I was choosen to receive 7 bottles of Ocean Spray Cranergy to review from Gather.
Why do I need an energy booster in the middle of the day? Well, I was very excited to try it out because I am a very tired mom of 3. I haven't yet figured out a way to harness their energy so I am always looking for healthy ways to keep myself from collapsing by 4pm. I start my days with coffee or tea. I wake up around 7am and start getting my 7 year old ready for school. He has this amazing talent. He can drain my energy within minutes of my being around him. It happens every time. He was diagnosed with ADHD recently and has always been this energy-stealing lunatic (I say that with lots of love) morning, noon and night. I send him off to school shortly after 8am but as soon as he leaves my friend arrives with her daughter, a 4 year old that I watch Mon-Thurs and sometimes Friday. My daughter wakes up anytime between 8 and 9:30am. Jonas is the most unpredictable. If he is sleeping after our friend gets here I will take a shower. If not I have to try to get him back to sleep and sometimes that fails.
I need a combination of a shower and beverage to be functional. If I can get the shower and the kids are still calm when I'm finished I can get some laundry or dishes done. If not it's because I am trying to stop fight after fight after fight. The girls are the best of friends, but they fight like cats and dogs often. I get them fed then I need a Gather break. My coffee should be kicking in by now but sometimes it doesn't work. If I forget to eat it just makes me jittery with no energy boost. Then it's time to break up another fight. I haven't found the perfect way to keep them happy yet. Jonas is very easy to please but requires a lot of attention so if I'm not taking care of the girls I am taking care of him. I really never get a moment to myself. If I do, it is literally just a few minutes before something else happens. Two days a week the girls have school and that is when I get my shopping done, if Jonas doesn't fall asleep. If he does I have to rearrange to get my shopping done during Zachary's piano lesson. This all happens between 11:30-2pm. It sometimes seems that I have more energy on those days than on the ones where we don't go anywhere or do anything. But it is SO hard to actually get to the point of leaving the house. Why is it so difficult? I hear in my head, "Just get up and do it!" That is what other people say too. But for me that just doesn't seem to work.
And where is Jason during all of this??? SLEEPING.
So on school days we get home a little after two. When we pull up Zachary is getting off the school bus. We walk in and it's like a war starting. "Who touched my toys?" "I want to watch a movie!" "NO! I am playing a game!" Because everyone is just getting in and getting settled, it's total chaos! Some days I can calm it quickly and others I just want to melt into the couch.
Right around this time (sometimes a little earlier and sometimes a little later) I need a serious energy boost. I usually grab some more coffee or tea, or I just sweat through it all and hope that some of them fall asleep or Jason decides to go in to school at the regular time and will help before then. This is about the time I replaced my regular afternoon enery drink with Ocean Spray Cranergy. I devoted an entire article (I talk way too much) to what's in the drink (the Raspberry Cranberry Lift) that you can read here: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977654755&nav=MyGather
My opinion on the product: I have to start off with saying that I do not approve of ingredients like red dye being in a "Natural" drink. I don't care if the drink is red! It doesn't need to be red for me to like it. (Side note: I was always a huge fan of Crystal Clear Pepsi- I really like clear drinks because it makes them feel more natural even when it isn't natural) And I would much rather they use cane or raw sugar to sweeten it if they want it to be a healthier alternative, instead of Splenda. I think it is a little strange that the product is tooted as a cranberry drink when the main ingredient is White Grape Juice. Why not cranberry juice? Both are tart so I don't think they were trying to prevent tartness. I will just assume that grape is cheaper and leave it at that.
My opinion on the TASTE of Cranergy (Raspberry Cranberry Lift)? Well, I am not a big fan of grape juice so it is a downside that grape juice is the number one ingredient. At least it is white grape juice and not red. I love cranberry juice but can rarely find it pure and the cocktails are not my thing. So I was pleased at the cranberry flavor. I love raspberries, but not raspberry drinks very much so if I were going to drink this I would not choose the Raspberry Cranberry Lift. I would get the regular cranberry flavor instead. Artificial sweetners always leave a weird aftertaste in my mouth and the Splenda in this did not disappoint. I had a weird aftertaste every time I took a sip. But the overall flavor was good. It was a little too strong for me so adding water would be a good idea, which I didn't think of until after I was done! Even better would be adding ice and letting it melt a little- that would make it just right and the perfect temperature on a sunny spring or summer afternoon. In the winter I could see adding this to some hot green tea for a fruity kick. Sounds like a great idea! This drink is also good at room temperature.
How did this work in place of my usual energy beverage? Well, on day one it seemed to have a little bit of an effect. I wasn't less tired, and maybe I had a little more energy. In the evening I got a headache but I didn't attribute it to the drink on the first day. Day two I got a headache almost immediately after finishing the Cranergy. I get headaches frequently but I couldn't ignore the cause this time. Itwasn't caffeine withdraw because I don't really get that and when I do it isn't like these headaches. By day three there was no doubt that the headache was from the drink. I'm going to say it was from the dye or the Splenda, neither of which are a normal part of my diet. I have gotten headaches from each before.
Did I have more energy? Nothing that I really noticed but I didn't have LESS energy either, which is a good thing! So it can either keep up with coffee and tea or none of it ever worked for me to begin with. I did get a lot more shopping done that week than I have in a long time. That could be important! I was still not able to drum up enough energy or will to go for walks or anything with the kids, but I don't think that has to do with energy as much as it does with something mental going on in my head.
I didn't have any jitters like with my afternoon coffee, but I don't think I would trade jitters for headaches.
Will I continue to drink Cranergy? If they get rid of the dye I will consider it. If they change to a more natural sugar and still keep the price reasonable I will give it another go. Otherwise, no, I definitely will not continue. Tea and coffee are both more natural than this drink right now.
Did I cover everything? What do you think of this drink?