Yoga continues to gain popularity in the Western world today with many new practitioners of all ages joining in and studios opening up every day. One of the most beneficial and intensive kinds of yoga for our body and health (and my personal favorite) is hot yoga. A very popular type of hot yoga is Bikram yoga. It was founded by Bikram Choudhury, and has spread in popularity with Bikram studios and classes hosted around the world.
Hot yoga is very intensive since one practices a series of specific standing and floor postures in a hot room of around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The yoga sessions typically last 60 to 90 minutes. In such a setting one is normally sweating profusely and must have adequate water. What else can be very beneficial to support such an activity are electrolytes to quickly replenish minerals that may have been lost through sweating. To address this need in a health-oriented manner, the founder of Bikram yoga has developed a vitality drink called Bikram Balance.
Bikram Balance is a plant-based superfood that adds a huge amount of natural real food electrolytes and alkalinity to the reserves of the body. It comes in the form of a powder that is mixed with water to provide a light drink. It is comprised of over 49 different superfoods, and claims to provide over 15 servings of fruits and vegetables in every scoop. It is used to vitalize, energeize and rejuvenate.
It is health oriented in that it is made from whole, natural foods and superfoods, with no dairy, animal by-products, gluten, wheat, MSG, preservatives or any artificial colors or flavors. It focuses on providing a healthy source of electrolytes and maintaining a healthy acid-alkaline balance.
Bikram Balance claims include the following, in that it may help to:
- Increase Energy Levels
- Replace Electrolytes
- Assist in Weight Loss
- Alkalize the Body
- Relieve Achy Joints
- Boost Immune System
- Balance Blood Sugar Levels
- Promote Mental Acuity
- Improve Digestion & Elimination and more
- Maximize Your Health & Well-Being
While everything about this product sounds wonderful, I am usually not a fan of anything processed or powdered, and take a very mindful approach to any supplements. However I am also open enough to give credit where credit is due, and share about positive features or products that can provide various levels of benefit to other people’s lives. On this note, here is my experience with and analysis of the Bikram Balance vitality drink.
In terms of benefits and purpose for this product, there are definitely lots of valid reasons that one may wish to make use of this product. As a hot yoga enthusiast myself, although I do not consume any supplements or specialty products before or after my practice, aside from water, I can see this being a pleasant and beneficial addition after a session. The product definitely has the right idea overall and for me it comes down to helping people understand that this type of product isn’t just great for hot yoga, but any fitness activity, or simply used as a nutritional supplement. It is much better in terms of its nutritional composition than most multivitamins out there. And it is superior in comparison to commercial sports or athletic drinks and supplements that are based on synthetic ingredients, sugars, artificial flavors and colors. So if one is going to be engaged in strenuous fitness routines or sports of any kind and feeling they need a boost, this can be one of the best products available.
In terms of ingredients, there are definitely a lot of pros about this product. The whole foundation of Bikram Balance is based on extracts of real fruits and vegetables, and to top it off mainly from organic sources. It includes ingredients from vegetables like kale, tomato, broccoli, beet and many more. It includes ingredients from fruits like berries, mango, apple, pineapple and many more. It also includes superfoods like turmeric, spirulina and chlorella. It contains non-dairy probiotics, lots of antioxidant sources, no animal products, no common allergens, and lots of other valuable whole food sourced ingredients.
The “other ingredients” is the area in which some may have a few concerns. For starters even though natural ingredients sound good, I never like seeing them on any food product. It is hard to know what the heck they really are, where and what they came from. What may have been natural once, may have undergone tremendous processing by the time it enters the food product. Citric acid has some negative links to tooth enamel erosion, but positive links to preventing kidney stones. The arguments against it seem weak, considering sugar and other acidic properties could be the culprit, but it is hard to say for sure either way at this point. The sweetener the original formula uses is stevia, which is touted as a natural sweetener, but not everyone is on board with it in the natural health communities. And finally there was a new ingredient which I have never heard of before that caught my attention the most on the berry flavor, this being Lo Han. After some research, it appears LoHan is a natural sweetener that comes from a Chinese fruit and is comparable to stevia. It does not seem to be widely talked about yet, so it is hard to properly assess its health status. You can read more about Lo Han here.
In terms of taste, the product performs quite well. It comes in two flavors: original and berry, and is advertised as “great tasting”, but how this pans out will depend on each person’s tastebuds. I enjoyed the original one more than the berry, as I found it more natural tasting. The flavor of the original one can best be described as “sweet mint”. It is therefore pleasant, but mind you I found it a tad too sweet for my liking. The berry flavor has some nice flavor tones to it, but in general I found it to be too artificial tasting, like an artificial cherry-strawberry flavor. I tried it alone and in various smoothie combinations and its flavor came through quite powerful. It is not horrible tasting, and I got used to it more over time, but it too is on the higher end of sweet tasting.
