Reviewed by Brian Mullin http://www.gramslightbikes.com/
I started using Camelbak Elixir when they accidentally sent me a batch instead of an anticipated test hydration pack. I am sure glad the mix up happened, else I would never have tried the product. I had always prided myself on only using water during rides, and I found most sport and hydration drinks either too sweet, sugary or just plain bad tasting. The Camelbak Elixir was a welcome surprise, and is pleasant tasting, with a mild sweetness, is easy to use, and actually offers athletic benefits due to its electrolyte additives.
Elixir contains a special blend of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals to help maintain body fluid balance, for optimal athletic performance and normal metabolic functioning. Your body requires water, and during vigorous exercise you lose water through perspiration, along with vital minerals and electrolytes. You can re-hydrate faster and more efficiently drinking an electrolyte rich water. Elixir is sugar free, so you don’t get the usual sugar boost from most sport drinks followed by the inevitable bonk. The lack of sugar also means no sticky residue in your water bottle or reservoir, so cleanup is easy. The self-dissolving effervescent tablets are suited for the mountain bike set, since one tablet per 24 oz of water works nicely for a hydration reservoir, but the tablets can easily be broken apart for water bottle usage. Elixir comes in a plastic tube that contains 12 tablets, costs $10, and comes in three flavors, orange (caffeinated), lemon-lime, and berry (my favorite).
The product is very easy to use, just add a tablet to 24 ounces of water, and it fizzes up. I never found the small addition of gas from the effervescence an issue in either a hydration reservoir or water bottle, since a slight burp or drink took care of the issue. For a water bottle, it’s easy to break them in half, and add to the typical 16 ounce bottle. They worked with either room temperature or ice water, the latter was nice in the hot summer weather. Berry and lemon lime left the water clear with a slight haze, while orange left an orange tint.
My Wife got a kick out of my statement, “water was boring tasting”, and that Elixir’s flavor and mild background sweetness (and slight tartness) made me drink more water on a ride. I tend not to drink enough water, and it sort of forced me to drink more often since it tasted good. On rides, I noticed the electrolyte performance kicked in towards the end of my rides, and I cramped less and could push harder on long climbs. It sort of gave me an extra boast of strength.
I liked the berry flavor the best of all, and thought the orange was a bit chemical tasting, while lemon lime was fine (more lime), although it had a slight bitterness to it. They all had some astringency, which made them more palatable without the sticky residue in your mouth. The orange (also known as Orange Alert) does have caffeine and other ingredients that energy drinks usually contain, and I found it useful during some rides, but I preferred the additional electrolytes in the other flavors. The very mild sweetness, was in the background, and left nor sugary feeling in the mouth no stickiness in the water containers.