BeachBody Performance Stack Review

***Disclaimer: I received a free sample of the Beachbody Performance Stack as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I do a lot of shakes and smoothies for meals. I have a Nutri-bullet that I love and I throw the kitchen sink in there. I’m always looking to try out new supplements and proteins in my smoothies so I was super excited to try out Beachbody’s Performance Stack of exercise enhancers. The Performance Stack includes four different training formulas to be used at different times of excerice:

  • Recharge – to be used before
  • Hydrate – to be used during
  • Recover – to be used immediately after
  • Recharge – to be used at nighttime

All Beachbody products have been NSF-certified – meaning they have been tested to comply with the NSF’s banned substance standards.  You can learn more here.

ENERGIZE

Energize is designed to be used pre-workout. It’s supposed to help you focus and workout harder and longer. You are to mix one scoop with 8 oz of water 30 minutes before exercising.

It contains Beta-alanine to help reduce lactic acid build-up, Quercetin (a phytonutrient) to help delay fatigue, and a low dose of caffeine to help give you an energy boost. It is sweetened with Stevia. I found it pretty sweet with just 8 oz of water. I diluted it a bit more and found the lemony citrus taste very palatable.  Did I notice a big performance enhancement? Not really much more than my normal daily cup of coffee before a run. I would recommend this if you’re not a coffee drinker for a little pick-me-up before a workout.

HYDRATE

I really like Hydrate a lot. I’m always on the hunt for a good electrolyte replacement to use during my runs since I sweat so much.  I drank this during my longer runs and after to replenish my fluids and electrolytes. I get wicked headaches if I don’t replace my fluids after my runs and the smooth, citrus flavor of Hydrate helped me gulp down several glasses of water…and no headache! It also contains Quercetin to help endurance, various electrolytes, and low-dose carbs to help keep you going longer.

The taste was nice and mild. I don’t like an overpowering flavor or sweetness in my hydration. This stuff was perfect. Just a mild flavor that didn’t coat my tongue or give me any stomach distress. Good stuff.

RECOVER

The Recover formula is to be used within 30 minutes after your workout to help with muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown.  It’s comprised of pomegranate extract, 20 grams of protein, and branched-chain amino acids.

I drank this both straight with water and in a fruit smoothie. It was super easy to pour and mix in the nifty shaker bottle you get with the Beachbody Performance Stack. I found it to be a little sweet and chalky with a noticeable after taste. But hoestly, it was nothing different than most protein recovery drinks I’ve tried. I liked it much better blended into a smoothie. I really liked that it had 20 grams of protein per scoop. I usually drink my smoothies with almond or cashew milk, so I like to add a good protein in there for muscle recovery.

RECHARGE

Lastly in the Performance Stack is Recharge. This one was probably my second favorite. I loved the vanilla flavor. It was also pretty sweet and a little chalky by itself, but it blended superbly into my fruit blends and gave it a nice, creamy vanilla flavor.

Recharge is to be consumed about 1 hour before going to sleep. It’s supposed to help reduce DOMS and promote muscle recovery. I really liked that it has tart cherry extract. I drink tart cherry juice as an anti-inflammatory and for muscle recovery often, but it’s SUPER tart. This stuff tasted much better. And each scoop has an additional 20 grams of protein and more branched-chain amino acids to aid in muscle re-building.

You can get the whole Beachbody Performance Stack here and it starts out at $199.95. Beachbody backs their products with a 30 day money-back guarantee, so no harm, no foul if you want to try it out and don’t like it. Out of all of the products I would probably buy the Hydrate and the Recharge again

Product Review – Apera bags – the workhorse of fitness bags!

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Recently I was contacted by Apera Bags to see if I’d like to try out one of their sport bags. Funny thing is, I had just taken Baby Z to the zoo and was struggling to find a good bag with enough compartments that didn’t kill my back. I ended up using a swag bag from one of my recent races. It was OK, but not what I wanted. I needed a good backpack. And lo and behold, in my email inbox they had contacted me! (Thank you Universe!) They told me to pick out any bag I wanted. So of course I gravitated to the backpack and OF COURSE I had to have the one in hot pink.The bag arrived shortly after. I pulled it out of the box and immediately fell in love with the color! I know, it’s not for everyone but it’s bright and fun and it makes me smile. They do have more subdued colors for those who don’t want to scream “LOOK at my cool bag!”

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Let me tell you, this bag is FULL of compartments! There are zippered pockets everywhere! I kept opening and finding more and more pockets. I loaded it with gym necessities and have taken it to the gym with me the last couple of weeks to try it out. I also used it recently on a 2-hour nature walk excursion with Baby Z.  Here are some of the features about all the Apera bags that I really like:

  • The bags are treated with antimicrobial protection inside and out. This helps keep all those funky odors from your sweaty bod at bay. See ya later bacteria! Clean, clean, clean.
  • It has vented compartments allowing for air-flow and quicker drying for wet materials. This is especially big down here in the southern swamp where the humidity level stays at a lovely 86%.
  • The interior linings are wipeable and easy to clean. As a Mom, this was a biggie for me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a sippy cup leak or fruit snacks break out of their captive bag and cause a mess inside a bag.
  • There is a zippered washable insert included with the bag. I haven’t used this yet, but it’s going to be really useful come swim lesson time (in a couple of weeks!)
  • Easy access pockets both inside and out. It’s nice to have pockets to hold both your small and large stuff. The special tech pocket at the top of the bag is extra padded to protect your phone, iphone, ipod, whatever.
  • Wipeable, easy-clean bottom. Again, a biggie for me since I’m always having to set my bag down in places that I’m not so sure of the cleanliness.
  • So. Much. Room. I think I could pack for a 3 day weekend in this thing!
  • It’s surprisingly lightweight considering the size and amount of room.
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Special extra padded tech pocket at the top of the bag for your electronic gear.

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More font pockets!

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Large interior compartment with wipeable lining and washable insert.

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Wipeable bottom in case you have to set it down in something icky.

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Yet ANOTHER rear pocket at the back of the bag!

They have several different style of bags: the Performance Duffel, Tech Pack, Yoga Tote, Duffel Pack, Sling Tote and the Active Pack (which is what I got). There is pretty much a bag to fit any lifestyle and any activity.

The Apera website says that their bags were designed for the Social Athlete which I think is pretty cool. Social media plays such a big part in how we connect and train and encourage each other and share. It’s great that a company recognizes that niche. Another nice thing about the company is that they’re big supporters of the Special Olympics. In fact, they donate one bag for every three bags they sell. logo_transparentspecialolympicsbag_448x290

All in all, I’ve been really, really happy with this bag so far. And I love, love, the color I chose. It’s perfect since I’m now a Sweat Pink Ambassador too! I expect to get a lot of use out of it on future adventures and workouts.

UPDATE: Check out the great Apera Sprint Pack giveaway I have going on now! https://jenzenator.com/2014/05/22/apera-bag-giveaway/

 

Disclosure: Apera Bags provided me with this bag for use without any promise of review or payment for review. All opinions are strictly my own.