CLIF SHOT RECOVERY HOT CHOCOLATE
TEST SERIES BY MIKE DAURIO JR.
May 20, 2008
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Mike Daurio Jr.
6' 0" (1.83 m)
183 lb (83.00 kg)
I am quite new to backpacking. My experience lies mostly as a canoe guide. My inspiration to get more into this sport/hobby was a backpack trip to Thailand in 2005. Due to my experience I am fond of lightweight, waterproof quality gear. I backpack in mainly hilly forested areas and of course near rivers and streams. I also do a lot of backpack traveling to other countries. I am a 3-season backpacker. Every year I spend time in the Ozarks in Missouri and in Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. I'd love to explore Canyonlands National Park in Utah. I am originally from the Midwest, but have recently moved to the Washington DC area and more importantly about 40 miles (64 km) from the Appalachian Trail.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Clif Bar & Co.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Listed Weight: 1.5 oz (40 g)
Measured Weight: 1.5 oz (40 g)
Other details: One package makes 8 fl oz (0.24 L)
The Clif SHOT recovery drink arrived in a case of twelve packages neatly arranged in a store shelf display type box. The package is a sharp looking sealed foil package with brown and silver printing in a matte finish.
On the front, clearly displayed is the Clif logo and the "SHOT Electrolyte" label. Clif also stamps their SHOT products with a bird-like graphic indicating it is included in the SHOT product line. Above the Clif logo the packaging states to "add Hot H2O". Under the SHOT Recovery name "Protein-Enhanced Drink" is printed as well as the labeled weight of 1.5 oz (40 g) and the info that the package "Makes 8 oz" (0.24 L).
On the back of the package is a doubling of the simple directions to "add Hot H2O". A targeting phrase printed at the top of the rear of the package states, "Hot drinks for cold athletes" and further explains that the drinks "combine performance-enhancing nutrition with classic hot drink flavors." The directions are as follows "For Best Results: Mix one packet of electrolyte with 8 oz (0.24 L) of hot water (not boiling). Drink immediately following activity to rehydrate and replenish carbohydrate in the muscles. For richer taste and more protein mix with soy, rice, or dairy-based milk instead of water.
Nutritional info as taken from the Clif website:
Ingredients are as follows: Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Rice Maltodextrin, Organic Non-fat Dried Milk, Organic Cocoa Powder (processed with alkali), Organic Whole Milk Powder, Milk Protein Isolate, Organic Vanilla Powder. ALLERGEN STATEMENT: CONTAINS DAIRY.
Contains 87% Organic Ingredients. It is also mentioned "The protein in this product is sourced from cows not treated with rBGH."
TRYING IT OUT
The hot chocolate packages arrived while I was out at work and I discovered them after returning home from a trail run. I decided to wait until I had a workout in order to test the product. The next day I completed an hour work out consisting of lunges and core training. I do the same exercises once every two weeks in my rotation to help strengthen my core muscles. It is by far the most vigorous day of training on my schedule and usually the day I really push myself. My abs were screaming and my legs struggled to depress the clutch for my manual transmission on the way home.
I prepared and consumed the drink about 15 minutes after the conclusion of the workout, by heating up 8 oz of water (0.24 L) and mixing with the contents of the packet. Starting at the precut slit in the foil and tearing easily opened the package. It opened unassisted by any tools or scissors. I mixed in the powder with a vigorous stirring and let dissolve. The SHOT recovery drink smelled and looked impressively like a normal glass of hot chocolate complete with the frothy top. It was a deep brown color with a light tan head on the drink.
The taste of the hot drink is of a distinct cocoa flavor but not as sweet as one would expect from a regular hot chocolate packet. I enjoyed the taste nonetheless. I am not a coffee drinker but relate the taste to a more coffee-like version of hot chocolate. I say this because the flavor of the cocoa is not overwhelmed by sweetness.
As for the performance aspects of the drink I didn't notice a considerable recovery or benefit from the drink but I had an easier time in the gym when I returned the next day. I don't know if this is contributed to the drink or my own body's adjustment and adaptation to my workout routine.
