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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Ola Loa SPORT Hydrating Drink Mix > Test Report by Jennifer Koles

Ola Loa Sport Drink

Test Series by Jennifer Koles

March 11, 2010

Skip to my Initial Report- November 12, 2009
Skip to my Long Term Report- March 11, 2010

Personal Information

Name:  Jennifer Koles
Age:  35
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California, United States

Backpacking Background

After getting into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling and day-hiking, I switched to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have backpacked extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along with California, Pennsylvania and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting my base weight to be able to go longer in duration and distance. I have done so mainly by using better gear and dumping heavy luxuries. I backpack year round in all weather, and usually take a free standing tent and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.

The author

The author in the Narrows at Zion National Park, Utah.

Initial Report

November 12, 2009

Mango Tangerine Lemon Lime Mixed Berry

Product Information

Manufacturer: Ola Loa
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer Website:

Flavors Available and Tested: Mango Tangerine, Lemon Lime, Mixed Berry
MSRP: $24.99 US for 30 packets

Product Description

Ola Loa Sport is an all natural effervescent hydrating drink mix that contains B Vitamins to promote energy and carbohydrate metabolism; 1000 mg non-acidic Vitamin C for immunity, amino acids for endurance; electrolytes for performance; osmolytes, TMG, and glycine to prevent dehydration and excessive thirst.; and anti-oxidants for recovery.

This drink mix is low in sugar, measuring 2 grams, and has 10 calories each.

Ola Loa Sport is enjoyed by mixing it with 4-6 oz (0.12-0.18 L) of cold water or juice. It is recommended to take 1-3 packets daily. It is indicated on the product box that the statements listed have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

The manufacturer lists on the product box the top 5 reasons to use Ola Loa Sport (these are summarized below):

  • It is the only sport drink to offer osmolytes: TMG and glycine-protection against dehydration. During exercise and heat stress, osmolytes offer far greater protection than electrolytes alone.
  • Offers a balanced electrolyte formula of potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium to keep the cells working properly.
  • Uses the amino acid L-Carnitine to turn body fat into energy.
  • Has immune nutrients: vitamin C, zinc and selenium.
  • Low in sugar. No artificial ingredients.
Sport Drink in Box

Sport Mango Tangerine Drink:

Listed Weight: 8 g (0.28 oz)
Actual Weight: 8 g (0.28 oz)
Measured Packet Size: 4 in (10 cm) height, 2.75 in (7 cm) width
Ingredients: See image provided below from the manufacturer's website.

Mango Ingredients

Sport Lemon Lime Drink:

Listed Weight: 7.4 g (0.26 oz)
Actual Weight: 8 g (0.28 oz)
Measured Package Size: 4 in (10 cm) height, 2.75 in (7 cm) width
Ingredients: See image provided below from the manufacturer's website.

Lemon Lime Ingredients

Sport Mixed Berry Drink:

Listed Weight: 8 g (0.28 oz)
Actual Weight: 10 g (0.35 oz)
Measured Package Size: 4 in (10 cm) height, 2.75 in (7 cm) width
Ingredients: See image provided below from the manufacturer's website.

Berry Ingredients


Initial Impressions

The Ola Loa Sport boxes that I received contained 30 packets each of the vitamin mix. The packets are small enough for me to fit several in a backpack, day pack, biking pouch, or biking jersey.

The packets have what appears to be a plastic coating to protect the vitamin mix from moisture. There is no notch to tear the packets open; however I was able to open them easily. The inside of the packets are foil lined.

To see how the product worked, and for a taste test I mixed each flavor in 6 oz (0.18 L) of water. I added the vitamins to the glass and then added the water. There was a slight fizzing while the vitamins were effervescing when they were dissolving. It took about a minute until the barely audible fizzing stopped. I mixed the drink with a spoon to dissolve the small amount of remaining vitamins that were on top of the water. All the flavors were tasty and had no bitter or odd aftertaste. Each of the flavors had a distinct taste of their intended flavor and they did not have a vitamin taste. During this initial taste test I found the mixed berry flavor to be my favorite.


Sport Drink Packets

Long Term Report

March 11, 2010

Testing Locations

The Ola Loa Sport Drinks were carried and consumed during backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the following areas.

Southern California: Mt. San Jacinto State Park, Mt. Woodson, Bommer Canyon, Aliso and Woods Canyon, Orchard Hills, Point Dume (Malibu), Fullerton/Coyote Hills, Limestone Canyon, Marshall Canyon, Cleveland National Forest, and various locations in the Santa Ana Mountains.

