The Ingredients in Clif Bars

by Jennifer Williams

Chia seeds, protein powder and oats in a spoon.

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In 1990, Gary Erickson was running a bakery specializing in calzones and gourmet cookies. During a long bike ride, he decided that he could make a better energy bar. After many recipe adjustments, the first Clif Bar was marketed in 1992. As of 2010, there are 16 year-round flavors of Clif Bars. Cranberry Orange Nut Bread, Iced Gingerbread and Spiced Pumpkin Pie are seasonal flavors of Clif Bars. Luna Bars, Mojo Bars and Builder’s Bars are other Clif Bar product lines. The company uses organic, all-natural ingredients to make Clif Bars.


Energy bars are used to fuel workouts and replace energy stores. The glycemic index measures how quickly blood glucose levels rise after a food is eaten. The primary ingredient in Clif Bars is brown rice syrup, which has a lower glycemic index than simple sugars, allowing a slower rise in blood glucose levels. In addition to providing energy, brown rice syrup, cane juice and molasses powder add sweetness and texture to Clif Bars.


The Clif Bar line uses a protein blend in all flavors. Soybeans, soy protein, soy flour, rice flour and barley malt compose the protein blend. Depending on the flavor of the bar, almonds, peanuts, pecans and walnuts are added. Almond butter and soy butter provide additional protein in some Clif Bar varieties.


Rolled oats and a grain blend are in all Clif Bar Flavors. The grain blend includes inulin, flaxseed, oat bran and psyllium. The grains are a source of fiber, which helps regulate blood glucose levels.

Dried Fruits, Flavors

There are more than 16 distinctive flavors of Clif Bars that use the same basic ingredients. The added fruits, flavors and spices provide unique taste. Most Clif Bars contain dates. Other dried fruits in Clif Bars include apricots, blueberries, cranberries and raisins. Cinnamon, cocoa and natural flavors are used in some Clif Bar varieties.

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About the Author

Jennifer Williams has been writing as a freelancer for local newspapers since 1999. Her work now appears on various websites. She did a five-year orthopaedic surgery residency, followed by a one-year sports medicine fellowship and has been a team physician for NCAA Division I universities and high school teams. As a former collegiate athlete, Williams continues competition at the masters level.