Zipvit ZV0 sounds like a cold war truth serum but in fact it's a low calorie, low carbohydrate, fruit flavour, electrolyte replenishing sports drink, that's claimed to boost your immune system as you ride.
That immune system boost, Zipvit says, comes from glutamine, an amino acid that according to some researchers, riders and coaches supercharges the immune system, simultaneously counteracting symptoms of overtraining. The blend is also claimed to help you burn fat, not in the murky slimming pills sense but by encouraging the body to convert fat cells into fuel more efficiently; ergo riders become leaner by default.
ZV0 comes in packets of twenty individually sealed tablets and in subtle cherry or watermelon flavours. Simply pop one tablet into every 500ml of fluid, allowing thirty seconds or so's dissolving time. A quick stir (or shake, should you be introducing them al fresco) accentuates this process and banishes any chalkiness.
Results have been genuinely favourable, compared with plain water or less sophisticated preps used over comparable distances. Ten-mile unofficial time trials were completed faster, with less fluctuation over steeper gradients, while I felt noticeably fresher on successive day-long runs. Whether this (and the ability to remain unhampered by lurgies) serves to prove the immune boosting claims is debateable, although Zipvit sneak a 'relative to other sports drinks' caveat in the small print.
Arguably, there are still benefits to mixing up your own drinks but otherwise, each packet contains enough to make fifteen litres, which represents pretty good value.
Pleasantly neutral tasting and seemingly effective sports drink.
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Make and model: Zipvit Sport ZV0 Electrolyte Drink - Cherry
Size tested: 20 tablets
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?
"ZV0 was developed to meet the demands of athletes who want an effective electrolyte drink that increases fat burning* and maintain the immune system during training. The result is ZV0, a unique sports drink that increases fat burning during training*"
Pleasantly surprised, although claims should be read as relative to more traditional sports drinks.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"provides 1.6g of glutamine to fuel the immune system and replaces 7 electrolytes. Unlike most low calorie sports drinks ZV0 uses natural flavours and colours and does not contain chemical additives like sodium benzoate, polyethylene glycol and acesulfame K. *Relative to conventional sports drinks
* A unique sports drink that increases fat burning* and maintains the immune system during training. ZV0 replaces 7 key electrolytes and provides 1.6g of immune boosting glutamine per serving
* How to use: ZV0 is very versatile. To promote fat burning* and fuel the immune system drop 1 tablet into 500ml or 750ml of water. Adding 1 tablet to a conventional energy drink will increase its effectiveness for electrolyte replacement, hydration and fuel the immune system."
Easily prepared and tablets slip unnoticed into pockets/wedge packs.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
While some claims are perhaps a little over-egged, these electrolyte tablets have had beneficial effect upon my energy levels and overall riding performance in a variety of riding contexts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Ease of use, pleasantly neutral taste and positive effects.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief, although benefits from a quick stir, which mightn't be so easily achieved mid ride or several miles from a welcoming cafe'.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)