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Science in Sport Go Electrolyte powder review

22 Jan 2019
Verdict:

High quality energy drink that’s tasty and easy to digest

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
• Sweet without being sickly • Confidence that comes with highly tested product
Against 
• Can leave sticky lumps when trying to mix with water

I’ve always been a water person. Admittedly, it would be hard to find someone who wasn’t a water person – it’s fairly fundamental to life – but what I mean is that I generally prefer to ride with just water in my bottles, rather than flavoured energy drinks.

The reason is that I often find the consistency of energy drinks to be too gloopy, and the flavour too sickly, such that I want to wash my mouth out afterwards.

In which case, I usually feel it makes more sense to carry two bottles of pure water and a pocket full of gels and bars.

Buy the Go Electrolyte powder from Science in Sport

However, despite my aversion to energy drinks, I have been pleasantly surprised by Science in Sport Go Electrolyte. It manages to be sweet without being sickly, and I’ve found that I can glug it regularly during a long ride without feeling like I’m sugar-coating the inside of mouth.

Indeed, the lemon and lime flavour (there are also orange, blackcurrant and tropical flavours, but I haven’t tried them yet) is agreeable enough that I’d happily drink it while sitting around at home, and not just as a necessary means of refuelling during long hours on the bike.

Taste is half the battle with energy products – most of us aren’t competing at a level where we will take something unpleasant just to get the perceived benefits – and SiS seems to have struck a good balance with its Go powder.

It’s not too powerful or artificial tasting, and it feels refreshing without being cloying.

Mixing the powder is a minor issue. The trick is to put the water in first, and add the powder on top. Do it the other way and you end up with a layer of sludge at the bottom of your bottle and globules of undissolved powder floating around.

Even done properly, it requires a good shake to get all the powder fully dissolved, and the resulting solution looks like cloudy water (thankfully, SiS has resisted the temptation to make it vibrant green).

So, it’s pleasant to look at and drink, but does it do the job of providing essential energy and hydration on the bike?

That’s a tricky question to answer. It’s almost impossible to isolate the effects of a single product to assess its efficacy. When I’m riding, there are myriad influences on my performance and how I feel, and it is hard to determine scientifically what the specific effect of one energy drink is.

As such, I can only say how well I think it works, and get the details behind the product from the people who make it.

‘SiS Go Electrolyte is designed for those long endurance efforts that really call for carbohydrate fuelling during exercise,’ says Ben Samuels, performance nutritionist at Sceince In Sport.

‘If you’re out for four or five hours, you need a strategy to get you through it. With this drink you can sip at the bottle and combine it with gels or bars to keep energy topped up.’

The Go powder is a mixture of maltodextrin, a carbohydrate that is absorbed rapidly as glucose for easy energy, and electrolytes, which are salts that help with water absorption for hydration and the prevention of cramps.

‘In sports drinks, brands tend to go one of two ways,’ says Samuels. ‘Maltodextrin or glucose. The ones with a higher glucose content will have a naturally higher simple sugar content.

'We use a specific maltodextrin that we know is going to be easily digested, we know it’s going to be easily absorbed and used by the body, and it results in a high carbohydrate product with significantly lower simple sugars that others.

‘High levels of simple sugars will have an adverse effect on blood glucose levels. Maintaining blood glucose levels is a key component in sports performance, but it also has a bearing on other issues such as dental hygiene and overall health.’

Science In Sport has had a maltodextrin developed especially for it, meaning the company can specify the molecular weight and the length of the carbohydrate molecules.

Does this mean SiS’s maltodextrin is superior to any other versions out there? Not necessarily, but at least it demonstrates that the company can be certain of what it is putting in its products and can ensure consistency of performance across its range and from one batch to the next.

What’s more, SiS has every batch tested independently for banned substances.

‘There is a body known as Informed-Sport, and what they do is batch test products against the WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] banned list,’ says Samuels.

‘Science In Sport is pretty unique in that we test every single batch of every single product every single time, so we have what’s known as 100% testing.’

It’s obvious why this would be essential for a professional team competing at WorldTour level (SiS is a sponsor of Team Sky), but I also find it reassuring for a weekend warrior such as myself.

Some brands will test intermittently, while with some others you just have to take their word for what is in the product. I’m not likely to face a doping test by WADA any time soon, but I’d still like to know that the energy drink I’m taking is not contaminated in any way and has been tested thoroughly by an independent body.

The knowledge that SiS goes the extra mile to ensure the quality and consistency of its product gives me confidence that it is both safe and effective.

Buy the Go Electrolyte powder from Science in Sport

In terms of the energy it provides, SiS Go Electrolyte supplies 36g of carbs for every 500ml bottle.

Samuels says, ‘If you’re looking at endurance events over 2.5–3 hours, then research suggests you need to refuel with 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour.

'As a guide, you could have one bottle of Go Electrolyte and then add an energy gel or energy bar so that you have 60-70g of energy going back into the system.’

During long rides, I found that the mixture of energy drink and energy bars worked well for keeping me going. I couldn’t claim that Go Electrolyte gave me any additional boost over other products I have tried, but I never felt any problems with digestion or energy crashes (as can happen with some products that adversely effect blood sugar levels).

More importantly, I felt happy using the product, knowing that it is well tested, well researched, and from a reputable company. That peace of mind is worth an extra watt of power in itself.

Price: 
£11 for 500g (approx 12 x 500ml servings)

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