Energy & recovery drinks
Science In Sport GO Plus Nitrates Gel contain nitrates, which can be beneficial to performance, so this gel might appeal to racers and sportivistes looking to improve.
The theory goes like this: the nitrates in the gel convert to nitrate oxide inside your body, which causes blood vessels to open, which in turn improves blood flow, which then means better oxygen supply gets to the muscles, which some sports science studies show can help you go faster, or further, or both.
Go Hydro is a product from Science in Sport (SiS) designed to help you stay hydrated when exercising. It comes as a tube of tablets consisting of various minerals or electrolytes. You bung a tablet in a bottle of water, wait while it dissolves, then drink it during your ride. As a way to help you avoid dehydration, it definitely does the job.
Red Beet Vinitrox, from Swiss manufacturer Sponser, is a liquid energy product designed to improve muscle performance and make you go faster or further.
Sponser claim that if you drink 60ml of Red Beet Vinitrox – the equivalent of half a litre of fresh beetroot juice - a few hours before your race, it'll help you go faster or further, or both. It may be a step too far for some cyclists. But if you're the type of rider that's always searching for an extra edge, then it's worth trying.
Orbana Healthy Energy is a drink powder that you mix with water. It's a combination of carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, while the bright orange packaging emphasises that no artificial colours, sweeteners, preservatives or stimulants have been added. This drink certainly provided a healthy dollop of energy, with a great taste, but it's on the expensive side.
Sponser Long Energy Multi Carb Competition Formula - to give it its full name - comes as a tub of powder that you mix with water to create an energy drink. The 'long' in the title indicates that it's designed for consumption during longer endurance events, as it contains carbohydrate and protein, plus a host of other ingredients to help you ride faster or farther, or both.
After a hard race or training session, you can help repair tired leg muscles by taking on protein, and For Goodness Shakes Recovery Drink is a very quick and easy way of doing it. As the name implies, this drink looks like a milkshake and tastes like a milkshake, and key ingredient is – you guessed it – milk, in the form of whey and casein.
We've tested various products from Swiss manufacturer Sponser Sport Food, mostly aimed at providing energy during a ride. Sponser Recovery Shake, as the name suggests, is designed for use after a ride, with a mix of proteins and carbohydrates plus various minerals and vitamins to help your muscles rebuild and recover.
We've tested Powerbar's flagship energy drink on road.cc before, but back then it was called 'Energize'. It's recently been replaced by this new 'PowerBar Isoactive Isotonic Sports Drink' variety, so we're testing it again.
The formulation is slightly different, but overall the principle is the same: this product comes as a powder which you add to water to get a drink that contains a mix of carbohydrates to deliver and sustain energy, plus a bundle of essential minerals to help you avoid cramp.
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.
With two types of carbohydrate to provide energy, five essential minerals to help you avoid cramp and the addition of protein and caffeine, Powerbar Isomax energy drink is a very effective all-in-one package.
Let's look at the key ingredients one by one.