Last weekend I was browsing the Holland & Barrett store down Market Street, Manchester, when I spotted a row of bright, fun looking drinks in the chilled section. Having done an hour’s workout, which I do most mornings, combining yoga, weights, resistance training and core strength all-over body exercises, I was feeling thirsty.
Grabbing the bottles out of the fridge, one bold red, one vibrant yellow, I was pleased to see these Upbeat drinks were in fact ‘high protein dairy drinks’, in Mango & Passionfruit and Strawberry flavours. To be honest, I’m usually quite sceptical over health brands and products, mainly because although advertising themselves as ‘healthy’, they are sometimes packed with crazy chemicals, sugar and bad fats.
Not these bad boy 250mls of goodness though; with no added sugars and containing whey protein (which comes from 100% British milk), fruit juices from concentrate plus puree and natural flavourings, Upbeat drinks are all about being low in fat, high in protein (20g per drink), a natural source of calcium while being just 150 calories. Winner!
I’m a sucker for cool packaging so the cute little dancing person and cartoon style, bouncy and colourful aesthetics appealed to me straight away. Added to the fact that the ingredients looked very much pure and simple, I bought a bottle of each flavour – basically, I couldn’t make up my mind since I love both fruity tastes!
Now for the important part: taste. Before I’d taken a sip, I was hoping for them to taste nice, natural, refreshing and fruity without being artificial or leaving a weird aftertaste. Well, Upbeat drinks certainly didn’t disappoint, ticking (or not) the crucial boxes! Both varieties were delicious, the ideal balance of sweetness without being overpowering or lacking in the intended flavour, creamy and satisfying but not too rich or starchy. I even felt a boost of added healthiness while sipping them down! It’s hard to say which of the flavours I prefered; if anything, it would be brilliant for different ones to be available!
Since the age of about 10, I’ve always been into health and fitness, going through phases of intense cardio like long-distance running, spinning and swimming, to more weight-based exercise like resistance training plus flexibility activities like gymnastics and yoga. I’ve always kept it up on a day-to-day basis, wanting to feel and look healthy both inside and out. Protein has always been a staple and priority in my diet, and while I eat plenty of fish, meat and vegetarian sources, I’d been considering a boost from the whey variety for a while; Upbeat drinks came at the right time!
What’s the big deal about protein anyway? Well, considering as humans, we’re made up of the nutrient more than anything else (even water!), it’s central to our being and is important for repairing healthy muscles, supporting strong bones and aiding metabolic processes. Being into fitness, something like an Upbeat drink is a really tasty and easy way to incorporate high quality protein into your diet on the go, giving you a boost of energy and vitality to get you through the day.
As a total social media addict, I took a photo of my new-found bottles of love, Instagrammed and tweeted @FeelingUpbeat, which has developed into a nice little online rapport with the brand. I was thrilled to receive some Upbeat goodies in the post today at work in The Media Octopus office – a cute little cool bag, head sweatbands, plus useful materials about protein and some cheeky coupons for future purchases. I’ve fallen for these guys even more now!
So, thank you Upbeat for creating delicious tasting, healthy whey protein drinks for all ages and lifestyles and for your kindness. With hints at new flavours in the pipeline, stay tuned and look out for these bottles of greatness in Tesco, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett. So why not check out their funky website, follow on Twitter, like on Facebook and watch their YouTube videos – they’re a friendly bunch and their #FeelingUpbeat message is contagious, get involved!.