Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ginseng UP


I have seen Ginseng UP at most of the organic grocers that I have visited so far (and even some of the Asian markets), and have always wondered about it as I chose something else from the shelf. I finally decided to give one a try this past week, and although my curiosity has been satiated, I am starting to feel that ginseng really just does not make for a good beverage.

To start off positive, the flavor of the ginseng used in the beverage is very natural. It has a very dry, earthy ginseng taste, and it is clear that it is derived from organic ingredients. That, however, is about where the appeal stops. Ginseng UP is sweetened with fructose, which is fairly sweet and syrupy and doesn't really mix very well with the mild bitterness of the ginseng. The drink also has a bit of a thick taste, likely due to the heavier nature of the fructose (as opposed to sucrose). This thickness also causes the flavor to hang around in the aftertaste for quite some time, making the all around experience relatively unpleasant. Also, Ginseng UP promotes itself as a "100% Natural Soda," but it was barely carbonated at all. I will admit that I am a bit biased, as I tend to prefer my carbonated drinks as bubbly as possible (I like it to "bite" my mouth a little on the way down), but I don't think that anyone would consider this as carbonated as a soda should be. There is a chance that I may have somehow gotten one that had gone flat, but expecting carbonation and not really getting any is always a disappointing experience.

I like ginseng, and I couldn't finish this drink. That's not to say that nobody is going to like it, but I could not stomach the flavor and aftertaste for more than a few drinks. Ginseng UP is offered in a variety of other flavors, and perhaps some of the others are better, but based on my experience with this one, I think that it will probably be a while before I "try again." I think that if this drink had been unsweetened, it would have been a lot better. Ginseng has a very particular flavor that is only muddled by sweetening, and ginseng-based beverages are most often used as nutritional supplements, anyway. I don't know that sweetening is strictly necessary, and I think that a drink that simply emphasizes the very organic and earthy taste of the ginseng would be much easier to recommend.

Verdict: Not recommended

Purchased: Rosewood Market [Columbia, SC]
Size: 12 fl. oz. [355 mL]
Price: $1.59

6 comments:

  1. The Original flavour has always been a bit intense. The flavours that are more fruit oriented are on the more sweeter side. My favourites are Orange and Lemon-Lime. Grape is good too.

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  2. I have seen the fruit flavors in stores before, but my experience with this one kind of put me off to the others, originally. Thanks for your recommendation, though. I'll have to give the flavored ones another try sometime. Grape sounds like it might be especially good.

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  3. I don't know what you had but the ginseng up is the best! You need the grape or cola. I started off with the grape and moved to the original make sure the ingredients say citric acid and cane sugar it makes the drink more palpable. Ginseng is the ultimate in health! if you want to stop something stop soda's and alcohol!

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  6. Ginseng Up has been around in the USA for 30 years and counting. The flavored varieties are usually the best for the American palate. It is a great alternative to soda and energy drinks especially for those whom are weight conscious or energy deficient. Here are just 7 of the many health benefits of ginseng:
    http://zeenews.india.com/news/health/healthy-eating/top-7-health-benefits-of-ginseng_20353.html

    Stress reliever: Ginseng is known to reduce the levels of stress and acts as a stimulant. It also regulates metabolism and increases energy levels.


    Anti-aging benefit: Ginseng helps slow the signs of aging as it is a significant source of antioxidants which halt the formation of free radicals and another anti-aging substance called maltol.

    Mental stimulant: Ginseng tea helps stimulate brain cells thereby improving concentration, thinking ability and memory.

    Aids in erectile dysfunction: Ginseng acts as a potent aphrodisiac and is believe to help those men with erectile dysfunction.

    Helps control weight: Ginseng tea is a natural appetite suppressant and helps in fighting obesity.

    Blood sugar control: Studies show that ginseng may help diabetics to control blood sugar levels as it creates sugar-lowering effects in fasting and after-meal blood sugar levels.

    Menstrual problems: American ginseng tea helps reduce the pain of menstrual cramps.

    Precaution: However, like all health supplements, it must be used under medical supervision as it can cause allergy, headaches, gastrointestinal and sleep problems. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and those who are under medication should avoid using ginseng.

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