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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > R W Knudsen Recharge Sports Drink > Test Report by Gail Staisil

R.W. Knudsen
Recharge Sports Beverage Mix

Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Page Contents (Two-report series):

Initial Report:author
Sept 4, 2011

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 59
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 145 lb (66 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 19 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

Knudsen & Sons, Inc
Product Recharge Flavored Sports Beverage Mix
Grape, Tropical, Lemon and Orange
Manufacturer  Weight  0.14 oz (4 g) each powdered pack, net wt for 8 packs - 1.12 oz (32 g)
Tested Weight  1.1 oz/31.18 g (for all 8 packets without box) Note: My scale wouldn't calculate only 1 packet.

Initial Impressions and ProducKnudsen Sports Mix in all flavorst Description 

The R.W. Knudsen Recharge Flavored Sports Beverage Mix arrived with no issues. Four flavors of mix were included. Each small box included 8 powdered mix packets of one flavor (8 X 4 = 32 packets total). The separate boxes contained grape, tropical, orange and lemon flavors.

The Recharge sports mix is marketed as a flavored sports beverage mix with electrolytes added. The all natural product has no added sugar, preservatives or artificial color.

The general purpose sweetener used is called Rebiana. It is derived from the leaf of the stevia plant using a highly refined process. The US FDA (Food Drug Administration) approved the sweetener in 2008 as a general purpose sweetener. The sports mix is naturally gluten-free.

Nutrition Facts for All Flavors
Serving Size: 8 fl oz (240 ml), Amount Per Serving (1 packet makes 2 servings)
% of Daily Value*
Total Fat  0g
Sodium 30 mg
Potassium 50 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars <1 g

Protein 0 g

Vitamin C 10%, Niacin 10%, Vitamin B12 10%, Zinc 4%, Calcium 2%, Vitamin B6 10%, Chromium 4 %, Pantothenic Acid 10%, Vitamin A 2%, Not a significant source of other nutrients. *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

The ingredients list for all flavors is the same with the exception of the first ingredient. The grape flavor contains grape juice concentrate, the orange flavor contains orange juice concentrate, the lemon flavor contains lemon juice concentrate and the tropical flavor contains pineapple juice concentrate.

The remaining ingredients for all flavors are: Maltodextrin, natural flavors, gum acacia, citric acid, malic acid, tripotassium citrate monohydrate, sea salt, tricalcium phosphate, Rebiana, absorbic acid (Vitamin C), zinc picolinate, niacinamide (niacin), D-calcium pantothenate, (pantothenic acid), pyridoxine hydrochoride (Vitamin B6), cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), chromium polynicotinate.

Trying It Out:
Box with 8 individual packets
The mixing instructions for the drink mix are located on the side of the small boxes that they come in. The first step is to take a sip from a 16.9 oz (0.5 L) bottle of water. I assume this is for those who buy a fresh bottle of water and don't fill a bottle themselves. This leaves room to add the drink mix. Having used a variety of drink mixes before I knew that the same thing can be accomplished by not filling a reusable bottle to the brim. That said, I complied.

The second step was to empty the contents of 1 pack of Recharge into the water. Each packet already has a perforated tear strip so this was easily accomplished. The powder mix poured easily into my container with no mess.

The third step is to replace the cap and shake until the powder dissolves. At first the powder didn't immediately dissolve but looked rather suspended. After a minute or so it was completely dissolved and ready to drink.

I tried the grape flavor at home and was pleased with the gentle but fruity taste. I detected no aftertaste from the sweetener.

Usually I don't drink water with mixes added while just at home so I was intent upon getting out in the field. I quickly packed for a short 3-day backpacking trip where I would get my first field results. 

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Long Term Report:
December 4, 2011

USA Locations and Conditions

During the whole test period, I have used the R.W. Knudsen Recharge Sports Mix during three backpacking trips totaling 19 days. In addition, I have used it for other endurance activities. Location of the backcountry trips was in Michigan and ranged from lakeshore and islands to hilly deciduous or boreal forest, and open non-deciduous communities. Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2000 ft (610 m).

