Maximuscle - Bike Magic

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We started off with a 1 KG tub which we’ve been swilling down our necks in various states of happily hydrated, thirsty or cripplingly cramped since the summer. Now we’re at the bottom of the tub, which is a good sign as we generally only get a third of the way down any drink sample before giving it to someone else.

As the name suggests Maximuscle have a large range of sports nutrition products designed to create twenty stone man mountains from eight stone weaklings. They’ve sent the drink to us to prove that they also do a big range of energy, recovery and other nutritional products that are applicable to those of us less in danger of bursting our shirts.

‘Viper’ is Maximuscle’s own formula of isotonic drink, designed to replace energy and nutrients lost during exercise. It contains a mix of simple and complex carbohydrates, minerals and even taurine (as seen in Red Bull and cat milk) to keep you perky at the end of an epic.

Having been re-assured that our big tub of ‘Viper’ was in no way venomous nor required special flute skills to open, we started using it in our “in case we bonk” bottle straight away. A handy scoop and a free water bottle makes measuring the right amount easy, but it needs a fair bit of shaking to get it all dissolved fully.

The more you pack into a drink the finer the line you tread between delivering the right ingredients and actually keeping it drinkable. The first impression of Viper is that the flavouring is slightly weak, but once you actually get on the bike the flavour is just right, as opposed to drinks that taste like op in the kitchen but like syrup when you really need them. Although you can detect the salts and other minerals, that actually helps as a helpful reminder that help for your ailing muscles is on the way, and the salt concentration is well below the level that can make you feel queasy.

As for whether it works or not we’ve no lab testing but it seems fine from the anecdotal feedback of everyone who’s used it. We haven’t had any miracle results, but there have certainly been several cases where it’s kept us topped up and going well, or restored flagging spirits at the end of a long run. We’d also support the mood enhancing claims made for taurine as Whiskas cat milk sends them into a furry frenzy. But for those who like the reassurance of men in white coats or sponsored athlete’s there’s plenty of that on the website.

The light flavouring also keeps it palatable in higher concentrations for use before and after training, although the Maximuscle website also has plenty of other products specifically for those purposes. We should warn you that you’ll have to negotiate a series of bizarrely lumpy creatures advertising the latest ‘essential information’ as well as a particularly special “who would you sleep with” pop up quiz lining up various balloon model curiosities and Rik Waller (yes, really).

Verdict: Drinks and energy food preferences will always vary depending on who’s using them, but ‘Viper’ seemed to work really well for us. We were always glad to have it along to keep us topped up and while it was obviously delivering the right stuff, it never tasted like we were syphoning a particularly unwell tomcat. Most impressively Maximuscle even offer a money back guarantee if it doesn’t float your energy boat.


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