This week’s five cool things is fuelled with nutrition products that we’ve got our hands on. Cycling nutrition is developing at speed, and we’ve got some great examples of that below. You don’t just have to rely on gels and electrolyte powders now, as the new BACX Performance Fuel, Torq's flavourless gel and Skratch Labs’ fruit drops prove.
You can be forgiven if you've not heard of BACX before. It’s a brand set up by endurance mountain biker Jason Baits-Tomlin, who decided he didn't trust the existing nutrition products and developed his own. Now, the product is backed by the F1 driver Sebastian Vettel.
The Bacx Performance Fuel comes in a pouch that is emptied into a bottle to be mixed with water. It contains no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colours or flavours, no caffeine or maltodextrin, and is free of the 14 major allergens. Each pouch contains 20g of carbs, electrolytes and plant amino acids.
Torq gels are not new to the market, but this newest addition is flavourless. The lack of flavour should be ideal for those long rides, which pose a risk of developing a deep distaste for a specific flavour – even if it is something like rhubarb and custard.
The gels have 2:1 maltodextrin: fructose ratio, and each 45g gel serves you 30g of carbs.
Skratch Labs has created these Fruit Drops to be “a steady source of carbohydrates that won't destroy your stomach or gut”. They should release the energy slower than gels, making sure that your carb levels stay steady at all times. A single pack of Sport Energy Chews contains 10 chews, at 14 calories a piece for a total of 140 calories, or 36 grams of carbohydrate per package.
The chews use a specific ratio of glucose and fructose and incorporate pectin to slow carbohydrate emptying from the stomach, and there is natural caffeine added to some of the four flavours available (we’re only testing the blueberry flavour with no caffeine).
Yes, we’ve got a whole host of Skratch Labs nutrition products in for review. The Super High-Carb Sport Drink Mix (formerly Superfuel), is designed for high-performance athletes who need a reliable and easily digestible source of energy during intense and prolonged workouts.
It provides 400 calories and 53g of carbs per serving, and includes electrolytes to fuel and hydrate the body during cycling. The brand says the drink mix’s “Cluster Dextrin molecule” has a unique structure with more glucose units linked together, providing more energy than other fuelling options. Its complex structure allows for a gradual release of energy, reducing the risk of digestive issues.
And the last product we’re currently testing is the Skratch Labs Our Hydration Sport Drink Mix. The purpose is to replace the electrolytes lost in sweat and to provide a little bit of energy when working out, without offending your palate or gut.
The mix has minimal sugar (4g per 100 ml) and a ratio of sugar (glucose + fructose) that is optimised for faster absorption, an electrolyte profile that matches what is lost in sweat (800 mg sodium, 80 mg potassium, 100 mg calcium, and 80 mg of magnesium per litre), and only real fruit for flavour for a “light and refreshing taste”.
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.