Nectar Fuel Systems Sport Fuel Concentrate packs a punch. It is a fast acting and easily digestible energy drink that delivers on long training rides and on the race track.
Great taste and unparalleled mixability combined with an innovative and effective packaging system makes Nectar a real contender in the seemingly ever-saturated sports drink market.
Nectar is the during-sport drink from the guys behind the after-sport drink For Goodness Shakes. When FGS came on the scene it was, perhaps, the distribution and availability of the product which sparked most interest. Pre-mixed, ready-to-go and available from your post-race petrol station stop was certainly novel. Even if Nectar was to do that it wouldn't be ground breaking for a carbohydrate-based energy drink. But that hasn't stopped them from being innovative, far from it in fact.
The two litre black container with a sloshy liquid in it from Nectar initially looked like degreaser or bike wash. Nectar's novel packaging style comes from its novel product form; syrup. I was initially sceptical about it but have learned to love it. Mixing from syrup works perfectly every time, without any aggressive bottle shaking or residual lumpy bits; it is a real advantage of the system. It also has a different feel to other energy drinks mixed from powder form. I have been thinking about how I can explain this on my rides with Nectar and I can't come up with anything better than 'it feels wetter'. That sounds completely stupid, I know, but even at high concentration it just slips down more easily, and is easy on the stomach too. This has helped me use a higher concentration mix when racing which has certainly helped.
Another feature of the black, engine oil style container which I like is its delivery pump, complete with a lock down seal for safe travelling. The pump allows you to accurately mix the drink to your desired level of toxicity. Plus, once you have worked out the trajectory path of the fluid not a drop will be wasted, stuck to the kitchen counter, dusted across your car seats or any other inevitable mixing problem associated with powders and scoops. It also makes it very easy to get an accurate and repeatable serving.
The lemon and lime flavour is excellent. It has a taste not dissimilar to Mountain Dew, a favourite from my misspent youth, with a subtle hint of elderflower; certainly palatable. Something I do with most sports drinks is adlib with a slice of fresh lime to turn the sweetness down a touch and increase the flavour; recommended but not essential with Nectar.
Often sports drinks call themselves isotonic, hypertonic or something else but fail to mention that you only achieve that concentrate when mixed accordingly. Nectar neatly explains on the back of the bottle that one pump gives you hypotonic, a double shot is isotonic and a round three yields a hypertonic solution in your 500ml bottle. Which in layman's terms is hot day, normal day, cold day; at least in my understanding and experience.
Out on the road I found it noticeable that Nectar acts faster than other energy drink. Its primary energy source is glucose syrup, although it does have some fructose to wedge a bit more of the useful stuff in. Most other sports drinks rely on some complex carbohydrate for a longer burn; the UK's biggest selling cycling sports drink GO from SiS is predominantly Maltodextrin. To me this made Nectar feel more like a race fuel which to me is no bad thing. On rides over 3 hours I would be taking something more substantial but for a couple of hours a litre of Nectar was quite sufficient.
Nectar has come up trumps due to clear mixing guidance, good taste and fast digestion. Highly recommended.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Nectar Sports Fuel Concentrate
Size tested: 2L, Lemon lime
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?
"NECTAR - The First Sports Fuel Concentrate. World Class Energy - Dual Carb Source. Scientifically formulated, NECTAR delivers 2 parts Glucose: 1 part Fructose. Fast Energy & Hydration with 5 Electrolyte ions (Na+, K+, Mg2+, Cl-, Ca2+). Fast, Clean & Precise dosing - with its pump attachment, engineered to deliver an exact dose of 25ml, NECTAR lets you choose the fuel system you need for your sport and the amount of formulation you want to make. Hypotonic (1 pump), Isotonic (2 pumps) or Hypertonic (3 pumps) to suit your training intensity, energy and hydration requirements. Pump will be dispatched in plastic outer. To find out more visit www.NectarFuel.com"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ingredients: Glucose Syrup, Fructose, Water, Citric Acid, Flavouring, Electrolyte Blend, Stabiliser, Preservative, Sweetener (Sucralose), Vitamin Mix. Consume within 60 days of opening.
Shelf life of 60 days once opened - a lot shorter than your usual tub of white powder.
Fairly even with the competition for value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Mix system, taste and "wetness" (see article on that one).
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
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
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF My best bike is: Canyon LUX MR/ Grand Canyon CF
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, mtb,