What’s going on here eh?
Upbeat – a whey based protein drink who describe themselves as ‘a bit of extra willpower in a bottle’ challenged me to a week of high protein eating. I think the idea is getting people to be more active and to eat more protein. OK.
So yeah, always up for a challenge (and the chance to eat/drink new stuff) I said yes and they sent me a whole load of food and 7 Upbeat drinks to consume over the week.
- I kinda already do this – my general ‘not going out’ diet is a form of modified paleo with about 200-500g of meat and fish a day, plus the occasional scoop of protein powder. And lots of alcohol on weekends :v
- Much like I’d imagine you are, I’m not a health/fitness professional (nobody’s gonna pay me to ‘eat clean’) and the demands of being a food and drink writer are enough to quickly derail any plan that involves adhering to a strict and regimented diet plan.
- Also I don’t like dieting. Do you? Does anyone?
- Another consideration – I practice intermittent fasting. I don’t normally eat breakfast, and lunch often arrives later in the afternoon. The majority of my calories are consumed in the evening.
- From a body composition POV I am quite happy with my current diet – though of late I seem to have recurrent bouts of acne that I’m still trying to work out for the cause for. It may or may not be completely related to diet, but I do know it responds favourably to cutting out dairy (yoghurt being the exception)
Upbeat week goals
- Therefore my goals with my ‘upbeat weak’ were either to maintain or increase my bodyweight, whilst overcoming said acne. SIMULTANEOUSLY.
Why you do this?
- For the lulz (default response to almost everything)
- Tasting Britain’s cofounder Bryony said they tasted pretty good.
- I find dietary experiments exciting and am rather resistant to food poisoning :3
Other things you’re not meant to do with Upbeat (but I tried anyway)
- Using it in the microwave to steam cook vegetables (like spinach) – kinda works
- Adding a thickener to it (such as xanthan gum or protein powder) and using it as a fruity protein dip/sludge (lol) – results were mixed but definitely edible. The blueberry & raspberry flavoured one mixed with an unflavoured whey protein are a good combination
- I didn’t have quite enough Upbeat to try and come up with any bizarro recipes :3
Tasting Notes / Thoughts – what’s Upbeat actually taste like?
Here’s some thoughts after consuming a week’s worth.
- Upbeat is basically a mix between a protein shake and a smoothie
- It will probably go down well with most people in terms of taste
- It’s not too sweet, but tastes somewhat artificial and is obviously sweetened. In terms of ‘yoghurty’ drinks – it’s not quite as ‘seamless’ as a Lassi, for example. But unlike a Lassi it won’t slam your blood glucose level with a bunch of added sugar
- Closest thing it reminds me to in taste is to a certain probiotics supplement, or a sweetened drinking yoghurt
- Ingredients are pretty legit – the majority of each one is made up of whey protein concentrate, along with a small amount of fruit juice and natural colouring. They’re sweetened by sucralose, a somewhat controversial artificial sweetener but not something I have any issues with (provided you don’t start taking it in megadoses).
- I have seen it between £1 and £1.79 a bottle (more often £1.79)
- I usually tend to chug the whole thing in one go, which makes it easy to consume. Maybe too easy.
- BUT if you don’t chug the lot and you’re at home, you can do some cooking experiments (see above)
- Upbeat is not really satiating but it deals with your thirst pretty well. Feels like something that’d be more suited to summer.
- Taste reminds me of a certain, well known probiotics blend.
- Favourite flavour is blueberry and raspberry , second is strawberry, third is Mango and passionfruit
- Mango and passionfruit has an a tart tropical flavour that I feel doesn’t quite match up with the milky taste you get form the whey.
- Did I achieve my outcome over the week? Well – my weight stayed the same and my acne had decreased somewhat. So, kinda.
- But I would say the loss of the acne is probably attributable to some acne meds I had been prescribed a few weeks back and that I was told by my doc ‘may take a while to kick in’.
- I wouldn’t say that this is the most scientific of experiments (there were too many things going on this week…meds, alcohol, post run come down…what most self experimenters may describe as ‘variables’).
- Upbeat itself? It’s good, not bad, Eminently drinkable but not something I would regularly spend £1 – £1.70 a pop on for protein.
- It’s much cheaper to get a reasonably priced protein powder and make your own, more customised protein blend. To do this: keep the powder(s) in your shaker, then add water before consumption (I assume the places you visit have water on tap of course)
- Then again not everybody can be bothered with that – and if you have a little extra money, then maybe Upbeat is more your cup of tea. And by ‘tea’ I mean flavoured whey supplement. And by ‘cup’ I mean bottle.
- Ingredients generally check out.
- As do the macronutrients, if you’re aiming for more protein in your diet and are pretty active. The whey they use in this is also a complete source of amino acids
- It has a lot more protein than other drinks in its category. It’s also cheaper than some of the competition too.
- Costs a fair bit more than your typical serving of protein from a powder.
- Only 3 flavours at this point, so super picky people might not find one that they like
- Not suitable for vegans or those who don’t like/can’t digest whey
- People with more money than time but who wish to up their protein uptake.
- Plus people who like sweet and yoghurty tasting things
Not Recommended To
- Serious meatheads and people who pose the question “do you even lift” on a regular basis (yeah, you know who you are)
- People who cost things on a ‘per serving’ basis (like me – one of those pathologically thrifty people)