Next time you’re out training with your friends, have a quick look to see what each rider has in their bottle, or hydration pack. Chances are, everyone is going to be using something different. Some might be drinking water, others an electrolyte drink to fend off cramps, some might prefer supermarket sports drinks, or cordial, or just about any energy drink. There is a lot to choose from, and in so many colours!
But what is hype and what actually helps your comfort or performance when riding? This obviously comes down to your goals. If your main goal is hydration, then water is your best friend. It’s been shown that some people drink more volume of liquid if it’s in ‘sports drink’ form – which is why they can be recommended. But if you drink (water) like a fish, you’re probably fine for hydration.
After using a variety of sports drinks, either for electrolytes or carbohydrate, I’ve ended up with some pretty rotten teeth. Countless hours of these kinds of drinks, and energy gels, during multiple hour marathon races have taken their toll. More often than, if you looked in my bottle – it would just have tap water.
There is a lot to be said for keeping hydration and energy intake separate in your race fuelling strategy, avoiding dropped bottles, big temperature changes or bloating having an effect on your nutrition. A bottle with some extra ‘energy’ in it though will help keep you topped up on fuel. Even in training, this often will mean you get more out of your session.
Pure Edge have four products in their range, and Imogen Smith has already reviewed their Whey Protein Isolate. What I have been using is their Go-Fast Energy (Fast Release) product. Essentially just a carbohydrate mix, there’s more to it than that. Far from a sugary drink, or something a little like pancake batter, the Go-Fast Energy is mostly powdered fruits and vegetables – 10 certified organic fruits and vegetables to be precise. It has a bit more going on, with corn maltodextrin, prebiotic inulin, phyoxidase and some natural flavours and sweetener. But it is certified organic (Certificate No. 10918).
The blend of fruits and vegetables are said to be ‘superfoods‘ – but I’m yet to be sold on that concept. What I am sold on is the flavour, ease of mixing and digestibility of the product.
Pure Edge suggest two tablespoons per 300mL of water – all mixed with a vigorous shake, although blending with a stick blender was even better. The taste is actually very mild, not overly sweet, and very refreshing. I could drink it, and not end up with aching teeth.
One serve packs about 440kj (about a standard muesli bar, or a bit more than a gel) with 25.0g of that being carbohydrate. But unlike a gel, only 3.5g of that is sugar. That’s pretty good. In fact, if you get an upset stomach in races or long training rides from high levels of sugar, that makes the Go-Fast Energy well worth looking into. Pure Edge recommend it for before, during or after exercise, as it’s a great way to catch up on, or load with carbohydrate. I mostly used it when on the bike, but also found it was perfect before an afternoon training session, and great for drinking in the hour or two before a big race, when you’re getting to the event, signing on, and generally ignoring all the ‘ideal’ pre-race rituals. At $60 for a 1kg container, you get 36 serves a pack. That’s well under $2 per serve. I think that is good value for what it provides, but that’s a judgement you need to make yourself.
Worth noting is that it is free from just about any allergens: dairy, gluten, soy and additives. Along with the organic classification, you can be certain you’re getting a quality product
This sort of product is hard to be conclusive about for a test. I used it, it had no digestive repercussions, was very palatable, my bottles cleaned up well – and I could knock off a good training session with a bottle of it too. If you are looking for a new drink to keep your fuel levels up, and tooth ache down – I suggest you try it.
More information can be found on the Pure Edge website.