I will be taking the Hot Chocolate Recovery Drink after workouts and at the end of the day on long hikes. The warm liquid will most likely be welcomed after long days on the trail. I hope to speak more to the effects of the liquid on performance and recovery in the field section of the report.
The Clif SHOT Hot Chocolate Recovery drink is a delicious drink I'll look forward to on the trail. Please check back later for the field report.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I have used the Clif Shot Hot Chocolate Recovery drink on 2 overnighters and after 8 of my trail runs. My runs consist of approximately an hour through Glacial Park, part of the McHenry County Conservation District MCCD. I run up steep hills and on groomed trails of meadowlands and rocky gravel.
My first visit to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia was on a day that brought afternoon thunderstorms with hail. After entering the park's gates we hit an afternoon gusty thunderstorm that brought a lightning show, a heavy dousing, and even pea-sized hail. Temperatures were around 80 F (44 C) before the storm and cooled to about 70 F (21 C) before we started out on the trail. We took the Matthew's Arm Loop and gained 600 ft (183 m) of elevation while climbing the Cut Off trail to the Knob Mountain Ridge Trail. The trail head starts in woods abutted to the parking lot and descends down a hill before winding along a gushing stream, swollen by the storm. After crossing the stream over a downed tree trunk, the trail gains elevation for 1 mile (1.6 km) to the ridge trail with a total elevation of 2657 ft (810 m). The trail consists of packed mud, leaf covered earth, and hard bouldered mountain side.
I have also taken the Hot Chocolate on an overnight stay in cold weather in Kettle Moraine State Forest, My trip to Kettle Moraine State forest was a 22 mile (35.5 km) hike in, spend the night, hike out trip. It was my first trip camping in the cold weather. The trail consisted of about 8 in (20 cm) of fresh snow covering a dirt trail that had been frozen before the snow. Temperatures ranged from about 30 F (-1 C) to 19 F (-7 C) from weather forecasts.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I am not a coffee drinker at all, so my hot morning drink selection is limited. Hot chocolate is a regular choice of mine and Clif's version in a recovery formula combines my familiar choice of flavor with a performance enhancing supplement.
In Kettle Moraine, I drank the Hot Chocolate at the end of a long day of hiking. I usually drink tea; however, as compared to tea, there is no brew time needed with the Hot Chocolate. The taste of the drink is different from what I'm used to. The chocolate flavor isn't very sweet. I still find it enjoyable, just notably different. The consistency is slightly thicker than water and the mixture has no aftertaste.
During this trip I used the Clif Shot Electrolyte Replacement drink as well as the Clif Shot Recovery version. I took the Electrolyte Hot Cider in the morning and during midday and the Recovery Hot Chocolate at night after a long day of trekking. I am Frequented by leg and foot cramps in the night and on this trip I didn't get any at night, nor any when I returned home to the comfort of my own bed. During the second day of hiking my legs didn't get as fatigued as they usually do on back to back hiking days. The combination of drinks seemed to blanket the two pesky symptoms of body stress I usually endure on hikes.
During trail runs I only used the Recovery drink on days with an hour gym visit followed by a shot 20 minute run through the MCCD. I switch off between long hour runs and short twenty minute runs, depending on if I hit the gym and the time my schedule allowed. On days after taking the drink, I seemed to be able to push myself up hills with less fatigue holding me back. The drink also seemed to help recover from the stress of my workouts.
In Shenandoah National Park I drank the Hot Chocolate on a cool evening after a day of hiking. It had rained heavily that evening and the hot drink was very welcomed once the sun went down.
One day after a trail run in MCCD I felt quite warm and didn't want a hot drink. I mixed the Clif packet's content with milk, a scoop of protein powder, and a banana, in a blender to create a drink. The chocolate banana protein shake was tasty and my muscle fatigue the next day was limited.
The Clif Hot Chocloate Recovery drink is a great addition to my choices as a hot beverage. It is easy to make, tastes great and seems to help reduce the long lasting muscle soreness the day after drinking the mix. I will continue to use it on days with long hikes.
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Read more gear reviews by Mike Daurio Jr.