Ack! I just spent half an hour writing a review of Clif Bloks, only to have it *blip* totally disappear when I clicked on publish. Blogger sucks!
Let me try again.
Product review: Clif Shot Bloks Organic Electrolyte Chews. $1.95 plus tax and shipping from REI.com for 60g/2.1 ounces or 6 blocks (2 servings). Cost per serving similar or slightly less than most sports gels.
Nutrients: Calories per serving 100. Calories from fat 0. Total fat per serving 0 g. Saturated fat 0 g. Trans fat 0 g. Cholesterol per serving 0 mg. Sodium 70 mg. Potassium per serving 20 mg. Carbohydrates per serving 24 g. Dietary fiber 0 g. Sugar 12 g. This is a negligible source of sodium and potassium for replenishment of sweat losses during heavy exertion - don't count on it for any significant contribution to electrolytes. I consider the title "electrolyte chews" a misnomer and marketing gimmick. They're certified organic, if that's important to you (not to me).
Ingredients: First listed ingredient is organic brown rice syrup, which has a fairly modest glycemic index and shouldn't make your blood sugar spike. On the other hand, they also won't give you a big boost when you may really need it, like glucose tablets, for example.
Texture: Sweet, chewy bite-sized blocks, which are fairly large, about 3/4 inch square. Not as chewy and much less sticky than Jujyfruits, but more chewy than Jell-O jigglers. Might be pasty and difficult to get down on a hot race course without lots of water.
Flavor: I only tried the lemon-lime flavor, and for a snack and after a swim - not during a dry, hot workout. The flavor is pleasant, bland, very slightly salty, and mildly sweet-tart, like a generic mixed fruit jelly, but without any true lemon or lime tang. I haven't tried the other flavors yet.
Packaging: This is one of the big negatives of this product for me. They come 6 per package in a non-recloseable plastic pouch, which at 4.5"x5" is about 3 inches bigger than it needs to be. I've already seen many of these littering race courses. While I like being able to take just one blok at a time (1/3 serving) rather than trying to choke down an entire gel (or trying to carry an oozing open gel packet), having to dispense these sticky little items out of this unwieldy package during a race (and then finding a place to properly dispose of the empty package where it wouldn't get caught in the wind) would be a hassle.
Summary: These aren't bad for a candy-like snack for a little energy during or after a workout when you have access to lots of water, but there are lots of gel candies on the market that have much better flavors and equal energy value. The packaging and hassle of dispensing Clif Bloks might make them fairly undesirable to me to carry during a long race, and I'm doubtful that I would be able to choke them down when I'm very hot and dehydrated. I'd probably take one for variety if they were handed out on the course for free, though.
Update: I tried the Cran-Razz flavor and I do like that better. It's a pretty recognizable mild cranberry-raspberry taste. I decided the texture/consistency is very much like Sharkies, or also like those candy orange slices or candy spearmint leaves without the coating of sugar. Which I like better, come to think of it. Actually, the best solution might be to go to the Brach's Pick-a-mix candy display in the grocery store and get a bunch of those individually-wrapped gel candies.