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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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