Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review of @CorePower protein drinks

While training for the Jackson County Triathlon that went down a few weekends ago, I utilized the opportunity to try out a new player on the recovery drink market.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate.  New is a relative term since Core Power was originally Athletes Honeymilk.  Through some transformation and what I can only imagine as a large marketing push, birth was given to Core Power.

It’s a healthy 11.5 fl ounces with a healthy set of lungs.  You can’t help but notice their website that screams at you with hip designs and a list of pro athletes in their nursery such as Craig Alexander and Tom Danielson.

But enough with the glitzy wrapper and big marketing budgets.  Is this stuff worth the deductible to bring it home to your house?

I’ve used product such as chocolate milk, fluid recovery, muscle milk, gatorade recovery drinks and shakes, push endurance and now Core Power.  I’ve had a wide range of experience with each and all have their valid claims to being a great recovery drink option.

I tried out Core Power after swims, bike rides in 100 degree heat and 10 mile long runs.  With Core Power providing 6 samples of the 20g protein option, I had a variety of opportunities to try them out.  They sent me a sample of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry banana.

Will you get a huge boost of energy after drinking it?  If you spent any kind of energy on your workout and need immediate rebound from your energy deficit, then sorry.  No recovery drink will do that unless it’s pumped with sugar or caffeine, of which Core Power is not.  What you will get is a full feeling and ability to function at work after a morning or lunch workout.  The last thing you want to do is pass out at the day job that pays for your triathlon habits.  Core Power provided me with ample ability to stay at work and on task without a sudden overload of nervous energy that comes with “energy drinks”.

I would rather let my kids play with the chalk and not drink it.  That’s the big snag with a lot of recovery drinks/shakes that are pre-mixed and bottles.  I can’t tell you how many pre-packed recovery or protein drinks have that chalky taste like liquid antibiotics.  After trying the flavors, I will admit this was mildly the cash with vanilla and strawberry banana.  The chocolate was a lot less of an issue and was very tasty.  If I were a gambling man, then I would bet chocolate would work for most people.

Will you taste it for hours after you drink it?  It all depends.  If you don’t have anything to eat or drink after drinking Core Power, then yes.  As with anything, you will have an aftertaste.  Will it kill a rabid rhino in your office?  No.  The taste is there, but not potent.  Just have a tic tac and you’ll be fine.

Does it play well with the big boys?  Check out the nutrition info of the important ingredients.  As you will see when you compare to the other players, Core Power stacks up in a lot of categories with the big boys.  It’s also interesting to note that the 20g protein version has noticeably less calories if you are sensitive in your daily choleric intake.  If that’s not an issue to you, load up on the 26g of protein.  The point is that you have options with Core Power.

What’s this going to cost me?  You can get a 12 pack from Amazon for $42, and possibly qualify for free shipping.  You will pay the same for the gatorade recovery shake as well.  Core Power is again right in the mix with everyone else.  Not any real savings, but if you like what their selling, it won’t come at a premium.

Nice outfit.  Core Power has launched with a zest for the eye catching appeal.  The design of the containers and web site are current and user friendly.  They have an air of down home reality and working out of your basement mentality.  There is not very much corporate structure here, but very professional.

Bring the heat.  They have the firepower of one of the world’s best triathletes in this day and age.  Craig Alexander became the oldest triathlete to win Kona in 2011 and dominated by setting a new course record.  If he’s drinking and schilling for Core Power, how bad could it be, if at all?

Shaken, not stirred.  Personally, I’m not a fan most powders.  Some are exceptions to the rule, but if you don’t get the ratio right and you’re mixing with just water, bleh.  Core Power is a good alternative to powders as it comes already pre-mixed with actual dairy as one of the core ingredients.  That makes a huge difference in that watery wimpy taste versus a strong flavor with a thicker consistency than water.  Plus, no packing extra tubs of product, measuring devices, a water bottle or something to stir or shake it with.  With Core Power, just twist the top off and rip off the seal and guzzle.

Overall Core Power appears to be a strong contender in the recovery drink biz.  The packaging and approach eases any fears of a fly-by-night or backroom closet outfit.  Professionalism mixed with fun seems to be there approach in bringing value to the recovery industry.

If you have access to a store with Core Power (they are now distributed by Coca Cola), then I challenge you to pick some up and give it a whirl.  You won’t be out nutritional worth or any extra money compared to the other contenders.  You may just find your new BFF training partner.

*Writer’s note, Core Power provided samples for this review and in no way influenced the writer for a good or bad review.

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