Featured Nutrition Reviews

Elivar Hydrate Plus

Elivar Hydrate PlusWhen Elivar launched it offered a complete three-part system for pre-, during and post-run energy with its Prepare, Endure and Recover products all aimed at athletes over 35. Now that system becomes four-part with the introduction of Elivar Hydrate Plus.


The 25g sachets mix with 400ml of water to make an electrolyte drink with combined energy delivery of 97kcal per serving. The powder mixes quickly and the resulting drink doesn’t clump or clog sports bottles but is somewhat gritty in texture and tended to settle if left too long in the bottle. The flavour is nominally orange but really a bit generic ‘fruit’, not unpleasant, and no better, no worse than most electrolyte drinks and with no bitter aftertaste.


The electrolyte delivery is predominantly sodium and potassium (Sodium Chloride, Monopotassium Phosphate), no magnesium, and the energy is delivered via the somewhat unusual isomaltulose, a natural constituent of honey and sugar cane, that is intended for sustained energy release.


Whilst the original Elivar range found its niche by catering for the over-35s with additional fortifications, the Elivar Hydrate Plus, despite the branding, really offers nothing specific for the age group and is suitable for anyone looking to combine their electrolyte replacement with a dash of energy.


So, certainly not as ground-breaking in concept as the original Elivar Prepare, Endure and Recover products, but a solid enough addition to the hydration market.


Elivar Hydrate Plus retails at £12.99 for a box of 12 sachets. Further details and online purchase at


Read the Cyclo review of the original Elivar products here.


Sundried Tomato and Sausage Pasta

Sundried Tomato and Sausage Pasta

Our Nutritionist Says:

“Tasty, simple and relatively cheap; use tomatoes in olive oil to get a good helping of health boosting Omega 3 oils. Western diets contain a large amount of Omega 6 from vegetable oils used in most processed foods and we need to have less of these and more Omega 3 to optimise health… Experiment with different types of sausage, but always buy the best quality. Cheap sausages can contain a lot of fat and other ‘fill’ ingredients.”

Joel Enoch, Sports Nutritionist -



30g protein

85g carbohydrates

40g fat

10g saturated fat

5g fibre

3g Salt


1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, adding a small pinch of sea salt. Cook the pasta as per packet instruction (reduce by 1 minute for a more authentic al dente Italian style.)


2. Peel the skin from the sausages and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Remove the Sundried Tomatoes from the oil in the jar and chop into small pieces.


3. Gently heat 1tbsp of the sundried tomato oil in a large pan, add the sausage meat and good slowly for 7minutes. When the pasta is nearly cooked, add the remaining sundried tomato oil and the sundried tomatoes to the sausage pan, season with a little black pepper. If you wanted some added ‘bite’ add a small sprinkle of chilli flakes and stir in.


4. Drain the pasta and tip into the pan with the sausage meat and sundried tomato mix; stir together, mix in the chopped parsley and serve.

Download the recipe HERE

Featured Features

Chorizo, Pine Nut and Spinach Spaghetti

Chorizo, Pine Nut and Spinach Spaghetti

Our Nutritionist says:

“Everyone should aim to eat a protein of nuts and dark green leafy veg daily because of their health giving nutrients. Along with these, lemon provides load of antioxidants to fix cell damage caused by endurance training so don’t hold back on these ingredients. Olive oil also supports a healthy heart and if you want to reduce the saturated fat content even further, replace chorizo for seasoned chicken.”

Joel Enoch, Sports Nutritionist -

40g chorizo
Zest of and juice of half a lemon
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
150g spaghetti
25g pine nuts
125g baby leaf spinach


1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, adding a small pinch of sea salt.  Cook the pasta as per packet instruction (reduce by 1 minute for a more authentic al dente Italian style.)


2. Zest half the lemon and chop finely; mix with juice from half the lemon and stir in olive oil.


3. Chop the chorizo or bacon into small bite-size pieces.


4. Four minutes before the pasta is ready heat a frying pan gently and add the chorizo or bacon to the dry pan – no need for extra oil.


5. As the meat begins to cook toss in the pine nuts to toast. Keep everything moving as pine nuts tend to ‘catch’ and burn.


6. When the pasta is ready put the baby leaf spinach in a colander (keeping a handful of leafs back for serving) and drain the pasta through it to wilt.


7.  Return the pasta and baby leaf spinach to the pan, tip in the chorizo/bacon and pine nuts and mix together with the lemon and oil until the pasta is coated.


