CLIF SHOT HOT ELECTROLYTE DRINK
TEST SERIES BY MIKE CURRY
May 07, 2008
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5' 11" (1.80 m)
205 lb (93.00 kg)
I've been backpacking, climbing, ski-packing, bushwhacking, and
snowshoeing throughout the mountains of Oregon and Washington for
the last 25 years. I'm an all-season, all terrain, off-trail kind
of guy, but these days (having small kids) most of my trips run on
the shorter side of things, and tend to be in the temperate
rainforest. While I've carried packs (with winter climbing gear) in
excess of 70 pounds (32 kilos), the older I get the more minimalist
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Clif Bar & Co.
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.clifbar.com
Listed Weight: 1.5 oz (40 g) per single-serving packet
Measured Weight: 1.5 oz (40 g) per single-serving packet
Other details: Hot Apple Cider Flavor.
|Nutrition Information From Box|
The Hot Apple Cider flavor Clif Shot Hot Electrolyte Drink arrived in an easy to open box that contained 12 individual serving packets. The box is designed with perforations that would allow for it to act as an open top display.
|Individual Package and Box|
The individual serving packets appear to be made of of a metal foil, and is similar to hot cocoa packets that do not have a paper covering. A single cut in the edge of the packet has been made for ease of opening. The cut is on the side of the packet approximately 1 in (25mm) from the top edge.
The packet included the standard "Nutrition Facts" shown in the photo in the "Product Information & Specifications" section above. In addition to this information, the packets are marked "97% organic ingredients."
Each packet makes 16 oz. (0.5 L).
On the back of the package is a paragraph stating:
"Hot Drinks for Cold Athletes(tm). CLIF SHOT(r) Electrolyte and Recovery drinks, made HOT, combine performance-enhancing nutrition with classic hot drink flavors."
|Front of Individual Package|
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The instructions printed on the package state: "For Best Results: Mix one packet of Electrolyte with 16 oz. of hot water (not boiling), Drink 16 oz. every 2-3 hours to counteract dehydration and electrolyte depletion."
Storage Instructions state "Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight."
These seem very straightforward to me.
TRYING IT OUT
After heating some water to approximately 180 F (82 C), I opened the package. The packaged opened easily using the small perforation. The packaged contained a slightly granular mixture similar to ordinary hot cider mixes. The aroma was slightly different than I'm used to. It was a more complex smell than I'm used to with cider, and it was very, very pleasant.
Pouring the powder into the cup raised a cloud of dust that convinced me that in the future I should add the water to the mix, which I'm more likely to do outdoors, anyway.
In about 10 seconds of stirring the powder was dissolved, at least as much as I expect cider to dissolve, due to the spices.
The smell of the mixed cider was more subdued than the powder itself, but still more complex.
Then came the moment of truth . . . the first taste.
WOW. I like cider, but I REALLY like this cider. The flavor is very rich and complex, with the tartness of the apples perfectly offset by a fantastic selection of spices. It is fuller-bodied than most cider. As I held a mouthful in my mouth, I felt as though I was having a meal, not a drink. Its consistency was just as watery as a normal cider, but the full body of this cider really makes a difference.
The cider left no noticeable undissolved mix in the bottom of the mug.
My plan is to consume this product while backpacking, and report on my experiences with the following:
*TASTE - Do I like the flavor? Are there any aftertastes? Since I get my water from a variety of different sources, some of which don't taste that great, I'll also describe the ability of the product to mask nasty-tasting water.
*TEXTURE - How does it feel in my mouth? Does the beverage leave a residue in my mouth?
*CONVENIENCE - Is it convenient to carry in my pack? Is it convenient to prepare? Is the packaging convenient to carry back for disposal?
*PREPARATION - I'll describe my experiences in preparing the drink. Also, though they are designed to be served hot, I will test them prepared both hot and cold, as sometimes I just can't make hot water (out of fuel, too tired, stove not working), but I want a flavored drink.
