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Suja Essentials: A review

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Health drinks are currently all the rage, and when I saw these stocked next to the Mamma Chia, which is my current favorite, I decided to try them. First the good part: they’re really high in protein with mostly organic ingredients, and they also have some fiber in them. They’re also free of soy, which makes them much healthier than many health foods these days. Most bottled health drinks are high in sugar, even if there is no sugar added. At 17 grams of sugar, these are modestly sweet compared to some of the really sweet ones out there.

These are essentially a protein smoothie in a bottle. There’s even a fun-to-read bottle. The one for the Chocolate Charge flavor (yes, there’s a chocolate flavor) boasted a quotation from cartoon creator Charles M. Schulz: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now & then doesn’t hurt.”

Alas, however, there was one thing I didn’t really like about these, and it’s a big thing: the flavor. I tried the Mango Magic first, and it had a heavy fruit flavor and tasted syrupy sweet to me. Plus it had a sort of medicinal aftertaste that I didn’t like. It reminded me of that vitamin syrup that used to be on the market years ago. Then I tried the Chocolate Charge. Being chocolate, this one had a natural edge, at least from my perspective, but I still wasn’t wild about it. It is really a chocolate-coconut flavor, but here again, there was that unpleasant medicinal aftertaste. Looking at the ingredients, I couldn't figure out where this was coming from, but I assume it's just something to do with the processing; the ingredients all looked fine to me, and nothing was listed that should taste medicinal.

Although Suja Essentials have much to commend them from a health standpoint, I just didn’t like the taste. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t, so if they sound good to you you might want to try them anyway. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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