Value for Money ***
Now any food that has a picture of a climber on the packet is going to get my vote. We bumped into the Clif Bar people at the Kendal Mountain Festival this year and they gave us a handful of bars to test. They included Natural Energy bars, Builder’s Protein Bars and Shot Bloks Electrolyte Chews.
The company have been popular in the States for a while now and I have begun to see them on sale in the UK, namely at The Depot in Leeds. They have green credentials priding themselves on using wholesome and nutritious ingredients and having no trans fats, hydrogenated fats or high fructose corn syrup. Every bar also donates 1% for The Planet. It should be said that due to UK regulations Clif Bar cannot state that the bars are organic or contain no transfats, you should read all the info from the sites and make your own mind up. They tasted wholesome and nutritious to me, and to be honest-that’s good enough!
The US range is quite extensive and the Energy Bars alone have 19 flavours. Here in the UK there are 3 Energy Bar flavours (Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin & Walnut and Crunchy Peanut Butter) and 3 Builder’s Bar flavours ( Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mint)
I only really use energy bars in high stress climbing situations like winter and alpine climbing, where I need to get energy in quickly; if the food is palatable then that’s a bonus. It also needs to fit in my pocket and not freeze up too much, be easy to open and stay in one piece so it doesn’t make a gooey mess in my pocket.
That’s a big ask, I’ve tried: Mars Bars, Snickers, homemade Muesli Bar, Wine Gums, Trail Mix, tubes of condensed milk, various cereal bars as well as specialist bars such as Powerbars and High 5 bars; all are satisfactory but not ideal. So did the Clif Bars have the edge?
Flavour wise we tried the Crunchy Peanut Butter and the Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, these were absolutely scrummylicious! Moist and chewy with a real homemade flavour, I could have eaten the Peanut Butter flavour all day, non-stop! The Oatmeal Raisin Walnut flavour was like a chewy flapjack but with only 7.3% fat it didn’t taste greasy like flapjack can.
They all stayed intact in my pocket and I found I could devour a bar in 3 bites which gave me 189 calories. They also felt very filling and the only problem I really had with them was that wasn’t enough in a bar, at £1.30 per bar it can lead to an expensive habit.
My favourite was undoubtedly the Mint Chocolate Builder’s bar, this tasted so good as to be virtually indistinguishable from a chocolate bar. These pack 20 grams of protein in every bar, 270 calories and 8% fat plus a whole host of added vitamins and minerals in the 68 grams; just what you need on a day out.
These were also more filling than the energy bars but drier in consistency.
We also tried the Chocolate flavour which was very yummy indeed 🙂
So…fantastically yummy and delicious bars that are very palatable, easy to eat on the move and are packed full of nutrition. On the down side I feel that the energy bars need to be slightly bigger to make them better value.
Do keep an eye out for Kev’s review of the energy drinks, gels and food for high intensity sports.
For stockists see : www.clifbar.co.uk