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The SIS Beta Fuel Dual Source Energy Chews are a tasty halfway point between a bar and a gel. They provide an easy-to-eat boost in energy and can be combined with other Beta Fuel products to maximise carbohydrate intake. The price might limit their use to the hardest rides, however.
A bag of sweets is one of the best things about long winter rides, for me. The extra jacket space means there is room for Jelly Babies, Haribo, Dolly Mix or – occasionally – a selection of all three. Ever the fan of a tasty bike snack, I was very keen to try these, and I've not been disappointed.
This is a tasty way to quickly consume 46g of carbohydrate. It's kind on the stomach and plays nicely with the other Beta Fuel products too, though at £2 per serving, they're a rather expensive option.
SIS has recently refreshed the Beta Fuel range and, along with a fancy new look and a few more products, they offer a new 1:0.8 ratio of glucose to fructose. This, SIS and this study claims, is the key to delivering more of those all-important carbs to your hungry little legs. Whatever the case, there is no horrid taste here, making them easy to eat whenever you need them.
Jamie has already reviewed the new Beta Fuel gels, and he found the amount of energy provided very advantageous in races. This applies to any high-intensity ride, and during my training for hill climbing season (and for pre-race fuelling) I have been using the chews.
What I like – and Jamie has said the same – is that it is very handy to eat less for a given amount of energy. As long I was getting one of these chews in along with a bottle of energy drink, I was fine to smash my way through a grim number of intervals.
Each serving of Energy Chew provides you with 190kcal and 46g of carbs, of which 41g is sugar. For comparison, the Enervit Pre Sport Jelly contains 27g of carbs, though it is intended as a slower release of energy. Skratch Labs' Sport Energy Chews get close at 40g of carbs per bag, but the biggest carbs-per-pack award still goes to Clif with its Shot Bloks at 48g.
The key difference, however, is that the SIS chews are designed to be absorbed alongside other SIS Beta Fuel products, and pack in up to 120g of carbs per hour.
SIS says that working your way up to between 80-120g of carbs per hour will give you optimum fuelling for the hardest rides but (again like Jamie), I find it tricky to get above 100g per hour – I just can't constantly throw energy products down my neck. At least with the Beta Fuel chews, drink and gels, I avoid stomach issues.
There are one or two things I'd change. Firstly, you get two strips of jelly. It's pretty much impossible to get at just one strip while riding, so I'd want SIS to simply combine them into one block. Then the second thing is that very occasionally you find a crunchy bit of jelly. I'd imagine it's just a bit of undissolved sugar, but it's not the nicest.
These are quite expensive, though not the most expensive. Those Clif Shot Bloks will set you back £52 for a box of 18, whereas the Beta Fuel chews are £40 for 20. That makes the Beta Fuel chews better value and, for getting big carbs down in a short space of time, I'd have the SIS offering because of the 1:0.8 glucose/fructose ratio.
The Beta Fuel Energy Chews are a brilliant fuelling option for high-intensity riding. The texture is a nice bridge between a gel and a bar, they pair well with the other Beta Fuel products, and they're easy to wolf down between efforts.
The only thing is the price – while it's reasonable for the performance it's still high at £2 per serving, meaning they're probably best saved for really hard rides.
Great for maximising carb intake, tasty and easy to eat – if not the cheapest
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road.cc test report
Make and model: SIS Beta Fuel Dual Source Energy Chews
Size tested: 60g x 6
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?
From SIS: "Our Beta Fuel Dual Source Energy Chews deliver scientifically superior fuel in unique and satisfying chews. Part of an entire world-leading fuelling solution range that includes drinks and gels, they are super easy to consume and deliver 46 grams of carbohydrate to improve and maintain optimum performance.
NEW 1:0.8 RATIO REPLACES 2:1 RATIO
A 1:0.8 ratio of glucose to fructose increases the percentage of ingested carbohydrate that is oxidized (known as efficiency) from 62% to 74% when compared with a ratio of 2:1
A 1:0.8 ratio of glucose to fructose reduces self-reported symptoms of stomach fullness when compared with a ratio of 2:1"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Typical Values Per Serving 60g
of which saturates 0.0g
of which sugar 41g
They're expensive, but earn it with their performance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really good energy boost and kind on the stomach, even when pushing 90g of carbs per hour.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They taste good, making me more likely to actually eat my ride food.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I found one or two crunchy bits of undissolved sugar.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're fairly expensive, though a good price for what they contain – still probably best saved for the hardest rides, though.
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
If you're trying to maximise your carb intake for hard rides, constant gels can be dull. This is another great way to fuel, they taste good and can be combined with other Beta Fuel products.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!