As the name suggests, Science in Sport's Immune are electrolyte tabs with added vitamin C and iron for immune system support – ideal for staving off illness and winter sniffles.
Let's make something clear from the start: it's very difficult to positively ascertain whether these tablets have actively helped me avoid illness. I try to eat healthily alongside a balanced active lifestyle – generally considered to be the best way to ensure a strong immune system – as well as keeping good hygiene. I'm not obsessive with the alcohol gel, but you'll always find some stashed away somewhere in my backpack. As a result, I'm already pretty well covered, albeit prone to the odd infection as the weather gets colder like anyone else.
So, what do we know? SiS, whose findings are in line with plenty of other scientific studies, suggests that vitamin C and iron play a key role in a healthy immune system and energy production, and that your immune system is suppressed immediately post-exercise. As a result, ensuring your body is supplemented with these key micronutrients could have a positive role to play in helping your immune system recover from bouts of exercise.
That's not to say you can take these instead of following a healthy diet or good hygiene, but they'll theoretically provide your body with some of the ingredients it needs to work at its optimum level.
You also get 0.9g of (total) salt per tab along with the 200mg of vitamin C and 2.5mg of iron, which helps with efficient muscle function in the same way as the standard GO Hydro tabs do. In this regard they're very effective, highlighting just how big an impact adequate salt intake during cycling can have, regardless of the ambient temperature.
Taste is as good as any effervescent tablet SiS makes – a light orange taste, but enough when you're crying out for fluids either during or post-ride, when your taste buds seem especially sensitive to your cravings.
Where I question the Immune tabs is in their value; if what you want is a vitamin boost to supplement your training, what's wrong with a simple vitamin C supplement from a supermarket, which tend to cost around a quarter of the price and do the same job? Salts can easily be obtained from a full carbohydrate mix in one of your bottles, or through recovery food, so that base can easily be covered too. Alternatively, you can take a wider view to guaranteeing micronutrient intake and take a full (daily) multivitamin instead, still at a far cheaper price.
Sports supplement companies make their money by claiming specificity in their products – the clue is in the title: 'sports supplements' – and in many respects there's a lot to be said for this. After all, I'm not going to claim for a second that you won't benefit from ample or moderately increased intake of vitamin C and iron – it's likely the effectiveness of your immune system will be helped in some way.
In conclusion, then, I'll say this: while the Immune tablets successfully tick a useful box, it's a very specific box, and could easily be covered by better value (or more comprehensive) options elsewhere from products that essentially do the same thing without the branding, or through well-considered general nutritional choices.
Decent enough product, but there are cheaper ways of boosting your immune system
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Science in Sport Immune
Size tested: 20 x 4.3g 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?
SiS says: "SiS Immune is designed to support and maintain immune function during and after exercise. As an effervescent tablet that readily dissolves in plain water, it represents a highly practical approach to support your immune system after exercise.
"Vitamin C (200mg) and Iron (2.5mg) are known to contribute to the maintenance of the normal function of the immune system during and after intense physical exercise in addition to your RDA."
Benefits of SiS Immune:
"Heavy training is known to impact the immune system, suppressing it for 3-72 hours post-training. This can lead to a higher incidence of upper respiratory tract Infections, impacting an athletes health and their ability to train. Excessive vitamin intake can suppress the training response. SiS Immune is designed to be at a level which supports athlete health without compromising training benefits."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- 200mg of Vitamin C
- 2.5mg of Iron
- Sodium to help promote hydration
- Contents: 20 x 4.3g Tablets
- Suitable For Vegans.
Decent container that resists moisture to protect the tabs.
Hard to say definitively on the immunity front, but the 'Hydro' aspect has proven effective. And, I haven't been ill.
I can't describe them as good value, simply because there are other supermarket-branded products that'll do the same job just as effectively. Okay, so you generally won't get the salt included, but what's wrong with a normal daily vitamin drink/tablet instead if immunity is your concern? If you're worried about the synergy effect while out riding, then stick half a teaspoon of salt in with the vitamin tablet. Bottom line: there are far better value solutions out there.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well out on the road.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Specificity is always good, as well as the cool branding.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, I'll stick to healthy eating and vitamin profiles within recovery shakes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly, if their needs were specific enough and value wasn't a huge concern.
Use this box to explain your score
I like this product, and it seems to do a good job in terms of performance, hence the overall score. But there's no doubt there are better value solutions out there, and for me it certainly doesn't replace eating healthily and making good lifestyle choices.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding