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August 25, 2011

Recharge Sports Drink Mix Review and Giveaway (XC Runners: Pay Attention!)

Admin note: Thanks very much to everyone who has written me regarding the potential guest blogging spots I have up for grabs. If I haven't replied to your e-mail yet, give me another day or two - I'm gradually making my way through them. And there's still plenty of time to run your suggestion by me, so feel free to drop me an e-mail soon.

Also, you have one more day to enter the Marathon Bar giveaway contest. Tick tock!

*
For as much knowledge I have about sports nutrition and the benefits of proper hydration, I have one peculiarly bad habit: I’m not big on drinking plain water.

It’s not that I don’t hydrate well; it’s just that usually I need something with some taste to it. I choose low-calorie options like green tea or Diet Pepsi or different flavors of sparkling water or even more Diet Pepsi … anything to make the situation in my mouth a little interesting. (Yes, really.) That’s why I’m always interested to try new options for low-calorie hydration, and I appreciate them even more if they lend themselves to convenient use.

One new option my wife and I have been testing this summer is Recharge Natural Sports Drink mix from the R.W. Knudsen Family company, which is the subject of today’s giveaway. And if you win this one, you’d better be thirsty – because you’ll be getting a whole lot of this product.


First, the rundown: for several years R.W. Knudsen has sold a bottled all-natural recovery drink called Recharge, which is essentially flavored with fruit juices and a tiny amount of salt. This summer the company introduced a recovery drink in powdered form under the same name, although the formulation is slightly different in mix form than it is in the bottles.

Recharge drink mix comes in four flavors, all of which are sweetened with Truvia, an herbal extract of the stevia plant. I’ve tasted a few other stevia-sweetened drinks over the past couple of years, and I find that the sweetener does have a noticeable aftertaste; not particularly bad, just ... noticeable.  With the Recharge mix, the aftertaste seems (to me, at least) more prominent in the grape and tropical flavors than the lemon and orange flavors. The formulation still includes fruit juice, and is still 100% natural, but there’s definitely a different taste than the same brand in bottled form.

Certainly the most attractive aspect of the mix is that it comes in pre-packaged “sticks” that are perfect for stashing in your car or workout bag. The instructions say to dissolve one packet in 17oz of water, but for convenience sake I typically diluted them in a 20-oz water bottle, which makes for a nice, mildly sweet taste.

Dissolution of the powder proved to be a small annoyance for my wife, who likes to mix it into a tall glass of water at home after a run. Even with prolonged stirring, a small portion of the powder remains undissolved. The instructions say to pour the mix into a bottle and then shake with the cap on, which is a much more vigorous way of mixing the powder and appears necessary to ensure that it all dissolves properly.

The nutritional benefits you gain from Recharge are electrolytes – primarily sodium and potassium – as well as small doses of Vitamins C, B6, B12, and Niacin. Each stick contains only 10 calories and provides you with additional incentive to take care of your hydration needs either immediately after a workout or at any time during the day.

Perhaps the coolest part of this whole promotional launch is that the R.W. Knudsen Family is being extremely generous in distribution of its Recharge mix to those who can benefit from it the most. To mark Military Appreciation Month last May, the company donated 200,000 Recharge sticks in care packages to American troops via Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit military support organization. Those guys and gals probably don’t have any of the little quibbles with the product that I do – which is one of many reasons the troops have my utmost respect.

And then there’s the bloggers – or more accurately, blog readers. Here are the contest details: Recharge drink mix is normally sold in boxes of eight single-serving sticks which retail for $3.99. For this giveaway, three winners will each receive a CASE of all four flavors – as in, twelve 8-stick boxes, or 96 sticks of each flavor. I’m no mathematician, but 4 x 96 seems to equal a heck of a lot of Recharge powder. Like enough for your entire running club or cross-country team.

In fact, since cross-country season is right around the corner, and because this is my contest and I get to make up my own rules, I'm going to stack the deck in favor of cross-country athletes.  If you're an XC coach or runner this fall, tell me the name and location of your team, and you'll get four entries in the contest.  Everyone else gets just one entry per comment.  (Take that, smug football jocks!)

Leave your entry comment below this post before close of business on Tuesday, August 30, and I’ll pick winners at random and announce the results in a separate post on Wednesday the 31st. Very big thanks to R.W. Knudsen Family for sponsoring this contest, and good luck to everybody!

*Product provided by R.W. Knudsen Family Company
**See other product reviews on sidebar at right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at info@runningandrambling.com.




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37 comments:

bf in az 8/25/11, 9:45 PM  

My mother was one of those fructose-instead-of-sugar types and she used to swear by the bottled version of this.

Blair 8/25/11, 9:54 PM  

I have to agree on the aftertaste aspect. But they do the job pretty well. Count me in for an entry. Thanks.

CK 8/26/11, 4:14 AM  

I've recently retired as a XC coach, but have a number of alumni who coach now in the area (St. Louis) whom I support. I'd love to help recharge their teams, particularly my old team, the Pattonville Pirates. Thanks for the opportunity.

