Camelbak Elixir Review

by Brian Mullin on July 28, 2010

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.

Camelbak Elixir
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 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 no sugary feeling in the mouth nor stickiness in the water containers.

Elixir uses three sweeteners, Sorbitol, Acesulfame potassium and Sucralose, the latter two are considered artificial. A sugar substitute is a food additive that duplicates the effect of sugar in taste, usually with less food energy. You can find reams of information on the internet on the health controversy on these substances, but in moderation they can have their place. Better fitness through science!

  • Sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sucrose, and was discovered in 1976 by scientists from Tate & Lyle, in collaboration with Leslie Hough and Shashikant Phadnis. It is manufactured by the selective chlorination of sucrose, which converts three of the hydroxyl groups to chlorides.
  • Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol which is 60% as sweet as sucrose, and is slowly absorbed by the body, was first discovered by a French chemist in the berries of the mountain ash in 1872. It is obtained by reduction of glucose, changing the aldehyde group to an additional hydroxyl group.
  • Acesulfame potassium is 200 times sweeter than sucrose, and was discovered accidentally in 1967 by German chemist Karl Clauss at Hoechst AG. It is manufactured by the transformation of an organic intermediate, acetoacetic acid, and its combination with the naturally occurring mineral, potassium.

Bottom Line
All in all, I really liked Elixir, it was great tasting, was refreshing, easy to use, left no residue, had no overwhelming sugariness, and extended my athletic performance and recovery. The major benefit, outside of the electrolyte replacement, was that is made me drink the required amount of water on a ride (easy to drink).

MSRP: $10 (for a 12 tablet tube)

CamelBak Elixir – Supplement Facts

Specification Orange Berry Lemon-Lime
Serving size 1 tablet 6 g 6.1 g 6.1 g
Servings per container 12 12 12
Calories per serving 10 10 10
Carbohydrates 2 g 1 .3 g 1.3 g
Sodium 340 mg 420 mg 410 mg
Potassium 125 g 70 g 70 g
Calcium 0 33 mg 33 mg
Magnesium 0 18 mg 18 mg
Manganese 0 1.4 mg 1.4 mg
Chloride 0 68 mg 68 mg
Vitamin C 120 mg 86 mg 86 mg
Riboflavin .9 mg 0 0
Niacin 5 mg 0 0
Vitamin B6 2.5 mg 0 0
Vitamin B12 3 mcg 0 0
Biotin 150 mcg 0 0
Pantothenic Acid 5 mg 0 0
Taurine 100 mg 0 0
Caffeine 70 mg 0 0
Inositol 30 mg 0 0
Glucoronolactone 25 mg 0 0
Guarana seed 25 mg 0 0

Berry and Lemon Lime Ingredients: Citric acid, sorbitol, sodium bicarbonate, artificial (berry) and natural (lemon lime) flavors, sodium carbonate, sodium citrate, potassium bicarbonate, sodium benzoate, ascorbic acid, calcium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, sodium benzoate, polyethylene glycol, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, manganese gluconate

Orange Ingredients: Citric acid, sorbitol, sodium bicarbonate, natural flavors, sodium carbonate, potassium bicarbonate, sodium benzoate, ascorbic acid, sodium benzoate, polyethylene glycol, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, taurine, caffeine, acesulfame potassium, inositol, d-glucoronolactone, guarana, biotin, calcium-d-pantothenate, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, ridoflavin-5-phosphate, cyanocobalamin

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jerry Spinel June 25, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I love the Camelbak Elixr tablets! I always use them when i use my bottle. They taste so good. Its nice to know that Camelbak always makes great products. From bottles to flavored powder for your water!
Great blog!


Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet June 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm

They are still one of my faves, easy to use, with a great taste, and one of the few that one tablet works with 24 oz of water


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