- Effectiveness 70% 70%
- Flavor 60% 60%
- Ingredients 100% 100%
More Than Just Hydration
Formulated to hydrate and prevent altitude sickness for physical activity in the mountains.
Contains electrolytes and additional herbal supplements to assist with acclimatization.
Contains a reasonable 8g of sugar to help start the body’s natural hydration process.
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Acli-Mate Mountain Sport Drink was created in 2003 by Roanne Houck, N.D., a naturopathic doctor based in Gunnison, Colorado. With a focus on hydration and altitude acclimation, Acli-Mate addresses the two major obstacles facing mountain athletes. Resting at 7,703 feet elevation, Gunnison is a hub for mountain sports like skiing and mountain biking: exactly where you would expect a supplement with this purpose to be developed. In addition to running Acli-Mate, Roanne also works at the Main Street Clinic in downtown Gunnison where she has presumably helped countless visitors with altitude acclimatization. While it’s the first electrolyte specially designed to enhance performance at high elevation, Roanne is actually not the first naturopathic doctor to found an electrolyte company. One of the most popular electrolytes on Amazon, Dr. Price’s Electrolyte was founded by, as the name suggests, Stephen Price, N.D1.
In addition to the standard electrolytes, the mix contains several adaptogenic herbal supplements to assist with elevation acclimation including Rhodiola root. This herb has even been a part of traditional medicine in Tibet, the highest region on the earth, for centuries2.
HydrationReview ran a single blinded test of this mix on an extended backpacking trip in the Collegiate Range of Colorado with several participants who had just flown in from Florida. The team was impressed with the results they observed throughout testing and believe that Acli-Mate provides tangible benefits on the mountain.
If you are planning a trip to the high country, especially if you live at sea level, consider picking up some of this product to hedge against the impacts of activity at elevation.
The HydrationReview team chose a backpacking trip in the Collegiate Range of Colorado to be the primary testing grounds for this electrolyte mix. With elevations ranging from 9,000 to over 14,000 feet it’s hard to find a better environment in the lower 48. The subjects were all reasonably fit individuals who flew in from Florida which is exactly the kind of extreme change in elevation that can trigger altitude sickness.
A doctor (M.D.) was on hand to screen everyone for altitude sickness and symptoms of dehydration, over the course of the entire trip.
Thankfully, no one in the treatment group or control group was diagnosed with altitude sickness. The most stark report that backed-up the claims of the product was when a member of the test group complained of a general sluggishness after a night of light alcohol consumption and poor sleep in the tent. Shortly after mentioning these symptoms, it was time for another dose of the Acli-Mate. Within one hour, his symptoms were completely relieved.
Across the other testers, the responses to the electrolyte were positive but subtle. The most commonly cited feeling was increased energy and alertness while hiking.
“I expected to feel like absolute trash on the first day of the trip after an early wake up, long day of travel and the shock of going from sea level to 12,000 feet. While I still didn’t feel 100%, I could perform reasonably well hiking up the mountain.”
While the tests were not clinical in nature, there was enough feedback to give the team confidence writing an honest review. In summary, Acli-Mate can potentially provide mild hydration and relief at elevation.
When planning a trip to Colorado or another western state where you plan to be active at elevations above 5000 feet, it would certainly not hurt to pack Acli-Mate. Elevation can compound the effects of a poor night’s sleep and alcohol, quickly souring a vacation. If you are paying $150/ day for a ski pass to Vail or Breckenridge, a 30 serving tub of this mountain drink is a rounding error.
Three standard flavors are available in single serving packets and tubs: Grape, Orange and Cran-Raspberry. Cran-raspberry was the only flavor tested by HydrationReview and it exceeded expectations.
While it’s not the most complex or best tasting electrolyte mix tested at HydrationReview, it was good enough to get down and drink repeatedly.
If you plan to drink this frequently over the course of many days, we would recommend getting multiple flavors just to guard against the possibility that you get tired of one flavor.
Acli-Mate is made with all natural ingredients including stevia and organic cane sugar, natural vegetable juice for color and natural flavoring. It contains all the major electrolytes in suitable quantities: sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
As mentioned earlier in the review, it also contains several herbs that are recognized as adaptogens: Rhodiola root, Schizandra berry, and Ginkgo leaf. Adaptogens are substances that help the body manage and recover from stress.
1 Dr. Price’s Vitamins About Us | Let’s Get Healthy! drpricesvitamins.com/about-dr-price.
2 Li, Long, et al. “Effects of Rhodiola on Production, Health and Gut Development of Broilers Reared at High Altitude in Tibet.” Scientific Reports, vol. 4, no. 1, Nature Portfolio, Nov. 2014, https://doi.org/10.1038/srep07166.
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