Posted November 20, 2009 by Big Red Boots in workout/sports energy drinks

Vuka Workout

After a three month hiatus, I finally have started going back to the gym. It finally got too much when that bit of belly button lint turned into a sweater. That, and it is nice to just have some time to do something completely grown up. Kids are not even allowed near my gym, a hundred year old dilapidated building run by the city government. While I hear my gym gets packed at lunch, I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing. During these early morning hours, the place is about the opposite of the Bally’s and Fancy Schmancy gyms, a place where people go to sweat and occasionally bleed. In other words, a great place to test out a drink that is all about working out.

As a street gym, bringing in this fantastically designed bottle to work out with did not draw any more stares than if I brought a Beefeater Gin bottle to work out with. No one looks at each other here – and other than the occasional smile, you could almost go unnoticed. So, The merits of packaging in this case are strictly functional. And unfortunately, all the things a person would look for in the gym are not helped by Vuka’s unique packaging.
Ever try to twist off a lid one handed on a treadmill? Disasterous. Same with these cool metal Vuka bottles, which leaves you with an aluminum weapon swinging in your hands as you fumble to take off the cap. Or, you can already have the cap off, but the wide-mouth opening contributes to the sloshing bright red liquid all over your gym clothes.
If you are smart enough to just drink it all before or after your workout, things are much easier, and there are no real problems. Still, for a workout drink, I would have expected more care for a company that succeeded so well with their other drinks.

This is one of the biggest problems I have with this workout drink. So you are hot, sweaty and thirsty, half an hour into a powerful workout. What would you rather gulp down? A very light and refreshing drink, like a water with a light citrus zest, or a bubbly sweet strong cranberry lemonade? The only thing I could think of after downing the bottle was W-A-T-E-R!! So I guess the drink did keep me hydrated, as I had to get off the treadmill and fill the Vuka bottle with water before continuing. Not to mention, the drink’s carbonation has to go somewhere. Grunting at the gym is normal, even heavy breathing, but burping is definitely not a usual sound in the workout room.

Vuka Workout is a tea based drink, made with Rooibos (African Redbush) tea. The sweetness is all natural and outside the gym, Vuka Workout tastes great – but it is definitely not the drink to bring with you on the elliptical machines.

Again, by itself, this drink has some pretty great nutrition. But for a workout drink, there is something to be desired. From looking at the ingredients, I could not tell if this was meant to be a pre-workout booster, or a post workout revitalizer. It has some things which I would normally take before a workout – like caffeine and L-Carnatine, both best used if it is before a workout.

But it also has things I would want after a workout, namely replacement sodium, and potassium. I guess you could save half the drink for before the workout, and then drink the other half afterwards, but then it would have half the effect as if you drank it as either one or the other.

I think Vuka just got ahead of their game, creating a drink for a segment without really putting it through its paces. While Vuka Awake and Think were meticulously crafted, I don’t think the people behind this drink ever actually took it to the gym and gave it a really good test run. While it certainly beats bringing a Red Bull on the treadmill, there are certainly better choices out there.

Big Red Boots