Friday, October 15, 2010

Orbana Drink Review

Some time ago I received an invitation (via Twitter, I think) to try out a sports/energy/recovery drink from the Mother Country, Jolly Old England. Often when I think of Britan, I think, not the Beatles. I think of The Sex Pistols, The Young Ones, and of course, Month Python. Other things, too, but that's good enough for now. To those of you too young to recall any of those references: you now have something interesting to do this weekend. Look them up. Ask people in their early 40's about them. Good times.
But back to Orbana.
I must admit, I frequently referred to this product as OrGANA. Whoops. Not any more, though. I promise. According to their website,
Orbana provides sustained energy without any artificial colours, sweeteners or stimulants.

 Well, I dunno about the no artifical colors part. Ok, that's not completely honest. The coloring is pretty mild, and I am sure that it can be found in nature. Probably a combination of an orange and a banana, an Orbana?, but I can't be sure. My sample came to me in a simple little foil packet. The instructions said to mix said packet with 250mL of water. Being the scientist-cooker that I am (not), I had to ask T where the measuring cup was and then put the water in one of my favourite bottles:
Don't know if you can see it, but the water doesn't come up the side of the bottle very far. So I poured in the pleasant smelling powder, and commenced to shaking. One would think that I was standing on the Shake-a-lator I was shaking it so well. I can assure you, though, it did NOT look like I was using one of these fine products. And if any of you EVER suspect that I am using one of them, PLEASE just lead me out into the woods and leave me there. Run. Run fast. Just.Leave.Me.

Huh? oh yes, Orbana. After shaking a bit and getting the usual strange looks from Tracey, it worked out to look like this.
Palatable, but still seemed a bit thicker and sweeter than i wanted to risk while out on a 10 mile trail run. So I filled the rest of the bottle with water and off I ran. Since it was a new product to me, I also took with me some water and some NUUN, just in case the Orbana didn't agree with me.
One of my goals for the run was to drink just enough to stay hydrated rather than drink a boat load of fluids and then pee it all out at the end. I kept sipping on the Orbana as I ran, about once every 15-20 minutes or so during the first part of the run. After I was almost done with the drink, I switched to water, then to NUUN, then back to the Orbana for the last 1/3 of the run.
I can tell you that I was very impressed with the taste, the lack of texture, and how it didn't upset my stomach at all. I had no cramps, no nausea, no shakes. None of that.
For me, this product ranks right up there with NUUN. It is sweet, I must say. The web page touts:
  "Orbana™ contains a unique blend of 'mixed GI' carbohydrates. Orbana is composed predominantly of complex carbohydrates (64% Maltodextrin) rather than simple sugars (36% Dextrose and Fructose). The high GI Dextrose gives an initial lift whilst the lower GI Maltodextrin prolongs your endurance without the spike and crash. This mixture does not upset the stomach, so it goes down easily and is readily digested."
"Sure, I'll try it....YUM"
I agree. I ran it by some of my other critics; my training Coach and my (sometimes) training partner. While he isn't always willing to train with me, he IS always willing to help me play guinea pig lab rat.
"there's no way i'm drinking that. i won't even look at it."

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