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Fuel up — five nutrition products for your rides from Torq, Skratch Labs and BACX

Here are five fuelling products we're currently reviewing, with full reviews coming soon

This week’s five cool things is fuelled with nutrition products that we’ve got our hands on. Cycling nutrition is developing at speed, and we’ve got some great examples of that below. You don’t just have to rely on gels and electrolyte powders now, as the new BACX Performance Fuel, Torq's flavourless gel and Skratch Labs’ fruit drops prove. 

The full reviews of the products are dropping on our reviews page soon, and the best of the best scoring things can also be found on road.cc recommends.

BACX Performance Fuel - 10 pack - £23.30

2023 BACX Performance Fuel - 10 pack.jpg

You can be forgiven if you've not heard of BACX before. It’s a brand set up by endurance mountain biker Jason Baits-Tomlin, who decided he didn't trust the existing nutrition products and developed his own. Now, the product is backed by the F1 driver Sebastian Vettel. 

The Bacx Performance Fuel comes in a pouch that is emptied into a bottle to be mixed with water. It contains no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colours or flavours, no caffeine or maltodextrin, and is free of the 14 major allergens. Each pouch contains 20g of carbs, electrolytes and plant amino acids.

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Torq Performance Energy Gel - Naked Flavourless - 15 gels - £29.25

2023 Torq Performance Energy Gel - Naked Flavourless

Torq gels are not new to the market, but this newest addition is flavourless. The lack of flavour should be ideal for those long rides, which pose a risk of developing a deep distaste for a specific flavour – even if it is something like rhubarb and custard.

The gels have 2:1 maltodextrin: fructose ratio, and each 45g gel serves you 30g of carbs. 

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Skratch Labs Fruit Drops Blueberry - £24.95

2023 Skratch Labs Fruit Drops Blueberry.jpg

Skratch Labs has created these Fruit Drops to be “a steady source of carbohydrates that won't destroy your stomach or gut”. They should release the energy slower than gels, making sure that your carb levels stay steady at all times. A single pack of Sport Energy Chews contains 10 chews, at 14 calories a piece for a total of 140 calories, or 36 grams of carbohydrate per package.

The chews use a specific ratio of glucose and fructose and incorporate pectin to slow carbohydrate emptying from the stomach, and there is natural caffeine added to some of the four flavours available (we’re only testing the blueberry flavour with no caffeine). 

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Skratch Labs Super High-Carb Sport Drink Mix - £41.95

2023 Skratch Labs Super High-Carb Sport Drink Mix - Lemon and Lime

Yes, we’ve got a whole host of Skratch Labs nutrition products in for review. The Super High-Carb Sport Drink Mix (formerly Superfuel), is designed for high-performance athletes who need a reliable and easily digestible source of energy during intense and prolonged workouts.

It provides 400 calories and 53g of carbs per serving, and includes electrolytes to fuel and hydrate the body during cycling. The brand says the drink mix’s “Cluster Dextrin molecule” has a unique structure with more glucose units linked together, providing more energy than other fuelling options. Its complex structure allows for a gradual release of energy, reducing the risk of digestive issues.

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Skratch Labs Sport Hydration Mix - Box of 20 Servings - £27.95

2023 Scratch Labs Sport Hydration Mix - Box of 20 Servings - sachets.jpg

And the last product we’re currently testing is the Skratch Labs Our Hydration Sport Drink Mix. The purpose is to replace the electrolytes lost in sweat and to provide a little bit of energy when working out, without offending your palate or gut.

The mix has minimal sugar (4g per 100 ml) and a ratio of sugar (glucose + fructose) that is optimised for faster absorption, an electrolyte profile that matches what is lost in sweat (800 mg sodium, 80 mg potassium, 100 mg calcium, and 80 mg of magnesium per litre), and only real fruit for flavour for a “light and refreshing taste”. 

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Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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6 comments

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matthewn5 | 11 months ago
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More ultra-processed food in unrecycleable plastic-particle-pollution forever packaging? No thanks!!

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levestane | 11 months ago
2 likes
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Cugel replied to levestane | 11 months ago
1 like

levestane wrote:

Just for balance

https://www.soilassociation.org/causes-campaigns/ultra-processed-foods/

 

Balance of wot agin' wot?

If you mean that gloopermarkets and similar also sell suspicious pastes in litter, claiming that it's food, this shirly demonstrates an even greater imbalance between real-nutricious grub in the market (hardly any) that's vastly outweighed by tons and tons of pot-mucus & similar, available within tons and tons of toxic forever-wrappings.

*******

Degraded grub; degraded air; degraded water; degraded housing; degraded ..... everything. Well, except for the many costly but shiny consumer durables ...... well, the ones (0.1%) that are actually of any genuine utility rather than just landfill, seaspoiler, biology-interrupter or planet-heater .

Oh Brave New World, that has such rubbish in it! I blame that Francis Bacon.

Avatar
jaymack | 11 months ago
1 like

I'm still at a loss as to why road.cc's not reviewed Christie Aschwanden's excellent book 'Good to Go', she extols the benefits of real food and even demonstrates that beer makes female athletes faster. Reading convinced me that real food is best and I've usually got some in larder.

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Cugel replied to jaymack | 11 months ago
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jaymack wrote:

I'm still at a loss as to why road.cc's not reviewed Christie Aschwanden's excellent book 'Good to Go', she extols the benefits of real food and even demonstrates that beer makes female athletes faster. Reading convinced me that real food is best and I've usually got some in larder.

Anything real is now old-hat, frowned upon and a fashion likely to attract the mocking laughter of influencers and cheep-cheepers everywhere - perhaps also the polis, who are very suspicious of folk bringing up actualities in preference to the surreal plots, scripts and recmmendations (often couched as insistences) of The Red & Blue Klown show.

Shirly you must realise that chemical pastes in a piece of litter can be sold for far more than anything as mundane as food; and also serves as an emblem of top-class lookitme "cycling" as you surge past your admiring audience on yer £10,000 "weapon of choice" (in the consumer status wars) nonchalantly tossing your "nutrition" litter into the gutter like a gimlet-eyed TdFer heading for victory at the finish line somewhere in a middle class suburban ghetto choked with double parked BMWs.

And .... advertsing goo-in-litter via "a review" or in the "cycling news" can get you a bung!

*************

As to fast-beer .... I have noticed (in my yoof) that beer-lowered inhibitions can induce startling bouts of effort and disregard for risks - factors that both speed up one's ride .... until it suddenly ends, often prematurely.

 

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jaymack replied to Cugel | 11 months ago
2 likes

Don't call me Shirley...

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