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Food Review: Code Blue Recovery Drink

I must admit I'm not big on special fitness drinks, especially recovery drinks. They're often full of extra calories, and I usually opt for water since most exercise physiologists believe you don't need to worry about replacing electrolytes, carbs, and protein unless you have been working out and sweating for more than an hour. I often think a lot of these drinks have added coloring and chemicals, so when I saw Code Blue marketed as an all natural post-workout drink I was curious to try it. I must admit, I liked its tropical flavor, and although it only has 40 calories per eight-ounce serving (the can contains 12 ounces, equal to one and a half servings) Code Blue does not have that artificial sweetener taste of many low-cal beverages.

To see how this drink is sweetened and if it is an unnatural color, just


Looking at the ingredient list on the back of the Code Blue can, I can't say I felt like I was drinking something "natural." After water, the next three ingredients are: crystalline fructose, agave nectar, and malic acid, which adds tartness more than sweetness. Further down the list I found stevia leaf extract listed as well, which is a bit more natural. Code Blue contains the electrolytes potassium and sodium, but also contains the supplement milk thistle to help detox the liver (trainer Bob Harper believes in the treatment), and prickly pear extract to reduce inflammation.

The first time I tried Code Blue, I drank it straight from the can. You can imagine my surprise when I poured it into a glass and found the liquid to be a vibrant unnatural blue. Which prompts the question, what natural ingredient was used to color this drink and why even bother coloring it?

Ingredients: Filtered Purified Water, Crystalline Fructose, Agave Nectar, Malic Acid, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, D-Ribose, Fruit Juice (for color), Sustamine™ (L-Alanine L-Glutamine), Pectin, Inositol, Ascorbic Acid, Prickly Pear Extract (Opunitia ficus-indica), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Extract, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana) Leaf Extractives, Soy Protein and Rice Flour, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Selenium Complexed with Amino Acids and Polypeptides, Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)

I'm not really sold on the drink, but I'm not completely opposed to it either. I would certainly drink this over other recovery drinks, but more likely I will sip some water instead. Have you tried it?

This just in: The color comes from blueberries.

Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Seems like it has an awful lot of ingredients for being "natural". I'll stick with water.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
I LOVE recovery drinks. My two favorites are 2% chocolate milk and Hammer brand Recoverite. After a 6 hour bike ride Recoverite is the way to go, esp. since I bring it in powder form and add water after the ride.
sham28 sham28 7 years
Ewwwwwwww Coconut water is the BEST health drink.
michlny michlny 7 years
The sugar seems unnecessarily high. Why does it need crystalline fructose, agave AND stevia? Not to mention the fruit juice.... Plus they list "natural flavor." Stick with water!
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