Secret Training's Stealth Training Mix uses very subtle flavours to package a well-rounded nutrition profile. It's not sweet or sticky, it mixes well and the scoop fits into a standard cycling bottle.
Taste is pretty much everything when it comes to energy drinks. If it's not palatable, you won't use it. So it surprised me to find such a mild taste from this watermelon flavour. I initially thought I hadn't used enough powder, which is brilliant if you want to add slightly more carbs to your intake.
Stealth includes the almost standard 20g of carbohydrates. This means that one bottle per hour combined with a gel and a bar should give you the fuel for longer rides. I never remember to fuel that regularly, so it was good to be able to add more scoops to my water without making the taste unbearable.
Of the 20g, 19 of those are made up of sugar. When compared with Science In Sport's GO Electrolyte powder, it initially doesn't make for the best reading: SIS delivers 36g of carbs with only 6.7g of sugar. Here, though, the sugar is Palatinose (isomaltulose), a specific sugar that Secret Training says releases slower than traditional sugars and carbohydrates. Its reasoning for using Palatinose was to avoid spikes in the athlete's blood sugars.
It might also help your body burn stored fat as energy – read more here – which could be good news for those of us who want to lose a little weight from cycling.
Secret Training has also included electrolytes to counter fluids lost when sweating. Cramps are never fun and having suffered from them, I've since taken an electrolyte drink with me on every ride. Some can taste quite gritty or too sweet, but the Stealth mix dissolved completely and, as I've said, was rather palatable.
You'd hardly think that the scoop's shape would matter, but a poorly designed one will deposit your powder annoyingly around the bottle's opening. This scoop fits my bottles from Elite, CamelBak and Tacx, with no spilt powder. That keeps the bottle and thus your hands from becoming sticky. It's not the biggest thing, but can become really annoying over time.
Out on the road, the watermelon flavour was so light it almost tasted of plain water (orange and pineapple are available too). I was very glad of this at the top of climbs where the last thing I wanted was a sickly taste. I also suffered no stomach complaints. Stealth Training Mix also features natural flavourings and sweeteners which, Secret Training says, makes this 'teeth friendly'. Its nice to know it won't erode your teeth. It's also gluten-free and suitable for vegans.
The only issue really is the price: it's very steep. At £22.50 for 600g, it's twice the price of the SIS Go Electrolyte I mentioned earlier. So although Stealth Training Mix made a nice change from my usual citrus or berry flavours, and the powder mixed well with no grittiness, and I had no issues with cramps, it represents pretty poor value against key rivals and that really lets it down.
Subtle taste and mixes well, but pricey compared with competitors
road.cc test report
Make and model: Stealth Training Mix
Size tested: 600g
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?
From Secret Training:
"Slow release carbohydrate and hydration drink mix"
Does what it says on the tin.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
1 x 600g
Slow release carbohydrates
Developed with Pro Team
Ideal for fat burning
I like the idea of a bag instead of a tub, much more compact, and the powder mixes perfectly.
20g of carbs is ok but leaves you 40g short of the rough guide of what you need per hour.
No issues with stomach cramps, which is always good.
One of the more 'up market brands', but little to justify the price hike.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I had no issues with cramps or stomach issues. It will supplement training, but don't expect to go for hours on one bottle.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The taste is really subtle.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your score
Gains points for being palatable and mixing well, but the price leaves a bitter aftertaste.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.