SIS Go Electrolyte drink is a powder that you mix with water. It contains carbohydrates to provide energy, plus electrolytes or minerals which may help you stay hydrated or prevent cramp. It's easy to digest and tastes good. It's also fairly priced.
Previously on road.cc we reviewed the SIS Go Energy carb-only drink, and the SIS Go Hydro electrolyte-only drink. Despite the rather confusing name, SIS Go Electrolyte is a combination of the two: a drink mix containing carbohydrate AND electrolytes.
The product has been around for a while, but SIS have released a new flavour (Raspberry) and a new shaped 500g tub with a wider lid. How exciting is that, plastic container fans?
On the energy side, the main ingredients are maltodextrin (produced from maize) and fructose. On the electrolyte/mineral side, there's sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. There's also citric acid, some natural flavouring, and sweetener (aspartame).
There are 92g of carb per 100g of powder (or 1556kj/366kcal per 100g) and SiS recommends a serving of 40g of powder, so 36g of carb, with 500ml of water.
This is different from the SIS Go Energy drink, where the recommended serving is 50g, so 47g of carb. It's not clear why the latter product is higher, when the energy-providing ingredients seem to be the same. It may be to do with the ratio of electrolytes to water, but a lot depends on how fast you drink, as well as on your size and other physiological factors.
Either way, some bike riders may find a more concentrated mix works for them, while others prefer a slightly more diluted mix. Personally, I use the recommended mix, and find that a couple of bottles provides all the energy I need for a ride up to about three or four hours. I like the taste and experience no stomach discomfort. As with many energy products, though, taste and impact can be a personal thing, so it's best to try various mixes when you're training, find out what works best for you, then stick to it when you're doing a big race, sportive or other long ride.
Whether the electrolytes actually make any difference is up for debate. Some sports science studies show that replacing electrolytes lost via sweat helps avoid cramp and improve performance. Other studies show that you don't need extra electrolytes, and that drinking water is enough. The middle way claims that electrolytes, even if not actually needed, still encourage you to drink the correct amount of water and stay hydrated. One thing they do agree on is this: dehydration can have a negative impact performance, which can be avoided by drinking the correct amount (which of course varies between studies and individuals).
Whatever school of thought you follow, Go Electrolyte is worth a try. That you need carbs to keep you going after about two hours of exertion is well recognised. And if the extra electrolytes help further, so you perform well in race, or get round a sportive in decent shape or just enjoy a long club-run, then stick with it. If Go Electrolyte doesn't do it for you, then try something else.
On price, the 500g tub is going for a penny under a tenner on the SIS website. The old-style container is a quid less. A 1.6kg tub for £24 is even better value. And if you want individual portions, to top up half way round a sportive, for example, sachets are available for about £1.20 each. As usual, you can normally find these products discounted on the usual online stores, and sometimes your local bike shop will have special offers.
Handy source of carbohydrate and electrolytes in drink form; ideal for long rides
road.cc test report
Make and model: Science in Sport Go Electrolyte Raspberry
Size tested: 500g
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?
This product is an energy drink, with additional electrolytes/minerals. The SIS website says:
* '36g carbohydrate and electrolytes per serving
* Provides fuel and hydration before or during training and racing
* Reduces the risk of early fatigue and dehydration during exercise"
A note for clarity on the content of this drink compared to other SIS drink products, as some cyclists find the names misleading.
If you want just carbs, choose for GO Energy.
If you want just electrolytes, choose Go Hydro.
If you want carbs and electrolytes, choose Go Electrolyte.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The SIS website goes on to say: 'Raspberry flavoured carbohydrate energy drink mix with electrolytes and sweetener in a new 500g tub ... We combine multiple energy sources which work to deliver energy to your muscles, and carefully balanced electrolytes to enhance your body's ability to absorb water during exercise, maintain your endurance performance and protect against cramp. Use before sport to prepare and during sport when you are sweating heavily and need energy and hydration fast....'
This drink performed very well. It's designed to provide energy during a bike ride, and it does just that. The electrolytes may well provide extra benefit – they certainly don't do any harm in my experience.
Value is OK, but not a bargain when compared against similar products. For example, SIS Go Electrolyte is about £1.20 per 40g sachet, £10 for 500g tub, £24 for a 1.6kg tub, whereas High5 Energy Source drink (which also combines carbs and electrolytes (sodium)) is just over £1 for a 50g sachet and £29 for a 2.2kg tub.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
This drink performed very well overall. It's designed to provide energy during a bike ride, and it does just that. The electrolytes may well provide extra benefit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Nice taste, easy to drink, easy on the stomach.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd recommend they try it.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
SIS Go Electrolyte drink provides a mix of energy and electrolytes. It performs well, and on that basis scores a 9. It's well worth a try. If you find it works for you, it's worth sticking with. We're deducting a point for the price which, although OK, isn't a bargain, giving an overall score of 8.
About the tester
Age: 53 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Trail riding and rough-stuff (off road on a road bike)