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OTE Super Carbs Energy Drink

8
£28.50

VERDICT:

8
10
Delivers a huge amount of carbs with no fuss or issues, but it's expensive
Mixes well
Really high carb levels
Easy on stomachs
Expensive
Weight: 
876g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The OTE Super Carbs Energy Drink has one of the highest carbohydrate-per-millilitre ratios out there. Even so, it's easy both to prepare and to get down, plus it's available in either blackcurrant or lemon and lime flavours. This 10-serving bulk pack is on the expensive side though, so is best reserved for race day or special events.

Like many of the latest high-carb drinks, OTE Super Carbs has a maltodextrin and fructose composition. Fructose is proven to increase absorption of carbohydrates (up to 90g per hour), which is beneficial for fuelling endurance rides and intense efforts.

I've been using this drink over the last month during road races, endurance rides of 3-5 hours, and intense training.

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Super Carbs is a beast, containing 80g of carbohydrates per 500ml. That equals the very best in the field, such as Maurten Drink Mix 320 and SiS Beta Fuel. When compared to cheaper drinks – such as the ever-popular High5 2:1 Energy Source – the benefits are obvious, as a 500ml bottle contains twice as much energy.

This means I was able to ditch the usual gels during races, and leave my pockets slightly less crammed with flapjacks on long rides.

> How to get into racing — 3 steps from sportives to real competition

OTE details three occasions when high-carb drinks are particularly useful: when intensity is high; when it's cold and you don't need much hydration, but do need energy; and when opportunities for drinking are restricted, such as during team sports or endurance events.

I can certainly relate. During the winter months I certainly drink less during rides, and as a result my energy intake usually drops. I also find the OTE drink ideal for racing, especially on technical courses, where spending less time with hands off the bar is an advantage.

Mixing

Preparation is easy: add three scoops to 500ml of water and it dissolves easily, with minimal shaking required. Once mixed, the drink avoids the funny consistency of some, such as the Maurten Drink Mix 320.

Once it's in, your stomach acid actually turns the Super Carbs drink into a gel, which supposedly allows a smoother transition through to the intestine – which is where the water, salt and carbohydrates are absorbed. I didn't have any stomach issues, and really don't fancy any method of taking a look inside, so I can only assume it works.

> Fuelling for epic rides — how to get the right food to keep your energy levels up and avoid the dreaded bonk

I've had the blackcurrant flavour on test, but Super Carbs also comes in lemon and lime. The blackcurrant is quite sweet, with a flavour I found similar to Vimto.

Value

At £28.50 for 10 servings (£2.85 per serving), it's slightly more expensive than the equally-carby SiS Beta Fuel (£2.50 per serving) and a fair bit more than Enervit Isocarb 2:1 During (£1.79 per serving). The latter, however, only gives 60g of carbs. For me at least, the expense means reserving Super Carbs for race days and the very hardest of training rides.

Overall, The OTE Super Carbs Energy Drink is great for those looking to maximise their carbohydrate intake per mouthful. The direct competition is cheaper, but for me this beats Maurten's version in the palatability stakes. Whether it beats the slightly cheaper Beta Fuel, however, will simply come down to flavour preference.

Verdict

Delivers a huge amount of carbs with no fuss or issues, but it's expensive

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road.cc test report

Make and model: OTE Super Carbs Energy Drink

Size tested: 10x85g

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?

OTE says: "Super Carbs is a new concept in performance energy drinks. Formulated to deliver 80g of carbohydrates in 500ml of naturally flavoured Blackcurrant drink, this drink gives you double the energy in just one bottle."

If you're looking for the maximum energy per sip of drink then this is a great product.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

OTE shouts:

NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURS

NO ARTIFICIAL PRESERVATIVES

Suitable for vegans

85g portion size (3 scoops)

80g of carbohydrate per 500ml

Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Fructose, Electrolytes (Tri Sodium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Calcium Lactate, Magnesium Carbonate), Acidifier (Citric Acid), Natural Flavouring, Pectin, Sodium Alginate.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

No stomach issues, which is impressive considering the high carb content.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Easy to mix, nice taste and consistency, and no stomach issues.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The carb levels mean I don't need to carry gels whilst racing in a skinsuit without pockets.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's very expensive – slightly more expensive, in fact, than drinks of equal carb content, as well as those with less.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a brilliant product, and class-leading in the amount of energy it delivers per ml while remaining easy to mix and consume. However, it is one of the most expensive energy drinks – more than the equally carby SiS Beta Fuel – which holds it back a little.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 6ft  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

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