A lot of supplement companies don’t seem to think much about what it’s like for us to actually swallow their offerings. Why else is the unpleasant experience of choking down horse pills, with faintly funky flavors, in the name of good health so universal?
Ora, a newcomer on the supplements scene, is hoping to change that, offering up carefully-sourced, organic supplements that benefit the body—and actually taste good.
“We want to bring the plant-based, organic movement into supplements,” says Will Smelko, one of the co-founders of Ora, whose motto is organic, plant-based ingredients…chef designed tastes.
The company’s top potential game-changer is an omega-3 algae spray, Nothing Fishy Here ($30)—a completely new mode of delivering brain-boosting, inflammation-crushing fatty acids, sourced from vegan-friendly algae. (The spray isn’t certified organic, because the USDA doesn’t have a classification for fish oil or microalgae oil, says the brand.)
Unlike fish oil pills, which undergo a chemical change when they’re exposed to the air, the spray goes straight from the light-filtering, blue glass bottle into the body, minimizing oxidation, Ora says. (Interestingly, the only other companies hip to the spray idea cater to pets, presumably because it’s easier to get Fido to take a spray than swallow a pill.)
Then there’s the taste. As the name implies, the spray aims to eliminate the fishy burps that come with traditional omega-3 pills, and it has a refreshing pineapple and citrus flavor thanks to Ronald Chang, a tech-consultant-turned-chef, who was hired to take charge of Ora’s culinary profiles. I did still have a few burps after my sprays—six, twice a day is the recommended dose—but they tasted tropical, which is a definite upgrade.
Ora’s line also includes Trust Your Gut, a pro- and prebiotic pill that is dairy-free, soy-free, and hypoallergenic ($30 for a one month supply), and is the first entirely USDA certified organic probiotic on the market, right down to the pill capsule.
Then there’s the Way Better Than Whey chai-flavored protein powder ($30 for 20 servings), which has a complete amino acid profile and 18 grams of protein per serving—all extracted from exotic-sounding superfoods, like sachi inchi and maqui berry. I was wary of seeing Stevia as the last ingredient, because it can make healthy plant proteins taste synthetic, but Ora got the balance just right. I tried it shaken with a bit of ice cold almond milk, as recommended on the jar, but dug it most in smoothie form. Here’s my preferred recipe. It definitely makes the whole supplement-taking experience—gasp!—a tasty one. —Kara Griffin
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 scoops of Way Better Than Whey protein powder
3 Tbsp almond butter
½ frozen banana
2 handfuls of spinach
Blend on high until smooth. Drizzle maple syrup on top for an extra touch of sweetness!
For more information, visit www.ora.organic
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