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Seeing the Glass As Half Full (of Good Stuff!)

I have three fave drinks (well, besides plain ol’ water): milk, juice and protein drinks. All three do something specific for me. Milk is for my calcium (and it’s super tasty with my usual Kashi Go Lean Crunch), juice is for days when my fridge is out of fresh fruit but I need some nutrition, and protein drinks are for early mornings when I can’t stomach a full meal but need fuel or after a workout when my stomach isn’t hungry but I know my muscles are. And today’s post features three drinks we’ve tried recently that fit each of those functions. Read on for the official taste-test!

Silk Almond milkSilk PureAlmond

I’ve long been a drinker of soy milk, but, believe it or not, I’d only had almond milk once. Once! So it was high time I gave it another go. Silk just released the new line of the nutty stuff, and sent us some to try. The verdict? Yummy nuttiness. I tried both the original and vanilla varieties. Both were smooth and perfect in everything from oatmeal to cereal to smoothies. Now, I’m used to original soy milk, so I preferred the original almond formula because it wasn’t overly sweet, but I loved having some of the vanilla as a sweet treat at night.

I do wish that the milks had more protein—a serving has just 1 gram—but at just 60 calories for the original and 90 calories for the sweet vanilla, it’s not too shabby. Plus, both are a good source of calcium, vitamin D and have healthy fats in them. AND it tastes like almonds. Tasty almonds. Sometimes you feel like a nut!

minute maid juiceMinute Maid

Although I may be a bit partial to Tropicana for obvious reasonsMinute Maid is pulling at my heart strings these days. They recently sent us three single-serve “Enhanced” juice options: Pomegranate Blueberry, Pomegranate Lemonade and Strawberry Kiwi. Can you say delicious? Better yet, every flavor contains real fruit juice with a fun functional ingredient, such as yerba mate for energy, Omega-3 for brainpower or antioxidants to boost your immune system. I’m always a sucker for added nutrition.

I loved the new smaller packaging that, first, kept your serving size down to a sane size (180 cals total for the Pomegrante Blueberry, just 130 for the Pomegrante Lemonade and 120 for the Strawberry Kiwi) and, second, can be thrown into your bag on the way to work or from a rousing session at the gym. The Pomegranate Blueberry was my absolute favorite as it has 100 percent fruit juice. The Pomegranate Lemonade and Strawberry Kiwi were “flavored juice drinks” (read: not 100 percent juice), but they were tasty, and I may have tried them successfully in a cocktail. Shhh…don’t tell.

Vega Sport ProteinVega Sport Performance Protein

I’m a tad addicted to Vega stuff. It’s like healthy crack (now there’s an oxymoron) for me. The latest creation from this lovable brand is the Vega Sport Performance Protein. Oh, heavenly green protein. With 20 grams of complete protein, 5,000 mg of BCAAs (branch chain amino acids), digestive enzymes and glutamine to help improve performance, increase muscle synthesis and strength, reduce inflammation and enhance recovery safely and naturally, this stuff really is healthy crack!

It’s made of natural, plant-based ingredients, like sprouted brown rice, green peas, hemp, alfalfa juice and spirulina—and get this, it tastes good! Although the package says to drink it with water (which is an acquired taste, fo shizzle), I prefer to put it in my morning smoothie with a little almond milk (see above), strawberries, banana and instant coffee granules. It comes in two flavors—berry and vanilla—and while both are good, I prefer the vanilla. Goes better with my caffeine hit. Oh, and it’s only 100 calories for a serving/packet of the stuff, which supplies 20 grams of protein. Plenty to start your day off right. Vega wins me over again!

Want to try Silk PureAlmond or some of the Minute Maid juice for yourself? Leave a comment below and we’ll select a few lucky U.S. residents next week to win free coupons for the good stuff. May the luckiest win! —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!