LUNA SPORT RECOVERY SMOOTHIE
TEST SERIES BY AMANDA TIKKANEN
May 27, 2008
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT
Southeast Indiana, USA
5' 4" (1.63 m)
145 lb (65.80 kg)
I have been hiking and backpacking since the spring of 2000 throughout Michigan and Indiana, covering several hundred miles, always with a dog by my side. Beau, my second trail dog, has been happily carrying a pack since 2002. My style of backpacking is moving from overnights to long distance hiking, including multi-day trips. Even though I have Beau with me, I'm usually the solo human on the trek, so I like to go as light as possible while still being comfortable. I document our adventures and misadventures on my website, www.uberpest.com
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Clif Bar & Co.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: www.lunabar.com
Listed Weight: 1.28 oz (36 g)
Measured Weight: 1.28 oz (36 g)
Flavors: Strawberry Banana & Dark Chocolate
The Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie comes in small papery packets. The material is shiny on the edges and has nutritional information on the back.
The literature enclosed with the Smoothie states "Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie is the first women's organic sports drink. [it has] just the right amount of carbs to fuel a woman's workout and keep her hydrated during activity." It adds there are "only 80 calories per 16 ounce serving."
The enclosed literature states the smoothie mix is USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) certified 55% Organic. On the back of the Dark Chocolate smoothie the label states the mix contains 58% organic ingredients, while the Strawberry Banana mix is 56% organic.
TRYING IT OUT
As there is a small supply of the product I am only commenting on the instructions and packaging in my initial report, and will comment on taste in the field report of this test.
Unlike most of my test plans, my little buddy will not be helping me with this one. I will be eating the product as I would any sport supplement (sports drink, energy bar, protein bar, trail mix). For me this means pretty much just following the label. I'll report back on how this helps me maintain my energy during a hike, if indeed it does help.
Ever since I was in a cast and then brace last winter I have been having insane muscle cramps in my legs (possibly due to the atrophy, I'm still not sure). They have been better in recent months, but I can definitely tell if I've been pushing myself on the trail. I will see if I notice a difference in muscle fatigue and cramping while testing the drink. I will also be reporting on taste (doesn't matter if it works well if it tastes like Bantha fodder or something equally awful), the packaging, instructions, and anything else that comes up during the test phase.
The labeling states the smoothie mix can be mixed with cold water or with soy or skim milk for added protein and calcium. I will try each flavor each way. Since I enjoy hot drinks when I come off the trail I may also try the smoothie hot.
It is still winter here in Indiana, and will be for the duration of this test cycle. Temperatures are expected to be 20-50 F (-6.5-10 C). Precipitation may be snow, sleet, or rain. The terrain will be gently rolling to steep hills.
I look forward to testing the Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie. Please check back in approximately 3 months for my Field Report.
I thank Clif/Luna and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test the Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
After my initial report I recieved a larger supply of Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie to test. I recieved an additional 4 packets of each flavor giving me a grand total of 12 packets to test (6 of each flavor).
I consumed the Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie over the past 4 months on 6 day hikes, as well as as on 5 afternoon bicycle workouts in Southeastern Indiana. Temperatures were 50-70 F (10-21 C). Weather was mostly dry with a couple of the day hikes finishing with scattered rain drops. Most of the terrain I encountered was hilly. I hiked on natural trails and rode by bike on pavement.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
While hiking I carried the Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie in my lumbar pack or in the top pocket of my day pack. While biking I carried them in my jacket pocket. I consumed the Recovery Smoothie in addition to the Luna Sport Moons and Electrolyte Splash.
The packages were small enough that they didn't take up a noticable space in my pack. The plasticy paper of the packaging was very tough and hard to tear. I had to use the scissors on my multi tool to open the packages. I would like to say this is a bad thing, however even when banged around against other items in my pack the packaging never sprung a leak.
To use the product I emptied a package into a 16 oz (470 mL) bottle of water, as directed, and shook the bottle. I also tried mixing it with either 1% lowfat milk, soy milk, or with water in a glass, but eventually the results were the same. The powder did not dissolve well and usually left clumps of unmixed powder floating on the surface of the liquid and whitish chunks at the bottom.
The main issue I found with the Recovery Smoothie is that while the Electrolyte Splash is designed to be mixed up with 16 oz (470 mL) of water, the Recovery Smoothie requires half that amount of liquid. Despite reading the instructions I goofed the first time I mixed it up and made a very weak Smoothie. It didn't taste bad that way, but it also wasn't very good.
When consuming the Recovery Smoothie I never noticed a change in energy levels that was obviously from the drink-- that is, no noticable bump from a sugar rush. This was likely because when I did drink the beverage I sipped a small amount at a time rather than gulping down an entire batch at once. After I completed my workout I noticed my recovery time was much better than when I consume little or no snacks and plain water. I definitely didn't have as much muscle fatigue and cramping and I did seem to bounce back a little faster than normal. On occassion I'd still get twinges in my calves and thighs, but not the hard cramps ("Charlie Horses") that I've become used to.
The flavors were decent to me. The strawberry-banana was the better of the two, which was strange to me since I am a cholocate addict. The chocolate smoothie had an almost stale aftertaste that I still can't quite place. When mixed with warm milk the chocolate flavor was better to me than the strawberry-banana, much like a hot chocoloate.
I will likely use this product again in the future because, despite the tough packaging, it is a useful way to get extra calories after expending a lot of energy.
The Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie is a tasty way to help recuperate after exercising.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
I thank Luna Sport and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie.
Read more gear reviews by Amanda Tikkanen