Review: Synchro Genesis Nutritional Energy Drink – Plus Crowdfunding Launch

Synchro Genesis nutritional shake meal replacement energy drink for athletes

Not my kitchen. I wish I had several bags of this stuff laying around.

Earlier this year, I picked up a bag of Synchro Genesis’ nutrition shake/energy drink/meal replacement at the SE Bike Expo.

The ingredients were the first thing I noticed. Things like coconut palm nectar, raw cacao, super greens, acai and such all sound great and have proven to be pretty high in antioxidants. They also use pea protein, which is cool because it’s vegan friendly without resorting to soy. Some of us just don’t like soy, so this product seemed to tick off all the right boxes. Oh, and it’s now gluten free. Our bag had trace amounts from a barley fiber that was added to their greens blend. Now, they’re sourcing each super green powder individually. Having been in the beverage industry in a past life, I can tell you this often increases both costs and complexity, but the result is worth it if you really care about your product’s quality. And these guys do.

So, the ingredients are top notch, but how does it taste? And does it work? And why are they running an Indiegogo campaign?

TASTE, PERFORMANCE & INGREDIENTS

Their website does a great job of explaining each ingredient and more, so fanatics can go there. Here’s the highlights:

  • Coconut palm nectar is a minimally-processed, low-glycemic sugar to sweeten the product without spiking blood sugar.
  • Organic raw cacao (unprocessed chocolate) is sourced from old-growth strands of heirloom cacao trees high in the rain forests of Ecuador and has extremely high antioxidant levels.
  • Organic raw maca works in tandem with the cacao to boost stamina and strength by supporting the endocrine (hormonal) system.
  • Plant based proteins are amino-complete and highly-digestible, which supports muscle recovery and growth.
  • Acai and Super Greens blend detoxify and repair the body, and supply the trace minerals and phytonutrients critical to maintaining a healthy metabolism (their words).

They claim it has a rich, chocalately taste. I’d say it has a faint chocalately taste that’s barely masking all the healthy stuff. That’s not to say it’s bad, but it’s like any other overly healthy product: You put up with it because you know it’s good for you. Or, you blend it with a banana, ice and a little coffee and it’s pretty darn good.

Sure, this adds some sugar, but for a pre- or post ride shake, it worked incredibly well. I could gulp down a double serving and be fine for a three hour ride with only normal sports drink and/or gel/water refueling during the ride. The consistency is on the thinner side, but it’s enough to put something on your stomach so you’re not starving on an early morning ride. If you’re looking for a natural, plant based product to boost your energy and fuel your rides, I’d highly recommend it.

THE CAMPAIGN

Like many small companies that have developed a following, Synchro is stuck in the cycle of using cash flow just to maintain operations, not growing as fast as they might be able to if they could boost production. Again, having come from the beverage industry, Synchro’s growing pains are real. In order to expand, you need a good co-packer. In order to get in with the good co-packers, you need to purchase certain minimum size runs and generally prepay until you develop a good history with them.

Remember a few years back when a new energy drink hit the market every other day? Yeah, so do the co-packers, and many of those drinks went out of business so fast that suppliers got burned. Now everyone suffers for it.

Such is the case here. They’ve found a co-packer capable of meeting their quality standards, now they just need the capital to do a large enough run.

Normal retail per package is $29.95. Get your indie gogoing and you can score them for under $20 depending on the level of support. Check out the campaign here. They’re almost halfway to their funding goal as of this post.

Comments

Independent - 12/04/12 - 10:13pm

I’m not used to seeing protein shakes recommended BEFORE vigorous exercise such as a 3 hour ride. Protein comes AFTER.

Graham - 12/05/12 - 1:17am

Tyler – amazing article. Cool that you come from the food/beverage industry and know what a challenge it is to scale at these early stages. Thanks so much for writing this and supporting the campaign!
http://www.indiegogo.com/synchro

Graham - 12/05/12 - 1:38am

@Independent – You’re right, protein is crucial post-ride to support protein synthesis while anabolic metabolism is highest. There’s also a lot of good evidence to consume it pre-training to mitigate catabolic metabolism that happens while you’re on the bike.

But more significantly, getting high levels of anti-oxidants pre-ride helps mitigate oxidative stress done during training (and thus, reduce inflammation). The same also applies post-training. Reducing inflammation is the #1 thing most amateur athletes (and sports nutrition products…) overlook. There is no bigger hindrance to recovery than inflammation.

Velorider - 12/05/12 - 6:38am

Liquid meal replacement, not protein shake — while it has protein in it, so does rice…and rice is not consumed as a protein meal.

Independent - 12/05/12 - 10:02am

The first two ingredients are pea and hemp protein. The site doesn’t bother to list protein per serving but when the first ingredient is protein, you have a protein drink. The apologists here are welcome to scarf protein before vigorous exercise and deal with the consequences themselves. This isn’t an intelligent pre ride choice. And frankly, processed food should always be backup, not core anyway.

cdubsf - 12/08/12 - 5:27pm

This stuff rocks. I picked some up a few months ago and I have been hooked ever since. I don’t generally use it as a pre-ride supplement but it is great everyday. I put it in with all the smoothies i make and its awesome. Just my opinion. Keep it up and best of luck on your campaign.

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