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A fresh face in the already crowded sports nutrition market, 33 Shake is a new company producing all-natural food supplements and energy products, including this Superfood Superfuel.
Designed originally for ultra-runners and endurance athletes, it may also be useful for cyclists, especially those that find processed food supplements ineffective or difficult to stomach.
The '33' in the brand name refers to the number of ingredients that make up Superfood Superfuel, including flax, hemp and sesame seeds, coconut, goji berries, walnuts, bee pollen, cranberries, blueberries, broccoli, pomegranate, ginseng and beetroot.
It's an impressive list, including many 'superfoods' that some studies claim have special characteristics that keep you healthy, help you recover or boost your immunity against illness. (Although other studies claim that superfoods are no more 'super' than any other natural, unprocessed food.)
Either way, each 55g bag of Superfood Superfuel provides 271 kcal, with 6g of protein, 21g of carb, 15g of fat, and 7g of fibre. And unlike many other nutrition products (even those with all natural ingredients) you can literally see what you're getting, as each pack of Superfuel is made from clear plastic, with the various seeds, grains and berries clearly visible inside.
To consume this product, you bung it in a blender with 500ml of water or milk (cows, soya or coconut) to make a shake. We're testing Original flavour. It's also available in Cacao and Coffee flavours.
Combined with water, the taste is pleasant: slightly sweet, thanks to the berries, but with savoury tones as well. Perhaps not surprisingly, it's reminiscent of those bags of nuts and dried fruits called 'trail mix'. Combining the Superfuel with milk produced a slightly richer taste and slightly thicker texture.
If you haven't got a blender, mixing it with a fork still produces a tasty drink, albeit rather lumpy.
So, given the need for a blender, or at least a fork, this is a product to consume at home, rather than when actually cycling. But do you need it? Absolutely not. You can get pretty much all the nutritional value contained in 33 Shakes Superfood Superfuel from 'normal' food, as long as you're disciplined about what you eat.
Is it a convenient way to take on a wide range of 'superfoods'? Yes, especially if you're already eating a healthy balanced diet in the first place. And on that basis, 33 Shakes Superfood Superfuel may be worth considering.
On price, each pack retails at £6.99 - discounted to £6.49 if you buy 10 packs, and £5.99 for 30 packs – which seems a lot of money, especially if you're consuming one of these daily, as recommended by the packaging. But there again, it compares well against the price you can end up paying for the various powders and supplements available from health stores and gym shops.
If you're really pushing the miles or aiming for very high standards, and feel you're not getting the results you want from other energy foods or nutritional supplements, then that might be a price you're prepared to pay.
All-natural nutritional supplement based on a mega-mix of superfoods. Tasty, but not cheap.
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Make and model: 33shake Superfood Superfuel Shake
Size tested: 3 units sent: Original, Cacao and Coffee
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
33 Shakes Superfood Superfuel (appropriately, the name is a bit of a mouthful) is a nutrition supplement, created from all-natural ingredients. It is designed to be consumed at home, rather than when actually cycling - although if you were doing an ultra-long-distance self-supported multi-day event, this might be useful stuff to carry as it's very light.
The manufacturer's website says:
"33Shake produces 100% natural sports nutrition to provide sustained, natural energy and nutrition for endurance athletes while also boosting immunity during times of intense physical stress without the need for any other vitamin supplements. Designed for anyone pushing their body to new limits our handmade Shakes pack 33 essential superfoods into one super-tasty, powerful shake ... There are thousands of supplements for athletes on the market to provide recovery, energy, and vitamin support but almost all are highly processed and packed with refined sugars, preservatives and artificial additives which destroy any nutritional benefit. All natural and containing only whole, unprocessed ingredients 33Shake products are unique and at the cutting edge of sports nutrition and recovery supplements."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Elsewhere on the 33 Shakes website, the ingredients and their key qualities are described, including:
Raw organic hemp seeds - a complete food on their own
Cold-milled organic flaxseeds – the good fat cholesterol busters
Raw sun-dried Tibetan goji berries – the world's most powerful berries
Raw organic Brazilian acai berries – the ultimate antioxidisers
Raw organic Peruvian maca – South American aphrodisiac
Organic spirulina – so powerful, you could live by eating nothing else
Raw organic walnuts - the King of nuts
Raw organic Nicaraguan sesame seeds – tiny yet powerful
Raw coconut – more good fat than you can shake a stick at
Raw Ceylon cinnamon – the health spice
Turmeric – the holistic healer
Chinese Reishi mushroom – one powerful mushroom
Raw organic chlorella – protein/detox powerpack
Organic spelt flakes – the perfect wholegrain
Raw sun-dried Peruvian Incan berries – high altitude heroes
Raw Organic Pumpkin Seeds – mood-boosting superseeds
Coconut palm sugar – low-GI, high-nutrition sweetener
Organic bee pollen – bees live on it for a reason you know
For an all-natural product, construction is spot on. It's a load of unprocessed food, put in a bag. Job done.
£6.99 for a pack seems pricey at first glance, but the cost is on a par with many other types of food/nutrition suppliment aimed at the sports market.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's hard to comment on the overall peformance of this product. I had a few packets. They tasted nice. I felt fine. But whether they helped me get round a 100-mile sportive or training ride any better than my usual diet of stuff like meusli, fruit, veg and brown pasta, I just don't know.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Taste. Easy to prepare.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? if they were trying every angle to boost performance, I'd recommend they give it a go.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
It can be argued that 33 Shakes Superfood Superfuel is a handy source of all-natural food, including some so-called 'superfoods', at a price that's on par with many other types of sports nutrition supplement, so that basis it scores 8 overall.
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Trail riding - aka rough-stuff (off road on a road bike)