Aug 19, 2019

V-Nourish Health Drink Review


Regular readers of my blog would have guessed my top two favorite categories of packaged foods - Breakfast cereals and "health" drinks. I have written about so many brands that belong to these two categories. New brands are getting launched almost every month and it is challenging to stay informed of their marketing strategies. 

Sometime in June, I came across this new brand named "V-Nourish" launched by Veeba foods and promoted by none other than Shahrukh Khan. I'm a huge fan of his 90s movies, let me declare that upfront. 

What piqued my interest was that the brand was encouraging consumers to read nutrition labels. This was certainly the first brand to have ever used this strategy, in all my years of observing Indian advertisements (do correct me if I'm wrong).

The tagline being used is "Real ingredients, wholesome nutrition". The brand also stresses on these features - "No artificial flavors, no preservatives, no synthetic colors".

Needless to say, I was super curious to read the ingredients list. I searched for this pack in nearby supermarkets and medical stores but I couldn't find it. I searched for it on Amazon but no details on the ingredients list were available. I then posted on Instagram Stories asking for someone to take a picture of the nutrition label and share it with me. A follower took a pic and DMed me. After seeing the nutrition facts table, I wasn't fully sure if what I'm seeing is true. I followed up with v-nourish on Instagram and finally got hold of the nutrition labels. They have shared it under Parents Support in their website.

The section on "Understanding nutrition labels" gives useful information on how to read and interpret labels. Kudos to the brand for taking this effort. 

Let's look at the ingredients list of V-Nourish - Strawberry flavor.

Sugar, Maltodextrin
Milk Solids (Milk Protein Concentrate - 15%),
Freeze dried strawberries (7%),
Prebiotic (Inulin),
Minerals, Starch, Beet juice powder,
Dehydrated aloe vera extract,
Dehydrated ashwagandha extract,
Vitamins, Choline,
DHA,
Inositol,
Taurine,
Carnitine
Probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus)

Contains Added flavors (Nature identical flavoring substances)

When I saw the pic shared by the Instagram follower, I was shocked to see the amount of sugar. "Am I seeing it right?", I wondered. The first ingredient listed is SUGAR. This pack contains a whopping 51.26 gm of sugar per 100 gm. More than 50% of the pack is SUGAR. The pack states "no extra sugar needs to be added to make this beverage". Each serving (20 gm) contains 10.25 gm or 2.5 tsp of sugar. The recommended usage is 2 serves daily, which means the child would end up consuming 5 tsp of sugar every day. 

What's the need for such high sugar in a nutritional supplement drink? Are we changing our kids' tastebuds to expect sugar whenever we want to feed them nutritious foods? Compared to other health drinks in the market, the sugar level in v-nourish is way too high. Why are the brands deciding how much sugar to add? Why not leave the decision to parents? Let us decide whether to add 1 tsp or 2 tsp of sugar. 

The second ingredient is Maltodextrin, a cheap white powder made from corn and primarily used as a carrier/bulking agent. It doesn't provide any nutrition but it spikes up insulin levels. High Sugar+Maltodextrin on a daily basis => Perfect recipe for early onset of Type 2 diabetes.

As the brand claims, they haven't added artificial strawberry flavor but have used dried strawberries, which is good.
Aloe vera and ashwagandha extract used is so minuscule - 100 gms of this pack contain only 0.75 gm of aloe vera and 0.20 gm of ashwagandha. 

The pack contains 14.7 gm of protein per 100 gm and the source is milk solids. Personally, I don't consider commercial diary to be of any nutritional value. I would rather let my body absorb protein from real, natural, plant-based, home-cooked foods. The same belief holds true for synthetic vitamins and minerals too.

Children need real foods - cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Not sugar-loaded drinks with a laundry list of vitamins and minerals extracted from a factory.

"Read the label to make a good choice", says the brand. Yes, I have read your label and I have made the choice never to buy this pack. I don't want to pay a premium for sugar.



2 comments:

KurianJosef said...

Thank you very much Anuradha, how companies make us parents fools of what is good and wholesome for our children, we forget all the nutrients are in our very own kitchens only if we knew what to eat and when. I was shocked to see the sugar content on these famous brands. Thank you for this eyeopener.

Unknown said...

It's very useful information... Thank you mam

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