Thursday, September 13, 2007

Accelerade: If you can't say something nice...

I guess the Accelerade people are trying to generate some internet buzz. They wrote me (and gosh knows how many other bloggers) saying basically "hey we've got a beverage, we'd like to to try it and maybe write about it." They said "we'll send you a one-month supply, 30 bottles. No charge." I thought, "I can drink a hell of a lot more than 30 bottles in a month" but that "no charge" line caught my attention and I said "sure."

So here's Accelerade's gimmick, it's got protein. Go to their website at:

http://www.accelerade.com/

and you can read all about how their drink is much better than a carb-only drink. How it's better for endurance, better for recovery, etc. You can read about how people who are faster than you or folks who run or ride farther love this stuff. And you may think, "Wow, that's some cool stuff."

So I got my case of the stuff, 30 bottles total in four different flavors: Fruit Punch, Mountain Berry, Peach Mango and Citrus Grapefruit. They even sent me an Accelerade t-shirt. Their marketing campaign was perfect. They just forgot one thing. One important thing.

Taste.

I try to practice the "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" principle but these folks sort of forced my hand. They sent me the stuff, they wanted me to talk about it.

If I stick to the "if you can't say something nice..." principle, this is going to be a short review. Now in theory you could make a carb+protein drink by taking something like a trout and running it through a blender with some orange juice. This would probably taste better than Accelerade.

I think the protein is the problem, it gives the drink a very nasty under & after taste. At first I thought it was just one flavor, so I tried them all. I'm tempted to say the Citrus Grapefruit is best, but that's not right. The Citrus Grapefruit is the least repulsive, but it's still bad.

I thought maybe it was just me, so I drafted my sons into the experiment. Their comments aren't printable here. My buddy Dave was willing to give the beverage a try. Dave is diplomatic. He took it home to try it.

I asked him about it the next day. "Did you try it?"

"Yep."

"You want any more bottles?"

"Nope."

I tried getting really, really thirsty and coming home to very cold Accelerade right out of the fridge. If I tried very hard, I could slam down about half a bottle before the taste kicked in.

On the plus side, the protein plus carbs thing seems to work. But there are many, many things I prefer to Accelerade when it comes to getting that protein. For example chocolate milk is just great. But what if somebody is lactose intolerant and can't drink chocolate milk? Wouldn't Accelerade be just the ticket for them? Sadly, no. Unless their lactose intolerance also killed their taste buds there still is that taste problem. And the protein in Accelerade comes from milk and the label on the bottle warns:

ALLERGEN INFORMATION: Contains milk.

Now maybe someone, somewhere likes this stuff. If that's you and you want to swing by Issaquah, I have 11 bottles of Accelerade for you. And please leave a comment telling me how wrong I am about Accelerade.

I was wrong in thinking that 30 bottles of Accelerade wouldn't last me a month. I gave the experiment 6 weeks, I tried giving it away to my kids and my friend Dave and I still have 11 bottles. For me, 30 bottles is a lifetime supply.

I did try to come up with a scenario where I'd voluntarily choose to drink Accelerade and I think I've come up with it. I imagine a super hot day. I've just ridden the Issaquah Alps 100K loop four times without taking a drink. I stagger home, open the fridge and see two bottles. One contains Accelerade and one contains goat urine. In that instance, I would slam down the Accelerade.

I'd save the goat urine to wash the taste of Accelerade out of my mouth.

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For another view of the various Accelerade flavors, see:

http://www.bevnet.com/reviews/accelerade/

(BTW, I have a feeling that if the Accelerade people read this review, they won't be sending me anymore free Accelerade. I'm OK with that.)
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