Words and photos by Julia Revitt
High 5 have been around for a while now, in fact it was the first sports drink I ever used. I’ve been using their Zero product for about a year now having switched from another leading brand and I love it. Time to have a look at their other products then...
Energy Source is a carbohydrate drink in powder form. One sachet is designed to be mixed with 500ml of water and consumed every 30 minutes during exercise. The combination of fructose and maltodextrin (a form of glucose) delivers more energy to your muscles than drinking glucose alone. That’s 90g of carbohydrate absorbed verses 60g without the fructose.
You may find that drinking a litre every hour is too much and results in stomach problems. If this is the case you can reduce the amount of drink and eat some carbohydrate instead like a gel or some raisins/banana. You should experiment with what works for you though and try to drink as much of the Energy Source as you can (up to one litre per hour) to benefit from the extra energy to your muscles.
The Energy Source is available in Fresh Citrus, Tropical Samba, Orange and Summer Fruits flavours. I tested the Fresh Citrus and loved it. It was not too sweet or salty and I found I drank more of this than water alone because it tasted so nice.
Energy Source 4:1
Energy Source 4:1 is also a powdered carbohydrate drink but this one also contains protein. It is designed to be mixed with either 500ml or 750ml of water. The whey protein in this drink is designed to help you develop muscles whilst the carbohydrate keeps you energised. It’s an interesting concept. High 5 say you can use this as your normal energy drink or you can use it to improve performance for a big event (such as an enduro style ride or training camp).
The Energy Source 4:1 is available in Summer Fruits and Citrus. I had the Summer Fruits flavour to review. This drink is much thicker than the Energy Source drink and I found that, rather bizarrely, it tasted like a milk shake! The thick texture of this drink would not make it suitable for a hydration bladder though as it would clog up the bite valve. I made this drink up in a sports drink bottle (I prefer to mix it with 750ml of water) and made sure to shake it well (otherwise it can be a bit lumpy).
This drink is perfect after a long, hot ride, sitting on the balcony with a couple of ice cubes in.
ZERO is a sugar and calorie free electrolyte drink and has been my favourite sports drink for a while now. It comes in a tube of 20 tabs which you drop 1 or 2 into 750ml of water (depending on your taste and type of exercise you are doing - 1 is enough for me). ZERO contains Vitamin C and 5 electrolytes, including sodium, magnesium and potassium. Did you know that when you exert yourself you are constantly damaging your cells - especially if you exercise in polluted areas or push yourself to your limit? Vitamin C helps reduce the damage and aid the repair of your cells. It also boosts your immune system, which takes a hammering along with your legs on a particularly hard ride. The electrolytes replace those lost in sweat making ZERO my drink of choice on long, hot rides.
ZERO is available in Berry, Pink Grapefruit, Cherry Orange and Citrus flavours. I have tried the Citrus and the Berry and like them both - the Cherry Orange is next on my list to try. ZERO is not sweet and is slightly salty which I find encourages me to drink more of it. There is a neutral version (with no sweetness or flavour), which you can drop into either of the Energy Source drinks mentioned above to add electrolytes to them. There is also a caffeine version to give you a bit of extra punch should you so wish.
Reducing the risk of hyponatremia...
Hyponatremia is water intoxication, which caused by drinking too much water and diluting the electrolytes in the blood to a dangerous level and it can even kill. Drinking sensibly and consuming an electrolyte drink should protect you from this but read this feature and see an expert if you want to know more about how much to drink.
High 5 is a UK based company. Their products are free from artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners. There is an excellent nutrition section on their website for mountain bikers which is worth a look - click here for more information.