Featured Nutrition Reviews

Primal Pantry Bars

Primal Panty BarsPrimal Pantry produce a range of five bars designed to compliment a paleo diet, but before you go screaming from the room shouting ‘fad’, hang fire. Whilst we’re not about to get embroiled (at least here and now) about the benefits or otherwise of paleo what you should know is this: whether you love or loath the idea of paleo Primal Pantry Bars are still perfectly placed to fuel your ride. In fact they do so brilliantly.


So, Paleo 101: No grains, refined sugars, dairy, processed foods or oils of legumes such as soya. All of which means the Primal Pantry Bars are grain-free, don’t use sulphates in their dried fruits, contain only ‘real food’ and are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. In fact – and this is really refreshing to know – the ingredients are pretty much spelled out in the flavour name of each bar, the Apple and Pecan Primal Pantry Bars, for example, contain dates, almonds, organic apple, pecans, cinnamon and almond oil. That’s it, no nasty surprises here.


Primal Panty BarsAside from the Apple and Pecan option the Primal Panty range of flavours are Brazil Nut and Cherry, Hazelnut and Cocoa, Almond and Cashew, and Coconut and Macadamia – the latter our favourite although we’re hard pushed to pick. The bars are handmade and cold-pressed with a rich texture and flavours that don’t overpower, yet are distinctive and readily identifiable (just like real food should be.)


Nutritional values vary slightly across the range but again taking Apple and Pecan as being fairly representative they will serve up 199kcal, 4.2g protein, 19.4g carbs (16.9g of which are sugars), 11g fat (0.9g saturates), and 3g fibre per 45g bar.


Let’s compare Primal Panty to a more ‘traditional’ bar: The much heavier (65g) Zipvit ZV8 Uncoated Orange bar offers 244kcal – so actually a much lower, adjusted for weight 169kcal – 4.7g protein (3.2g adjusted), 34.9g carbohydrates (24g adjusted), 7.2g fat (4.9g adjusted) and 10.3g fibre (7.1g adjusted). A little more bang-for-your-buck on carbs but if you don’t fancy emulsifiers, wheat gluten, wheat malt, glucose syrup, invert sugar syrup and maltodextrin then Primal Pantry Bars look like an obvious choice.


Actually to be clear – and fair – the composition of the ZV8 bars is fairly typical of energy bars across the board and they have their place and use (we’ve fuelled plenty of miles on them) but Primal Pantry clearly offers something both new and radically different.


Primal Pantry Bars retail at £27 for a box of 18 – £1.50 per-bar, not only spot on for a comparative price point but actually something of a bargain when you consider the quality of ingredients and homemade credentials. Boxes are available either in single flavour or as a mixed box with three of each flavour plus three extra, which Primal Pantry call their ‘random surprise.’


Further details and online purchase of Primal Panty Bars at


STEALTH Nutrition Range Launched

STEALTH NutritionA new sports nutrition range, STEALTH, has been launched by former European Champion Track Cyclist Tim Lawson. With over twenty years experience of working with athletes from complete beginners to Olympic medallists and Pro Tour winners, Lawson looks well placed to be heading up the range that should appeal to athletes across the board from runners to triathletes and cyclists.


The STEALTH range consists of advanced isotonic gels, super hydration energy drinks, caffeine and betaine gels, real fruit energy gels, protein gels and recovery powders, with a whole host of other products also in the pipeline.


Every ingredient, say the makers, has been carefully thought out, tried and tested – from the multiple transportable carbohydrates and avoidance of artificial sweeteners in the isotonic range, to the easy digestibility of the caffeine and betaine gel. And much of the development process has also been carried out with one of the best cycling teams in the world, Tinkoff Saxo, whose feedback has been instrumental in enabling the team to get the products to where they are today.


Commenting on the STEALTH range Lawson says: ‘in a sports nutrition industry jam-packed full of brands promising the very best in taste and performance, we are bringing something innovative and new to the mix… made for athletes, by athletes, we have developed a product range that both tastes good and works with your body, when you need it most.’


