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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Ola Loa SPORT Hydrating Drink Mix > Test Report by Thomas Vickers
Sport Drink Mix
I grew up in the piney woods of southeast Texas. Camping was a quick trip into the mosquito-infested woods behind the house. My style has evolved and over the last 4 or 5 years, I have begun to take a lighter weight approach to hiking gear (I still use sleeping bags and hammocks, just lighter versions). While I have flirted with lightweight hiking, I feel that I am more of a mid-weight hiker now. My philosophy is one of comfort, while carrying the lightest load possible.
November 22, 2009
Manufacturer: Ola Loa
Year Manufactured: 2009
MSRP: $ 24.99 US
(one box/30 servings)
(all measurements approximate)
Flavors: Lemon Lime, Mango Tangerine, Mixed Berry
Packets per box: 30
Servings per packet: 1
Weight per packet: 0.30 oz (8 g) Includes packaging
Packet measurements: 2.75 x 4 in (7 x 10 cm)
Initial tester expectations:
I feel like I am a drink mix fanatic. After visiting the Ola Loa website I realized that I might have to take a backseat to the folks at Ola Loa. Not only is the site stuffed full of information about their products, links to nutrition information, and their company, but it is also easy to navigate. I really came away feeling that I had a great insight into this product and its intended uses.
"Ola Loa SPORT is an all natural thirst-quenching, HYDRATING drink created for people who want to lead healthy, active lives. Golfers to runners, soccer moms to extreme athletes, all benefit from Ola Loa's ELECTROLYTES for ENERGY and STAMINA. OSMOLYTES, TMG and GLYCINE prevent dehydration and excessive thirst and VITAMIN C with over 60 MINERAL ASCORBATES and COMPLEXES support detoxification during activity. For an active and healthy life, simply add a packet of any of our delicious Ola Loa SPORT flavors to water, then enjoy."
The Ola Loa Sport drink mix is a fizzy drink making powder designed to rehydrate me before/during/after intense activities. It comes
packaged in individual boxes, each holding one
flavor of drink mix.
Each box contained thirty individual packets of the Energy drink mix
and directions that
stated each packet should be mixed with 4-6 ounces (118 - 177 ml) of
water with the daily
intake being 1-3 packets.
I use electrolyte replacement drinks almost every day. It does not matter if I am on or off the trail, there is a good chance that I have a plastic bottle full of something that is not plain water and is designed to rehydrate me after my activity. On the trail I even go so far as to mix a two liter (2 qt) bladder full of electrolyte replacement drink to sip on during difficult stretches of trail. Most commonly I use it during my day-hikes or after my running sessions. In other words, I use stuff like the Ola Loa Sports Drink Mix all the time. I am not sure that I can even make it through the day without something like this mix.
I was dying to try out the Ola Loa Sports Drink Mix and after a recent three mile (5 km) trail run, I promptly misread the instructions and mixed two packets with 16 ounces (473 ml) of water. I thought the box had said to mix with 6 - 8 ounce (177 - 237 ml) instead of the recommended 4 - 6 ounces (118 - 177 ml). Anyway, with that small error aside I quickly learned an important lesson. This is definitely a fizzy drink mix. It nearly fizzed up and out of the 20 ounce (0.59 l) plastic bottle I was mixing it in before I could get the lid on it and shake the mixture up.
To make this a really interesting test, I made sure to use the flavor I figured would be my least favorite (Mixed Berry). While I cannot yet decide if it works as well as I want it to, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised. The flavor was good (Mixed Berry) and the strength of the flavor was not too diluted because I used more water than the instructions called for. In fact, I think that had I mixed it with the recommended lower water to drink mix ratio, the flavor would have been too overpowering for my taste buds. So right out of the gate I was pleased and surprised. It tasted good, mixed well, and fizzed a ton. I guzzled the 16 ounces quickly (no surprise, just ran 3 miles/5 km) and did not make the sour, nasty taste face at all.
The last thing left for me to do at this point is to drink up. I plan on using this drink mix during and after hikes as well as after my trail running sessions. I am also going to check with the manufacturer on the recommend daily doses. If I can mix two packets with 16 ounces of water, then I am hoping that I can drink more than 3 per day safely. I will report back on that in my next installment of this test series.
Things I like:
1. Size of packet
2. Variety of flavors available.
3. Mixes and dissolves well
Things I do not like:
1. Seemingly small serving/mixing size (4 - 6 oz/118 - 177 ml of water) per packet
Long Term Report
March 26, 2010
Temperatures: 30 - 70 F (-1 to 21 C)
Getting my fizz on:
The first thing I did after writing my first report was to email the Ola Loa company and ask if it was okay to add the drink mix with hot water. I had visions of using it as a warm drink (too much winter in Texas this year) and I was not disappointed. I received an email reply by the end of the day and they confirmed that there were no issues with adding the mix to warm/hot water and using as a hot drink. Okay, now things were moving in my favor and I was very happy.
Using the new vitamins:
The Ola Loa Sport Drink Mix was a very interesting item to use. I either used it post-run or post-hiking to replenish the fluids that I sweat off. My initial issues with the small serving size (2 packets and 4 - 6 oz/118 - 177 ml of water per packet) did not amount to much at all. Even after running for 30 minutes I was easily full and satisfied after only drinking two full packets of the drink mix and the corresponding water. Not only did I no longer feel thirsty, but I was also usually full. If I was not, then I had no complications or issues with drinking an additional two packets worth of drink. I know this was a bit over the recommended servings per day, but sometimes i was very dehydrated.
While there was no way to really judge how well the drink worked as a vitamin mix, I can say that it was easy to carry and use on the trail. The packaging is small and rugged and kept the contents dry no matter how crumpled the packets became. I also enjoyed the fact that I could have a tasty and filling warm vitamin drink before bed on the trail. Most cold nights find me wishing for something other than warm cider, but everything else I carry to drink warm contains caffeine. With the Ola Loa Sport Drink Mix I had another quick and easy warm drink which also gave me a large doses of vitamins for my body to use while I slept.
My one complaint about the Sport Drink Mix was the Mango-Tangerine flavored mix. I can (and did) drink just about anything, but this flavor was flat out disgusting to me. I used all the mix, but for some reason this one flavor just did not sit well with my palate. I normally do not worry about things like this because I am pretty easy going on the food and drink flavor front, but this was one time when I had to force myself to keep going. I am not sure what made it so unbearable, but I can say that I will not be using that particular flavor in the future. The good news is that I really liked the other two flavors, so things were a bit balanced out.
I like the concept of vitamins in a packet. The fact that I use vitamins daily, on and off the trail, means that being able to carry them in such a convenient and easy to use form appeals greatly to me. To be able to add this mix to hot water to drink on cold days is another huge plus for me. Being able to use it in the morning, after a day of hiking, or at bedtime no matter if the weather is hot or cold is excellent.
The one thing I would prefer is that the flavor was a bit more intense so that I could mix the Sport Drink Mix with a larger portion of water and keep the strong flavor that I preferred. I will probably stock up on the Ola Loa Sport Drink Mix for the upcoming hiking season. Summer is hot in Texas and I would rather carry the small packets of this drink mix than the larger, heavier plastic bags full of sport drink mixes that I normally carry.