Natural Hero Hot Ginger Muscle Rub is a natural warming balm to aid the recovery of tired legs after a ride.
The rub is made from 98% natural ingredients, with no parabens, SLS (I'll save the looking up for you, that's Sodium Laureth Sulfate, an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products) or petrochemicals, so it smells delightfully pleasant and not like a sport's locker room as is traditional.
While we're on the happy smiley feel good stuff all Natural Hero products are tested not on animals but athletes, they're an award winning ethical company, are also a member of '1% for the Planet' and all their products are made in the UK. If all that sort of huggy thing informs your buying choices.
The warming effect of Natural Hero Hot Ginger rub is down to its blend of active botanicals known as rubefacients, it says here. I'm going to trust their word. Apparently those are herbs that have an unique counter-irritant effect when applied to the skin. As well as the eponymous ginger there's sweet fennel and rosemary which contribute to the pleasant smell.
The Hot Ginger Rub is easily absorbed thanks to being non-greasy and pH balanced, and you don't need to squeeze a lot out to cover a leg. Once rubbed in the ginger aroma is incredibly pleasant, even if you do smell a little bit like a Chinese meal being made.
The warming effects come through softly and gently, not in an angry rush like other embrocation, and it's all really rather nice. It gives a comforting warm glow to the legs, something that's especially pleasing after a cold ride, although Natural Hero say it also makes a good pre-exercise warm up cream.
It's difficult to accurately assess Natural Hero's claims that their cream gives super-powered recovery. I tried rubbing it on one leg and not the other to see if they felt any different the next day and the only effect was it feeling a bit odd at the time with one warm leg and one cold one.
I suspect that any anti-fatigue and stiffness benefits would come from giving your muscles a therapeutic little massage as you rub the cream in, and the psychological feel good effects of having nicely warmed legs after a ride.
Pleasant smelling and comfortingly warming post exercise balm whose super-powered recovery claims are probably down to giving your legs a bit of a rub.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Natural Hero Hot Ginger Muscle Rub
Size tested: xx
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Natural Hero say their Hot Ginger natural Muscle Rub "sports massage in at tube" helps ease fatigued muscles with its blend of premium grade ginger root, rosemary, starflower and sweet fennel essential oils. Their 98% natural warming and soothing cream not only helps combat muscle fatigue but the easily absorbed pH balanced formula also conditions your skin and smells incredible.
Well it does smell nice, and it's warming effects are definitely something to look forward to after a cold ride, the fatigue easing is mostly down to the massaging effect of rubbing it into your legs, at a guess.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made from 98% natural ingredients it contains Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Vanillyl Butyl Ether, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol.
As a warming balm it was extremely effective, the recovery benefits are a bit more vague.
Lovely, non-traditional warming oil smell and a pleasingly warming sensation.
A tenner might seem a lot for what looks like a small tube, but it goes a long way.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a warming rub it was wonderful, its recovery effectiveness less assured.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easily absorbed, really pleasant smell and gently warming.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing. Although I'm not totally sold on the recovery benefits.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes. After rides, especially cold ones, it was a little pampering for the legs.
Would you consider buying the product? Not really, it would make a nice gift though.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd say it was a nice thing, if that's a recommendation.
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.