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Review: FRS Healthy Energy and Healthy Protein

While I already did a review on FRS Healthy Energy when it launched a few years ago, FRS now has a new formula for their products, a new container, and even a completely new recipe with protein.

There’s a new formula for FRS Healthy Energy. The big difference is that it contains less sugar (19g now vs 36g in the past,) and it’s sweetened with stevia. Thanks to the stevia taking on some of the sugar’s sweetening duties, you get a total of only 90 calories per bottle. And now I can get my favorite Wild Berry flavor without having to get the low calorie (i.e. sucralose) version!

Yes, I did say bottles – FRS now comes in 12oz plastic bottles. They’re more convenient than cans since you can reseal them. This will make it easier to drink 1/2 a serving in the morning and 1/2 in the mid-afternoon. Unfortunately it takes longer to open these – there’s a plastic wrapper to peel off, then a “peel back” cover on the bottle’s opening. I guess the plus side is that the opening would be more sanitary as compared to the top of a can exposed to the world.

Now that’s the new formula, but what about the completely new recipe? That would be FRS Healthy Protein. Now you can get your energy kick with a good dose of whey protein – 25g to be exact. These bottles are 190 calories, but provide a more substantial, satiated feeling when finished. I’m not compelled to get my protein through a bottle of energy drink, but hey, I’m sure some consumers will love this stuff.

Let’s get to the important part…

FRS Taste Test

My thoughts on these new flavors:

Wild Berry Healthy Energy: This has a completely different texture than I remember with the cans. It’s thicker, perhaps. The flavor seems more muted though. Maybe it’s the same strength of flavor, but it doesn’t have the super strong (yet odd) sweetness that comes from the sucralose.

This was kind of disappointing.

Blackberry Acai Healthy Protein: My first thought was, “holy crap this is strong!” – it is so packed with flavor! It was very sweet too, but naturally sweet. I think the acai flavor makes it sweet like that. It tastes like there is real acai juice in there, but I only see “natural flavors” in the ingredients.

You can easily tell the difference between healthy energy and healthy protein. This protein one is really thick. It leaves a bit of an aftertaste, too, which I blame on the whey protein. It’s not so much a taste as it is a mouth feel – it just feels “thick.”

It kind of reminds me of those yogurt smoothies in little bottles like this. It definitely felt more substantial to drink it compared to the regular FRS. I actually drank half the bottle in the morning and felt fuller than I normally would from a full FRS energy drink.

Pricing for the FRS Bottles

I only tried those two flavors, then didn’t feel like buying more. Why?

The retail price on these bottles is $2.99 each. Definitely not cheap!

Luckily I picked these up on a secret special offer in the FRS store. I was ordering some cans of FRS on an online clearance sale, and in the shopping cart, they let me add a two bottle trial of the new bottles for $2 even. So, $1 per bottle. I’m happy with that!

But at $2.99 or even $2.79 which you might find, I might just stick with the cans.

New Energy Boost?

FRS’ energy boost was the same as usual. That is, a quick, prominent boost, but not as powerful as a cup of coffee.

The energy lasts mildly throughout the day and tapers off, so it’s easy to get to sleep at night (unlike when I have coffee.)

Any difference with the protein version as far as energy boost? Not that I can tell.

Summary

Overall, this new FRS formula is a nice change, but for me personally, I don’t want to pay more for it. Really, the main feature is that is comes in a resealable bottle. If you don’t need that, you could stick with the cans or liquid concentrate.

*Sure, the lower sugar content is nice, but if you want to cut sugar from your diet, you should totally cut energy drinks from your diet!

About the Author:
Levi Bloom is the official product reviewer for RunnersResource.com. Levi is a cyclist, runner, and triathlete who writes at CoachLevi.com. He has tried quite a few FRS products since 2008, so he knows his stuff.

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