*AFTEREFFECTS - Do I notice any changes in my fatigue after using the product? Does it help energize me? Does it have any negative aftereffects (bloating, gas, etc.)? Does it quench my thirst? Do I experience any cramping (muscle or digestive!)?
*STAINING - I will spill some of the drink on an old white shirt, and describe my experiences in cleaning it (and any staining that occurs). I offer to do this only because I can't guarantee this will accidentally happen during the test, but given enough time, I'm sure to do it eventually.
*FAMILY - I have a four and a six year old that often backpack with me, and they'll sense I'm making something tasty from a mile a way, so I'll be offering them some to try. I'll include their reaction to it in my report.
This is one of the best tasting ciders I've ever consumed, with a rich, full flavor. The spices are different than I'm used to with cider, but in a very good way. I look forward to seeing if there are any noticeable performance impacts while enjoying the outdoors.
I would like to thank Clif Bar & Co. and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test this product. My Field Report will be appended to this report within three months. Please check back then for further information.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Field Conditions during testing were reflective of our mild spring, with high temperatures averaging about 55 F (13 C). Overnight lows have been just below or just above freezing. I consumed the Clif Shot Hot Electrolyte drink both prior to and during day hikes, as a morning drink on backpacking trips (one- and two-night), and while cycling during a bike-and-hike trip. 8 packets were consumed over the course of 6 backpacking days, with the remaining three were consumed on day trips (the other packet was consumed for my initial report). Exertion ranged from mild to moderate for me.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I find the Hot Apple Cider flavor to be very tasty, and I have consumed all of the product (12 packets) I received. I didn't notice any aftertastes, but did find the flavor got a little strong with the last few sips if I didn't mix it well. In some cases I believe the spices were settling out of suspension in the liquid, but usually a good swirl in my bottle would keep it mixed. The flavor did change with some less desirable water sources, but overall it did a pretty good job of masking bitter water, such as we find often along the coast. The mixed product, however, wasn't as tasty as it was with better water sources. I did occasionally experience the residue of spices in my mouth, much as I have with other cider drinks, but I did not find this unpleasant.
As far as convenience is concerned, I found the package fairly convenient to carry and use. Preparation, equally was not a problem, although dissolving the mix in cold water did seem to take a little longer. In hot water, the mix dissolves almost instantly. In cold water, I would usually mix it by shaking in my water bottle, and don't think I ever shook more than about 30 seconds to achieve satisfactory results.
The packaging seems very durable, but the trade off is that it is slightly heavier than I would like. I think that hits on the one drawback for me with this product . . . weight. My usual morning drink while backpacking is instant coffee, carried in a small re-sealable plastic bag (and I usually consume only water after my morning coffee). For the weight of one packet of the Clif Shot Hot Electrolyte drink, I could carry enough instant coffee to last me several mornings, if not weeks, with less package weight to carry home.
Regarding the after-effects of the product, I did not notice any negative effects such as bloating, cramping, or gas. On the other hand, I also didn't notice any changes in my energy level. Though I wouldn't describe it as thirst-quenching, I found it to be a satisfying beverage when I wanted something warm to drink.
Regarding staining, I didn't need to test the product on an old white shirt, as some dribbled down a light-grey synthetic shirt I was wearing while drinking some. I laundered the shirt as usual (cold wash, tumble dry medium heat) and had no staining.
Another important factor for me, since my children join me a lot on trips, is how they like the taste of things. My son (who just turned 5) and my daughter (who just turned 7) both tasted the drink while lukewarm, and both found it acceptable. Both are fairly picky eaters that avoid new things, so I consider their rather lukewarm response to be quite positive.
Overall, I like this product's taste, find it fairly convenient, and will consider taking it on trips with me for some variety in the future. For most trips, however, I will likely do without an electrolyte drink as I did not notice any physical benefits to using it. Instant coffee will likely remain my morning beverage of choice due to weight and space considerations, but the Clif Electrolyte Hot Apple Cider drink is a tasty alternative I'll consider when I need some variety.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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