LUNA SPORT RECOVERY SMOOTHIE
TEST SERIES BY JENNIFER JOY
April 28, 2008
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
bikerjen AT gmail DOT com
Austin, Texas, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
135 lb (61.20 kg)
I have been camping and hiking since I was a small child. I have been
trying to lighten my pack which currently runs around 26 lb (12 kg)
for a 3-4 day trip. My backpacking trips tend to be over a weekend or
day hikes. Multi-week hiking is a long-term goal. I could be
considered an intermediate backpacker but an experienced camper.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Clif Bar & Co.
|LUNA Recovery Smoothie (Photo from manufacture's website)|
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: www.lunabar.com
Listed Weight: 1.28 oz (36 g) per packet
Measured Weight: 1.4 oz (40 g)
Other details: 6 x 2.75 in (15 x 7 cm) packet
LUNA Sport Smoothies are available in two flavors:
* Dark Chocolate
* Strawberry Banana
This product is designed to help the body recover after exercise. It has 21g of carbohydrate and 8g of whey protein (which helps with carbohydrate uptake) in a single serving. Both products have the same nutritional information.
|Supplement Facts (from manufacturer's website)|
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
LUNA Sport Recovery Smoothie is designed to be used after finishing exercise. This takes advantage of a 30 minute window available for maximum absorption of carbohydrate according to the website FAQ. Additionally the Smoothie can be consumed any time more protein is desired. The instructions are simply to mix the contents of the packet with 8 oz (237 ml) of cold water. It also says milk or soy milk can be added to boost protein and calcium intake.
TRYING IT OUT
I received two packets of each flavor. Since there is very little product available for this test, no product was tried before the Initial Report.
The testing will primarily be in Texas where temperatures will be quite varied. I expect seasonal variations with average highs starting at 60 F (16 C) and rising about 10 degrees F (6 C) per month until we reach a high of 80 F (17 C) for January - March. Likewise the lows will start around 40 F (4 C) and rise to 60 F (16 C) over the test period. Below freezing temperatures will also be expected. In general, weather has very little to do with a food product although water temperatures can affect how well a product mixes and how it tastes.
In the next few weeks I will use the Recovery Smoothie after exercise (cycling, working out at the gym, day hikes) and as an afternoon snack. Testing will examine:
-Is the packaging easy to use and to dispose of?
-Are the instructions clear?
-Does it mix easily?
-Does it taste ok in cold water and in warm water?
-Is it hard to clean out a bottle after using it?
-Does the product perform its advertised task (recovery)?
-How is the taste and texture?
The instructions specify mixing with cold water, but I will also try room temperature and warmer water because cold water is not always available after a workout or hike. I will also try the product with milk and soy milk instead of water.
A FINAL NOTE
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be appended to this report in approximately three months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
Thank you to BackpackGearTest and Clif Bar & Co. for the opportunity to test the LUNA Sport Recovery Smoothie.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
As I stated in the Initial Report the goal was to use the product while cycling, at the gym and on day hikes.
I found that the weather conditions had very little impact on the product except that it influenced the water temperature by affecting how quickly the water would turn from cold to room temperature to even a little warm. All testing took place in Texas from January - April.
Temperatures while cycling ranged from 40 F (4 C) to 80 F (17 C). Since it is still early in the year the temperatures were pleasant and not too hot. The gym was approximately 70 F (21 C) and the day hikes were in the 70s F (21 - 26 C).
The gym use was approximately one hour (2 times). The hikes were 1 - 2 hours in length (3 times) and the cycling trips were 1.5 - 3 hours (6 times). The drink was consumed 15-30 minutes after exercise was complete.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The initial shipment from Luna was supplemented with more product. I received an additional 4 packages of Strawberry Banana and 3 of the Dark Chocolate which brought the total of drink mix packets to 6 of Strawberry Banana and 5 Dark Chocolate.
The Recovery Smoothie came in a foil-type envelope with small cut marks on either side for tearing off the top. The cuts were well defined and I had no trouble opening the pouch. The packages are extremely tough and never got damaged despite some rough handling inside my bags.
I have found drink flavors to be greatly impacted by the temperature of the water used to mix the drink. In general, I prefer mixes in cold water, but cold water is seldom available in Texas temperatures.
The instructions recommend mixing with 8 oz (.237 ml) of water. I found that the mixes are hard to blend in a glass with a spoon but blend quite nicely when put into a bike bottle and shaken vigorously. They get slightly frothy on the top when shaken. Occasionally I would get chunks of product that didn't blend but shaking the bottle with the remaining liquid would take care of the problem adequately.
I learned that I need to rinse a bottle fairly soon after use because the mixture got pretty gross in a hurry (especially if left in a hot car) and if there were any remnants of the product I needed to get them out before they stuck.
I have to preface this by saying I do not really like banana flavored anything very much. So it was not much of a surprise to find this was not my favorite flavor. It is ok in cold water, better with cold milk and really not to my liking in warm water.
I liked this flavor. It had a slightly chalky taste, but overall it was good. Again, like the other flavor, it was best in cold milk, good with cold water and not too bad with warm water.
The packets are small and portable. They are easy to take along on the trail or in a bag. The empties roll up fairly compactly. If care is taken, they can be opened without any tools. I do not think they pack enough calories to be worth the space on a long backpacking trip, but for day hikes or a shorter trip, they provide some needed carbohydrates and protein and are easy enough to bring along or leave in the car for later. It is nice to have a drink to mix up instead of having to keep something cold in the car.
Having a recovery drink after any sort of workout improved my performance the next day and kept me from being too hungry while waiting for my next meal. As consumed as a replacement for other products I normally use after a hard ride, I seemed to have the same performance with no negative impact. I found this product to be suitable for a recovery drink and I liked that it only had 120 calories.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Luna Sport has provided two drink mixes with good flavor. The calorie count is very reasonable without resorting to artificial sweeteners. I have to admit I feel some guilt over the packaging (while very minimal) required for individual use portions. They are convenient but using recyclable canisters would be what I would generally prefer to use. Luckily, canister packaging is also available for these products.
The dark chocolate flavor
Light calorie count
Effectiveness of the product
Disposing of packaging
I would like to thank Luna Sport and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test the Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie.
Read more gear reviews by Jennifer Joy