Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Hammer Product Flavor Fails...

I have been using Hammer Nutrition products now for a couple of years with very good success and predictable results. My body tolerates the product quite well, and there are a wide variety of flavors to be had...something for everyone's taste. (disclaimer: the rest of this blog entry has to do with my personal preference and opinion...I suggest you taste the new product for yourself before making a determination...but maybe don't throw down the coinage for the biggest bottle before you try it).

I was beyond excited when Hammer announced it would be releasing a new flavor of Recoverite...chocolate! I could practically hear the angels trumpeting from above. We'd been rocking the Subtle Strawberry flavor for quite a long time (great when mixed with OJ), so I was eager for a change. How would my old faithful Strawberry stack up to the new sexy Chocolate?

What commenced is probably the biggest new product let-down I've experienced in a long time. Sorry Hammer...your Chocolate Recoverite tastes pretty terrible.

Here are some completely scientific ratings (pffft): (scale of 1-5 best)
Flavor: 1
Color: 1
Smell: 1
Dissolvability: 3
Overall drinkability: 2

I noticed that the Chocolate powder smelled weird...not bad or spoiled...just weird. Almost a fruity overtone or something that I can't put my finger on. I mixed the Recoverite as called for on the package...2 scoops in 8-12 oz of water. Usually, if at home, I'll doctor up my Strawberry Recoverite with OJ...but in order to be fair, I went for the straight water approach. (I don't think Strawberry tastes friggin' fantastic either when mixed with water, but it's not bad).

The color was a weak, watery brown. I really had to struggle to smell anything resembling chocolate. And the taste was pretty underwhelming. That same fruity overtone again! But overall, calling this product "Chocolate" flavor was being a tad on the generous side. Did I expect the flavor density of a dark chocolate bar or even chocolate milk? No, I'm realistic enough to know that this is energy food after all. But with Hammer, who puts out some great flavors such as Caffe Latte Perpetuem, it was a let-down. I know the company tends to flavor some of its products on the more "subtle" side of the spectrum (thank goodness), but I think they got this one wrong.

There is one silver lining in all of this: when mixed with Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, it was more tolerable due to a less watery consistency and appearance.

The other highly-anticipated new product flavor was Montana Huckleberry Hammer Gel. The small and unassuming yet flavor-packed huckleberry has been a favorite of ours while dining on huckleberry pancakes at the Lochsa Lodge on the annual rafting trip. And they turned that goodness into a gel flavor? Yeah!!

Well, sort of "yeah!"...Dan brought home a gel packet from REI a couple weeks back. I couldn't wait to taste the Huckleberry flavor. With flavor-dense options such as Tropical, Raspberry, and Apple, I expected big things. Again, though, it was a let-down. The flavor was pretty weak (which I guess is good if you like subtly-flavored gel), and the only thing I kept picturing was jellybeans. Jellybeans?!

I'm not a gel-user and stick to HEED for shorter events, but I've been known to take a gel here and there. I don't think that Huckleberry will be my go-to flavor.

All in all, I am still a Hammer girl...for me, the most important factor is product performance. However, if it doesn't taste good, I'm not going to be spurred to drink all my recovery drink or keep up my nutrition during a race. While I think Hammer has some amazing flavors of products in their line already, I'm of the opinion that they could have done better with these two new offerings.

If you are curious, just try the single-servings before you go all-in and get the monster 80 0z Recoverite bottle or the 16-serve bottle of Hammer Gel :)


allison said...

Sweet, thanks for the product reviews!

If you like coffee-ish flavors, I am not going to hesitate to recommend you try out Ultragen's Cappuccino recovery drink. 1-2sc mixed with 8-12oz of water is delish. They actually suggest not mixing the powder with anything other than water reduces its glycemic index, thus reducing its effectiveness. I did not previously know this.

OJ is still high glycemic, so that may not affect anything? But almond milk might?

jameson said...

yeah... i have a single serving of the choco recoverite and have been meaning to give it a go. i used the straweberry for a while... it's solid. but after trying everything i like Fluid the best and that's i went after them for a sponsor. the berry is awesome. i have a bunch of single serving packs and a discount code if you want any. just let me know.

as for the First Endurance Ultragen... it's a sugar bomb! i know you want high glycemic carbs post workout... but 60 grams of sugar in 2 scoops... or even 30 grams in 1 is a lot to me. i'd rather have some reese's peanut butter cups!

Stephanie said...

Hmmm...I have never tried Fluid's recovery formula. I'd be willing to take a stab at it. Oooh...good idea...Recovery Reese's :D I like it!

Allison, interesting on the mixing part...I hadn't thought of that either.