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Showing posts with the label drink enhancers

Elevation Grape Energy Powder Drink Mix Sticks (Aldi)

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If you haven't outgrown the taste of grape Kool-Aid, you'll love this. Another week and another energy beverage! These have to be the one category I review the most...for those of you who just drink coffee or abstain completely from the practice, my apologies. Anyway, this time the energy is coming from a different kind of source: not a shot, or an energy drink (per se), but rather in the form of powder! It’s meant to be snorted for...oh wait, nevermind. Scratch that. It’s not that kind of powder. Instead, this one is meant to be dissolved in water to give you some flavor to go with your hydration, while simultaneously giving you a kick in the ass to get going. The grape here is very fake...much like grape Kool-Aid, or something of the sort. I can’t really say I’m shocked, though, as that is unfortunately what most grape drinks end up tasting like. It’s not great (grape isn’t my favorite anything), but it’s drinkable in a pinch. You won’t love yourself afterwards, but it could

Essential Everyday Light Fruit Punch Drink Mix Sticks (Various Retailers)

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This product is like that smug asshole who's good-looking on the outside, but harboring a secret deep within. Sorry folks, this one is going to be longer and more rambly than usual, so just bear with me: if you’re really just in it for the review of the drink mix sticks, which (spoiler warning!) are a complete waste of money, scroll down a few paragraphs. Thanks for your time. We were in Cincinnati celebrating our anniversary (definitely not as easy or fun to do in a COVID world—every place we wanted to see was closed or had weird hours—but those are stories for another day), when we stumbled on a place that we had heard of, but had completely forgotten about: Jungle Jim’s! In case you aren’t familiar with the place, it’s widely known as one of the “coolest” and most “fun” of all grocery stores, with large interactive displays, a wide variety of samples (again, not in COVID world, but typically), and foods and other goodies from all around the world. It’s kind of like Trader Joe’

Kroger Slim Rite Vanilla Meal Replacement Shake (Kroger)

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I suppose it's good if you like drinking half-and-half. Well, earlier this month we took a look at Kroger's chocolate meal replacement powder, so now it only makes sense that we would take a look at the other variety they offer: vanilla. (Actually, I typically wouldn't do that, as vanilla isn't my favorite standalone flavor, but my wife happened to already have some in the pantry, so that's why it makes sense.) Like the chocolate, this powder comes in a rather large 13 oz. tub, good for “about 14 servings”. That certainly isn't bad for $3, which is its normal retail price, especially since the individual bottles of weight loss shake often go for around $1 per bottle, if not more. Also included in the tub: a plastic scoop. Sure, these are frequently included in dieting powders, but it's not something I take for granted, so I certainly appreciate its inclusion here. Also appreciated is the simple prep: add a rounded scoop to 8 oz. of milk, mix it up, and you&#

Kroger Slim Rite Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake (Kroger)

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A good, albeit rather standard, chocolate replacement shake. If anything, I'm always trying to gain weight...so why in the hell would I even care about meal replacement shakes? After all, their main purpose is for dieters to cut back on the amount of food they eat, by replacing one meal per day, with one of these vitamin-riddled beverages. Thus, you get a load of “good” nutrients, but without the potential for added cholesterols, fats, and other unwanted additives that a large meal can provide.  So then what could they possibly do for a guy like me? I've mentioned it before in previous meal replacement reviews, but for those of you new to this blog, I'll fill you in right quick: laziness. Sometimes, I get so caught up in parenting, or my own head, that I completely forget to eat. (Or, a more realistic reason is sometimes we have nothing in the house worth eating and I'm either unable to leave, or just don't want to.) Pair this up with my new work schedule—which eli

Meijer Fruit Punch Drink Mix Sticks (Meijer)

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Good, but way overpriced compared to the competition. I'm not typically a silver-lining kinda guy, but this damn viral outbreak has at least done some good for our family: It lead to my wife having a bit of an epiphany on the grocery store front. After inexplicably favoring Kroger over everything else for the better part of ten years, she changed her tune once she deemed herself the sole grocery shopper for the household during the coronavirus outbreak, in an effort to limit our possible exposure to the pandemic. (I didn't argue, as I've been trying to practice social distancing my entire life.) This is good for three reasons: Meijer generally has good prices, I haven't tried many private label items from there, and Kroger sucks complete asshole. If I never set foot in one again I'd be more than happy (although that's, unfortunately, not much of a possibility given their convenience). And that is how we ended up with Meijer drink mix sticks, which I'

Kroger Raspberry Lemonade Drink Mix Sticks (Kroger)

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A cloying combination of disgustingly sweet and raspberry. We took a look at Kroger's peach tea drink mix sticks, and I was pleasantly surprised by how accurate the flavor was to actual peach tea—at least, as far as powdered mixes can go. With that win in mind, we look at their raspberry lemonade offering...which, unfortunately, is exactly what I was expecting. This one falls into the standard trap of trying to deliver too much of everything: the raspberry taste is more akin to a candy than the actual fruit, while the lemonade appears in the form of a non-descript tartness that is more authentic in aftertaste than initial taste. Even the smell is overwhelmingly candy-like and, quite frankly, not all that inviting. Halving the recommended serving size (i.e. using half a stick instead of a whole one) doesn't really improve on the flavor much: although it does cut back on its sugary flavor profile, it delivers a strong lemon tartness with a really watered-down-but-still-phon

Kroger Peach Tea Drink Mix Sticks (Kroger)

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This actually has a pretty accurate tea taste, at least as far as powders go. When in self-isolation, it becomes even more crucial to stay hydrated; yet, as I've mentioned on this blog a thousand times, I hate the “taste” of water. I won't repeat the reasons why again (you can search for it on this blog and get more information than you'd care to know), but suffice to say that, unless I'm really active or super dehydrated, I literally have to force it down. This one is actually way better than I was expecting, assuming you do the smart thing and half a serving size. (What is it with all of these manufacturers putting enough flavor/sweetness for two servings in each single serve stick? I guess I shouldn't be complaining about that, but it makes many of them almost overly aggressive in terms of taste.) And, assuming you're not against the taste of tea, which - much to my surprise thanks to the vague packaging that touts "peach" front and center w

Kroger Black Cherry Fitness Drink Mix Sticks (Kroger)

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It's decent. As is usually the case, I was already at Kroger (where my wife, inexplicably, actually enjoys shopping) when I wanted some kind of magical powder to give water some actual taste. And this here is the only reason that I sometimes don’t mind going elsewhere: variety. I don’t need a thousand of one kind of thing like supermarkets seem to “pride” themselves on, but when I’ve tried pretty much all of Aldi’s offerings, sometimes it’s nice to see what kinds of products other store brands are offering these days. Surprisingly, I came to discover that Kroger has quite a decent selection of powdered drink mixes for being such a shitty store, and after perusing the aisle for a couple of minutes, I finally settled on this black cherry flavored fitness powder. Was I going to be active enough to justify getting a “fitness” themed powder? I wasn’t planning on it, but I wanted something that was a little different than the standard “fruit punch” and “lemonade” flavors, and o