good option specifically for recovery as they contain 12 grams of protein and 13-15 grams of natural sugar to help repair your muscles post workout.

While you might be tempted to have a Clif bar as a midday snack – it’s so quick and easy! – Davis warns that it is not the best choice, from a nutritional point of view. “Clif Bars are high in added sugars and are generally aimed at endurance athletes,” she says. Instead, Davis suggests opting for whole foods such as fruits and vegetables paired with dips or nut butters, trail mix, or yogurt. These options contain fewer simple carbohydrates and sugars.

Are Clif bars a healthy meal replacement?

Conversely, Clif Bars should also not be considered a meal replacement. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, a healthy meal should include vegetables, whole grains, protein and healthy fats. And given that a Clif bar only has 260 calories, that’s not enough food to count as a full meal for an active person.

Of course, when you’re in a hurry, a Clif bar is a better option than a candy bar, but again, you might want to consider a bar with less sugar as an alternative snack and supplement with whole foods if possible.

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Ultimately, Clif Bars are a healthy option during moderate to intense exercise lasting over an hour when you need to fuel your muscles for extra energy. Outside of exercise, opt for a bar with less sugar or ideally, snacks and whole meals.

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