Utah: Wilderness area near St. George.

Nevada: Near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

The elevations ranged from sea level to 9,000 ft (2,750 m). And the temperatures ranged from around 17 F (-8 C) to approximately 77 F (25 C).

Performance in the Field

Most of the time I mixed the Ola Loa Sport Drinks with water in 21-24 fl oz (0.62-0.71 L) water bottles. Sometimes I would mix them with the full fluid volume and in these cases I would use two packets for a stronger taste. Other times I would mix one packet with half the fluid volume of the bottle and the taste was strong enough for my liking. Even though the directions say to mix one packet with 4-6 oz (0.12-0.18 L) of water or juice; adding more water per packet did not cause too much dilution to the taste.

Most of the time I carried a hydration bladder with me containing water and I used a water bottle for the Ola Loa Sport Drinks. I was not too keen on putting the powder in my hydration bladder since it was effervescent. I have a hard enough time keeping my bladders clean and odor free. If I consumed my first bottle of sport drink and needed more I would just put more water (from my hydration bladder) in my bottle and mix another packet or two. The most packets I consumed in one day was five. On the packet it is recommended to consume 1-3 packets per day as desired. Sometimes I drank two packets in one hour. I did not have any adverse reactions from drinking the extra packets and I am not certain if I could overdose on these, or what the symptoms would be. Almost every day I was drinking one Ola Loa Energy packet in the morning or the evening. I did not notice any adverse reaction with this situation either. I never mixed these with juice as they were pleasant tasting in water.

On the trail I do not have a spoon with me except for backpacking. So, when I was not backpacking I found that the easiest way for me to mix the drink was to close the bottle and shake it. When I would open the valve to drink some air would pop out from the effervescent properties. Generally the powder dissolved with a few shakes. However, I found that the packets are harder to dissolve in colder water, and more shaking is needed to fully dissolve the powder.

I found that these drinks do give me more energy and a pick-me-up when I am about to "hit the wall". I have also used them after activities for recovery and re-hydration. My friends called me the energizer bunny when I first started to drink the Ola Loa Sport products. I also noticed a positive improvement in my performance and my recovery. My endurance lasts longer and my recovery is quicker.

After drinking the Ola Loa Sport during high endurance activities (such as cycling uphill for an extended period) at times I would belch quietly a few times after the initial consumption. I think this is from the effervescent properties. There are times I felt a little queasy in the stomach during high physical activity, but I do not necessarily think it was from the Ola Loa Sport Drinks. It could have been the intensity of my activity or the food I was eating.

I really like that the Ola Loa Sport Drinks are low in sugar. They have a light taste and do not leave a sugary taste in my mouth. I think they help me hydrate more because the taste is pleasant.

Taste is very subjective and I generally like berry flavored products. Hence, my favorite flavor is the Mixed Berry, followed the Lemon Lime and then the Mango Tangerine. I could actually live without the Mango Tangerine, mostly because I am not a Tangerine fan. The flavor is pleasant and tolerable; it is just not my personal favorite. The Mango Tangerine was actually the last flavor I consumed.

I like the individual serving sized packets. With my other drink mixes I buy them in large tubs and I always have to measure out my servings and place the powder in small plastic bags. I cut out some of my work by using the Ola Loa Sport Drinks. Plus I think the product stays fresher and the vitamins are more potent. The packets are very easy to open, even if they get wet.

Unfortunately for me, my pack became wet on a trip and there was some water on the outside of the Sport Drink packets. A positive note on this: the packet protected the powder from the moisture; therefore I was able to stay hydrated without a sticky mess from wet powder.

Things That Rock:

  • Pre-measured serving size
  • Individual packets
  • Increase in energy
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Tasty

Things That Are So-So:

  • I have a few belches during high endurance activities immediately after drinking
  • Kind of pricey

I have some packets left of the Mango Tangerine flavor. I plan on continuing to use these until they are gone. I plan on ordering some more Ola Loa Sport Drinks, as I am very pleased with this product.


This concludes my reporting on the Ola Loa Sport Drinks. Thank you Ola Loa and for providing me with the opportunity to test these products.


Read more gear reviews by Jennifer Koles

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Ola Loa SPORT Hydrating Drink Mix > Test Report by Jennifer Koles

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