I’d Rather Drink My Own Sweat
I’ll be the first to admit that I love just about every product that Clif Bar creates. The original Clif Bars can’t be beat, and for performance Clif Shot Bloks are perfect. One product, however, where they really miss the mark is Clif Shot Electrolyte Replacement Drink.
Now this product gets some bonus points because of the all-natural ingredients, and that it’s sourced 92% organic. But on taste this drink fails with flying colors. Be warned, when you try this product it packs quite a kick. If you’re use to sweet electrolyte replacement drinks, then it will come as even more of a shock.
Now perhaps Clif would say that they have excluded unnecessary sweeteners. They also claim that the tart and salty taste counteract sweetness – which you can easily overdose on with energy gels. I think all these are great excuses, but at the end of day it’s hard to stay hydrated. I don’t want a drink that is hard to stomach and gives me bitter beer face – then I will have even less motivation to keep drinking.
If you use this product long enough, you will get use to the tart flavor. But I don’t enjoy using something that is an acquired taste. Also, if you need to share a bottle with a riding buddy, they may not be so grateful for your generosity.
The Bottom Line ~
While Clif Bar makes great products, I think this one fails to stand up to their usual strengths of both great taste and being good for you. It does get bonus points for being all-natural and 92% organic, but I don’t feel like those two factors make up for the salty and bitter taste. Also, the cost makes it a bit more expensive then similar electrolyte replacement drinks. Hydration is hard enough, you don’t need an unpleasant drink to make it that much harder for you to keep drinking.
Do you have an experience or comment about this product?
Please help fellow athletes by leaving a comment.
Sports performance drinks are a bit of a mystery. There are so many options and so many claims that at times we forget that the common denominator is really just water and electrolytes. Some brands add more, some add less. At the end of the day, however, the key is hydration.
Accelerade was the first true “performance drink” I tried outside of Gatorade. I must admit that after the sweet fruit punch taste of Gatorade, Accelerade was more than a shock to my system. It’s chunky consistency and orange-juice like taste made it difficult to swallow and stomach. I figured that like protein bars, because it was good for you it had to taste bad. So I just kept drinking the stuff.
Drink At Your Own Risk
One key note about Accelerade is that it contains a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein formula. Translation: They add whey protein to the drink. Protein is tougher for your stomach to digest and for some people can cause an upset stomach – especially while being active. It isn’t altogether a bad idea, because you need protein during long endurance events and especially for recovery. But if you are going to use protein for recovery, I think you should save it for recovery.
Accelerade has a lot of statistics on how it extends endurance, speeds recovery, reduces muscle damage and enhances rehydration. You can check out all their claims at their website.
The Bottom Line:
I didn’t really notice any such difference during, after or on my next race. I think the claims are exaggerated at best and with the chunky consistency and bad orange flavor there are much better options for hydration. I won’t be spending my money on another container of Accelerade and will probably be throwing away what I have left. Just because it’s an endurance drink doesn’t mean it has to taste bad.
Also, if you leave this drink in your water bottle too long – it creates one of the most nasty, funky smells imaginable (once again, I speak from experience.)