The new STEALTH nutrition range is available to purchase on the Secret Training website as well as selected retailers. Follow the team on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to hear about all the latest news and promotions. Full review on Cyclo coming soon…

Featured Nutrition Reviews

MuleBar Nosebag

Mulebar NosebagNosebag is the latest nutritional offering from MuleBar; available in two flavour combinations Tamari Nuts with Seeds and Fruit Avalanche they contain no synthetic ingredients, artificial preservatives, colourings, flavourings or palm oil – just real food.


Starting with the Tamari Nuts that offers up 417kcal of energy with 33.1g fat (4.3g saturates) with 12.6g of carb of which 2.3g are sugar. There’s a decent hit of protein too with 14.5g from the combination of pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds and apricot kernels, which are coated in tamari (a variant on soya sauce.) Whilst the fairly generic seed and nut mix are nothing unusual it’s the tamari apricot kernels that set things apart with a delicious tang that lingers in the mouth and has you reaching back for another hit. A more generous ratio of these to the other ingredients would certainly have been a good thing.


On to the Fruit Avalanche: Obviously these are going to deliver far less energy than the nut-packed option but at 207kcal that still tops most gels including, for example, MuleBar’s own Cherry Bomb (112kcal.) Again fairly obviously the protein levels are down on the Tamari Nuts option at 2.9g but so too are fats at 2.2g (0.3g saturates.) The fruits that make up this particular ‘avalanche’ are raisins, apricots, and dried cherries, gooseberries and goji berries. The taste actually left us slightly disappointed – it’s far from bad and there’s a nice sharpness (the gooseberries?), it’s just that MuleBar have set their own bar so high in serving up more left-field options we half expected popping candy or unicorn tears.


The 70g bags allow for several generous handfuls on the ride and whilst it would obviously be cheaper to rustle up your own custom trail-mix there’s both convenience and the knowledge of excellent quality ingredients with Nosebag.


Both varieties of Nosebag retail at £19.60 for eight packets or £35 for 16 packets. Further details and online purchase at


More reviews of MuleBar products here.

Featured Features

33Shake Chia Energy Gels

33Shake Chia Energy GelsOnce in a while a product comes along that really does things differently and 33Shake Chia Energy Gels certainly tick that box.


From the same company that produce the excellent All in One Shakes, see our review of those here, the Chia Energy Gels look to be a whole new way of fuelling your ride. For a start they are a dry mix, weighing in at just 21g of ingredients (under 30g all-in with the packaging) to which you add your own liquid. There are several clear advantages to this: firstly the slight weight-saving on a long ride if you opt to fill them with water from the bottom (marginal gain!) but more significantly it makes them versatile. Want more carbs? Add fruit juice. An electrolyte hit? Top up with coconut water. A caffeine boost? Stick in a shot of espresso…


To prepare for use you undo the resealable spout, blow to slightly inflate the pack, and then fill with your chosen liquid. Give it ten minutes and the gel is good to go and if you want to prep them in advance they can be kept for up to 24hours once opened and hydrated. Of course it’s a slightly tricky job to hydrate the 33Shake Chia Energy Gels from a bidon, but it’s more than manageable and no more inconvenient that getting covered in sticky ‘traditional’ gels when trying to open them (also there’s nothing sticky about these…)


So, what’s in the 33Shake Chia Energy Gels? Well there’s coconut palm sugar, Himalayan pink salt and organic Madagascan vanilla – which give them just the subtlest of flavour – but at their heart, in case the name hadn’t already given it away, are chia seeds that deliver an exceptionally smooth (no jags and crashes) source of energy, here helping serve up 90kcal, 11.2g of carbs (6g of which sugars), 4g of fat (0.4g saturates) and 5g of fibre. It’s a heady mix, perfectly judged for the bike.


The texture – not a strong point with any energy gel – is slightly gelatinous but easily swallowed and because you are the master of your own destiny when it comes to hydrating them they can be made thicker or thinner to taste. Okay, so you’ll spend a couple of miles picking chia seeds out of your teeth with your tongue, but it gives you something to do between gels. Perhaps 33Shake should use it as a selling point?


