Some energy drink manufacturers offer different products for different stages of exercise, typically pre-ride, during-ride and after-ride. Bikefood’s energy drink is a one-stop shop, providing everything you need for the ride, and for recovery afterwards - you just mix different amounts depending on your needs.
This drink mix has been available in a big tub for some time, but it’s now available as a box of individual sachets too.
First up - what’s in the box? You get 20 sachets, each 47g. We tried the natural berry flavour, and it’s also available in orange. According to the instructions, mix one sachet with 350ml (about half a big bottle) and sip it for about an hour up until about 20 minutes before riding. For energy during the ride you mix a sachet with 500ml. For recovery after the ride the recommendation is to mix two sachets with 650ml.
And what’s in the sachet? The berry flavour gives 365kcal (about 1500kJ) per 100g. Of this, about 80% is carbs and 8.5% protein. The key ingredients are maltodextrin (presumably from maize, although the packaging doesn’t say) and sucrose. Also in the mix are essential minerals (sodium, calcium and magnesium) to replace the ones you lose through sweating, plus a selection of vitamins designed to assist your immune system. All Bike Food products are suitable for vegans and vegetarians and they are also gluten and dairy free as well.
During a ride, your key source of energy is carbohydrate, but most sports nutritionists are of the opinion that a bit of protein in an energy product (to put it simply) helps the carbs work better, so the 8.5% of protein here will be useful.
For recovery, nutritionists might recommend a higher percentage of protein (nearer 20%), but a lot comes down to personal preference. Only you know the tastes and textures you can actually stomach when you’ve just completed a long time in the saddle.
What does it taste like? The berry flavour, as you might expect, tastes not of actual berries, but of berry-flavoured stuff. Reminiscent of throat lozenges, but not clinging in the mouth like lozenges, or indeed some other energy drinks. Not sweet either, so should be refreshing even on hot days (I was testing this in November…)
Does it work? Yes. It works for me. I used two bottles, each with a sachet of Bikefood energy drink, on my regular 60-mile training ride recently. With no stops, Bikefood certainly helped boost me along better than if I’d been drinking only water (which I have done, on exactly same ride). The drink wasn’t sticky and I experienced no stomach issues.
Will it work for you? That depends. Like all energy products, you need to sample Bikefood drink and see if it gives you on-going strength and that little kick we all need on the final hills of a long race or sportive (and that it agrees with your system). But based on my experience, it’s well worth giving Bikefood a try.
Individual sachets cost £1.30 each and a box of 20 sachets (ie just under 1kg) is £22 from the Bikefood website. You might find it cheaper at other on-line stores. You can further reduce costs by buying a 1.5kg tub for £25. Still not cheap, but in-line with the cost of other similar energy drinks.
Good results, nice taste, fair price. This all-in-one energy product is well worth giving a try.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Bike Food Energy Drink Mix
Size tested: Natural Berry
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?
The Bikefood website says this: "Bikefood Energy Drink Mix is prepared specifically for your sport and designed to provide your body with the ingredients it needs to perform at its peak.
The Bikefood formula is science proven and gives you a number of real benefits which include a steady supply of energy, increased immune support, reduced cramps, increased motivation, increased performance, improved recovery and reduced muscle breakdown. In simple terms you'll perform better when out on your bike, and you'll recover faster and will be ready to ride again sooner."
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
About the tester
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
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, mtb,