Published on September 18, 2013
Orbana Healthy Energy
There has been a noticeable buzz around Orbana Healthy Energy drink since its launch and RunningMonkey – never able to ignore a ‘buzz’ – opened a packet and hit the streets to find out more…
Because Orbana comes powdered in either individual-serving 50g sachets or 800g (16 serving) tubs there is a shelf-life advantage to be had along with the lack of need for artificial preservatives and the ability to mix to taste (250ml is the starting recommendation). We found it mixed quickly and didn’t clump at the bottom of the bottle and because there’s no real fizz to it there was no build up of gas waiting to shoot us in the eye when we opened up for a drink. Whilst advertised as being ‘orange, lemon and pineapple’, is probably better described as ‘generic sport fruit flavour’, it doesn’t taste bad, just slightly unusual and with a musty smell that makes it best not to take a deep inhalation pre-drink.
And how does it stack up nutritionally? The approach to energy delivery is certainly to be impressive; the 185kcal provided by each packet is split between low and high GI carbohydrates (meaning the release of energy is staged rather than being ‘dumped’ into the body, thus avoiding spikes in performance, followed by those dreaded ‘sugar crashes’). To achieve this smoother result Orbana delivers 36% of its energy via high GI ‘simple sugars’ (a blend of dextrose and fructose) for that initial power kick; backed up by the remaining 64% coming from the much lower GI starch-based maltodextrin for more sustained energy that continues to deliver long after the dextrose/fructose has done its job.
For good measure Orbana includes antioxidants in the form of vitamins C and E (200% and 25% of your RDA respectively), plus various amino acids – including muscle-strengthening creatine – and a range of B vitamins to help energy conversion.
Maintaining a good balance of minerals and electrolytes, which are otherwise lost through sweating, is critical to run performance as drops in sodium, zinc and potassium can quickly lead to cramps and fatigued muscles. Orbana measures up well against standard hydration drinks (and bests a number of regular sports drinks) in this department so you don’t need to consider separate isotonic drinks and all the fuss and extra bottles that can entail.
Overall RunningMonkey may not have especially enjoyed the taste, but the energy delivery and addition of electrolytes impressed us greatly. Orbana Healthy Energy retails at: 6x50g sachets £12.96, 16x50g sachets £34.56 or 800g tub (16 servings) £30.00 – full details and online purchase at orbana.co.uk