News & Politics

Best of 2005: An Olympian Rates Sports and Energy Drinks

Five-time Olympian Anne Abernathy tries out sports and energy drinks and picks her favorite

If there's one thing Anne Abernathy needs plenty of, it's energy. The five-time Olympian splits her time between Falls Church and St. Thomas, where she trains with the US Virgin Islands luge team. When she competes in February in the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, she'll be the first female winter Olympian over 50.

Before an early-morning training session at the SkateQuest ice rink in Reston, we gave Abernathy eight sports and energy drinks and asked her to rank the top five for flavor. Afterward she said, "My next job is not going to be taste-tester." Left to her own devices, she says, "nothing beats plain old water."

1. Gatorade Ice Watermelon. "That's not bad," Abernathy said of the colorless beverage, noting its lack of an aftertaste. "You want it to be refreshing, not stay with you forever."

2. SoBe Energy Citrus Punch. "Tastes like Tang," she said after her first sip. After some deliberation, it ended up being her silver medalist.

3. Powerade Arctic Shatter. Abernathy didn't love this blue drink's aftertaste, but she said it was better than many of the smoothies she consumes for training. "I've been drinking some pretty foul stuff, so this isn't bad."

4. Fuze Mojo Mango. "Tastes like fruit juice," Abernathy said, but she found it less refreshing than the first three.

5. Propel Kiwi Strawberry. This flavored water made by Gatorade was "super, super sweet."

Also-rans were Glaceau Vitamin Water: Revive, Cytomax Citrus, and Aqua Force Berry.

Washingtonian staffers contributing to this section were Cristina Abello, Susan Baer, Susan Davidson, Ken DeCell, Rebecca Dreilinger, Kim Isaac Eisler, Mary Clare Fleury, Kimberly Forrest, Brooke Lea Foster, Garrett M. Graff, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, Aparna Nancherla, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Chris Wilson. Also contributing were Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Matthew Graham.