In addition to helping power the ride the gels also include 1.1mg iron and 17.6mg and 103mg of sodium and potassium respectively – helping to replace salts lost through sweating and adding to your hydration strategy – plus 1.1mg of calcium. Because the Chia Energy Gels are fresh, handmade and natural with no preservatives (basically ‘real’ food) their shelf life is shorter than more conventional gels, generally 10-12 weeks, but each gel is marked appropriately.


There’s no doubting that 33Shake do things differently, but not just for the sake of it. We’ve been hugely impressed by the ‘clean’ and sustained energy from these gels.


33Shake Chia Energy Gels retail at £1.99 each, dropping to £1.89 per gel when you buy them as an Event Pack (10 gels), or just £1.79 per gel when you buy an Endurance Pack of 30 gels.


Further details and online purchase of 33Shake Chia Energy Gels at and you can get social with them on Facebook and Twitter too.


Four-time World Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington champions 33Shake and you can read on our sister-site TriGear what she has to say about training and racing here and nutritional and mental preparation here.

Featured Nutrition Reviews


CocopureCoconut water is an excellent and natural isotonic drink and Cocopure from gonutrition sets out to deliver all of the goodness in a more convenient form than slicing the top off a coconut and sticking in a straw.


Shipped in a 250g quantity – enough for 35 servings – Cocopure contains 100% powdered coconut water that is rich in electrolytes, the ‘body salts’ sweated away during exercise. Because the levels of electrolytes, particularly potassium and sodium, are approximately in proportion to those of the body Cocopure is naturally isotonic meaning it quickly (but not too rapidly) rehydrates the body. Coconut water – and therefore Cocopure – also contains natural calcium and vitamin C along with a health amount of sugars (around 2.6g per serving) to help refuel post-ride.


7g of Cocopure needs to be added to 100ml of water to optimum delivery although we personally found a little extra water, closer to 120ml, provided a slightly less intense and more palatable flavour. The taste is certainly authentic – as you would expect from 100% coconut water powder – and although it mixes thoroughly, it does have a tendency to settle if left in the bottle too long.


A single serving of Cocopure delivers 10% RDA of potassium and 30mg of sodium, which (at a conversion of x 2.5) equates to 75mg of salt of the recommended daily 6g. Of course adding a little more or less water will transform the drink from isotonic to either hypotonic or hypertonic depending on your requirements.


If you want to add some additional fruit sugars post-workout we found that Cocopure mixed well at a 50:50 ration with natural pineapple juice for a recovery drink that tasted good enough to stick a cocktail umbrella in.


Cocopure might seems a step further away from ‘authentic’ products like market leader Vita Coco, but it still delivers a 100% pure product just with a dash more convenience. Our only real criticism is that the 250g quantity ships in an enormous (and enormously wasteful) pack easily big enough to accommodate a kilo that slightly undermines the ‘take anywhere’ credentials.


Cocopure retails at £16.99 for a 250g pack or £28.99 for 500g, and represents good value at 41-49p per 100ml serving. By way of comparison Vita Coco is approximately 50p per 100ml (depending on the quantity in which you buy it) whilst alternatives like UFC Refresh can be had for as little as 24p per 100ml. But did we mention that Cocopure comes with added convenience?


Cocopure is available to buy online at

Featured Nutrition Reviews

33Shake Endurance Shakes

33Shake33Shake are really talking up a storm – we’ve heard about ‘revolutions’ in sports nutrition so many times over the years that there’s now something of an immunity to the rhetoric; but given the incredible press that 33Shake are generating perhaps this is a brand that really mean what they say.


As relative newcomers to the market and describing themselves the ‘sports nutrition underground’ their stance is certainly combative with claims that the sports ‘no-trition industry’ simply: ‘Take a ton of cheap manmade sugars, blend with a negligible amount of the cheapest active product at the lowest concentrations possible, then pack with whatever junk additives and preservatives are needed to keep costs down and shelf life up…’ Fighting talk, so what do 33Shake do differently?


Pretty much everything it would seem. By spending money only where it matters – so in part allowing good word of mouth to spread the word – 33Shake are able to spend 17,000% more than industry norms on ingredients. Depending where your priorities lay this is noticeable in two key areas: the quality of what you’re putting into your body is second-to-none and the taste is exceptional.


