Published on March 9, 2016
Upbeat is, say the makers, a ‘protein drink, but not as you know it.’ So, what do we know and what makes Upbeat different?
Some (very) basics: Protein is something that we all require in our diet, however we chose to consume it – eggs, milk, meat, nuts… The body breaks down protein to create the amino acids we require and, as runners, we tend to think of the benefits in terms of muscle growth and repair. Plenty of other reasons why we require ample protein, but the growth and repair cycle is really key to those looking to maintain an active lifestyle. In the UK the advice is to consume 0.75g of protein daily for each kilogram of body weight – as an average guide that’s 55g for men and slightly less, at 45g, for women.
Upbeat – available in four flavours, more of which below – delivers a really respectable 20g of protein per 250ml bottle; by way of comparison an egg serves up around 6g and the average 170g pot of Greek-style yogurt would give you 10g. Whey protein from British milk is used in Upbeat and, unlike some fruit smoothies, it’s relatively low in calories, at around 150kcal, and fat with 1.9g (1.2g saturates) per bottle. The only sugars included are those naturally occurring in the milk and fruit, although artificial sweetener sucralose (E955) is added. There are claims that sucralose can be a migraine trigger, so those prone to such things may be best to avoid.
When it comes to taste Upbeat impressed us. Of the four available flavours – Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry, Mango and Passion Fruit, and Chocolate and Orange – RunningMonkey tried all but the latter. Strawberry worked best for us with a good sweet/sharp balance, whilst we found the Blueberry and Raspberry to have a slightly musty smell and taste. Down to personal preference of course and the range is just wide enough that you’re likely to find one you really like.
Then there’s the price. Protein drinks are notoriously costly with Upbeat coming in more-or-less midrange at £1.75 from most stockists (including Tesco and Waitrose.) Those that already justify such a cost to themselves are likely to find much to like about Upbeat, it’s well-balanced, low-fat and delivers a good, clean taste. The only real downside we see as a recovery drink is that, being milk-based, it needs to be kept refrigerated, limiting any go-anywhere credentials.
If you’re still unconvinced Upbeat offer a money back satisfaction guarantee and there’s also the opportunity to get your hands on a free sample via their website here.
Full details, including retail locator, at feelingupbeat.com