8. Serve with the remaining handful of baby leaf spinach on top of the dish.


Download the Recipe HERE


Featured Nutrition Reviews

GU Electrolyte Brew

GU Electrolyte BrewGU launched the world’s first energy gel all the way back in 1991 and for many athletes its outstanding credentials and impressive range of flavours – Jet Blackberry, Lemon Sunblime, Vanilla Bean to name but a few – keep it at the number one spot. And when it comes to sustained hydration during training or racing the equally impressive GU Brew is also worth your attention.


Three of the four available flavours (raspberry, orange, lemon/lime) may seem a little conservative compared to the GU Energy Gel range, but Blueberry Pomegranate adds an unusual twist and all four do a good job of cutting through the slightly salty taste that blights many electrolytes. The flavours are all-natural and you can tell; there’s no bitter chemical aftertaste and they are subtle enough not to overpower.


Taste of course is just one element – and frankly not the most important one – but GU Electrolyte Brew stacks up well where it matters too. Fundamentally an electrolyte drink needs to replace the ‘body salts’ lost during strenuous exercise, when these are depleted the neuromuscular system’s ability to work effectively is compromised and the result (at least the most noticeable immediate result) is muscular cramping. The raspberry, orange, lemon/lime flavours all pack in 327mg of sodium and 52mg of potassium, whilst the Blueberry Pomegranate ups the levels of sodium to 490mg, but cuts potassium to 40mg. There’s not a huge effective difference between these levels for the average athlete, although the added sodium could prove beneficial in more extreme conditions…


In addition GU Electrolyte Brew includes a dual-blend of carbohydrates; the mix of maltodextrin and fructose (‘complex’ and ‘simple’ carbs respectively) is at 2:1, a ratio that is considered optimum for absorption. The dual carbs both provide energy during training and help maximise the absorption in the stomach of both fluids and the potassium/sodium electrolytes. In short they help rehydrate you quicker.


A single 34g sachet makes a larger than average 621ml drink – the rather odd volume probably the result of GU’s American heritage where it would make a far more round-sounding 21floz.


GU Electrolyte Brew is sold in boxes of 16 sachets at £41.60 or more reasonable (but perhaps less convenient) canisters containing 35 servings for £30.


Further details of GU Electrolyte Brew at and online purchase from, amongst others,


Featured Features

Sausage & Pea Penne

Sausage & Pea Penne


Our Nutritionist says:

“After a hard evening training session this is a quick, tasty and no-fuss way to get the protein, energy and electrolytes you need to recover effectively. Add kidney beans and/or extra veg for more vitamins, minerals and healing antioxidants.”

Joel Enoch, Sports Nutritionist –

150g penne
25g frozen peas
4 pork sausages
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tbsp virgin olive oil
Chilli flakes or chopped fresh red chilli
Zest of half a lemon
1/2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
100g half-fat cre?me frai?che
Handful of basil leaves


1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, adding a small pinch of sea salt. Cook the pasta as per packet instruction (reduce by 1 minute for a more authentic al dente Italian style.)


2. As the pasta cooks, de-skin the sausages and take out the meat, chopping roughly into small pieces.


3. Heat the virgin olive oil in a large pan (it needs to be big enough to later add the pasta), add the chilli flakes or chopped red chilly and the sausage meat, cooking gently for 5 minutes.


4. Two minutes before the pasta is ready add the frozen peas to the pasta water and cook together.


5. One minute before the pasta is ready add the lemon zest, wholegrain mustard and cre?me frai?che to the sausage pan, reduce the heat and simmer gently.


6. Drain the pasta and peas, tip into the sausage sauce, season with black pepper and stir together.


7. Serve sprinkled with the torn basil leaves.


Download the Recipe HERE

Featured Nutrition Reviews

HPN Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance

HPN Ultimate Cyclo-EnduranceAnother month, another brand-new nutrition product… Despite the relative crush of the market Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance from HPN (Hyperformance Nutrition), an isotonic mix with blended carbs and amino acids, is looking to edge out some shelf-space for itself. Cyclo grabbed a bidon and put it to the test.


Hyperformance Nutrition is a relatively new company, formed back in 2011, and promoting a commendably simple philosophy: ‘Train effectively, incorporate optimum nourishment in your training plan and ensure optimum recovery and rest.’ They also note: ‘We go to great lengths to make sure (our products) taste great too!’


