In mid April, the day before I ran the Boston Marathon, I had the opportunity to sample CLIF's yet-to-be-released Nut Butter Bars. Since that day, I have eagerly been awaiting the full-scale release of this delicious combo of typical CLIF Bar shell and creamy nut butter filling. That glorious day arrived a couple weeks ago.
While I picture this new bar having come together in some late-night accident involving peanut butter in the CLIF Bar kitchen, it is actually the result of a well-thought-out idea to combine two healthy, energy-rich foods for athletes and fitness enthusiasts to enjoy, regardless of the intensity of their activity.
The results of this combination are impressive to say the least. After taste testing the bars and learning about their ingredients, I wanted to share what I believe are the biggest benefits to athletes looking to snack or refuel with them.
1. They're Low Glycemic
Depending on the flavor, each bar contains 9-10 grams of sugar, which is considerably less than a typical CLIF Bar, which has around 22 grams of sugar to help replace muscle glycogen and sustain energy during long bouts of intense activity. Because the Nut Butter Bars have less sugar, they have less of an impact on insulin levels, so you can snack on them during much lower intensity activities without overloading on sugar. In short, you don't have to work as hard to earn this tasty reward.
2. They Can Help Pack on Muscle
Each bar contains 7 grams of plant-based protein to help rebuild and repair muscle following a workout or to simply satisfy hunger and get you closer to your daily recommended amount of protein intake when eaten outside of activity.
3. They're Chock Full of Healthy Fats
Each bar contains 8.5 grams of unsaturated fat, or "healthy fat," which provides long-lasting energy and has been shown to lower cholesterol, help maintain blood sugar and insulin levels and improve overall heart health.
4. They Don't Have Any Bad Stuff in Them
All ingredients are organic and non-GMO, plus there are no artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils or high-fructose corn syrup.
5. They Won't Weigh You Down
A typical CLIF Bar weighs 68 grams, while the Nut Butter Bars come in at around 50 grams. The smaller size addresses the fact that nut butters are extremely filling. With the added filling, less dough is necessary to help athletes fuel up on the go without getting overly full or weighed down.
6. There is Something for Everyone
CLIF Nut Butter Bars come in four different flavors to ensure every nut butter lover has a bar of choice. The flavors are chocolate hazelnut butter, chocolate peanut butter, peanut butter and coconut almond butter [by far my favorite].
7. They Taste Really, Really Freakin' Good
As I mentioned above, my favorite flavor is coconut almond butter, but I can honestly say that I consider all four flavors to be the best tasting energy bars I have ever eaten. That is obviously my personal opinion, so check out the bars yourself and see if you are as impressed as I am.
Learn more about CLIF Nut Butter Bars.
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