Ambronite is marketed as a drinkable supermeal for people with a busy lifestyle. Made with whole-food ingredients, each meal is nutritionally complete, which means that theoretically, you could live on Ambronite alone. Could Ambronite be the ideal food for bicycle touring? Read on to find out what I thought…
(A little disclosure – I was recently given some samples of the new Ambronite V4 formula to test out. No payment is involved, and all views are my own.)
So, what is Ambronite then? Basically, it is a powder which you mix together with water to form a drinkable meal. It's important to note here that this is not a food supplement, such as a protein shake. This is a complete meal. Each meal is packed into an individual packet which contains 500 calories. It is also perfectly balanced so that theoretically, it contains everything you need to have a healthy, nutritionally complete diet.
The product is aimed at people with busy lifestyles, who often skip meals because they are so focussed on whatever it is that people with busy lifestyles focus on. They could simply shake the meal up with water without leaving their computer screens. My impression, is that it is aimed at people working online, digital startup guys and gals – basically, people in San Francisco. I can see how the idea of maintaining a balanced diet without thinking about it would be appealing to these types of people. I wanted to approach this review from a different angle though, as I wanted to see if it would be a suitable food for bicycle touring.
Is Ambronite Suitable for Bicycle Touring?
Nutrition for bicycle touring is not complicated. Just eat whatever you can get your hands on! When you are burning between 3000 and 5000 calories on an average day, it's more to do with how to find time to eat all you need, rather than worrying about what you are eating! This is why most cyclists on a bicycle tour seem to eat the same things, namely pasta, rice, bread, bananas, tuna etc etc. In fact, I wrote a little article you can find here >> The Best Foods For Bicycle Touring. By offering a complete meal in a pack that can be mixed with water, would Ambronite be suitable for bicycle touring?
Weight – Let's start with the weight of each pack, as weight is always an important factor when bicycle touring. Each pack weighs 120g, and contains 500 calories. This means that should you only want to consume Ambronite for one day of bicycle touring, you would need 6 packs to cover 3000 calories. The total weight for 6 packs would be 720g. When you take into account that you wouldn't need to carry a campstove, fuel, or other cooking equipment, the huge weight saving is obviously clear. Plus one for Ambronite.
Taste – Of course, you can only drink 6 supermeals if it tastes good, so does it? Well, I am going to have to mark it down here. Certainly when it is mixed up it doesn't look particularly appealing. More like a green sludge. And the taste is something I still can't quite put my finger on. Grass? Cardboard? I did add lemon to it, and it tasted a little better. Don't get me wrong, it's not that it is foul tasting. It's just that when you have had one, you won't really be thinking ‘Wow, I can't wait for the next one!'. So could I eat this for 6 meals a day? Absolutely not. One meal a day? Sure, I could do that. However, overall, it is minus one for Ambronite.
Cost – This is another important factor to consider when bicycle touring. Ambronite have several deals available through their website, but the very best price on offer puts it at nearly 8 dollars a meal. This is far too expensive, but just to use our 6 packs per day model, this would make the cost $48 a day!! As I average $15 per day when bicycle touring, and this includes accommodation, Ambronite loses out here as well. Minus one point.
Conclusion – I can see that Ambronite is aimed at a certain market, and I was probably approaching it from an angle it is not really designed or marketed for. That said, I wanted to review it in order to see if Ambronite was suitable for bicycle touring, and my conclusion, is that it is not suitable as a sole source of nutrition when bicycle touring. I can see a benefit though in taking along just one pack, and having it as an emergency food supply in those situations where you might run out of food, and believe me, that does happen! I have one pack left, and I will put that in the bottom of my panniers for my upcoming cycling trip from Greece to England which starts in May 2016. Would I buy this myself for bicycle touring or travel? The answer is no.
Have you tried Ambronite or similar drinkable supermeals, and what is your opinion? Please leave a comment below.