Posted February 6, 2012 by Big Red Boots in energy tablets and powders

WIN! Hard Nutrition functional water

Hard Nutrition drinks are one of the more original ideas for a functional water around.  They come with all your chemicals, nutrients and supplements in a little pill bottle inside the cap.  The whole idea is that you swallow all these little pills, then wash it all down with the functional water inside.  Orignal? Absolutely!  However, I found the actua process of   taking all these little pills and trying to wash it down with this weak and watery lemonade hard to swallow.

Hard Nutrition was created by the guy behind Turn Left and Dickens Energy Cider.  According to their website, he hurt himself years ago from skiing, and was completely healed from all of his his maladies from non-traditional herbs. Because of this, he gave up on his energy drinks and focused his attention on these new pills + water.  He ended his production of his more straightforward energy drinks to out all his energy to these new idea.

Even with the ridiculous Charlie Sheen moniker, Win! performance drink is something I could really use in the gym.  According to their website, “These formulas help clean the lactic acid from the cell to reduce muscle fatigue. What makes WIN! Work is the blend of our Muscle Cleanse formula which will assist your body in clearing out the lactic acid build-up that causes muscle fatigue”. I suffer from muscle fatigue in the gym ALL THE TIME.  enough so that I regularly get the wife and kids to smash them with a rolling pin just to squish them back to actual leg form.  I found the idea intriguing enough to pick a couple bottles up at my local GNC.

Of course it promises to do a dozen more things to help you too, from helping you breathe easier to increase your stamina during workouts.

This package is full of as many little gimmicks as you can pack into a 20 ounce pet bottle.  Firstly, ever one comes with a silly blue livestrong-esque bracelet, which says “You Change Your Life Won’t Change Until.”  Thanks Yoda.  No Matter on what word you start out on, that does not make sense.  After visiting their website, I found one of their mottos are “Your Life Wont Change Until You Change Your Life” which is about as stupid as “Wherever you go, there you are” and “your Car Keys will always be in the last place you look”.  Big Bracelet Fail.

Then there is there pill bottle in the cap.This is really cool – as it combines a way to keep your multivitamins along with something to wash it down.  The vitamins come plastic wrapped – so they are not left just floating loosely in their cap waiting to leap out at you.  This really is cleaver, and quite functional too.

Next gimmick is the double label, that you read once and then pull back to reveal even more labeling!  This package design is already more busy than a Dr. Bronners Shampoo Bottle, and doubling it is just insane.  First you have the drawings of the pills so you dot forget to take them, followed by instructions (pop cap, take pills, drink fluid), a big drawing, explanations of all the pills benefits, a couple warnings and a stop sign, Then you get to peel the label back and look at what pills you are lucky enough to get hold of, including a muscle cleanser (containing willow and cherry tree bark, cofea, saw palmetto berries, shavegrass, valerian root, black cohosh root, maca, alfalfa and black walnut hull) Cell Charge (Suma powder and extract), Stamina X (Kola Nut, Yerba Mate, Guarana, more  suma, Ginseng, Fo-Ti, Eleuthro Root, more saw palmetto, echinacia, garlic and cayenne) and O2 Pills ( beet root, ginko biloba, hawthorne root and more alfalfa).    The problem?  No Idea How much I am taking of anything!  Forgetting the fact that they leave off how much caffeine they have in here from guarana and yerba mate, what if I have already had my daily supply of alfalfa?  Almost all medicines list how much of anything you are consuming – and even with all this packaging they decided to not tell you how potent this drink actually is.

For as cool as the cap is, all this crazy labeling and still not knowing what you are taking is obnoxious.

The pills in here dont really count, unless you count the aftertaste which is really not that bad.  The functional water however is so weak and watery I am not sure I get the point.  The ingredients in the water are supposed to be the catalyst for all the pills you just took, but really I can not see what makes it work magic – unless you count the water needed to help melt the pills.  While there is more undisclosed amounts of energy stuff in here like taurine, inositol and everything you can find in a normal energy drink, all I wasted is a very weak and slightly sour berry tea flavor – like the someone made a powdered berry tea and tried to stretch the flavor into more than one container.  Win! does not taste bad, but it really does not taste good either.

I Took this to the gym and gave it a very real workout with me, trying to see if it could help me keep up  with my morning routine.  I also took Win! with me to work to see if it could help muscle fatigue later in the day and help with energy and mental clarity.  For all the talk of the death of DC Brands putting an end to their energy drinks, this is in every way filled with energy drink ingredients; sugar, inositol, taurine – it is all in here.

Unfortunately, for all this promise of energy, focus and endurance, I was left unimpressed.  My Gym workout was like all my gym workouts.  I felt very tired after busting my ass on the treadmill and was a big jellyfish after.  If I was less winded or less exhausted I had no idea.  In terms of a Gym drink, what I needed was something loaded with caffeine and potassium, and I felt pretty let down.  My legs felt just as tired, and my upper body workout left me just as sore as I had without drinking Win!  I have no idea if my blood was more oxygenated and my cells were more charged, but I just did not feel like I turned into the powerhouse this drink promised I would be.

In terms of energy at work, I also felt cheated.  I was promised more focus, more energy, more endurance.  Instead, I felt nothing. No intense focus – no oxygeny blood, no nothing.  This drink was Guarana in it – it has Yerba mate in it – and the fluid itself has caffeine too.   This should have been a massive blast of energy and instead it left me blah.  I wanted to Win!, and instead I just placed.

Big Red Boots