Cycling energy drinks help to replace lost carbohydrate in easily digestible form. When racing, it can be difficult to eat sufficient food, therefore energy drinks can be vital for providing sufficient energy sources and also helping rehydration of lost minerals.
The best energy drinks are composed of simple carbohydrates (glucose polymer) and electrolytes to replace lost minerals during intensive exercise. It is important to get the intensity right. Some people can feel sickly if the drink is too concentrated, especially on hot days.
I am keen on the High5 Energy Source. I usually buy a 2.2Kg tub and it lasts me for quite a while. It has a good neutral flavour though unfortunately they seem to have discontinued the neutral flavour.
High 5 4:1
A study by the University of Glasgow suggested the use of 4:1 over a conventional carbohydrate only energy drink during the grueling Trans Alp MTB event, helped competitors finish average 12% quicker than those using the carbohydrate only drink.
The theory is that taking on protein causes the body to release insulin. This release of insulin actually results in a higher uptake of carbohydrate by the muscles which need it.
High 5 4:1 energy tub at Wiggle
Science in Sport
Science in Sport energy drinks are based on malto-dextrin. Malto-dextrin is one of the easiest absorbable carbohydrate sources and can be taken in heavier concentrations. Though, you still want to find a level you are comfortable with. SIS have put a lot of attention into designing plans for best combinations of liquid and food. With the custom SIS bottles it is quite easy to mix and prepare. Tastes fine, not too sweet but is as relatively pleasant as these things can be. Contains electrolytes for rehydration.
- Science in Sport energy Drink at Wiggle
Free Energy Cycling Drinks
Suppose you wanted to mix your own energy drink.
- 200ml ordinary fruit squash
- 800ml water
- A pinch of salt
Mix them all together in a jug and cool down in fridge.
- 50-70g sugar
- One litre of warm water
- one pinch of table salt, one pinch of potassium chloride (salt substitute)
- 200ml of sugar free squash
Mix, cool. Be careful about getting right quantities. Also be careful if you start to add caffeine or other ingredients.
Good Value Energy Drinks to test
This High 5 Bottle bundle - £3.49 from Wiggle includes the following.
- 750ml water bottle
- 1 x EnergyGel Sacket
- 1 x IsoGel Sachet
- 1 x Isotonic Sachet
- 1 x EnergySource Sachet
- 1 x Zero sample packs (not pictured)