For a long time, if you said you were going to grab a CLIF Bar, that had one meaning- the original CLIF bar that Gary Erickson created in his family’s kitchen 20+ years ago. These days, CLIF makes a variety of bars, shots, shot bloks and other energy replacing products to fit a variety of activity and taste bud needs. Below is a selection of my favorite CLIF bars and products, divided into “bars” and “non-bars.”
CLIF still makes the original CLIF bar that started the whole company, although now it comes in several flavors. My personal favorites include Mint Chocolate Chip and Maple Nut. New for this year is a Coconut Chocolate Chip, which I’ve yet to try, mainly because I hate coconut. Someone else will have to report back on that one! Each original CLIF bar is made of 70% organic ingredients and comes with 23 vitamins and minerals.
The CLIF crunch is a granola bar. Crunchier than the original energy bar and the Mojo, a trail mix bar, the Crunch completes the texture variety triumvirate. CLIF now has the energy bar, with the chewiest texture, the Mojo, with pretzels and nuts adding a little crunch, and now the CLIF Crunch, a granola bar that packs a punch and requires a solid munch. The CLIF Crunch is intended to be a lighter snack. Not quite as heavy and protein laden as an energy bar, but still “not your ordinary snack,” as CLIF would say. The Crunch is available in 6 flavors, 2 of which have a low glycemic index, so you’re bound to find something that suits your fancy.
The CLIF Mojo bar is an all natural trail mix bar. Full of nuts and pretzel chunks, the Mojo offers some great texture for an energy bar. It’s also free of high fructose corn syrup, and has no artificial sweeteners, which is something you don’t find in your average trail mix bar. A CLIF Mojo makes a tasty snack and still provides 8-9 grams of protein in each bar. A nice addition to the CLIF bar line that offers a different texture than your standard bar. This year, the Mojo is available in 3 new flavors- Chocolate Almond Coconut, which I have not tried (see earlier coconut comments), White Chocolate Macadamia and Dipped S’mores. In addition to the original flavors, this makes 8 different choices for your trail mix bar enjoyment.
My discovery of the CLIF shot forever changed how I eat while I recreate. With a condition that makes my blood sugar fluctuate more than the stock market, I was constantly battling to keep my body happy while exercising for long periods of time. I felt like I was stopping to pull out a sandwich, a bar or another snack every 30 seconds. Then, I discovered CLIF shots, a tiny little dose of energy in gel form. No more stopping to eat- 5 seconds to suck down a shot and I was good to go. I am a huge fan of all the flavors, but this year CLIF outdid themselves. The CLIF shot is now available in a Chocolate Cherry flavor, which comes with 100mg of caffeine. Ever eaten a chocolate covered cherry? This is what the Chocolate Cherry shot tastes like. I’d eat one of these suckers for dessert. Not wanting to buzz yourself? Here’s the caffeine breakdown: No Caffeine (Chocolate, Vanilla and Razz flavors), 25 mg caffeine (Strawberry and citrus), 50 mg caffeine (Mocha) and the mother of all caffeine filled shots, the 100mg, which you can get in either Chocolate Cherry or Double Espresso. Added bonus of the CLIF shot- the top rips off, but doesn’t fly away thanks to the Litter Leash. Toss the whole thing in one go, and never have to worry about the microtrash you might be leaving behind.
CLIF Shot Bloks
What, you may ask, is a shot blok? Looking at the packaging, you might assume you’ve grabbed your kids lunch instead of your snack when you headed out the door. At first glance, shot bloks look much like fruit snacks. Small, chewy and fruit flavored, shot bloks are like fruit snacks for active adults! Hate the texture of CLIF shots? Here’s your solution. When CLIF originally released the Shot Blok, I was interested, but they didn’t become an immediate weekly running staple. However, when they redesigned the packaging to make it a tube that allowed for hands free consumption, I was sold (read my original review here). The FastPak fits in running shorts or a bike jersey, and can easily be opened and consumed with one hand. With 8 flavor choices, you’re bound to find one you love. My personal favorites? Margarita, which comes with 3x the sodium, or Black Cherry, which comes with 25 mg caffeine. Also available are orange and tropical punch (with caffeine), lemon lime, mountain berry, cran-razz and strawberry.
I’ll be packing CLIF bars, CLIF Mojos, CLIF Crunch bars, and a myriad of Shots and Shot Bloks for my bike trip this summer. I know they’ll provide me with the energy I need in the saddle.