In that case let’s start with taste: Only one option, lemon – but it’s a good, clean and crisp tang achieved without artificial flavours or sweeteners (there are no artificial colours or preservatives either) and although there is a slightly bitter aftertaste, probably the result of using stevia as the natural sweetener, it’s more than palatable. The scooped powder also mixed completely without any globs of residue – a true rarity in own-mix formulas in Cyclo’s experience.


The rather awkward one and three-quarter scoops (couldn’t HPN have made a smaller scoop and called it a nice round ‘two’?) mixes with 700ml of water for optimum use with a recommendation to consume the full amount every 40-80minutes on the bike. That’s a lot of bottles for a decent-length ride, but arguably about right for a shorter, faster session.


The nutritional values of Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance certainly stack up well. A 700ml bottle will deliver a fairly impressive 193.2kcal with all 44.9g of carbohydrates delivered via sugars (a blend of dextrose and maltodextrin.) The BCCAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids, here in the form of soya) are added, in part, to reduce fatigue, whilst the mix also includes vitamin C, B2, B6, B12 and niacin (vitamin B3) – in all this represents a really solid approach to on-bike nutrition, whilst the isotonic balance will help the hydration strategy.  That said, in an ideal world we’d rather see a more all-encompassing approach to replacing ‘body salts’ than the mere inclusion of sodium and potassium chloride…


Variety, they say, is the spice of life and having plenty of variety when it comes to nutrition and hydration can be key to mixing and matching for best results on the bike. We would no more recommend the sole use of Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance than any other product, but it’s impressive blend (and generally good flavour) make it a great race-day or training addition. At £14.99 for 1.05kg – making up 20 bottles – the value is good too.


Further details and online purchase of Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance at



Fancy a Team Sky Breakfast?

Team Sky BreakfastTeam Sky have joined forces with nutrition brand CNP to launch their first range of nutritious, high protein breakfast products. The Team Sky High Protein Porridge and Team Sky High Protein Smoothies, which have been jointly developed with CNP’s nutrition experts, will initially be available in selected Tesco Superstores and from the CNP website.


Each serving of the High Protein Porridge – which comes in Fig & Honey and Super Fruits flavours – contains 12g of quality protein and includes fibre in the oats that contribute towards natural maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. The High Protein Smoothies, which are packed with 26g of high quality dairy protein and flavoured with fruit juice, come in Pineapple & Coconut and Orange & Mango flavours. The High Protein Porridge retails at £3 and the Smoothies at £2.50.


Team Sky’s Head of Nutrition Nigel Mitchell said: ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this innovative range of great-tasting, convenient and widely available products is very exciting. Both the Team Sky Porridge and Smoothies contain a rich source of high quality protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre that will help provide a slow release of energy to keep you energised and feeling fuller for longer.’


Online purchase at


Read Cyclo’s Nutrition Talk feature with Team Sky’s Nigel Mitchell here.


Featured Nutrition Reviews

Hüma Chia Energy Gel

Hüma Chia Energy GelThere is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to choosing a gel to power the ride, and the latest addition to the UK market is Hüma. Already gaining a considerable reputation in America, Hüma lands in the UK with solid 100% natural credentials and more than its share of tricks up its sleeve.


The 100kcal from each sachet has carbs derived not just from the fructose in the fruit purees that are the cornerstone of Hüma but also from both evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup. Glucose/fructose blends improve absorption rates and help sustain energy in a more linear fashion, avoiding sugar highs and subsequent crashes, and Hüma is further aided by the addition of chia, which, as a blended fibre, further moderates how carbs are metabolised.


Chia is also well recognised as an excellent source of essential amino acids and of Omega 3 in particular; it also works as an antioxidant and has gained something of a name for itself as a super-food over recent years.


Hüma Chia Energy Gel is available in four flavours – Strawberry, Apple and Cinnamon, Mango, and Blueberry. As you might expect from a gel that eschews chemicals and additives in favour of fruit purees the tastes are crisp, clean and easily identifiable; they are, perhaps, a little on the sweet side, but show us a gel that isn’t. The texture is smooth (none of that frogspawn consistency that taints many gels) and, we found, went down without the need of additional water.


If all that’s not enough to tempt you Hüma is also gluten and dairy-free, vegan friendly and delivers sodium and potassium to replace ‘salts’ lost through sweating at a similar level to many electrolyte solutions.


Hüma Chia Energy Gel sachet sizes vary slightly between flavours – Mango 43g, Apples and Cinnamon 45g, Blueberry and Strawberry both 46g – but all retail at £47.76 for boxes of 24.


Further details of Hüma Chia Energy Gel at