Adam B. 8/26/11, 4:37 AM  

Any kind of tasty hydration option works for me! Put my down for an entry, thanks!

Eddie 8/26/11, 5:10 AM  

My oldest son runs cross country for the Clovis North Broncos. I'd love to provide some recharge for their team!

Brandon 8/26/11, 6:14 AM  

Not a XC runner, but I'd still love to win! :-)

cognitive dissident 8/26/11, 6:18 AM  

No team affiliation for me, but I'd love to give Recharge a try!

Barbara 8/26/11, 6:42 AM  

I'm with you on the aftertaste so I'm curious how it is with this product!

My 10-year-old will be running her second season of track in the spring (no XC in grade school!) - she does the 1600 and 800 - so I'll have to pick up some for her when training starts up again.

Tegyn Angel 8/26/11, 6:47 AM  

Dude, you continue to write incredibly detailed, objective posts more prolificslly than frank Zappa released albums or gave strange names to his children. Hydration PLEASE

Jay 8/26/11, 7:00 AM  

I'm not a XC runner, but still interested. I'll give it a shot despite the odds.

Eric 8/26/11, 9:24 AM  

Does it count if you were a cross Country Runner? haha!

I'll take my one chance!

Eric Mauricette
Old Town, ME

pontdo 8/26/11, 12:24 PM  

ALWAYS up to try new hydration products! Please put me in! -Don

JimDog 8/26/11, 2:57 PM  

The wifey has banned me from artificial sweeteners (like sucralose, aspartamene, etc)...but Stevia is natural and doesn't count :-) So I'm in for one entry! Thanks!

Jcollins76 8/26/11, 4:32 PM  

Would like to win and try it.
Thanks
Jeff

AWO,  8/26/11, 7:43 PM  

Me too! Definitely not a XC runner though.

Robert 8/26/11, 9:15 PM  

I'm a cross country coach at Lodi High School in Lodi, Ca. - Home of the Flames and some great wine. This would be great for the team as most of our workouts take place at a local park where water is plentiful, but something more substantial for recovery is not. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

mauravanderlinden 8/26/11, 9:53 PM  

I'm interested in trying these because I, also, am not a fan of plain water.

Chris 8/27/11, 5:09 AM  

Count me in to be Recharged with this give-away!

Chris M

PepeLp,  8/27/11, 7:46 AM  

I'm in, I need all the help I can get!

The Massey's 8/27/11, 8:13 AM  

My son is on the home school cross country team, first race is today in 100 degree heat, need hydration please

Tess,  8/27/11, 8:37 AM  

I'm not a XC runner but I am running on a Ragnar Relay team in the DC area in a few weeks -- 12 people in need of hydration could probably make a dent in that huge supply :)

runningfarmer 8/27/11, 2:24 PM  

Free packs of Recharge would be a smash at the Rush Running Monday speed session.

Josh 8/27/11, 3:32 PM  

Stevia for the win. I was unaware that there were Stevia sports drinks. This sounds right up my alley. Put me down for an entry.

Al D. 8/27/11, 7:44 PM  

I would love to recharge with Recharge

andrew 8/27/11, 8:49 PM  

BV Bobcat XC Team from BV Middle School of Salinas would love to recharge.

Thanks D.

The Dude 8/28/11, 7:23 AM  

Count me in. If I win, I will give most it to the Rhodes College XC team. A good friend of mine is a senior on the team and they could use it! I will you decide if this constitutes multiple entries. Thanks for all the giveaways!

Seb 8/28/11, 1:15 PM  

I have been using Ultima. It is very expensive though.

GPS Watches

brendaroo 8/28/11, 10:02 PM  

Anything tastes good after a run, even plain water(of which I am not a fan) Throw me in

Willie G,  8/29/11, 8:00 AM  

Long since retired from XC, and won't be coaching it til my son's are older, but I still like to hydrate after my runs.

TheRunningNobody 8/29/11, 8:11 AM  

Yay, at last some perks for XC runners ...

On september 3rd, i'm doing the Viking's race in Quebec at the Mont Sainte Anne mountain (http://www.ledefi2011.com/) ... a small distance XC, but should be completely worth it. It's kind of an offshoot of the spartan race ...

I do like freebies ...

sweatengine 8/29/11, 7:15 PM  

I'd like to have a taste testing as well. Sign me up please!

Vern Eastley 8/29/11, 9:33 PM  

My family ditched the sugar for stevia years ago, and we're big fans of the Knudsen juices, so this sounds great. Count me in!

Stewart Celani 8/30/11, 4:03 AM  

Training for Ultra -- would love to try some of this. Regardless; keep up the good work here. =)

Knuckles 8/30/11, 10:40 AM  

I'd love to try it, Donald. Thanks.

Lasiv 8/30/11, 2:15 PM  

Count me for one entry.

islander 8/30/11, 7:56 PM  

Please count me in for one entry. Thanks!

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