Nectar Hydro hydration tablets taste good and provide a mix of minerals that seems to helps prevent cramp.
Nectar Hydro is a new range of sports hydration tablet from the same company that makes For Goodness Shakes recovery drinks. You fill your bottle with water, then drop in a tab to create a drink containing various minerals which can help you avoid cramp. The nice taste will also encourage you to keep drinking and stay hydrated.
Having been testing these tabs for the past few weeks, I'd say it's the taste that makes Nectar Hydro stand apart from some other brands of mineral or electrolyte replacement tabs out there. The lemon & lime flavour has a rather sour taste, but in a good way; it's like old-fashioned home-made lemonade. The orange flavour is slightly sweeter and tastes like Robinson's orange squash. The summer fruits flavour is like Ribena. Can you see a theme here? When I've been out on my bike in hot or cold conditions on the bike (rather too many of the latter for my liking so far this 'summer') all three flavours have slipped down easily and been very pleasant to drink.
But it's not all about taste. The mineral composition is also important. This is because the minerals in the drink replace the minerals lost from your body via sweat, and this helps you avoid cramp. Nectar Hydro's advertising blurb is very keen to emphasise that these tabs contain not three, not four, but FIVE different minerals: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride.
Just for the record, each tab weighs 4.3g and the mineral breakdown is sodium 0.25g, potassium 60mg, magnesium 20mg, calcium 40mg, chloride 265mg.
Whether an extra dash of calcium here or chloride there makes any real difference is hard to know, and maybe it's just the nice taste that encouraged me to drink a bit more than normal. Either way, it does the job. As someone who does sometimes suffer from cramp in the leg muscles, I can confirm that I haven't experienced any problems while using these Nectar Hydro tabs.
Will the Nectar Hydro mix of minerals be better for you than any other brand? It's impossible to say. Bike riders have different requirements depending on distance, exertion, weather conditions, and their own metabolism, while the mineral composition levels – especially of sodium - vary from brand to brand (for similar sized tabs). As with so many other nutritional stuff, only trial and error (when you're training, not during an important race or sportive) will determine what's best for you. But based on my own experience with Nectar Hydro tabs, I'd recommend them as well worth a try.
In each tab there's no fat or protein, a tiny bit of fibre and just under one gram of carb. In other words, this is not an energy drink.
As well as helping encourage hydration and prevent cramp, Nectar Hydro is also promoted as 'the perfect solution ... if you are looking to ... lose weight or burn fat'. While this statement is not un-true, your body will always burn fat when its own carbohydrate reserves are depleted, which is what happens when you use a drink mix – such as Nectar Hydro - with virtually no carb content. Nectar Hydro doesn't go as far as some other brands with 'burn fat' claims, but you still shouldn't be seduced into thinking you can shed excess kilos simply by using these tabs. When it comes to "burning fat", you'd get pretty much the same result if you just drank plain water.
A tube of 20 Nectar Hydro tabs costs £6.99 from the Nectar and For Goodness Shakes online shop. You can find it for the same price in your local bike shop, or a bit less at the usual on-line discount stores. This is on a par with the price you pay for similar products from other brands.
A great tasting drink to help you stay hydrated and avoid cramp.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Nectar Hydro sports hydration tablets
Size tested: Lemon/Lime, Orange, Summer Fruits flavours
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 Hydro is a mineral replacement drink. The manufacturers press release says:
"The athlete team behind For Goodness Shakes decided it was time to use their expertise to make hydration tablets better, delivering world class taste and world class performance. The team have long believed that what has held hydration tabs back is an off-putting 'minerally', saline taste created by the electrolyte ingredients."
This is a fair claim. The taste is pleasant and unlike some other brands of mineral replacement drink.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Nectar Hydro press release goes on to say:
"NECTAR Hydro have perfected what they claim is the ideal balance between a light refreshing taste with enough fruity sweetness to encourage athletes to drink the right amount during exercise. A better tasting product results in greater consumption and therefore better hydration."
Performance is good: the taste encourages consumption, the minerals help keep cramp at bay.
Each tab is about 4g. During long sportives, you can easily carry a few tabs in your back pocket wrapped in silver foil and top up your bottles at the feed station.
Value is fair. These tabs sell at about the same price as similar products from other brands.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The drink does exactly what it says it will do. It tastes good to encourage consumption. This, combined with the mineral composition, helps keep cramp at bay.
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: an old Marin Alp, or 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,