High5 2:1 Energy Source drink mix  £19.99

8/10

Good-value and effective energy drink, with a glucose:fructose mix that seems to improve performance if used correctly

Weight 2200g   Contact  www.hotlines-uk.com

by David Else   April 29, 2012  

High5 2.1 Energy Source drink mix

High5 2:1 Energy Source is carbohydrate-based drink powder, available in small sachets or big tubs. We reviewed this product back in 2010, and some of what we said still holds. Since then, it's not clear if the actual formula of the drink has changed, but the product has been re-launched with a 'new generation' tag, and new claims regarding performance that are quite astounding.

According to the High5 website and other publicity material, Energy Source can help you: 'Go 26% further at the same speed' and provide '15% more power over 40 miles', both with 'no additional training and overnight improvement'. Information on the website gives more details on the science and independent studies that back up these claims.

So where do these improvements come from? According to the boffins at High5, it's all to do with the proportion of glucose and fructose used in this drink. Whereas many energy products deliver the carbohydrate you need in the form of glucose alone (or with a dash of fructose), Energy Source delivers glucose and fructose in a 2:1 ratio.

So what's the thinking? Using glucose-only products as a source of carbohydrate, most cyclists (or any athletes) can absorb only a limited amount - usually around 50g to 60g per hour, depending on weight, age and other similar factors. High5 say that fructose can deliver more carbohydrate to the muscles, in addition to that provided by the glucose. Put in the simplest layman's terms, the fructose goes in another way, bypassing the mechanism that usually limits carb intake to 50/60g per hour. The end result: you can increase your carb intake by up to 50%, giving a total of 75g to 90g per hour, according to High5. And that means you can go faster, or further, or both.

Of course, not everyone will see these improvements (for a start, it's not just a case of necking a few bottles of drink any old time - in an accompanying Nutrition Guide booklet, High5 advise on exactly how and when to drink Energy Source before and during exercise), but I have used this drink on a lot of long rides and sportives, and I can say it definitely works for me - although whether I'm increasing distance or power by the percentages stated I just don't know.

And yes, it could be other factors that help me go well, but I would still highly recommend trying Energy Source, to see if helps improve your own performance.

The taste is sweet but not too sticky, and the available flavours ('fresh citrus', tropical, orange and 'summer fruits') are pretty refreshing too, so it helps you stay hydrated - another simple way to improve performance. The ingredients also include sodium and potassium - two of the key minerals required to replace those you lose via sweat.

As with all nutrition products, it's important to sample Energy Source on a training ride first rather than an important race or sportive, just in case it doesn't agree with you.

A word of warning: Fructose is not a wonder drug. You can't take increasingly large amounts and expect to go increasingly fast. There are limits to the amount your body can absorb - usually 20-30g per hour. In addition, high fructose diets can cause an increase in blood fats, so some nutritionists recommend that fructose should be no more than 10% of your total daily carb intake.

And don't forget, while you're taking on those extra carbs in a race or sportive, you still need to do all the other sensible things like hydrate properly and replace electrolytes, and consider protein intake if you're doing longer events. A bit of training on the bike is pretty essential too.

Energy Source drink mix is available in a 2.2kg tub for £25.99 from the High5 website, and in a box of 12 sachets (each 50g) for £10.99, though you can find cheaper deals at other on-line stores.

Verdict

A good-value and effective energy drink, with a glucose:fructose mix that seems to improve performance if used correctly.

road.cc test report

Make and model: High5 2:1 Energy Source drink mix

Size tested: Citrus flavour, 2.2kg drum

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 High5 website says Energy Source is "a high carbohydrate drink mix for maximum energy. Energy Source is rapidly absorbed and highly stable in the stomach even during intense race effort. Its real fruit flavours are mouth watering, light and not too sweet."

Most of that is fair enough, although I found the taste pretty sweet - although not as sweet and sticky as some other energy drinks.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

The High5 website has a lot of infomation about the science behind the claims (although some of the links lead nowhere).

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

I have used this drink on a lot of long sportives, especially in the first part of the ride, usually before switching to something containing protein in the latter part, and I can say it definitely works for me.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Compared to many other nutrition products, the price of Energy Source is good value.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

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, general fitness riding,

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

'while you're taking on those extra carbs in a race or sportive, you still need to do all the other sensible things like hydrate properly and replace electrolytes, and consider protein intake if you're doing longer events.'

Good general advice but how does it relate to this product? Clearly, unless you snort it as a powder, it'll rehydrate you. Does it contain electrolytes as well or do I need to consider things like Nuun tablets to supplement this?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [564 posts]
30th April 2012 - 11:47

1 Like

Wiggle gave me a freebie sample with my last order, which I tried on Saturday morning. Seemed ok on the ride, but spent the rest of the day with a dodgy stomach.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3427 posts]
30th April 2012 - 12:17

0 Likes

Thanks for the feedback.

@arrieredupeleton - You’re right, the water that you mix the drink powder into will hydrate you, but depending on several other factors (your own body weight, how much you sweat, how hot the weather) you might need to take on additional water to remain properly hydrated. Trial and error on your training rides will tell you how much water, and how much carb, you need to perfom at your best. You can then mix your drinks and plan your other nutrition accordingly.

In this context, “electrolytes” means elements or minerals in the body. High5 2:1 mix contains sodium and potassium - which are two of the key minerals required to replace those you lose via sweat, as I mention in the review. If you don’t suffer much from cramp, then the quantity in High5 may be enough. If you suffer from cramp a lot, you may also need to take something that contains additional sodium and potassium plus magnesium and calcium. It's important not to over-do it though. As with the carbs and liquid, a lot depends on external conditions and your own metabolism - and it does take a bit of trial and error to work out the best product and best quantities for your own personal situation.

@notfastenough - Yes, some energy products simply don’t agree with some people. That’s why I recommend in the review that it’s always good to try anything for the first time when you’re out on a training ride, rather than half way through a major race or sportive.

Thanks again for the feedback.

David

David Else

posted by David Else [288 posts]
30th April 2012 - 14:53

0 Likes

Thanks David. I've only ever tried this at feed stations at Sportives and found the citrus one too acidic - even though they are madly diluting what's left by the time I get to them....

For those interested, there was an article on 2:1 products in the Comic recently and it was a pretty compelling argument in favour. However, you're right in warning that its as important to devise a feeding strategy that works for your body and not just chuck it down your neck.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [564 posts]
30th April 2012 - 16:04

0 Likes

@David Else "You can then mix your drinks and plan your other nutrition accordingly".

I was always told not to mix my drinks Wink

posted by jameshaworth21 [11 posts]
1st May 2012 - 16:56

1 Like

jameshaworth21 wrote:
@David Else "You can then mix your drinks and plan your other nutrition accordingly".

I was always told not to mix my drinks Wink

You gotta know how to mix 'em

David Else

posted by David Else [288 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 13:46

1 Like

Got two free with my recent Wiggle orders. Drank two 500ml bottles on a 3 hour ride. Kept cramping towards the end and spent the evening with awful stomach ache and on the loo. I'll stick with my normal SIS stuff!!

posted by bridlematt [11 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 22:19

1 Like

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