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Zipvit ZV7 gel is a power boosting, stamina bolstering prep that won't cause a stir at the doping controls and only boasts half the calories of Zipvit's other gels. Mid ride consumption proved an acquired art and the cherry flavouring was deeply unappetising.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the exact composition's a closely guarded secret but the idea is that you use it as part of pre-event carbo-loading. Zipvit recommends guzzling two or three sachets per day in the three days leading up to the event and a further two sixty minutes prior to competing.
Zipvit claims: "The natural beetroot nitrates in our performance gel are converted by the body into nitric oxide, increasing your power and stamina."
In common with the brand's other products, the thicker consistency is a double edged sword, preventing accidental and undignified wastage but requiring more gusto, especially in the saddle and it took several sachets before my pallet adjusted to their slightly curious taste. Thankfully, this didn't clash with their Z20 electrolyte tablets when dissolved in plain water and come the fourth day, I raced - an unofficial 10-mile time trial, completed in 36, rather than 38 minutes.
Using this as my control, I repeated the course several days later in identical conditions, consuming 350ml of supermarket juice during the lead up. Until the seventh mile there was little discernible difference, whereupon those disturbingly familiar symptoms of depletion kicked in, resulting in a distinctly mediocre 38 minutes 47 seconds.
Improvements were more apparent on long, steady outings, where I felt noticeably fresher towards the end of 40 and 50 miles.
Ultimately, these supplements genuinely seem to live up to their claims but are pretty steep compared with the alternatives, so I would suggest trying a few singular sachets before shelling out on a box of 24.
Genuinely seems effective but pricey and taste is likely to divide opinion.
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Make and model: Zipvit Sport ZV7N Beetroot Nitrate Performance Gel - Cherry
Size tested: 60ml, 24 sent
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?
"Our latest product in the ZV7 gel range. The ZV7N Nitrate Performance Gel is an all natural product specially formulated to be taken in the lead up to your event. The natural beetroot nitrates in our performance gel are converted by the body into nitric oxide, increasing your power and stamina.
DIRECTIONS: For maximum benefit, take 2-3 gels per day in the 3 days prior to your event, followed by 2 gels an hour before your event. The ZV7N gels contain half the calories of our standard gels".
Does exactly what it says in the blurb but at a price.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
per 60ml serving:-
Saturated Fatty Acids 0g
Sodium 0g RDA
Can prove tricky to consume mid ride.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall and when directions are followed to the letter, these certainly add a welcome boost on longer/more intense rides. However, taste was tolerable rather than tantalising and this sort of outlay is the stuff of elite, rather than average racers.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Tasted "meh"; quite pricey too.
Did you enjoy using the product? Enjoyed the effects but not the taste.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Would suggest trying a few loose sachets before committing to a box of 24.
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)