Early September Backpacking Trip

Location: Grand Island National Recreation Area
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 12 mi (19 km)
Length of Trip: 2.5 days/2 nights
Pack Weight: 18 lb (8 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny, cloudy, little rain
Precipitation: 0.10 in (0.25 cm)
Temperature Range: 60 F to 85 F (15 C to 29 C)

September Backpacking Trip

Location: Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 112.5 mi (181 km)
Length of Trip: 13 days/13 nights 
Pack Weight: 34 lb (15 kg) with 2 qt/1.89 L water for first part of trip, approximately 36 lb (16 kg) with 2 qt/1.89 L water after I secured food drop for second part of trip
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, sun, rain, fog and heavy frost 
Precipitation: 1.11 in (2.82 cm)
Temperature Range: 25 F to 86 F (-4 C to 30 C)

November Backpacking Trip

Location: Beaver Basin Wilderness and the Fox River Pathway
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 28 mi (45 km)
Length of Trip: 3 days/2 nights
Pack Weight: Approx. 30 lb (13.6 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sun, cloudy, rain, and snow 
Precipitation: 1.34 in (3.40 cm) rain/snow
Temperature Range: 27 F to 55 F (-3 C ti 13 C) 

Day Hiking, Trail Running, Mt Biking and More

Location: Various trails and bushwhacks in Houghton and Marquette Counties in Michigan, Sheboygan and Fond du Lac Counties in Wisconsin, USA
 Distance: Normally 5 -15 mi (8 - 24 km)

Performance in the Field
Recharge Sports Mix at Isle Royale National Park
During the entire test period I got to experience a variety of weather conditions. I normally drink some type of electrolyte mix when faced with endurance feats as well as during hot weather. Some of my trips included both. I can honestly say that the Recharge Sports Mix was a pleasure to drink. I have been discouraged by many other electrolyte products on the market and had been forcing them down only because I thought they might help me. In addition I could only drink other mixes at half strength because the taste was not to my liking.

The Recharge Mix is very natural tasting without any aftertaste and I had no problem using it at full strength. My usual scenario during long backpacks is to drink plain water in one of my containers and drink a sports mix from the other. My favorite flavor was grape but I actually enjoyed the other flavors as well. The taste is very satisfying and it helped me to drink more often.

During one especially cold and damp evening at Isle Royale National Park, I couldn't warm up. I decided to try the lemon flavor mix with hot water. It was outstanding and I will certainly do that often. I always have trouble finding a hot drink that I can enjoy as I have never drank coffee and I really don't like tea. The usual alternatives are not natural and have too much sugar.

When handling the individual packets, I found that if I rip the tear off strip slowly that I can retain the corner piece still attached to the individual packet (note this in the picture at right). That made it easier to dispose of in my trail garbage bag (zip bag). On a similar note I might add that I was thrilled with the fact that the packets poured easily into my small-mouth hydration bags with no spillage of powder.

Although it is hard to qualify if the Recharge Mix helped my performance I sure felt great after a long day. My longest day on the trail during a backpack trip was at 15.2 miles (24.5 km). Two of my back country trips started off with hot weather plus high humidity. Of course the beginning of those trips also meant I was carrying my fully-weighted backpack. Those types of days are sometimes a struggle for me energy-wise but I felt great and not fatigued. Maybe the difference could have been the Recharge Sports Mix that I was consuming.

I also used the Recharge Mix during a few of my longer day treks while bicycling, running or hiking (I normally don't drink anything other than water on shorter treks). I found it to be very refreshing.
Now my biggest challenge is trying to find the Knudsen Sports Mix locally. I looked for local distributors but found none for the product itself. I will ask my local food coop if they can order it for me as they do carry a few other R.W. Knudsen products.

In conclusion, testing the Recharge Sports Mix was a highlight for me! I finally found a mix that I enjoy drinking plus it has the electrolytes and natural flavor and taste that I enjoy.

  • Electrolytes and vitamins
  • No sugar added
  • Low calorie
  • Tastes good
  • Easy to use
  •  Trying to find it locally

Tester Remarks 

Thanks to R.W. Knudsen and BackpackGearTest for this opportunity to test the Recharge Sports Mix. This concludes my Long Term Report and the test series. 

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Read more gear reviews by Gail Staisil

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > R W Knudsen Recharge Sports Drink > Test Report by Gail Staisil

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