Only you can decide what balance of carbs, protein and fat you need from your energy snacks and nutrition products, but here's a quick round-up of the latest options to hit our desks.
Known for their energy bars, gels and shots, Clif Bar have made their first foray into energy drinks with a new liquid version of their excellent Shot Bloks. The Shot Electrolyte drink is made from 91 percent organic ingredients (Clif say it's the first electrolyte drink to break the 90 percent mark) and is available in two flavours – Cranberry-Razz and Lemonade. It's designed to replace electrolytes and energy lost during heavy rides.
We use large, 750ml water bottles for riding, which means mixing four 20g scoops of the powder per drink. Each scoop contains 80kcal, which means a generous 320kcal per drink. We tested the Cranberry-Razz flavour which dissolves well and, with a little saltiness to counter the sweetness, is one of the most pleasant tasting energy drinks we've tested. It's easily ingested and gave us a boost every time we needed it. It's available now from Wiggle for £14.99.
Another electrolyte replacement drink, this time without the carbs, comes in the shape of ZipVit's ZV0. It was developed for the now-defunct Cervelo TestTeam, who wanted a low calorie drink that would replace electrolytes, promote fat burning and maintain the immune system during training (with 1.6g glutamine per tablet).
One 12.1kcal tablet is added to 500ml of water and drunk during exercise as a supplement to your usual energy drink. It has a mild watermelon taste and lacks the artificial taste of a lot of low calorie drinks. It's available now direct from ZipVit for £13.98 per 20 tablets.
We've tried Torq's Energy drink before in a different flavour and very effective it was too. But we can't help feel they've dropped the ball with their new Vanilla Pod concoction. In our experience, vanilla flavours are fine in milky, recovery drinks but should be kept well away from training rides.
We tried a sample at Torq's Cycle Show booth last week and it didn't convince us then, tasting much like watered down milk. A lengthy ride only confirmed our initial impression that we'd be better off sticking with their fruit options. The drinks are available from Torq's website, starting at £9.75 for a 500g tub.