- I admit I got fooled by the creative marketing, into thinking these drinks were a) fully natural, b) organic.
- I’m surprised at the high calorie content, most of which is from simple carbs. When I’ve experimented with all-fruit shakes myself, I’ve found I can make a 500-calorie shake with a much better balance of nutrients (protein, fiber, fewer simple carbs, healthy omega fatty acids), but that it requires 3 times the volume of a 480mL, 340-calorie bottle of Naked. Why? Maybe they use purifiers, to remove the bulkier aspects of blended fruit, to create the “fruit purees” cited as ingredients. Or maybe it’s the high content of sugary juices. See, for instance, the ingredients for “Blue Machine”, from their homepage. It contains only 13 blueberries, and by rank-order, the most dominant ingredient is apple juice, which explains the high simple-sugar content. Furthermore, rather than using natural fruit sources of fiber such as cherries or raspberries, Naked adds fiber (maltodextrin). And they don’t tell you where that comes from…
On the pros side… It’s true that, as long as I’m living in California, these drinks cost less in dollars and emissions, to ship from their production in the LA basin to the SF Bay Area. It’s at least more local than buying drinks shipped from other countries, or on the US’s east coast. And there are plenty of good, albeit artificially-added, supplements like anti-oxidants and vitamins. (Michael Pollan has some rational thoughts about how American consumers have become accustomed to an “additive” mindset in foods, when in truth, everything your body needs is already in healthily grown, natural food).
Yet overall, I feel these advantages are outweighed by the heavy price tag, sugary sleep-inducing ingredients, and the deceptive packaging.
* While the labels state the products are natural, I would define “natural” to mean “as it occurs in nature”. With the supplements and sugary juices in Naked Juices — I can’t conclude that.