Monday, April 13, 2009

Vive la Verve!

The energy drink enigma has intrigued me for a while. Most are loaded with sugar and caffeine. Some of top-of-mind brands are Red Bull, Full Throttle, and AMP Energy. When they first appeared on the market, I figured they were a novelty item that would make some business man a lot of quick money and then the drinks would disappear as fast as they appeared. Kind of like the McRib sandwich...doesn't taste very good, but everybody wants one when it's put back on the menu, then "poof!" it's gone. But, I was wrong. Looks like energy drinks are here to stay and seems like everyone is trying to get a part of the action. Hooters even has an energy drink - Power Trip! Well, just like most things these days, there's good and bad and as a discerning shopper, you have to weed through the offerings to find the good stuff.

There's been a lot in the news lately about the dangers of energy drinks, especially for our youth. So my ears perked up when a Twitter friend of mine, Ryan Bittorf (Tweeter name: SanDiegoFitness) told me about a new energy drink, Verve!, that's loaded with "healthy energy." I was a little skeptical, so I asked him to send me a sample. I'm a diet soda fanatic, so I asked him to send me the sugar free version. While I was waiting for it to arrive, I did a little research and man was he right! Verve! is packed with an entire host of vitamins and minerals for a natural energy boost. The chart below shows you just how Verve! (sugar free) stacks up against Red Bull (sugar-free).

Looks like both drinks provide a boost, but Verve! provides a whole host of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In addition to what's listed in the chart, Verve! also contains a proprietary mangosteen, organic glyconutrient rich aloe vera and organic green tea blend: Reconstituted Mangosteen Juice (Garcinia mangostana L.)(fruit), Aloe Vera Gel (leaf), Green Tea (leaf) (decaffeinated), Mangosteen Extract (pericarp) (standardized 10% xanthones) and a proprietary plant-sourced mineral blend: Carbon (Organic), Calcium, Sodium, Sulfur, Magnesium, Chloride, Bromide, Fluoride, Iodine, Potassium, Niobium, Aluminum, Iron, Phosphorus, Silica, Manganese, Boron, Strontium, Titanium, Tungsten, Copper, Zinc, Tin, Zirconium, Molybdenum, Vanadium, Chromium, Selenium, Nickel, Cobalt, Lithium, Gallium, Barium, Yttrium, Neodymium, Hafnium, Cadmium, Thorium, Antimony, Cerium, Tellurium, Beryllium, Samarium, Dysprosium, Erbium, Bismuth, Gadolinium, Cesium, Lanthanum, Praseodymium, Europium, Lutetium, Terbium, Ytterbium, Holmium, Thallium, Thulium, Tantalum, Germanium, Gold, Platinum, Rhodium, Rubidium, Ruthenium, Scandium, Silver, Indium.

I downed my sample before my regular Saturday long run. I normally have a cup of coffee, but this time I decided to try the Verve! It had a nice taste. It kind of reminded me of a sparkling orange drink. Not overly sweet, but I could tell it was heartier than just sugar and carbonated water. I definintely noticed a nice boost during my run. The one benefit of the sugar-free energy drink was that I never experienced that sluggish feeling I get when coming down from the sugar rush that I usually experience with full-leaded energy drinks. All-in-all I was very pleased with the taste and the energy boost that the Verve! (surgar free) energy drink provided me.
If you're looking for the added jolt to get the most out of your run, you might as well be putting good stuff in your body, not just caffeine. The only drawback is you won't find Verve! in your local convenient store; you have to order it online. Also, if you already take a lot of supplements, you need to make sure you're not overdoing when using Verve. Check out the Fox News clip on Verve! below.

For more scoop on the energy drink market as a whole, check out this clip from CBS News.


Unknown said...

Have you heard any comments about those 5 hour energy small bottle drinks? Lance Armstrong promotes a brand.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Lindsay! No I haven't tried those yet. I think it's called FRS Healthy Energy. I keep seeing the ads for them. I'll try to get my hands on some samples and test it out.

SuperDave said...

Thanks for stopping by!
I often wonder how people get to my uneducated, windbag, boring, noob runner website. It must be because I'm so charming. haha
You are defintely much more accomplished than I am @ running.
Good info on your site.
I can see you survived Chicago 2007 - phew... only a few did.

RunnerDude said...

Hey SuperDave! You have a great blog. Have enjoyed reading it. You know being an accomplished runner is all relative. You are definitely an accomplished runner!

Janice {Run Far} said...

I am a big Diet Soda drinker and I know I should stop, but I just don't want to. I want to give these a try. Where can we find them?

Thanks for your comment on my blog... I kind of had the same thought... a bad taper 12 miler is not all that bad in the scheme of things and I thought that just maybe it meant I would have a good race. I haven't trained like I should, you know, for speed and all that, but I just want to finish under 4 hrs.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Janice! Don't give up the Diet Coke. You gotta have one vice and you could choose things that are a lot worse. LOL! Looks like for now you have to order the Verve! online. Seems like that's the route that the healthy versions are goin. Lance Armstrong is endorsing a healthy eneryg drink called FRS Healthy Energy You can get a free sample at their website. For Verve, go to

X-Country2 said...

Thanks for swinging by my blog! I've heard about those energy drinks, but they make me nervous. Everyone figured those ephedrine pills were a good idea once too. You know, people's hearts started exloding. :o)

RunnerDude said...

Hey X-Country2! Yep, Know what you mean. Some are really loaded with the caffeine, but the ones that are not much more than coffee, I guess are okay. My coffee buzz before my morning run seems to do the trick for me. I do kind of like the idea of a "healthy" drink. Although, I make my own smooties and that's pretty much what those are although I don't put in all those exotic ingredients. Probably not needed anyway.

Cindy said...

I didn't like the after taste :(
I overheard the track coach call these drinks cancer in a can. Maybe that had something to do with it.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Cindy! The aftertaste wasn't too bad for me, but you know, in general I don't really care for the taste of energy drinks. I think it may be that I'm expecting soda, or it might be the $1.99 to $3.99 that I've just shelled out. LOL! But,if you're gonna drink one, at least this one had some good stuff in it. Lance Armstrong has a healty enegry drink on the market too - FRS Healthy Energy