The flavour across all three varieties of the Endurance Shake (Original, Mocha, Cacao) is strong – not overpowering – but certainly robust with layers of flavour coming through like little, alternating ripples. This is a homemade taste – absolutely what the makers were going for – that makes you appreciate the quality and realise how artificial so many inferior products are by comparison.


The 55g sachets can be mixed to taste with a recommended 200ml of either milk, water or coconut milk by blending for a full minute to help break down the naturally chunky mix. We tested all three methods but found that milk (actually soya milk) worked best, with water our least favourite and coconut milk, whilst adding plenty of benefit in its own right, dominating the flavour rather too much.


In terms of nutrition, as that’s really where things stand or fall, 33Shake delivers impressively. The headline figures show (per 100g) 521Kcal of energy, 11g protein, 38g of carb – of which 14g are sugars – 27g of fat (9g of which are saturates) and 13g of fibre. We say here ‘headline figures’ because to really understand the benefits – and substantial differences to other products – the 33Shake website really deserves to be explored in full.


The 33Shake Endurance Shake isn’t cheap at £6.99 a go, but when you consider exactly what you’re getting for your money it stacks up well in our opinion. And ask yourself this: what price am I willing to pay for the nutrition I fuel my sport with?


The 33Shake All-in-one Endurance Shakes are also available in a ten x shake Value Pack bringing the per-shake price down to £6.49 and a 30 x shake Lifestyle Pack (£5.99 per shake). Further details and online purchase as

Featured Nutrition Reviews

OTE Duo Bar

OTE Duo BarOdd in many ways that OTE are not a better-known brand, partly because they are the official nutrition partners of Team Lotto Jumbo, but also, if the Duo Bar is anything to go by, their products are really rather good…

The OTE Duo Bar has been developed by professional sports nutritionists and is based on race food used by professional cycling teams. The 65g bars – we had the chocolate chip to test out – are pre-sliced into two equal bites, with each serving up approximately 20g of carbohydrate, enough we would figure to push through around 40minutes of training or racing depending on intensity.

The texture of the Duo Bar is crumbly with a homemade appeal, slightly on the dry side and certainly needing a swig of water to consume, but the taste is decidedly good without being overly sweet. The nutrition, beyond the 40g carbs per bar (18g of which are sugars), also stacks up quite neatly: 10g of protein, 1.5g fibre and decent levels of fortification including B12, calcium and magnesium. Although most of the supplementary levels are quite low it all helps, especially when it comes to replacing even small amounts of body salts lost through sweat.

Whilst the Duo Bar is certainly too dry to depend on alone during exercise – we really got through the water bottle on test – it’s certainly worth adding to the list of nutrition foods to help power your training and racing.

An individual 65g OTE Duo Bar, chocolate or vanilla, retails at £1.85 with boxes of 24 available at £39.96. Further details and online purchase at

Featured Features

Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

Tofu Stir Fry

Our Nutritionist Says:

“Tofu is made from soy, the only plant protein to contain all 21 amino acids. This makes it just about the best way for active vegetarians to get all the building blocks they need to adapt to and recover from training. You’ll also get plenty of sodium from the soy sauce and so this is a good post workout meal when intensity and sweat loss has been high.”

Joel Enoch, Sports Nutritionist -


175g tofu

1tsp light soy sauce

1tsp sesame oil

1tsp vegetable oil

25g egg noodles

100g spinach

40g sugar snap peas

1/2 a red pepper

2 medium spring onions

A handful of cashew nuts

1cm fresh ginger

Chill flakes


1. Mix together the soy sauce and sesame oil. Cut the tofu into 2cm cubes, toss together with the soy and sesame, sprinkle with chilli flakes and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.


2. Cook the noodles as per packet instructions, drain and return to the pan.


3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or wok until smoking hot. Add the tofu, being careful of the oil ‘spitting’. Stir and cook for 3minutes. Add the cooked tofu to the pan with the noodles.


4. Peel and thinly slice the ginger. Slice the pepper into strips and cook in the wok along with the spring onions, sugar snap peas and ginger for 3minutes.


5. Add the noodles and tofu to the wok; toss together and heat for 1minute. Toss in the spinach and allow to wilt in the heat for a few seconds. Serve.

Download the recipe HERE