The products in Gatorade's new G Series Pro range are designed to be used in conjunction with one another before, during and after your rides.
The range consists of Prime, a 118ml (100kcal) pouch, Perform, an energy drink (125kcal per 500ml) that replenishes electrolytes during exercise, and Recover, a 500ml protein (16.5g) and carbohydrate (13.5g) drink that aims to kick-start recovery and begin the replenishment of depleted energy stores.
The question is, does it work? For a week in July – a week that turned out to be the hottest of 2012 so far, for the UK – we disregarded all other energy drinks in favour of Gatorade's Pro system, to put it to the test.
The Prime pouch (we had the orange flavour, but mixed berry is also available) is an extremely palatable, very sweet shot of concentrated energy. It's not exactly gel-like but it is a little more viscous than your average energy drink.
It's great straight from the box but even better chilled from the fridge, and served as a terrific addition to our pre-ride ritual. We often find it hard to get enough food down before early-morning rides, so a drink like this got us in the groove from the off.
When diluted, the Perform powder has the same orange flavour as the Prime drink but in a less concentrated, less sweet form, with a salty aftertaste. It was easy to get down early on in the ride when it was still chilled, but later on, with a combination of sunshine and over-familiarity, we were craving something more savoury in taste.
At the end of the day, it's about the job an energy product does rather than how it tastes. We were braking training records almost five hours into our ride when powered by the Perform. The only criticism is the bizarre measuring system – its lid. Powder ends up getting everywhere, so you're better off using a spoon.
Taste-wise, the Recover drink is the weakest of the three products. It comes as an already diluted 500ml drink (mixed berry flavour only) with the consistency and flavour of an energy drink, but is much heavier on the stomach, a reflection of its 16.5g of protein per bottle. Served ice cold is the best way to drink it – if you leave it brewing in a warm gym bag all day it has an insipid taste.
We drank a Recover immediately after each ride during a week where we were doing hard hill reps for 2.5 hours each day. While it's difficult to be scientifically sure of what effect it had, we were going better at the end of the week than we were at the start.
So, as a system, the G Series Pro products performed as well as we could have hoped. We can't see a reason why they wouldn't work individually too, should you have preferred recovery drinks you'd like to mix them with. The range is a neat idea from Gatorade, and with the company's Team Sky connection it's sure to be a winner.
The price is the only sticking point. We ordered in bulk, receiving 20 Prime pouches, 20 500ml servings of Perform (two canisters) and 24 500ml bottles of Recover, which should last a committed cyclist about a month.