We may not ride or race like the pros but why should that stop us eating like them. One of the top professional Belgian cycling teams, Etixx Quick-Step Pro Cycling are sponsored by Etixx . This company produces a range of nutrition products designed for before, during and after exercise, as well as for general day to day health.
With numerous wins already this season, Etixx really does fuel success, but can us mere mortals get the same benefits as the pro riders? Only one way to find out. With a range of products to get my teeth into I was keen to get started.
It was a bright sunny spring morning and I had a 130 kilometre hilly ride planned. This was the perfect opportunity to try some of the range.
Etixx Energy Load
Before the ride and at breakfast I mixed up an Etixx Energy Load sachet . This is one of the most versatile products Etixx produce as it can be used both before and during exercise.
The clear instructions made making up the drink a simple task. Simply pour the powder into a bottle and mix with 500ml of water. Ready to go I took a swig and straight away my taste buds became alive with the red fruit flavours. A real fruity kick and quite a strong taste. I am not one for overly strong or sweet energy drinks, so I would probably dilute this a little more to suit my palate.
A carefully developed drink, the Energy Load supplies the body with vitamin B to ward off fatigue and keep you performing at your best with a large dose of energy rich carbohydrates. Folate also helps to reduce tiredness.
To be consumed either hot or cold, the Energy Load is ideal for the coldest winter months or staying on top form on a baking hot summer’s day.
Available in a sachet form, this is ideal for those travelling to a race or sportive as it takes up very little room in your kit bag. Refreshed and loaded with carbohydrates I was ready to ride!
Etixx Isotonic Powder
Kit on and bike ready, I headed out and after ten minutes I decided it was time to try the Etixx Isotonic Powder . Unlike the Energy Load, the Isotonic Powder is designed solely for during exercise, providing the body with carbohydrates and electrolytes, aiming to retain fluid, refuel muscles and boost your electrolyte stores.
Unlike the Energy Load, it was a weaker tasting drink, yet still a very tasty one. The orange flavour was refreshing and was easy to drink, not leaving an after taste or that sticky mouth feeling.
Isotonic beverages are perfect for hot weather activity and although my ride was in temperatures in the range of 12-15 degrees, after throwing in a few hills I was definitely sweating!
With some energy drinks you get sick of the taste after a few hours, not with the Isotonic Powder, it still tasted fresh and was easy on the stomach even after four hard hours in the saddle.
Etixx Energy Bar
A ‘must have’ addition to my jersey pocket is an energy bar. After an hour of battling a nasty headwind I decided to give the chocolate flavoured Etixx Energy Bar a go. Neat packaging made getting at the bar a simple procedure. Biting in the consistency was just right, not too hard yet not crumbling to pieces either.
A mild chocolate taste was just what I like. Not overpowering yet still a welcome tasty treat. The bar is on the small side, yet Etixx have packed all the key elements your body needs, with a whopping 29 grams of carbohydrates to keep your energy stores topped up.
What makes this energy bar stand out from the competition is the addition of magnesium. This is added to improve muscle performance and energy production and coming into the second hour of my ride, I definitely felt it take effect.
A low fibre bar and unique sugar makeup, it digested well and meant I was not craving another energy hit.
Etixx Triple Action Energy Gel
When the hammer is down or you want a quick boost of energy but don’t fancy a bar, an energy gel can be the ideal solution.
The Triple Action Energy Gel from Etixx is available either with or without caffeine and in a range of flavours.
I always like to eat a gel in the last hour of a ride to give me a bit of energy for the final push home. After 100 kilometres I decided to try the peach flavour and I was glad I did.
Easy to rip the top off the gel came out in just the right consistency, not too watery yet not too sticky either. I could really taste the peaches and it was easy to squeeze the last few morsels out of the sachet.
Most importantly it gave me that carbohydrate boost I was craving and with vitamin C added was a nice touch.
Etixx Recovery Shake
Unclipping, after over four hard hours in the saddle, it was time to recover and that meant mixing up an Etixx Recovery Shake . I again had this in sachet form so meant there was no need to measure. Simply pour the 50g sachet into 500ml of water or milk and shake.
I had tried this with both water and milk and both tasted great, although I did prefer it with water.
Initially I was a bit skeptical trying a raspberry and kiwi flavoured recovery drink as my stomach is usually a little sensitive after a hard ride. I needn’t have worried though as it tasted amazing. Fruity and easy to drink and with a health dose of whey protein, 11 vitamins and minerals and a nice hit of energy rich carbohydrates I was able to put my feet up and congratulate myself on a good ride with Etixx.
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