Sponser Sport Food is a Swiss brand of nutrition products, now available in the UK. Competition Sports Drink is a powder to mix with water, containing mainly carbohydrate to provide energy, plus electrolytes to fight cramp.
Sponser's publicity material claims that this drink differs to other sports drinks because it contains eight different sorts of carb, and has a higher carb content. In reality, there's a limit to the amount of carb the human body can absorb, so simply increasing the amount isn't necessarily the answer (in fact, it can be counter productive) but using different sorts of carb can be a way to ensure you get maximum benefit from your intake. And that's where Sponser's formula comes in. This drink mix contains glucose and fructose in various compounds which enter the body via slightly different mechanisms and give both an instant and sustained supply of energy. A 100g serving of drink mix contains 97g of carb and provides 1659 kJ (390 kcal).
In addition to the carb, this drink mix contains sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium - to replace essential minerals lost via sweat and help your muscles avoid the dreaded cramp.
Does it work? I'd say yes. I've used this drink on some high speed two-hour training sessions (with no other energy food intake), and combined it with the usual array of bars and gels on longer all-day outings. For both types of ride, Competition Sports Drink seems to provide a good sustained supply of energy. I've also drunk a 750ml bottle in the hour leading up to the two-hour training sessions, and this carb-loading definitely has benefits.
On that basis, I'd say Competition Sports Drink is well worth trying, and then adding to your armoury if you notice the benefits. As with all nutrition products, it's important to sample this drink on a training ride first rather than an important race or sportive, just in case it doesn't agree with you.
The drink comes in various flavours - Banana, Orange, Raspberry, Neutral and Citrus. I was testing the latter, and the taste was fairly mild and inoffensive. The texture was not sharp, like some citrus drinks, and slightly soapy but not unpleasant, meaning it was easy to drink. Even after a few bottles of this stuff, I felt no ill effects on the stomach at all.
A 1kg tub of Competition Sports Drink costs £17.50 from Sponser's own UK website. On a crude carbs-per-quid basis this is more expensive than similar competitor products. Of course quality should be compared, not just quantity, but on either basis this drink is not a bargain. But then if the special formula makes you go faster or farther than usual, then you might be happy forking out a bit of extra cash.
Highly technical, high-performing, nice-tasting energy drink. Easy on the stomach, but not on the wallet.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sponser Sport Food Energy Sportdrink Competition
Size tested: Citrus, Orange
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?
This is a carbohydrate energy drink mix, with electrolytes. It is designed for consumption before or during sport. It is not a receovery drink.
The Sponser website says Competition Sports Drink is:
"...a light flavoured sports drink powder with important electrolytes. Thanks to its special composition and its neutral properties (taste and pH), it is also extremely digestible even in high concentrations.
Optimal liquid replacement with a maximum energy ... density...is possible by the exceptionally deep osmolarity and simultaneous by the clearly higher carbohydrates content than in usual sports drinks.
The 8 different carbohydrates allow the absorption through different transport systems. In this way, the body can clearly obtain a higher energy proportion from the supplied carbohydrates and preserve its own glycogen reserves."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Sponser website goes on to list the drink's advantages, including:
"...practically neutral in pH, as it contains no acidulants and is very light flavoured. High molecular starch hydrolysates with a very low osmolarity. Isomaltulose (glucose + fructose) and trehalose (glucose + glucose) ensure a clearly slower glycemic and insulin increase compared to other kinds of sugar."
The website also provides graphs and results from lab tests that show "a combination of glucose (GLU), fructose (FRUC), and sucrose (SACCH) allows an energy use a third higher (41% instead of 28%) compared with only glucose" and "A combination of glucose (GLU), fructose (FRUC) und sucrose (SACCH) allows a doubling of the carbohydrates supply and can increase the energy use (oxidation rate) of 20-50%".
The performance of this drink mix is very good indeed: I defintely felt the advantages on long and short rides. The taste is great and it's easy on the stomach too.
On a crude carbs-per-quid basis this drink is more expensive than similar competitor products. But then if the special formula makes you go faster or farther than usual, then you might be happy forking out a bit of extra cash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performance was very good.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Performance, taste and texture.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I would certainly recommnd they tried it, to see if they found it more effective than their usual brand of energy drink.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
This is an impressive product, and would score 9, but a point has been docked as the cost makes it not especially good value.
About the tester
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
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,