CLIF BAR Energy Bar

Last updated date: December 16, 2019

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We looked at the top Protein Bars and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Protein Bar you should buy.

Overall Take

The CLIF BAR Energy Bar has 9 grams of protein, making it great for between-meal snacking or a pre-workout boost. It's designed to keep you fuller, longer, so you may find it's the perfect bar to keep those hunger pangs at bay. It does have a whopping 21 grams of sugar, though, so it may not be the best option for diet-conscious consumers. In our taste testing, we detected notes of delicious cinnamon and we loved the soft texture. In our analysis of 60 expert reviews, the CLIF BAR CLIF BAR Energy Bar placed 11th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 13, 2020:
Checkout The Best Protein Bar for a detailed review of all the top protein bars.

Expert Summarized Score
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
2,518 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Larger bars at a lower price.Doesn't contain GMO ingredients. Made with rolled oats,chocolate and rich grains for a highly nutrition energy boost.
- BestReviews
From my experience, the bars are very filling and keep you going.Good travel snack.
- Thither
April 30, 2015 | Full review
Cliff Bars have lower percentages of saturated fats and refined sugars than, say, a Mars or Double Decker, they are better for your health.
April 1, 2011 | Full review
They are resistant to extremes of temperature.
Clif use as high a proportion of organic (70 percent) and ethically sourced ingredients as possible, they’re resistant to extremes of temperature and they’re good value too.
- Bike Radar
March 4, 2013 | Full review
This treat is somehow dryish, so while eating it a sip may come in handy.
- Train Like A Bad Ass
March 16, 2019 | Full review
Made with wholesome non-GMO ingredients.
- Pure Path
What experts didn't like
Not gluten or soy free.
- BestReviews
Lots of sugar (23 grams per bar) taste a bit too sweet.
- Thither
April 30, 2015 | Full review
Excessive nutrients in particular if taking more than one bar daily.
A bit slow to chew.
- Bike Radar
March 4, 2013 | Full review
As this bar has no good smell, no good tast.
- Train Like A Bad Ass
March 16, 2019 | Full review
Not as much protein as aforementioned bars.
- Pure Path

From The Manufacturer

CLIF BAR Energy Bar is the first bar we made, and it's still everything we're about. Nutritious, organic ingredients. Performance nutrition. And great taste. Whether you're on a 150-mile bike ride or exploring a new trail, this energy bar is built to sustain your adventure.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Pure Protein Bars Variety Pack, 18-Pack
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 5
2. Gatorade Whey Protein Recover Bars, 12-Count
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 6
3. BSN Salted Toffee Pretzel Protein Crisp Bar, 12-Count
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 0
4. Fit Crunch Snack Size Protein Bars, 18-Count
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 0
6. KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 5
7. Quest Nutrition Protein Bar
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 2
8. MusclePharm Combat Crunch Protein Bar
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 11
9. ONE Protein Bars
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 3
10. ZonePerfect Nutrition Snack Bars
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 5
11. CLIF BAR Energy Bar
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9
12. thinkThin High Protein Bars
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 5

An Overview On Protein Bars

Sometimes you just need a little something to sustain you until the next meal. Few things can fill that need as well as a protein bar. Tucking discreetly into a laptop bag or purse, protein bars are not only filling, but they can also ensure you get the extra protein you need as you head to the gym to build muscle. Some prefer a protein boost after a workout to enhance muscle recovery.

Whatever your use, there are certain factors to look for in a protein bar. Perhaps the first of those features is taste. While this can be subjective, there are some bars that specialize in giving you plenty of dessert-like options. If your mouth waters at the thought of a cookies and cream protein bar, consider looking for an option that offers those rather than the standard flavors like peanut butter or dark chocolate.

There have been multiple studies showing the benefits of protein before hitting the gym. One study found that 20 grams of whey protein before a workout improved anabolic response. If you’re looking for that type of benefit, you’ll find few protein bars have quite that level of protein. If you just want to stay full between meals, though, a bar with a lesser amount could do it.

