Opinionated World

Mini Reviews Performance

Increase Performance with SIS GO Isotonic Gels

The sports nutrition market is overflowing with products designed to help improve your performance whether it’s quicker recovery times, better endurance, higher intensity or to reduce fatigue. It’s a complicated market where product function seemingly overlaps which makes choosing the right product quite difficult.

Along with a multitude of different products are a number of competing brands offering the same or similar things – from high quality and more expensive options to cheap, own brand ones. A lot of it comes down to personal preference – whether you prefer the taste of one over the other but there’s also the science behind the product that matters. Having tried a couple of different isotonic gels, I’ve settled on the most common, most well known and the most expensive option – SIS GO Isotonic Gels.

Five flavours - available together or separately.

Five flavours – available together or separately.

SIS (Science In Sport) offer a range of five flavours – Lemon and Lime, Apple, Tropical, Orange and Blackcurrant which are either sold as individual gels, packs of one flavour or multi-packs of every flavour. Each gel provides 22g of carbohydrate and 368KJ of energy which provides a near instant performance boost. One serving equates to roughly that of a medium sized banana in terms of carbs.

The practicality and convenience of gels far outweighs the figures however. Eating a banana while cycling isn’t particularly easy and keeping the skin with you is messy unless you stop to discard it. The average banana weighs about 120g which is double that of an energy gel and along with the awkward shape this makes it slightly impractical.

SIS claim they are the “first truly Isotonic gel”. Being Isotonic is an important point and one that can be a deciding factor between those cheap, own brand gels and the real-thing. Isotonic means a quicker transportation of the gel and therefore energy around the body which gives a bigger performance benefit. Isotonic gels and drinks have the same osmolarity (the concentration of a solution) as the body’s own fluids, unlike standard gels which require additional fluid either from the body or through a separate drink; which can effectively hinder hydration.

In short, Isotonic gels don’t dehydrate you or require you to drink alongside them whereas non-isotonic gels do.

The instructions recommend using three gels per hour (one every 20 minutes) which equates to roughly £2.80 per hour. This maintains a constant supply of carbohydrate to your body. However, this is something I have never stuck to and as a general guide, I would suggest finding roughly where things get tough and use a gel 10 minutes prior to that. They can be used as a boost as well as something to constantly aid you.

Perfect for cycling - easily fitting into a jersey pocket.

Perfect for cycling – easily fitting into a jersey pocket.

They'll work in any sport discipline.

They’ll work in any sport discipline.

After using the SIS GO Isotonic gels for around two years, I can definitely vouch for their benefits. Even if on occasion it’s just a psychological boost because you’ve already passed the wall of burn. These gels won’t bring you back once you’re burned out but when they’re used correctly you’ll be sure to feel the effect. I’ve used them on long hikes, challenges and cycling especially. They even helped get me through the Caledonian Challenge. They are low in viscosity which makes them easy to drink and they taste good too – with Orange being the most commonly used and my favourite too.

A pack of 30 SIS GO Isotonic gels retail from anywhere between £22 to £35 depending on where and when you buy them. Individually, they’re available for about £1.30. Regular sales through SIS themselves and also other retailers mean you can pick them up with a 30% discount on occasion. As another way of highlighting the quality of the product, they’ve received nearly 600 reviews on Wiggle and maintained a 4.4/5 star rating. Pretty impressive.

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