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Gut-Busting Post-workout Refreshment

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I am a little hot-under-the-collar about this one. I recently read an article on Yahoo! online about the worst drinks in America written by the Editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine and Director for Women’s Health magazine, David Zinczenko.

I was dumbfounded to learn that my local Smoothie King has a 40 oz. 2,000 calorie drink on their menu, called The Hulk. Now what kind of sick b#$%#$% creates such a thing, and for what purpose? What application could possibly warrant a drink that allows you to consume your whole day’s caloric intake in one shot (albeit 40oz. worth of sips, but still)?

I decided to do an informal investigation, so I headed to my local Smoothie King after a recent workout and talked with the man behind the counter while he blended up my 233 calorie Island Treat smoothie.

“So which one is the 2,000 calorie one I heard about?” I inquired.

“The Hulk. Did you read the article online, or the Men’s Health article?” my friendly smoothie barista said.

“The online article, which I think was referencing the Men’s Health article. So what’s the purpose of that drink anyway? Have you ever considered donating them to soup kitchens?”

The Hulk comes in flavors like Strawberry and Chocolate. In the 40 oz. version, it contains 2,088 calories, a whopping 70g of fat (32g saturated), and a ludicrous 240g of sugar. My stomache hurts just thinking about it.

He chuckled and replied, “It’s really intended for serious body builders and people trying to gain weight for other reasons.”

Other semi-liquid diet bombs include the Baskin-Robbins Large Ice cream Soda with Vanilla Ice Cream Float (32oz., 960 calories), Cold Stone Creamery Gotta Have It PB&C Shake (2,010 calories). I doubt anyone would mistake those for healthy choices, but I digress.

“Do we really have that many serious body builders in Johnson County that it warrants having that on your menu?” I asked, trying not to sound too interrogative.

“No one ever really orders it. Every once in a while this time of year a group of guys from a local high school come in fresh from football practice and order a round of 20 oz.

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We just can't be reminded enough of information like this. Portions of nearly everything can be had in such huge quantities right now that it makes us feel virtuous even to order a "medium." (Whereas if we did the calorie/nutrition content of that medium, we might head to a small, or to a different choice altogether.) When I think about the convenience stores that offer 64 ounces of soft drinks, for instance, or see a plate of pasta that is big enough for two complete meals, it is easier to see where America's weight problem is coming from. My sister and I went to a Pizza Hut to share a small pizza and eat salads a few days ago. There is no "small" on the menu anymore. There is Individual, Medium, and Large. And the "Individual" pizza IS the Small pizza from before. She ate two pieces, I ate two pieces, we saved two pieces and ate our salads. But when it's sitting there on the table, it's very hard not to pick at the remaining pieces or just eat them "so they don't go to waste." In the past, that Individual would have just been a Small.
So thanks for this info, and for the context it brings. If we could have nutritional information on every menu, maybe it would be easier for all of us to be a little more conscious of our choices.

August 26, 2009 - 8:12am
EmpowHER Guest

Bobby: I'm glad you came and commented. Sites like empowher.com are where I go to get information and it is nice to see providers of products participating and sharing information.

August 24, 2009 - 1:24pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hello Christine
I applaud your efforts to research our complete product offering at Smoothie King before writing your article. A 40 ounce Hulk is indeed for very serious body builders or individuals looking to put on weight . It can also be a life saver for individuals undergoing medical treatment who have trouble keeping down solid food.
For individuals who do watch calories we offer over 30 different smoothies that if ordered 'skinny' in our 20 ounce serving are under 300 calories. Compare this healthy meal replacement with the average lunch order of a burger, fries and soda at 1,250 calories.
At Smoothie King we offer a very wide range of smoothies which can be made to fit almost everyone's tastes and diet needs. Our nutritional information for every smoothie is available at all of our locations which allows all of our guests to make informed decisions when placing their order.

Bobby Williams
VP of Marketing
Smoothie King

August 24, 2009 - 12:48pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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