Electrolytes are an important part of hydration for any athlete.  Consuming electrolytes before, during, or after your workout can reduce the risk of cramps, keep you hydrated, and even help with your endurance.  While there are many flavors of electrolyte powers, we will focus on the following three: lemon, orange and mixed berry. A high quality flavored protein and electrolyte drink should have a color and flavor that is true to the “call out” description on the consumer packaging. For instance, a lemon drink mix should appear to be yellow in color and have lemon/lime as the leading intensity in both aroma and flavor. An orange drink should be orange and have orange/tangerine as the leading intensity in the aroma and flavor profiles. There may also be tropical fruit notes like pineapple and mango present to support the named flavor.   A mixed berry drink should be ideally red or purple “berry colored” and not pink. Berry notes should be the leading intensity in both the aroma and flavor profiles. Cherry notes may also be present.  Importantly, if medicinal notes are present in either the aroma or flavor, those notes should remain low and not overwhelm the fruit notes. The texture of the drink should be smooth and have some mouth weight. There may be some astringency, but it should remain low so as not to be drying. The taste profile should be a balance of sweet and sour. Bitter and salt, if present, should be low. While there may be some visible sediment and flecks in the appearance, they should be minimal.

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Tasting terms

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • astringency

    The tendency of some foods to cause the mouth to pucker; often associated with the presence of tannins or acidity. Example: Red wine, tea, grapefruit juice and pickles can be astringent.

  • taste profile

    The expected levels of each basic taste in any given food; defines the overall taste balance. Example: The taste profile of baking chocolate is led by bitterness that is balanced by a low amount of sweetness.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.

  • bitter

    One of the basic tastes; often considered harsh and unpleasant in abundance, but a key basic taste for foods like coffee and dark chocolate. Example: Unripened fruit, aspirin and coffee all have bitter components.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • appearance

    The visual quality of a food. Used to organize attributes such as color and consistency of size, it is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate food. The other dimensions are aroma, texture, flavor and taste. Example: The appearance of green olives includes attributes such as color (pale to dark) and consistency of size (inconsistent to consistent).