Review: Clif Quench Sport Drink

by Tom Markiewicz on July 13, 2009

Clif Quench Sport Drink

While grocery shopping the other day, I saw a large display for the new Clif Quench sport drinks. I vaguely remembered hearing about these, so I decided to buy one of each flavor and try them out.

Let me start off by saying that my primary sports drinks are massive quantities of coffee in the morning, followed by as much water as I can consume the rest of the day. That said, I occasionally buy a Gatorade or Powerade and throw it in my climbing pack for a long day.

The selling points of Clif’s new drink line is the list of ingredients and its recycled bottle. The Clif Quench is 88% organic with no high fructose corn syrup. From the company:

CLIF Quench offers the optimal balance of ingredients your thirsty body needs, including electrolytes and carbohydrates to move water where your body needs it most. CLIF Quench is all-natural and contains no artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives used in many beverages today.

Continuing on the company??s journey toward sustainability, the CLIF Quench bottle and label are the most planet-friendly options on the market. The bottle is made of 40 percent post-consumer recycled PET plastic??the highest percentage of any U.S. bottled beverage??and the bottle and label are fully recyclable.

Unfortunately, the drink tastes like a big gulp of ocean water. Seriously, the Quench has such a strong salty taste that I almost couldn’t drink a full bottle. And I love Clif’s other products, so this was a real disappointment.

My initial thought was that the taste was due to a much higher sodium content which is common in sports drinks. So yesterday, I picked up a bottle of Gatorade (Frost Glacier Freeze if you must know) and guzzled it down. Just as I remembered, I did not feel like I was drowning in the Pacific Ocean.

Next obvious step – check the ingredient labels. Here is the surprising result of my quick research:

Gatorade (8 fl. oz)
Calories – 50
Sodium – 110 mg
Potassium – 30 mg
Total Carbs – 14 g
Sugars – 14 g

Clif Quench (8 fl. oz)
Calories – 45
Sodium – 130 mg
Potassium – 35 mg
Total Carbs – 11 g
Sugars – 10 g

These drinks are quite similar except for the real sugar in Clif versus the high fructose corn syrup in the Gatorade. You can also see that there is 18% more sodium in the Clif. From the taste though, I was estimating there would be twice the sodium.

Unless you absolutely refuse to use products with high fructose corn syrup and have to have a sports drink, I can’t recommend this product in its current form. Hopefully, with enough feedback, maybe they’ll revisit the taste factor on the Quench.

Has anyone else tried these yet? What was your opinion, especially on the taste?

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