Choosing the energy product you use on the bike is a mixture of science, pseudo-science and myth.
The science is that your body is capable of absorbing a certain amount of carbohydrate, give or take, per hour, and adding more is overloading the system.
The pseudo-science is the accumulation of experience and anecdote that inform your choice.
The myth is that by eating what the pro’s eat you will ride like a pro!
So how is it possible to accurately assess the performance of an energy product when there are so many parameters that affect how you perform? The amount of sleep over the last week, what was for breakfast before the ride, what was for dinner, the weather, the atmospheric pressure, the amount of air in your tyres… you get the picture.
The fact remains, however, that a good experience can often be linked to a product which you are conscious of using at the time, and this is what influences your brand choice.
All of this brings us to the two means of assessment at our disposal, fact and experience.
Fact goes like this. Consuming easily absorbed energy through hydration is beneficial to the riding experience. The longer the ride continues the more important this becomes, as dehydration dramatically inhibits performance.
This is where NUUN tablets come into their own. The tube is no larger than a CO2 cylinder and drops into a jersey pocket almost unnoticed. Adding the tablet when you top up your bottles is both simple and also serves to revolutionise your ride. The fading of performance through fatigue and dehydration cannot be removed, but it can be restricted. Practicality and convenience is rarely considered as a factor in this market place, but it is clearly relevant as we don’t have the benefit of following cars (except on Le Sportif Epic Rides of course). This aspect of NUUN shows a clarity of thought in the product development which is indicative of a product that is going to work well.
This was borne out through use. The choice of flavours is wide (& personal), there is also the possibility of added caffeine. None of the flavours are offensively sweet or cloying and there is no desire to wash down the drink with water as with so many self mix drinks.
In terms of experience over the period of a month we used the full range of options over a wide variety of rides, both in terms of length and intensity, with the aim of leveling the influence of the above mentioned factors. The response was invariably positive, citing performance benefits, flavour and ease of use. The caffeine enhanced tablets for rides over 100km/3.5hours had a particularly marked effect in maintaining performance and inhibiting fatigue.
Whilst those of you who like to tailor your nutrition accurately may find a single tablet not to your style, the NUUN tablets cut down preparation time and improve performance, but above all being simple to use on the fly makes them invaluable to long distance riders.
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