I have tried many many energy drinks over the years – hundreds of cans of all shapes and sizes, from squat cans from Brazil to the upper reaches of Canadian Gas Station goodness – and i still get surprised every now and then. Amara energy drink is one of those surprising finds that is so perfect for what it can do it is surprising it has not swept the market yet. Like Hydrive or Go Fast’s Hybrid drinks, Amara fits a particular niche so well it is surprising they thought it could be for anything else. If you like carbonated yumminess in your workout drink, this is tailor made for you.
The website states that this recovery drink was created to help recover from a night of hard partying, long travel and rigorous exercise. As they sent me four cans, I was able to try all three of them out in those circumstances and see how well it performs. The interesting thing is that this drink is PERFECT for the gym, so good that it is hard to imagine this being used for any other purpose. While the packaging might be specific for clubbing, the drink itself was the best thing for slamming after a hard workout, as well as any activity where you end up hot, tired, sweaty and thirsty. If you want something to help after a hard run, lawn-mowing, mosh pit ( you get the idea), a can of Amara and you will feel energized and ready for more.
I think Amara completely missed their audience after giving this a good try. Mind you, if this was made more for clubbing it would be cooler. There is a nifty phoenix design that does not seem to make a whole lot of sense on the can, but is very cool – and a futuristic logo (close to the Star Trek Voyager font) on a light blue background. To add to the cool of dance clubs, the package has a coat of UV activated Ink (black light ink) that causes the three logos and the Phoenix to glow under black lights. All of that is pretty fancy, but I think it misses the point. Unless clubs let you bring in your own drink or sell you a can to walk around with, no one is going to see how this looks in a club. Most clubs/bars I have been in pour the drink into a glass with some alcohol in it and the can is tossed in the trash.
Not to mention, none of the really cool things that this drink has or does is advertised on the can. Amara is all natural – enough to be sold in Whole Foods stores. It is a sports drink that is full of recovery supplements. It is full of anti-oxidants, like Maqui berry – so why not put that info on your can front and center?
Fuctionally, the can has a few missteps too. The big mistake for me was not listing the caffeine content, and hiding it in a 280mg energy blend. While I get that there is more going on in here than just caffeine for energy, they really should list how much is in here. Also, the white text on light blue background is harder to see than if there was more contrast.
Fortunately, they let me know there is going to be major overhaul of the package coming soon – something geared more towards the functional category than the party lifestyle. With a redesign geared to the athletic recovery instead, this has the chance to really be a major player in the energy drink world. RIght now, unless you are living in the right place in California (San Francisco area), the only places to find them are online at Thirstmonger and Amazon, although then you need to be down for a case.
After a hard workout, the last thing I would want is a heavy drink full of sweet and overpowering flavor coating my mouth. Amara is one of the best drinks I have ever had after the gym, tasting refreshing and lightly citrus – sweet enough to be refreshing but not syrupy sweet like a Powerade. There is a little bite in here from the functional ingredients, but it quenches and enhances the flavor.
As suggested, I did try one as a mixer, tossing in a couple shots of Tequila (Amara is sweetened with agave nectar, so I thought it would work together), and it was…OK. The problem is that Amara is not really powerful enough as a flavor profile to change or enhance a spirit to a mixed drink. It just tasted like slightly sweeter slightly citrus Tequila.
The best way to drink Amara is just by itself, straight out of the fridge.IT is very thirst quenching, and refreshes you completely without overloading your mouth on tart over-sweet flavor.
As a workout/recovery drink it does not get a whole lot better than this. Amara has worked hard to come up with a formula which really did my body a great service after hitting the gym.
To help a body recover, they made this an isotonic beverage. That means that more than this drink having electrolytes, this has the same amount of them as what you can find in your blood. according to their literature, Too many electrolytes and the beverage becomes hypertonic (too many electrolytes) and isn’t absorbed quickly, too few and it becomes hypotonic (too few electrolytes). I am not sure about the science behind it – but I can tell you that it works. I sweat a lot when I work out – enough so that it is embarrassing. While I never have actually measured the quantity that gets worked out of me, the sixteen ounces of Amara pour it all back in. Both times I brought this to the gym I easily chugged the entire can in one go – and felt like a new man afterwards.
On top of that, the ingredients were very nice to me too. The Agave and Stevia meant that there is a measly 30mg of calories per can, along with a bunch of Vitamin C and Vitamin B complex too. If you get into the anti-oxidant thing, there is a bunch in here thanks to the Maqui berry, milk thistle and prickly pear. This is all full of natural ingredients, and even the caffeine is sourced from the increasingly popular coffee berry.
In terms of energy, I like that they left out the normal energy drink posse, and replaced it with things that actually improve metabolism. There is no inositol or taurine or glucurolactone in here, but there is an amino acid which helps muscle inflammation, Ribose – which is great for energy and metabolism.
The one thing I would think of is to boost the caffeine levels in here a bit. Although they did not disclose the amount of caffeine in here, it felt like it was on the lower side. When you work out, having a blast of energy to get through difficult physical tasks is really helpful, and in all my tests I did not really feel that rush of energy. While there is definitely caffeine in here, I am guessing there is 150-180mg of it in the can, which could be a little low for a workout drink. While you don’t need a huge boost – like if you were wanting this for weightlifting or are falling asleep working, it would be nice to see a bit more oomph inside.