High5 made their first foray into electrolyte replacement in September last year, with two products making up the launch range.
Zero, which I’ve been using for a couple of months, is a sugar-free tablet, dissolvable in a regular bottle of water. There’s also Zero X’treme, which packs an added caffeine kick.
For High5, Zero looks to bridge a gap in the market created by the likes of Zym and Nuun, who both offer similar tablets to help replenish electrolytes lost through sweating, which in turn can lead to cramp.
I put Zero to the taste test over a series of middle-distance road rides (between 40 and 80 miles) and a handful of quicker, off-road efforts, and having regularly sipped away regularly, didn’t feel a twitch of cramp. The tablets dissolve quickly, with very little residue, and it’s easy enough to take a couple with you on the bike to top up if necessary. Just pop them in, for example, of wrap of cling film beforehand.
Of course, there are plenty of variables which can induce cramp – for instance, diet or the intensity of the ride – but, with steady legs to date, I can’t complain about the effectiveness of Zero at this stage, having suffered from cramp in the past. I will report back once Zero has been tested in warm, humid conditions, when hydration is far harder to keep on top of.
Each recyclable tube contains 20 tablets (£6.98), with High 5 recommending one tab for a weak mix and two for a strong mix. I found that rang true, with two tabs preferable in a 750ml bottle, if more expensive. The tablets are available in three flavours, Citrus, Berry (both tasty and refreshing) and Orange (untested). High5 have also introduced Zero Salts, which is the same product, but with no flavour.
High5 are quick to advertise that Zero, naturally free from preservatives, allergens, and artificial colours and flavours, has just 1.4 calories per 100ml and, more interestingly, that their research showed test subjects to burn 41 per cent more fat during exercise when using Zero. Although I haven’t seen any extra weight shed itself over the early course of this test.
That aside, Zero does what it says on the tin. It keeps hydration at the forefront of your mind, helps stave off cramp and tastes good too.