Energy drinks and sports drinks are popular for a reason. Energy drinks can be a more convenient way to get an energy boost than coffee, and sports drinks provide us with the nutrients and energy we need. However, both have their flaws. Most energy drinks have become chemical bombs, perhaps the furthest thing from actual food you could purchase. Most sports drinks aren’t any better and typically amount to salted, sugary water. Choosing a product can be frustrating for health-conscious people who also want convenience.
I recently tried Kill Cliff recovery drinks. According to the website, Kill Cliff was founded by a former Navy Seal who was unsatisfied by the energy drinks and sports drinks available. He decided to create what Kill Cliff calls a “recovery drink.” While Kill Cliff states that it is not an energy drink, be aware that it is lightly caffeinated with 25mg of caffeine, which is a little more than quarter the amount found in a typical cup of coffee.
The original Kill Cliff drink, which is called “Tasty,” is sweetened with stevia and has a low calorie content of fifteen calories per can. The other offering is called “Double Awesomeness,” which is sweetened by the sugar alcohol called erythritol. For most people, erythritol should be free of the side effects of other sugar alcohols.
Unfortunately, the Kill Cliff site does not appear to offer nutrition labels, and while the products are available at GNC as well, the labels there seem confused. That said, the website does list some of the beneficial ingredients in each 12oz can, including ginger root, green tea extract, milk thistle, and ginseng root powder, as well as the enzymes amylase, beta-gluconase, bromelain, invertase, lipase, protease 4.5, and serrapeptase. These ingredients and enzymes are intended to aid in recovery as well as energy production. Even though the products are described as recovery drinks, the company recommends consumption both before and after workouts.
When considering convenient drink options, an important question is always taste. It doesn’t matter how great a beverage is for recovery if you wouldn’t actually want to drink it. The Tasty flavor was blood orange, a lightly carbonated citrus flavor that I personally found quite appealing. Several of my friends – and guinea pigs for some of my reviews – also enjoyed the flavor. I don’t normally care much for the taste of stevia, but the drink was indeed tasty.
The Double Awesomeness version of Kill Cliff, on the other hand, tasted a bit funky to me at first. After a few of the drinks I no longer noticed and it tasted just fine. It was my first experience with an erythritol-sweetened drink, and it wasn’t bad, although I prefer the flavor of the Tasty.
I mostly used the Kill Cliff drinks as pre-workout beverages, and I found they did the trick. The company is adamant that they are not energy drinks, but I did find that they gave me just the little boost I needed on some days, with a pleasant flavor. Since they are also conveniently available at GNC, Kill Cliff will be my lightly-caffeinated, better-for-me option than the standard fare of energy drinks and sports drinks from now on.
Kill Cliff Recovery Drinks are available for $15.00-$54.00 at KillCliff.com.