A few weeks ago, I was invited by Ali at Juiven8 drinks to sample some of her brand-spanking new recipe protein juice drinks. I was well pleased - I'm at best extremely fussy about my protein sources, they have to taste right, smell right and be easy for me to access; so I was excited about the opportunity to try something. As you well know by now, I'm vegetarian. I'm not just vegetarian, I'm extremely lazy with my food so I turn into a bit of a carb fiend out of ease of use - the opportunity to try something new, non-animal flesh based and tasty was too good to pass up!
The deal was set and all I had to do was wait for my parcel of drinks. They came on the last day of the OFSTED inspection, like a little gift waiting for me...the box was bigger than I expected it to be - I thought I would be trialing sachets of drinks so I was super excited when a box was delivered to my office. It even gave me a problem solving opportunity of how to get them home when I'd walked in, having completely forgotten it was delivery day...
In my eagerness to try them all out AND get to pole I didn't take any photos of the beautifully wrapped parcel, the lovely cooler they'd come in or the mango flavoured drinks.
Juiven8 currently comes in two flavours: Blackcurrant and Acai, and Pineapple and Mango. Sounded nice. Both flavours are made with coconut water and both flavours are packed with all sorts of goodies - just taking a look at the ingredients list you can see there's all sorts of stuff that is good for you, with very little sugar or added anythings!
Anyway, having investigated the carton, the packaging and the lovely letter that came addressed to me it all looked lovely. Time to actually drink some - the outside packaging was perfect, the ingredients were well thought out and well balanced....but how did it taste?
After a few gulps: "Yes, I think this will work".
The juice drinks are quite thick, a touch off of smoothie consistency and because there is real fruit in it, naturally, there is bits of fruit in it.
The taste is something you've probably not quite experienced before. It's sweet and there's no covering the taste of protein drink, but there's an edge with the use of the berries and it's all just nicely balanced - not too sweet, not too protein-ey (yes, it's a word) and not too bitter from the berries.
I had the opportunity to taste both of the new flavours: mango & pineapple VS blackcurrant & acai.
Sweetness: The drinks were sweet enough to be pleasant, but not that artificially over-sweet you find with a lot of shakes. The blackcurrant was slightly more berry-bitter (which won out for me in terms of taste) and the mango was very mango style - thick and sweet.
Gulpability: I didn't find these drinks were the type of drink you'd want to just gulp down. I tend to find with protein shakes that I act with an "ugh, I HAVE to do this so I'm going to do it quick", but these drinks were just perfect to have with an after gym snack (like below) and just to enjoy. I never thought I'd say that about protein drinks...
For me, texture and consistency is EVERYTHING. I refuse to eat slimy bananas (i.e. ones with black spots on), mushrooms (they look like slugs) or cooked onions (yuck) not because of the taste (all of which I quite enjoy) but because of their texture. Often with protein shakes and other protein drinks, the consistency is either too thick, too watery OR there are lumps in it (which I have to admit totally make me gag).
These drinks were thick, but a shade off of being smoothie thick (which is too thick for me personally). If there were any improvements to be made on these drinks, being a touch thinner in terms of consistency would be my point. They were extremely filling as a drink, but wouldn't replace food as a mini-meal, so I found I was in a sort of no-mans land with post-gym snacks (as I often find although I'm RAVENOUS I can't stomach that much). I found, in the end, they go well with yoghurt or crackers though and although I AM fussy with consistency it is a very minor point in terms of all of the other brilliant things about these shakes.
Aftertaste? Thankfully the only after taste with these drinks is the slight taste of berries (or mango if that's your preferred flavour!). I find with a lot of protein drinks/protein shakes that they either "repeat on me" and I end up tasting it all day, or it straight up makes me feel sick - these drinks did neither of these things. It wasn't artificially sweet, like you get with a lot of protein drinks and it didn't have that awful after-protein taste that you get with shakes. This point I found them particularly strong on - really nice taste that stays with you juuuuust long enough.
My favourite flavour? personally I preferred the blackcurrant flavour. I'm not a fan of mango drinks in general (they seem sort of gloopy to me generally, even though I'm very fond of raw mango) and this drink seemed much like other mango type drinks. It was pleasant, but for me the blackcurrant edged it out - the blackcurrant is slightly more bitter in style, with that sort of berry taste. The mango flavor is very mango-ey....
I'm off to buy some more. I really enjoyed these drinks, I found them just right for my routine and they gave me that perfect after-gym boost - great to have just before you jump in the shower. Not too sickly-sweet, not too thick, not too thin - Ali and her team have done a great job with these drinks!!
Maybe they'll make an excellent Christmas hamper for someone you know (or someone you know extra well....such as yourself :D).
You can buy juiven8 drinks from: http://www.juiven8.com/
Or you can follow Ali and the team on their various social networking accounts:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/juiven8
Twitter - https://twitter.com/juiven8juiven8
LinkedIn - https://sa.linkedin.com/company/juiven8
Pinterest - www.pinterest.com/juiven8/about-juiven8