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Labrada Lean Body Hi-Protein Milk Shake

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I can't believe I'm not making fun of this product. Even though I've enjoyed my share of processed beverages, I still usually turn my nose at complicated sports drinks, as I believe good ol' H2O to be the most healthful beverage when you're working out for an hour or less. It boggles my mind when people gulp sugar-filled recovery beverages after doing, like, one set of crunches.

But a strange thing happened recently. I was out of town for a race and made a pit-stop at a local convenience store for my nightly milk fix. There was no milk to be found, however, save a gallon of whole, which I try not to drink less than 24 hours before a long run in order to avoid excessive Port-O-Pottie stops.

There was, however, vanilla-flavored Labrada Lean Body Hi-Protein Milk Shake, which is made right here in H-town. It had about as much fat and calories as 2 percent milk and promised 40 grams of "LeanPro Protein."

"What the hell," I thought, and picked up a container. Thus, I violated one of the cardinal rules of training for endurance athletics: do not try any new foods or drinks the night before the event.

The shake tasted like liquid vanilla-frosted mini-wheats. Not bad. I had a few sips at room temperature, then microwaved the rest in a big mug. It tasted even better: sort of like whey-flavored Ovaltine. My stomach pleasantly bloated with warm (Low carb! High-protein!) dairy, I drifted off to sleep.

The race went better than expected. I won't attribute this success entirely to Labrada, but it's made me think twice about completely eschewing man-made sports drinks.

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