CLIF Organic Energy Food (Before) Review

We all know that there are a ton of people that travel for OCR, myself being one of them. The issue I typically have when traveling for a race is race day nutrition.  Many of the early heats runs have me starting early in the morning and hungry. There aren’t a lot of reliable options for food on the morning of race day if you are traveling, unless you pack your own. The last thing you want to have is stomach issues in the starting coral. CLIF thinks they have a solution for the weekend warrior that will get you battle ready and ensure that your morning will be a predictable one.

I have spent a lot of time in hotels, for work, and for fun. With that in mind, there are very unpredictable results for hotel accommodations and barring staying there prior; there is sometimes little information to go by. Many hotels offer a continental breakfast (bagel) or some semblance of a restaurant, but knowing what time they open, or predicting what type of food they serve can be troublesome. Even more challenging is eating something, somewhere, that you haven’t eaten before. Were the pans clean? How’s the water? Did the cook wash their hands? Did they cook the eggs enough?

I have gone the route of bringing food with me only to find out there was no microwave in my room or discovered that I have forgotten bowls, spoons, or something along those lines that inhibited my nourishment. Well, CLIF thinks they have a solution that can help make race day morning a little more predictable. Enter the CLIF Organic Energy Food.

First off, this is an easily transportable and predictable food supply in single serving resealable packages. Each puree blend offers unique flavors and a recipe of organic ingredients designed to help fuel your activities.

CLIF Organic Energy Food is designed to specifically meet the nutritional needs of endurance athletes during extended activity using real food ingredients. Both sweet and savory recipes provide significant energy from carbohydrates, plus savory pouches have more protein, fat and electrolytes (including sodium), than you’ll find in a pureed snack product designed for babies, kids or for use outside an athletic occasion. Both also have athlete-friendly textures to feed a real food craving during activity. We chose this packaging simply because it works well for athletes on the go – portable, resealable, easy to eat – but the products are not appropriate for the nutritional needs of babies or kids, or a replacement for other pureed products that are not designed with an athlete in mind.

CLIF Organic Energy Food is broken down into a two categories:

  • Before – Designed to be consumed 2-3 hours before your activity.
  • During – Designed to be consumed during your activity

There are currently six flavors to choose from:

  • Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal (Before)
  • Banana Maple Oatmeal (Before)
  • Pizza Margherita (During)
  • Sweet Potato with Sea Salt (During)
  • Banana Mango with Coconut (During)
  • Banana Beet with Ginger (During)

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A local vendor (Support your local businesses) was kind enough to provide OCRAddict with samples of CLIF’s “Before” fuel in the form of both Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal and Banana Maple Oatmeal. Each of which gets you started with 140 Calories and 23g total carbohydrates.

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I woke early one day during the week before the NJ Ultra Beast morning to give CLIF a shot. I hopped out of bed, groggy and late, made my way to the bathroom for the morning routine. I Dragged myself down the stairs to the kitchen for my first cup of coffee, a banana, and the CLIF Organic Energy Food.  I will usually start my morning with a bowl of Strawberry Honey Bunches of Oats or some Quaker Oats, but today I was determined to find out of this portable nutrition would fuel my morning or leave me spending the majority of my day regretting it.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal was the bag of choice for this morning. Fortunately, the easy to grab packaging is perfect for a day dedicated to sales calls (I am always running late). The convenient twist off top and squeezable packaging are perfect for eating on the move, or just quickly for that matter. As for flavor, the Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal is sweet, VERY sweet, a little too sweet for my tastes. The consistency is a little awkward at first, but it is easy to power your way through the packaging. Banana Maple Oatmeal is my preferred flavor.

The results? Smooth sailing! The Stomach is rock solid!

With a test run in the bag, I decided to dive right in and give this stuff a shot. Although I live in NJ, I decided I would board near the Vernon for the NJ Ultra Beast, I live more than an hour away and wanted to pack in as much sleep as possible. The race had us arriving at the venue somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 AM to drop our bin and get race ready.

As predicted, the bed and breakfast I was staying at did not serve breakfast until 6:30 AM and the rooms were not outfitted with a microwave; just a bathroom, a bed, and a tv. I grabbed my CLIF oatmeal at 4:30 AM, chugged a cup of coffee and headed on over to the venue. Having a test run under my belt, I felt confident there would be no issues race day, and there weren’t. CLIF came through.

As far as energy goes, there is little to no difference between the CLIF option and a good old fashioned bowl of oatmeal. The true difference is being able to transport your breakfast without any preparation required, accompanied by an easy twist off top, some convenient packaging, and two classic flavors. I don’t think CLIF is aiming at your daily routine here; they certainly have made race day mornings much easier. When traveling for a race, I can tell you that my bag will have a few of these packed.

CLIF Organic Energy Food

Taste - 8.5
Convenience - 10
Quality - 9.5
Value - 8.9


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About Joe DiFiglia

Fitness and sport enthusiast. Spartan Race Junky. I have been a martial artist since the age of 4 and addicted to anything challenging. Years of Martial Arts training provides the ability to keep going when my body really wants to quit.