In terms of solubility, the products seemed to fare very well. For the most effective test I simply added some to water and stirred with a spoon (no blender use, and no shaking in an enclosed cup) and all of the particles seemed to dissolve well. There was no gritty or powder feel or any leftover particles at the bottom of the glass as I have seen happen with many powdered products. They worked great in blender/shaker bottles, and of course mixed with a blender. The original one makes a deep forest green colored drink, and the berry one makes a reddish-pink colored drink.
In terms of texture, the powdered drink is very nice, as there is no noticeable powdery or gritty texture of any kind. The best way to know what to expect is to imagine something like drinking flavored water, and not a powdered shake drink of any kind.
In terms of price, a 10oz (282 gram) tub costs $39.99 at most. (Many stores sell for cheaper.) There are 30 servings per container, so this works out to be $1.33 per serving. If one compares the typical bottle of sports drinks out there which can cost anywhere from $2-$4 for a product that contains mainly artificial ingredients, colors and flavors and is heavily based on sugar, this is an outstanding price.
Two things I would love to see when it comes to this product is one, to make a single size packet available widely, as this will be most practical for people to bring with them to their yoga and fitness classes, or sports events. Secondly, I would love to see a breakdown of the vitamin and mineral content that this drink provides, which I feel would help many further understand what they are ingesting.
And so if you are regularly accustomed to drinking any kind of electrolyte or supplement drinks to support your workouts or physical exercises, I definitely recommend giving Bikram Balance a try for it probably will be much healthier than what you may be ingesting. As well, if you are practicing hot yoga, you may wish to experiment and see how this product enhances your health alongside your practice.
As always, let’s make sure that we focus on consuming an optimal diet first and foremost, but know that healthier options exist if we need an external boost of any kind.
- Living greens Blend-Proprietary 2500mg*
- Garden Vegetable Blend-Proprietary 1500mg*
- Antiox Vital Blend-Proprietary 300mg*
- Fiber Sure Blend-Proprietary 1950mg*
- Lecithin (non GMO soy) 1800mg
- Digest Enzyme Blend 200mg*
- Probiotics (Dairy free) 200mg*
- Sprouted Barley (certified organic) 200mg
- Resvera-Peak Blend-Proprietary 100mg*
- Green Tea Extract (decaffeinated 60% polyphenols) 100mg
- Quercetin (98% dihydrate) 100mg
- Milk Thistle Seed Extract (80% Silymarin) 75mg
- Red Beet Root (certified organic) 50mg
- Cinnamon Powder (certified organic) 50mg
- Aloe Leaf Powder (certified organic) 50mg
- Turmeric Rhizome Extract (85% Curcuminoids) 20mg
- Atlantic Kelp Powder (certified organic) 15mg
- Licorice Root Extract 5mg
*For detailed ingredients of proprietary blends, see the supplement facts sheet.
Nutritional Information (original)
- 40 Calories
- 1 g Fat (0g Saturated Fat)
- 1 g Protein
- 6 g Carbohydrate (1g Sugar, 1g fiber)
- 15 mg Sodium
- 0 mg Cholesterol
Other Ingredients (original):
- Natural flavors
- Citric acid
Ingredients of the Berry Flavor vary slightly, with biggest differences being in the “other ingredients”.
Other Ingredients (berry):
- Lo Han
- Cranberry Powder
- Natural Flavors
The vitality drink supplements come in #2 plastic tubs of 10oz (282 grams), which are fully recyclable or reusable once product is finished. There are also single serving (9.4gram) packets available for trial only.
Price (as of this posting)
- $39.99 US for 10oz (282gram) tub (30 servings) with free shipping worldwide from BikramBalance.com
- $24.37 US for 10oz (282gram) tub (30 servings) plus shipping from 911HealthShop.com
- $36.00 US for 10oz (282 gram) tub (30 servings) from Amazon.com
- From BikramBalance.com, as well as other online retailers (see above) with shipping worldwide
- Select yoga studios
- Whole food based
- Mostly organic ingredients
- High quality fruit, vegetable and superfood ingredients
- Vegetarian & Vegan
- Gluten Free
- No GMO
- No MSG or Yeast
- No Corn, Rye or Wheat
- No Soy Protein or Soy Allergens
- No Dairy, Eggs or Animal By-Products
- No Artificial Ingredients, Preservatives or Sweeteners
- Value-based price
- Flavors may not be suitable for everyone
- Nothing else that I am aware of at this time