Core Power protein milk shake review from a momma on the run

Kelly's three flavors of Core Power to try out.

Kelly’s three flavors of Core Power to try out.

As you may have read in Brian’s and Anne’s reviews of Core Power, there were three of us testing this protein milk shake out. We all have vastly different lives and training goals. For me, training is simply running when I can to stay fit and for a little “me” time. My running goal is simply to run, and if I average under a 10-minute mile I’m pretty darn happy with myself. Life with an almost-two-year-old means that nutrition has to also be quick and convenient.

I was all set to try three flavors of the Core Power “natural high protein milk shake” – Strawberry Banana, Vanilla, and Chocolate. I decided to try each one at a different time of day, to see how the drink treated me in different circumstances.

Mid-morning snack: For this trial, I went with what I assumed would be my least-favorite flavor: Strawberry Banana. I firmly believe that the only thing that should taste like bananas are … bananas. But, one day at work, around 10a, I looked at the noon calendar on my meeting, thought back to my paltry bowl of Cinnamon Life from 7a, and decided “Today’s the day for a little Core Power.”

To my surprise, I liked it. The flavor is very light, and not sugary-feeling or too sweet. It’s got a lot more of the strawberry flavor than banana. This was the “light” version of the Core Power milk shake, and the consistency was closer to 2% milk than what I was expecting (something more like a smoothie). This made it really easy to drink. At only 11.5 oz, it didn’t fill me up too much, which I liked because most mornings if I have a tea or some other drink, I don’t get through my 20 oz. water cup before lunch. (Can’t have a soda with lunch if I haven’t had at least 20 oz of water … my personal rule.)

The post-long run refueling drink: Post-long run nutrition is important. Just ask any coach or experienced runner.  However, knowing that and living that are two different things. Especially when your long run is usually followed immediately by a four-minute shower interrupted at least once by a toddler who needs help blowing her nose or wanting to let you know she got the fridge open but the eggs broke. So this week after my long run, I immediately downed my vanilla flavored Core Power. I polished it off in about 10 seconds. And it was delicious.

Then I looked up where I could buy this stuff locally, because I only have one left in my trial pack. I’m hoping one of my favorite local running stores starts carrying this, but I did find it carried at  a number of convenience stores – click here to see a map showing retail locations selling Core Power within 10 miles of 97201. You can also buy it online here from Amazon.  It’s comparable in price to what you’d pay for a Starbucks frappuccino … only it’s healthy. A case of 12 Core Power drinks is around $35 on Amazon.

I’d recommend this to other runners looking for a yummy post-run protein snack. Definitely delicious and not so filling that I couldn’t rehydrate with some good, old-fashioned water and then have lunch an hour later.

The post-work pre-run snack: It was time. For some chocolate Core Power!

I will preface this by admitting I don’t really like chocolate. I actually considered giving this one to my husband to get an unbiased opinion, but I liked the other two flavors I had to give it a chance.

If you love chocolate, you’ll probably like the chocolate Core Power, but for me, it was a little … too chocolately. I can hear some of you saying, “That’s silly. There’s no such thing.” It was easy to drink, don’t get me wrong – I killed the entire bottle in about 30 seconds; I just liked the other flavors better.

As for the run: no upset stomach, no queasy feeling – just a nice run. I didn’t feel any jolt of power – but that’s not how protein drinks work; so the fact that I could down it and then go for a four-mile run immediately afterwards is good, in my opinion!

I always like to know a little about the company behind the product I’m reviewing, so I asked them for some info. Here’s what I learned about fairlife, LLC, the company that makes Core Power:

Fairlife, LLC, which was founded by veterinarian Mike McCloskey and his wife Sue. As a busy mother of four, Sue sought a better tasting, more nutritious milk drink that contained the proteins, vitamins, minerals and calcium she needed to fit her active lifestyle in a single serving. Sue is a fitness enthusiast who works out daily, putting the protein of Core Power to good use on a regular basis. The McCloskeys started fairlife, LLC, to revolutionize the dairy industry and further invigorate the growing health and wellness category by bringing the purity and great taste of milk to a range of naturally advanced drinks and snacks. In short, they believe in better farming tactics which results in better milk products.

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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