The Bike List

CNP Endurance Race Drink Energy Powder 264g £10

Tested by Nik Cook, tester for The Bike List

The importance of staying hydrated and providing your body with adequate energy on long rides is the same for weekend warrior sportive heroes as it is for top professionals. The problem with many energy drinks though is that they can be a bit syrupy, leaving your mouth feeling claggy and upsetting your stomach on a long day out.

Team Sky riders were having this problem on long hot races and training rides and so, in conjunction with their nutritionist Nigel Mitchell and nutritional supplier CNP, developed this Endurance Race Drink.

The main differences to typical energy drinks is that it has a neutral pH and a far more mild flavour. This means that it's easier on your stomach and more pleasant to consume.

On the bike it's been a revelation and I've found it especially good near the end of long rides when I'm usually not keen to take on any more liquid due to my stomach being on the edge of rebellion. Even if its been sat baking in a bottle, the berry flavour I've been testing is still refreshing, fresh on your palate and leaves no sticky or sickly residue in your mouth. The most important thing is that you actually want to drink it.

It doesn't pack quite the energy/carbohydrate punch of a more traditional energy drink. CNP's regular Endurance Energy Drink gives you 30 g / 120 kcal whereas the Race Drink is 21 g / 83 kcal when mixed into 500 ml following their instructions. It does however provide you with all the electrolytes you'll need and, key when you're starting to suffer and don't really fancy taking anything onboard, helps keep energy going into your system in a palatable and usable form.

Cost-wise it works out at 83 p per 500 ml with the 12 serving tub setting you back £10.00 which is comparable to plenty of other energy products on the market. It's a shame CNP don't sell it in a bigger tub, though but hopefully that'll change if it sells well and you'll be able to get it in a 50 serving tub like their regular Endurance Energy Drink.

I've found it most useful in a few cycling scenarios. The first has been in between efforts or races on the track. It's ideal for keeping your energy topped up in such a hot environment and isn't too sickly to handle after a maximal exertion. Similarly, during a hard interval session or 25-mile time trial in the heat, it's great for quenching your thirst and giving you an extremely palatable energy boost when working hard. Finally, in the final hour or so of a long ride, it's great to switch to from heavier more concentrated products. You really want to carry on drinking it, even on a bloated or upset stomach, so I've been keeping a small zip lock single serving bag in my jersey pocket which I can easily mix up to see me through the final kilometres.

If you struggle with energy drinks, find them too sweet and cloying, suffer from stomach upsets or tend to struggle to get energy in later on during rides, I strongly recommend trying CNP Endurance Race Drink. It's certainly worked for me over the summer and apparently Team Sky got through 100 litres of the stuff during the Tour of California.

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At a glance

Verdict Team Sky developed stomach friendly energy drink.

CNP says:

CNP ENDURANCE Race Drink Multisource Energy Powder 264g - 12 Sevings

Product details:

CNP Race Drink is a revolutionary energy drink developed in association with Team Sky. Its combination of Neutral pH and very mild flavour allows riders to consume large quantities without the usual flavour fatigue and stomach issues whilst still delivering essential energy and hydration.

As an endurance athlete we recommend that you consume between 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour to ensure you remain suitably fuelled for performance. By eating correctly during exercise you will perform better, recover more quickly and become leaner. When used as part of a weight loss strategy it is vital that your body is not starved during exercise to ensure you continue burning fat and carbohydrate.

Race Drink is part of our range of energy products along with bars and gels and should be used BEFORE & DURING exercise. For a complete nutrition solution, use in conjunction with our AFTER exercise premium protein and recovery products.

Supplier: CNP Professional Limited, +44(0)161-368 3850 ,