As you’re looking at ingredients, it can be tempting to go for a bar that has the most nutrients. Aside from needing protein for your workout, though, you may not need an excessive amount of fiber or vitamins. Keep in mind you’re probably getting plenty of these nutrients in the other food you’re eating throughout the day.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Natural ingredients are a top priority for many consumers. It’s hard to find a protein bar that is completely natural, but you’ll find many that prioritize organic ingredients. If you have food aversions or allergies, there are bars that leave out gluten and soy. You’ll also find some protein bar manufacturers steer clear of GMOs in their ingredients.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

DWYM Fun Fact

You can get plenty of benefits from protein bars, including keeping cravings at bay and preventing snacking between meals. Studies have connected protein bar consumption with an increase in lean muscle mass creation, as well as a boost in strength and power. A protein bar after an intense workout can also help speed up the healing process required after you’ve strained your muscles. Protein bars can reduce body fat by boosting your metabolism and increasing thermogenesis. Lastly, a protein bar can help keep your blood sugar in check, which both prevents overeating and improves concentration and overall well-being. In order to get the biggest benefits of these bars, though, you’ll need a bar with enough protein to make a difference.

The Protein Bar Buying Guide

  • If you’re interested in protein bars, chances are health is a top priority. The Quest Nutrition Protein Bar is made from all-natural ingredients, including almonds, water, unsweetened chocolate and sea salt. However, you’ll find erythritol, a low-calorie sweetener that is a sugar alcohol, and sucralose, also known as Splenda, whose health effects have been questioned. Only some flavors of Quest’s bars contain sucralose, though, so you may just need to go with the less sweet flavors if sucralose is a concern for you.
  • KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate is a plant-based vegan bar that is both tasty and healthy. However, you’ll find some isolates, extracts and synthetic ingredients in this bar, so read the nutrition label carefully before buying. The primary ingredients in the peanut butter and dark chocolate flavor are mixed nuts and dark chocolate, with the food additive soy lecithin coming in low on the list.
  • If you’re concerned about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in your food, consider the CLIF BAR Energy Bar, made with no GMO ingredients. This energy bar is made with rolled oats, chocolate and rich grains. Although it isn’t 100 percent natural, CLIF tries to keep each bar as organic as possible, including non-GMO ingredients and 70 percent organic- and ethically-sourced items.
  • For those concerned about sugar, the Quest Nutrition Protein Bar has no added sugar, although there is the aforementioned sucralose. The chocolate chip cookie dough Quest Nutrition Protein Bar has 1 gram of sugar, compared to 9 grams in the KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate, 2 to 3 grams in Pure Protein Bars and 21 grams in the CLIF BAR Energy Bar. In fact, the CLIF BAR Energy Bar has so much sugar, you may find it’s too sweet.
  • If you have food allergens or aversions, you’ll be glad to know the Quest Nutrition Protein Bar, KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate and Pure Protein Bars are gluten-free. The Quest Nutrition Protein Bar is also soy-free.
  • Of course, the top reason for choosing a protein bar is the protein itself. The Quest Nutrition Protein Bar and Pure Protein Bars have the most protein, at 21 grams each. With the CLIF BAR Energy Bar, you get 9 grams of protein, and KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate have 8 grams of protein per bar. The protein in the Quest Nutrition Protein Bar comes from whey and milk
  • Fiber can also help with your overall health, especially when it comes to keeping you regular. The Quest Nutrition Protein Bar provides 14 grams of fiber, while KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate has only 3 grams. Pure Protein Bars have 2 grams of dietary fiber per bar and CLIF BAR Energy Bar has 4 grams.
  • Although taste can be subjective, some generally excel more than others. If you like dessert-like flavors, you may want to choose the Quest Nutrition Protein Bar, which has plenty of decadent-sounding options like birthday cake, blueberry muffin and chocolate chip cookie dough. Although KIND Bars don’t have as many dessert flavors, the KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt and Double Dark Chocolate Nut Bar feature plenty of flavor. The CLIF BAR Energy Bar can be on the dry side, so you’ll want to keep a bottle of water nearby while you’re downing it.
  • Hunger satisfaction is always an issue. KIND Bars Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate is on the small side, which means it may not fill you up. However, they try to compensate for this by being low glycemic, which means the bars take longer to digest, keeping you full longer. The CLIF BAR Energy Bar is very filling, keeping you going longer between meals.