I’m gonna keep it 100% real with you guys. Jump Start Energy Drink Mix wasn’t an easy product for me to assess, but not for the reasons you think.
There were three main reasons I struggled with this one:
- Because it took some time for me to understand what it was supposed to do
- The reason it took some time for me to figure that out is because I am not your bariatric (or otherwise) vitamin/supplement guru.
- Once I did figure out that this was an energy drink mix, I faced another conundrum. I’m sort of naturally high-energy. So…would I notice any difference?
Let’s dive in and see what happened.
About AmBari Nutrition
In addition to being a Week 2 sponsor of the 2018 Bariatric Foodie Pledge, AmBari Nutrition is an online store that sells things like protein bars, shakes, snacks and, apparently, energy drink mix! I should note that the same folks who own AmBari own another of the Pledge sponsors – Bariatric Food Source, which is sponsoring Week 3. The owners of the company have supported the Pledge for the past three years – and we are thankful!
Jump Start Energy Drink Mix: What the hell is in it?
I am guessing that’s the first thing you’re wondering, so let’s talk about that.
Here’s what’s on the AmBari website:
“This refreshing drink contains ginkgo biloba, B vitamins, and caffeine (comparable to drinking half a cup of coffee)to give you that extra boost to start your day the right way!”
Aaaaaand thus begins Nik’s foray into research. Forgive the long chunks of text, but I didn’t want to leave anything important out!
- Gingko biloba (source: WebMD): For thousands of years, leaves from the Ginkgo biloba tree have been a common treatment in Chinese medicine. In the U.S., many take ginkgo supplements in the belief that they will improve memory and sharpen thinking. Ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain and acts as an antioxidant. These effects may translate into some benefits for certain medical problems, but the results have been mixed.Some studies have found that in healthy people, ginkgo might modestly boost memory and cognitive speed. Other studies have not found a benefit. Several ginkgo studies have shown that it can help with memory problems caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It seems to help prevent the progression of dementia symptoms, especially if the dementia is thought to be the result of atherosclerotic vascular disease.
- B vitamins (source: Nature Made): The B vitamin family is made up of eight B vitamins. Although they are commonly recognized as a group and often work together in the body, each of the B vitamins performs unique and important functions. Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin supports cellular energy production. Niacin is also known as vitamin B3, and supports cellular energy production.† Niacin, in the form of nicotinic acid, helps support cardiovascular health. Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, helps support cellular energy production in the body. Vitamin B6 is instrumental in keeping various bodily functions operating at their best. Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is needed to metabolize amino acids and glycogen (the body’s storage form of glucose), and is also necessary for normal nervous system function and red blood cell formation. Biotin may help support healthy hair, skin and nails.† Biotin also supports carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. folic acid is most commonly known for its role in fetal health and development as it plays a critical role in the proper development of the baby’s nervous system. And then there’s my personal nemesis…er, favorite: vitamin B12, or cobalamin, plays a critical role in the pathways of the body that produce cellular energy.† It is also needed for DNA synthesis, proper red blood cell formation and for normal nervous system function.
- Caffeine (source: HealthLine): s loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that can improve your health. The studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases. A few benefit claims of caffeine are that it improves energy levels, aids in fat burning, and contains essential nutrients such as B vitamins, Manganese and Potassium.
Whew! If you know me, you know I must love you all because I am usually a “gimme the synopsis” type of person. Moving on…
So the ingredients, as I understand it, all have some sort of energy boosting capability. However, as with all energy-type supplements these claims are not verified by the Food & Drug Administration. (I don’t think I’m obligated to say that, but it felt like I should so…yeah.)
Here’s the exact nutrition label from the box.
I’m going to assume it’s calorie-free because, for the life of me, I cannot find any mention of caloric content!
Mixing & Tasting
So now that we (sorta) know what’s in this, let’s mix it up!
The drill on this is the same as every other drink mix ever. Get a glass. Pour 8-10 oz. of water. Mix in powder. Stir.
All that is pretty basic, but what I was wondering was about the flavor. Would it be good? Bad? Weak? Strong?
OMG THIS STUFF TASTES REALLY GOOD!
Like…I kid you not. It tastes like a less sweet version of berry snowball syrup. (Some of you may know this as snowcone syrup, which I will allow, although the proper term is snowBALL!)
I liked it even better after I added some ice cubes to the mix. It almost felt like there should be a shot of something in there. But I’m pretty sure that would defeat the purpose.
Instead maybe I’d freeze it in an ice cube tray covered with plastic wrap so I could put toothpicks in it and make mini-freezer pops. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll traverse into the bowels of my basement and dig up my kids old Snoopy Snow Cone Maker (I’m not making a great case for the legitimacy of the word snowball, am I?) and make myself a nice icy treat!
Whatever. The stuff is good is the main point I’d like to make.
But did it work?
I have no idea.
Honestly. One of the blessings of my post-surgical life is that my metabolism took off to the races at about four months post-op and while it has slowed some in the past few years, I still burn calories like a mofo. Which is to say that I am pretty high energy. I don’t require much sleep and I can go and go and go and feel energized for hours.
So if this has energy benefits, I wonder if I would even feel them. I’m going to send Shannon some and see what she thinks. Because I would like an honest assessment about whether this stuff does anything besides making a party on your taste buds. Which, for me, is good enough. But for you…maybe you need energy! And I wanna know!
Cost & Value
This product comes in a box of 10 and sells on the AmBari website for $11.95. That is, of course, $1.19/serving.
I’m hard pressed to speak to its value because I am not sure if it provides boosts of energy or not. But if it does, that seems a small price to pay to get it. One thing I found noteworthy is that they suggest you drink this twice a day for optimal results. I don’t think I’d do that. But as a yummy “wake me up” type of drink, I could totally see myself drinking this.
Would I buy this?
Well like I said, I could see this being either a nice treat or a nice wake-up drink. The taste is really fantastic. Did I mention that? I wasn’t expecting a lot but HOLY COW! Someone who struggles with energy, try this and see if it makes a difference and report back. Because if it really, really does and it tastes that good? Yes, I would totally buy it.
Pledge to win AmBari products!
As I said above, AmBari Nutrition is a Week 2 sponsor of the 2018 Bariatric Foodie Pledge. Make sure you are signed up to participate in the Pledge so that you’re eligible to win their prize! PLUS mark your calendar because during Week 2 (February 4 – 10), take 20% off your entire order with code BFoodie18. Be sure to browse their website so you know what to order when the time comes!