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clif shot electrolyte hydration drink

Any proper line of nutrition products has to include bars, drinks, and gels, at a bare minimum.

Clif Bar has you covered. I’ve already reviewed the Clif Bar, Clif Shot Gel, the new formula of the Clif Shot Gel, and Clif Shot Bloks.

But I’m just now getting around to the Clif Shot drink mixes.

Naturally, there are two different types of this drink – the “hydration” one for use during exercise, and the “recovery” formula for use after exercise.

These days, companies offer at least these two options, if not three options (going so far as to create a “before exercise” drink.)

Since your pre- and post-ride nutrition needs differ, I think it’s a good practice. The hydration formula aims to keep you properly hydrated and energized while the recovery formula provides more protein and calories that your muscles need (but body might not process very well if used during your workout.)

Let’s examine the Clif Shot Electrolyte Hydration Drink first.

The ingredients are simple – sugar and electrolytes. Sugar duties are handled by organic glucose and organic dried cane syrup, two of my favorites for quick energy during my rides and races.

Since you mix ~1 packet per 16oz water, you’ll get around 20g carbs and 80 calories per hour during your workout.

Switching over to the Clif Shot Protein Recovery Drink, the ingredients list gets slightly longer, but it doesn’t change a whole lot.

Basically, it’s now sugar, protein, and electrolytes. The sugar source is the same, while the protein comes from both whey protein isolate and milk protein concentrate. I like to see both types included because your body will process them at different rates.

The big difference is that you’re now getting double the calories per packet! Not only are you taking in 10g protein, you’re taking in 30g carbs (instead of just 20g.)

Overall, the ingredients and formulations look promising.

clif shot protein foam

^That’s all foam that stuck inside the bottle!

Mixing Them Up

clif shot protein recovery drink

Before we can do any tasting and testing, we have to prepare the drinks!

The Hydration drink is easy as pie. Dump it in your water bottle, fill with water, then with a couple quick shakes, it’s all dissolved. I find it mixes up easier than most other powders. I’d say it’s slightly easier than the Powerbar drink and noticeably easier than Heed. (Not that sugary powders are ever particularly difficult to mix!)

Now, the protein one…

I was dumb and mixed a packet of powder into 8oz water in a cup and used a spoon to stir. I wasn’t planning on it, but my water bottles all tasted like other flavors, and I was too lazy to wash them!

So yeah, stirring this up was a major pain in the butt! It takes too long and foams up too much.

So, the next packet I shook up with about 10oz water in a fresh water bottle (like I did with the hydration drink.)

It was a world of difference! It didn’t take much effort and it was all dissolved (no Blender Ball necessary.)

There was still tons of foam though (pictured above,) so watch out for that smearing all over your face as you drink! Also, it leaves a residue in the bottle… lots of it. Even if you shake as little as necessary.

With either drink, the best method is to shake it up in a small water bottle. For the protein drink, chug it quickly and then rinse immediately. It makes your life easier. 🙂

Taste Test

Each drink comes in two flavors, so I had four flavors to test.

Lemon Lime-Ade

Just what you want from a lemon-lime flavor. It tastes like lemon lime. Not too bitter, not too sweet. Not too strong, not too weak. The flavor is “alright” rather than delicious, awesome, or exciting.

What I mean is, lemon lime is one of those flavors that rarely is someone’s favorite, but it’s palatable to just about everyone, and commonplace if a race director is providing some type of sports drink to participants. This exemplifies that idea.

Cranberry Razz

This was absolutely delicious! Very light and crisp, like Nuun is, but this was much more flavorful and sweeter. But not too strong nor too sweet. Just right! I could taste both cranberry and raspberry, which was probably the most surprising part.

No aftertaste. No artificial sweetness. I was impressed! I’d definitely buy a large canister or multi-pack of this flavor.

Now, switching over to the protein flavors…


First, I tried it mixed with water. I hate whey protein with water, but this is about 30g sugar and just 10g protein, so I figured it would work alright. It worked alright, but it tastes like a cheap cup of hot chocolate that got cold.

Worse yet, there is a bit of an aftertaste. I can’t describe it. It’s not terrible but it’s definitely not pleasant.

The next sample I mixed with milk. This gave it a little smoother, more substantial texture, but the flavor was unchanged. Not much difference overall really. I don’t plan to have any more of this stuff.

Orange Mango

First, I tried this shaken up with water. The good news is that the flavor is good. It’s a sweet orange flavor with a little mango in there. The mango was the best part!

But there is a distinct protein flavor in there too. With an aftertaste as well. There are some good fruit-flavored protein drinks out there, but they’re not common. And this is NOT one of them!

This was nowhere near as good as Hammer’s orange Perpetuem powder!

(Didn’t even bother mixing this one with milk! Should I try it?)

Overall, the hydration drinks taste great, while the recovery drinks fall far below what I expected from Clif Bar.


How did I feel during the testing?

All my testing was indoors, but I was still able to fuel some solid workouts with this stuff. I felt great while riding rollers and sipping the Clif Shot electrolyte drink.

I could see myself continuing to use the Clif Shot electrolyte drink.

Update: Tested on some longer rides outside (90-120 minutes) and was very impressed with this drink! It kept me perked up and energized, as long as my legs would hold up.

Having the recovery drink post-ride did perk me up a bit, but one time I had two servings at once (since I wanted more protein) and it was too much and made me feel sluggish and bloated.

I don’t care though, because the flavor was terrible, and I wasn’t planning to use it again!

My final verdict is…

The Clif Shot Hydration drink is pretty good, and the Cran Razz flavor is awesome. I highly recommend trying it out to see if it works for you.

The Clif Shot Recovery drink, well, I didn’t like it, and I can’t come up with anything good to say about it!

*The 4 star rating is for the hydration drink. The recovery drink would get maybe 2 stars.

Official website: www.ClifBar.com | www.ClifBar.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Clif Bar
Product: Clif Shot Electrolyte Drink Mix
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2019-05-25
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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