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Science in Sport GO Energy Elderberry drink



Easy-to-drink no-nonsense carbohydrate drink; ideal source of energy for long bike rides

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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SIS Go Energy drink is a powder that you mix with water. It contains carbohydrates to provide energy, and that's it. No frills, no extras. It's easy to digest and tastes good, and will help keep you going on a long bike ride. It's also fairly priced.

Previously on we reviewed the version of this product that's available in small sachetsNow we're reviewing the new 500g tub of powder, which is also available in a new flavour – elderberry – but otherwise it's the same stuff.

The main ingredients of Go Energy drink are maltodextrin (produced from maize) and fructose. There's also citric acid, some natural flavouring, and sweetener (aspartame). This gives 94g of carb per 100g of powder. There's no protein, and virtually no fat, fibre, sodium or other minerals.

The label on the tub recommends a serving of 50g, so 47g of carb, with 500ml of water, while the SIS website indicates you can mix the powder at "high energy concentrations, to give you lots of energy per mouthful", presumably something like 70g or 100g per 500ml of water. Conversely, many bike riders prefer a slightly more diluted mix. As with all energy products, it's best to try various mixes when you're training, find out what works best for you, then stick to it when you're doing a big race or sportive, or just a long ride.

In practice, I have found this energy drink works very well. I usually put the recommended serving ratio (about 70 to 80g) in a pair of 750ml bottles and it's enough to see me through a two to four-hour bike ride. Longer than that – eg a 100-mile sportive – and most cyclists (myself included) will need more carb, usually in the form of energy gels and bars or 'normal' food.

On price, the 500g tub of Go Energy drink is currently going for a penny under a tenner on the SIS website. Certainly cheaper than the individual sachets mentioned above. You can save even more by buying a 1.6kg tub for £24. This is a fair price against similar carb-based drink powders from other brands (eg, £29 for 2.2kg of High5's Energy Source) although both products are further discounted on the usual online stores.


Easy-to-drink no-nonsense carbohydrate drink; ideal source of energy for long bike rides test report

Make and model: Science in Sport GO Energy Elderberry

Size tested: 500g

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?

This is an energy drink. It contains almost all carbohydrate. There's no protein, and no minerals/electrolytes. The SIS website says:

"47g of carbohydrate per serving.

Provides fuel before or during training and racing.

Reduces the risk of early fatigue during exercise."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

The SIS website goes on to say: "SiS GO Energy is versatile enough to mix at high energy concentrations, to give you lots of energy per mouthful. Prepare: Use to take on board low bulk carbohydrate for carb-loading and boosting the carbohydrate in pre-exercise meals. Perform: Use during exercise to energise your performance or to re-fuel hungry muscles. SiS GO Energy can be used immediately after exercise to re-fuel."

Although it won't do any harm to refuel with this product after a long ride, most sports scientists recommend taking on protein to help muscle repair and recovery. Go Energy has no protein.

Rate the product for performance:

In my experience, SIS Go Energy drink works very well. I usually put about 70 to 80g in a pair of 750ml bottles and it's enough to see me through a two to four-hour bike ride.

Rate the product for value:

Value is fair, though not an absolute bargain. It compares against similar products from other manufacturers (especially the prices displayed on their own websites), although you can often find lower prices at the usual online stores.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed very well. It's designed to provide energy during a bike ride, and it does just that.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Nice taste, easy on the stomach.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd recommend they try it.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

SIS Go Energy drink is just that: an energy drink. It does what it says on the tin. There are drink products available from other brands (and SIS) with additional ingredients to provide protein, minerals or other bells and whistles, but for straightforward energy, this stuff is excellent and would score 9, but gets a point knocked off for the price which, although fair, isn't a bargain, giving an overall score of 8.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 53  Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm  Weight: 11 stone / 70kg

I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, 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 and rough-stuff (off road on a road bike)


Add new comment


David Else | 10 years ago

Thanks for the feedback. I’m aware of the debate over aspartame, and that some people find it has an adverse impact (or just don't like the taste), so I deliberately mentioned that it is among this product’s ingredients. After that, I guess we can decide as individuals if we want to consume it or not.

Bexleyhillbilly | 10 years ago

I have used SIS products in the past, but got sick of the over-sweet aspartame taste. Don't really understand why SIS stick with this, but I guess it's like the brown sugar in Alpen - it was on the original ingredient list when people had limited choice of manufacturers, so they just keep on adding it. There are lots of artificial sweetener-free products out there, so I don't buy SIS any more.

Leerf | 10 years ago

aspartame = migraine (for me anyway)

nowasps | 10 years ago

I don't care for it myself, but it's been intensively studied for years and is widely regarded as harmless.

bohrhead | 10 years ago

It's bewildering to me that something like this containing aspartame can get 4/5 stars.  13

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