Review by: j_ung, 2005-05-15
[b]Full Disclosure: The company that manufactured this equipment provided it free of charge to RC.com and RC.com then provided it as compensation to the reviewer for his or her review. This company does not currently advertise on RC.com.[/b]
Many years past, psychologist, Abraham Maslow defined a hierarchy of needs and postulated that they motivate all human behavior. His model took the form of a pyramid, with the most basic needs forming a foundation upon which more complicated needs were stacked. At the very bottom of the pyramid, the most basic, urgent needs are physiological. We need air, water and food to survive. They are, Maslow theorized, our most basic requirements.
Not quite so many years ago, Gatorade spent millions on research to figure out the optimal ratios of liquid to electrolytes for active human bodies to perform best. Put simply, electrolytes are what your body uses to transmit electrical impulses (necessary for muscle contractions) throughout your body. One could safely add electrolytes to the foundation of Maslowís hierarchy. Without electrolytes, we cannot function... at all.
Now thereís a new player on the field: Elete. Elete developed its product, a liquid electrolyte concentrate, for people like us to add to our existing hydration systems without the encumbrance of such un-necessities as sugar, preservatives, artificial colors and flavoring. Half a teaspoon of Elete in a liter of water adds 45 mg of magnesium, 125 mg of sodium, 130 mg of potassium and 390 mg of chloride to your water with none of the qualities developed by marketing creative teams, instead of researchers.
OK, thatís the technical stuff. Now hereís the skinny: Elete tastes horrible. I tried every conceivable suggestion from the Elete website to make my electro-laced water palatable to no avail. To achieve an acceptable flavor, I had to reduce the recipe so much that I question the value. Finally, I gave up and squeezed a lime wedge into my bottle. Success! Leave it to citrus to save the day.
According to Elete, one can safely consume less water when exercising with their product. All flavor jokes aside, the weight-saving implications for big wallers are obvious. However, Iíd be more inclined to add Elete to my normal ration than to leave the ground with an experimental amount of water in hopes that Iíd found a miracle product.
To be honest, I donít know for sure about the less water claim. I felt great drinking my Elete-lime-water mix, but since our salt levels tend to fluctuate according to what we eat anyway, I canít be certain that the difference was really worth it. As far as Eleteís claim to performance enhancement, I have to agree, simply because I know that electrolyte additions are good for athletes. If you donít approach/climb at elite (not Elete!) levels, however, I donít think youíll notice a difference. The one time that I did purposely drink less water to test Eleteís claim, I felt that same mid-afternoon lethargy that I usually get when I havenít had enough plain olí water.