Clif Quench - I Still Don’t Like It, But Some Do


A few months ago I gave a rather (to be delicate) negative review of the Clif Quench line of sports drink. I am not the only person to have done so, and it seems I’m not alone in my initial thoughts that “the beverage begins with a fake-fruity taste with a top note of salt and a lingering mouth feel of Elmer’s glue.”

I reprise this prose not to further lambast Clif for their (to me) mind numbingly bad beverage, but because the gold folks at Clif sent me–unreqeusted–the rest of the flavors and asked me to try them again, especially when the beverages were cold and I was hot. Since my first test of Quench came not at the end of a hyper-athletic ride but during a stop to pick up something unnecessary for my bike I thought I’d oblige. If I’m going to say your beverage tastes like glue and you’re going to send me more of it, I shall put on my dedicated journalist hat and give it another go.

My second go was not good. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the only beverage I remember liking less was a salted-yougurt drink I got at a kabob place once, and I’m pretty sure they were trying to teach me a lesson there.

However, because I don’t care a whit for my wife’s health or safety, I offered her a swig. Oddly, she liked it. Now I must point out that she’d spent more than four weeks congested with a cold/flu/plague but she said it wasn’t as sweet or annoying as something like Gatorade.

When recounting this story to the PR folks I was told “there’s no arguing that taste is king and, much like a $100 [cabernet], you either like it or you don’t.”

I suppose that’s true in theory, but I’ve never had a $100 bottle of wine that I wanted to spit out of my mouth.

What’s the moral of the story? Some people like the Quench. I suppose that’s why it’s still on the market. I would however mention again that many people don’t and I’d hope that Clif goes back and tries to find a happy medium where a sports drink isn’t a polarizing affair. With bars I can see someone disliking a particular flavor–some folks just don’t like blueberry or toffee or apple spice–but that’s not the level of judgement I think you should go for with a beverage.

After all, if your choices are dehydration or Quench, and a portion of the population would pick dehydration, a reformulation might be in order.


The strange part is that their powder is outstanding. I’ve got a sensitive stomach and can race and ride long with it. Both the hyrdate and recovery and can’t swallow their drink. That’s the opposite of Gatorade, where the bottle is the best and you can never get the powder mix ratio right.

Gatorade is just High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Unless there are no other options, it’s best to avoid that crap.

Well yes, my point was Clif hasn’t got the drink part right, while they did the powder. Ever tried to mix Gatorade at home? Near impossible.


Do you like mineral water or any other salty or mineral-y drinks? The first time I tried a salted lassi (the yogurt thing) I thought it was the weirdest, strangest, beverage I had ever tasted, and finished it but was sure I’d never want one again. But then after I discovered and fell in love with mineral water, I tried a salted lassi again and loved it. Odd, yes, but refreshing and delicious. It strikes me that this might be a beverage more suited to people who like a little salty taste in their drinks, although I haven’t tried this offering from Clif. To that point, does your wife like mineral water?

Oddly, I do like them. This particular salted lassi was not really standard though. I ordered it and they asked me if I liked “salty drinks” and I think I took affront as often happens when someone asks me at a Thai place if I really do like spicy after all.

My wife, on the other hand, does not like salty drinks.

Odd, yes?

I have on many occasions just eaten salt, so I’m pretty happy with that. I feel like there’s an herb or something in there that disagrees with me the way that cliantro disagrees with some.

Hi David

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I read your article re Clif Quench with interest and would like to suggest you give ‘elete’ a try as I genuinely believe it is the most effective hydration product on the market today and also that it is taste free - it is a concentrate you can add to water or what ever drink or food (hot or cold) you like.

The reason for its effectiveness is that it contains all four electrolytes which are necessary for proper hydration (magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride) and that these are each in totally ionic form (again necessary for effective hydration) plus 70 other trace and ultra trace minerals. No other sports/hydration products contain this mix of electrolytes.

As well as hydrating remarkably efficeintly, elete stops cramping, enhances energy production by the body and maintains mental focus. Furthermore, a peer reviewed study indicated that when using elete, 40% less water is needed to hydrate properly.

elete is derived from the inland sea water from the Great Salt Lake in Utah and contains the four electrolytes mentioned above plus over 60 other trace and ultra-trace elements. It is 100% natural, has zero calories, zero carbs, zero sugar or sweeteners, no additives of any sort - it is simply the electrolytes above plus the trace and ultra- trace elements and water.

It comes in a concentrated form and is just added to water, juice, any drink or food (hot or cold). It can be added to other sports nutrition products such as carb drinks or gels or protien mixes.

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All the very best

Adrian Shaw

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