Friday, January 11, 2013

Review of @ScheckterEnergy Organic Energy drink

If you’re like a lot of triathletes out there, New Year’s Eve was spent recovering from running around chasing the kids for the holidays and managing some sort of semblance of a training schedule while dashing around visiting family, friends and holiday parties.

How does a busy triathlete ring in the New Year? Not with a bottle of champagne, wine or even a beer, but with a protein shake and energy drink, but of course! What better way to work off the holiday calories and start the new year right than hitting some energy drink and running, biking or swimming into 2013?

But wait, energy drink and health don’t really go together, right? Let’s face it, Red Bull, Monster Energy and the like are loaded with sugar and caffeine and do not really support a healthy lifestyle. You may get that initial sugar buzz, but you will crash. Most respected triathletes would be caught dead before they toted Red Bull on the water bottle or Monster Energy in their hydration belt on the run. Most of you are probably thinking Gatorade, GU Brew or HDX Hydration mix for your workout hydration.

For those of you needing that kick to get going, perhaps not necessarily for your workout, but rather post AM workout, there’s a product to fit your needs. Scheckter’s Organic Energy (SOE) boasts having all the energy you need without all the chemicals you don’t need. They claim they “are dedicated to creating a great tasting energy drink, made with 100% natural, organic and FairTrade ingredients. That means a great tasting energy drink that has no artificial ingredients.”

We’ll be the judge of that!

After trying a few samples over time comparing to your 5 Hour Energy, diet soda or coffee, the results are in, so check out the findings of the triathlon world’s crack team of review scientists.

Hippies have got to love Scheckter’s! Not trying to be rude here, but SOE has placed all over their web site about being organic and a part of the FairTrade system. FairTrade requires companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price). FairTrade supposedly “addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.” What tree-hugger doesn’t love organic ingredients and a system to help the little guys? In seriousness, it’s reassuring to see good faith acts to help those in smaller market shares succeed while providing a product with less harmful chemicals of which we know are harmful or are ignorant about the long term effects. See the photo of the ingredients that SOE uses for their drink.

Tastes great, less filling. SOE won best taste gold in 2011. As far as energy drinks go, it more akin to apple juice or a fruit juice. From the few times trying other energy drinks, SOE doesn't need to be taken like a shot to avoid the anguish of choking down an unfavorable tasting concoction. It was actually ok to sip and not slam all at once. That also allows the energy effect to take hold gradually as opposed to overwhelming your senses. There was also an absence of a strong aftertaste. All in all there was nothing but positive reports about taste when it came to SOE.

Up and down rides only belong on a roller coaster. After trying out the likes of Red Bull (oh those college days were so fun) and 5 Hour Energy, consumers might be leary of that sugar rush, jittery and racing heart condition that ensues. Then, as fast as it comes on, that rush leaves and you are toast. Might as well drag a bed along to crash on after your energy drink has worn off. With Scheckters, it’s not really noticeable when it kicks in. You might even wonder if the “energy” rush will even kick in. But, with a subtle hint of concentration and newfound motivation, SOE has taken hold and propelled you along your way. A few hours after consumption and you are still going strong, maybe not as with much tenacity, but you won’t go limp and need an adrenaline shot to get up from your chair.

What’s the cost? For the sake of a controlled platform for cost comparisons, using, consumers can expect to find a case of 24-8.4 Oz cans of SOE for $2.20 a can. It’s not readily available in the states in stores like Red Bull and others, so you will have to hit a 3rd party site to order. From Amazon you will also find a case of sugar free Red Bull 8.4 Oz cans for $1.50 per can. If you want regular, expect to pay around $4.58 a can. Monster comes in at $1.49 per can for 8.3 Oz cans. Prices do not include shipping. For the same amount of kick and calories, SOE is near competitive or cheaper than it’s rivals in the energy drink biz.

SOE seems to be pretty simple and straightforward on the ingredients. Their site lists 9 main ingredients for those that do not like to guzzle chemistry experiments. But, if you check out Red Bull’s site, they have 6. Monster has 8 ingredients, but has been investigated for deaths related to their drinks (yikes). In the grand scheme, SOE is on the same playing field as far as the list of ingredients. They may use some different, more naturally occurring substances, but they are no more simpler than the next energy brew.

Style points are always a plus. Scheckter Organic Energy has style. Their web site is appealing and their packaging is professional. You get the impression they are a business based on good products and best practices for marketing, rather than a guy shipping stuff from his garage.

SOE might not be the best option for your hydration on your Olympic triathlon, but if you need a boost for a 5 mile TT ride or 5k, it might be your trick. Or, maybe you need a kick to get the work day going after that 4am BRIK workout. If you are in the habit of sucking down pop, diet pop and/or coffee to get you from alarm to bedtime, then SOE might be your friend as well. It’s effects are subtle as not to freak out your executives at a board meeting from your over-jitteriness, but can provide just enough focus to get you to your pillow and wake up the next day to do it all over again.

*Writer’s note, Scheckter provided samples at no cost for this review and in no way influenced this review.
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