Tested: PowerBar Endurance Sports Drink
Naturally, the first energy bar I ever had was a Powerbar. No surprise, right? The name “Powerbar” is so ubiquitous that the trademark name is becoming synonymous with the generic term “energy bar,” much like what happened to Kleenex and Xerox.
But I took my good old time before trying the Powerbar Endurance sports drink. I did get a sample of it back in 2004, but it was so weak and bland I knew I’d never buy any…
Fast forward to 2008 when a few online retailers started selling 52-serving canisters of this stuff for $10. That’s like 19 cents per serving! (It doesn’t get any cheaper than that when you’re talking sports drinks!)
So I scooped up about five containers, because for that price, who cares what it tastes like!
PowerBar Endurance Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
(Note: The following ingredients and nutrition facts apply to the Lemon Lime flavor.)
Simply put, Powerbar Endurance is a serious sports drink full of carbohydrates and electrolytes – exactly what we need for long, intense rides.
Here are the ingredients:
C2 MAX CARBOHYDRATE BLEND (MALTODEXTRIN, FRUCTOSE, DEXTROSE), CITRIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, MAGNESIUM CITRATE, POTASSIUM CITRATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, TURMERIC (AS COLOR).
In each 8oz serving (1 scoop), you get 70 calories, 17g carbs, 190mg sodium, and 10mg potassium.
Multiply all those values by 3 to see what you can fit in a standard 24oz water bottle. For example, you can easily fit 210 calories in each bottle! It’s great for the most part, but it is a tad low on potassium.
It makes a perfect drink while riding, along with directly before and after rides, to make sure your glycogen and electrolyte reserves stay full.
There is no protein, so some people may consider that a downside. But if I want protein after a ride, I usually just have a peanut butter sandwich and I’m fine.
The Powerbar Endurance Drink Taste Test
I tried the Sun Tea, Fruit Punch, and Lemon Lime flavors. Here is what I think about each one:
Sun Tea – Sun Tea was what I was most looking forward to. I mean, how many times can you get a “tea” flavored sports drink?
It turned out to be great. It is a very light tea flavor, which a light sweetness and an even lighter saltiness. It is just salty enough to remind you it’s a sports drink, without ruining the flavor.
When mixed at full strength, I could actually drink this casually while sitting around. It really is that close to regular tea.
If you hate most sports drinks, give Sun Tea a shot. It is totally different than all other sports drink flavors. Really. It’s like drinking water but with a little more flavor.
Fruit Punch – Fruit Punch was not what I expected at all. It does taste a little like a “light” version of Fruit Punch Gatorade, but that’s only half of it.
The other half is kind of odd and really took me a while to pinpoint. Finally, it reminded me of a bubblegum snow cone. You know, the artificial “pink bubble gum” flavor, kind of like the classic Dubble Bubble chewing gum.
At first I didn’t like it, because it was too far off from the standard fruit punch flavor. So if that’s what you want, this is not going to satisfy your desire. But if you can get past that, and accept it as a different flavor, the taste isn’t so bad. It’s not great, but you get used to it, and it grows on you.
Lemon Lime – Lemon Lime was simply amazing! The taste is great – a lot like the Gatorade Endurance version of lemon lime, but even better! It has that crisp texture and real flavor without any extra taste. (So it is way better than Accelerade’s Lemon-Lime.)
PowerBar must have given me a very weakly mixed sample back in 2004, because when I tried this stuff years ago, it was terrible. It was a weak flavor and not good at all. Now it’s fast becoming my favorite choice! I could easily drink this stuff while off the bike.
I plan to stock up on this flavor for sure!
One last thing, which applies to all the flavors – you can mix it a little weak or a little strong to suit your riding conditions, and the taste will be nearly the same. Sometimes I mix it quite a bit stronger (sometimes 50% stronger) than recommended, and it still tastes great!
How to Mix PowerBar Endurance Drink
Mixing sports drinks really is an art form. “Just add water” doesn’t do it justice. Each drink requires a different approach…
For PowerBar Endurance, you have to dump the powder into a glass of water. Do not dump water onto the dry powder, as it will just clump up and be hard to mix.
However, it mixes so easily when dumped into water. What I do is put a few ounces of water in a bottle, dump in the powder, then swirl it around a bit. Then I add ice and more water.
Before putting the bottle in the cage, I give it a shake. And then it is fine and dandy!
There is no shaking required during the ride, no foaming, and it leaves no residue in the bottle. (OK, if you’re shaking it up in the bottle, it might leave a tiny bit of residue up in the nozzle. But it’s a minuscule amount compared to mixing up a thick drink like Accelerade.)
Overall it gets an A+ for mixability!
My final verdict is…
I love the light taste, and the Sun Tea and Lemon Lime flavors are simply amazing when it comes to sports drink flavors. If you can find this on sale, it totally beats regular Gatorade, due to increased electrolyte content, more calories, and better sugars, for less money!
I see myself continually using this on training rides of 1-2.5 hours where I don’t need food and don’t really need too many calories. But I also use it on longer rides – I may carry a large bottle of this and a small bottle of Accelerade, along with food.
So I still use Accelerade on longer rides if I need more calories, but this Powerbar Endurance tastes better and is easier to mix. I highly recommend it.
Official website: www.powerbar.com
Product: PowerBar Endurance Sports Drink
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-10-02
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.
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