These days on any ride over an hour long I always prepare beforehand. Energy drinks – which one depending on the temperature and a recovery drink for post ride. I find they make a surprising difference although I concede there may be a placebo element. Over the last two years I’ve tried Science in Sport (http://www.scienceinsport.com/) and have used their Go and PSP22 energy drinks as well as their Rego recovery drink. Of the three I preferred the Chocolate recovery drink, which is nicely chocolatey.
I’ve also tried ZipVit Sports (http://www.zipvitsport.co.uk/
) energy drinks and bars and recommend you try their Energy & Recovery Box as a sampler (£4.99) – which is a great way to trial their products. I loved the energy/recovery bars and whilst I found the drink were good at giving me energy – I really didn’t like the flavours. My only other “criticism” with ZipVit is that you seem to be able to only buy direct – so it’s hard to get a discount and they charge you for postage, which you can avoid on other brands by using any number of online suppliers.
As you can tell by the pictures, I’m currently using and enjoying High 5’s products (http://www.highfive.co.uk/indexUK.php
). The ones I seem to have settled on are the Energy Source 4:1 for when it’s not too hot. It’s quite strong stuff and it took my stomach a little while to adjust but now I’m very happy with it. It’s almost syrupy compared to the Isotonic drink, so you really don’t want to be drinking it when it’s too hot – but I do notice I have more energy using this drink than any other I’ve tried to date.
It’s been quite a warm summer in the UK this year (thank goodness) so I’ve started using the High 5 Isotonic as well and again I’m very happy with it. I’ve gone for the Citrus flavour and it’s very easy to drink and nice to have on a ride. The flavour is quite subtle compared to other flavours which is a good thing.
After each ride, the first thing I do when I get back into the kitchen is to make up a protein recovery drink and I’m using the High 5 one – which seems to be fine. It’s not as chocolatey as the Science in Sport one and that might tempt me to try another one when my current jar is empty. I always make the recovery drink with milk as it’s much more like a milkshake that way and it also brings out the flavour more than water does (although water is fine to use too).
I recently read a training book which suggested drinking a bottle of energy drink before leaving on a ride as well – I haven’t tried that but I can see the appeal as for me the first 30-60minutes of a ride is generally the part I find most difficult.
For food on a ride, I take bananas if the kids haven’t already eaten them all or Soreen (http://www.soreen.com/
) sliced and buttered (to be washed down with energy drink mmmmmm). I’m not as good as should be about taking food on the bike – which is why the energy drink is so important – to cover up poor eating habits and it just really does make a difference.
If you’ve not tried them before, most brands do small sachets or sample boxes to start with (like the ZIpVit one mentioned above) and they are the best way to start so you can try the flavours and find one you like without committing to buying a big tub. Once you’ve found the flavour and the product you like as always, shop around. I buy my High 5 from Discount Supplements as they seem to have the best prices and free delivery (http://www.discount-supplements.co.uk/
) but I always check online in case someone is doing a better price.
Thanks for reading