CYCLIST.CO.UK4.5 OUT OF 5
I'm going to let you in to a secret. I never look at the nutritional benefits when it comes to food and drink on the bike. I usually go with what tastes best. After all, most brands are going to deliver when it comes to supplying you with the carbohydrates, sugars, salt and more needed to ride your bike at speed for a long time. What makes the difference is if what you are putting in your body tastes nice. If it does, then not only will this give you the physiological boost but also a psychological boost too.
What OTE has produced hits the spot, and is probably the best tasting sports nutrition products I have tried. The real pièce de résistance of this pack is its energy duo bar and anytime snack bar. The energy duo bar does what it says on the tin, containing two individual bars within one wrapper, making it easily manageable on the move. Developed to replicate the popular rice cake in the pro peloton, the duo bar has the same texture and consistency as a Rice Krispie bar, making it quite light and easy to eat. OTE says the bar can supply up to 40-60 minutes of energy for moderate to intense exercise and I can adhere to this. Taking half just before my ride and half during, I can't say I ever felt like hitting the wall. Where this excelled however, was in taste. The vanilla flavour I got was moreish and I was left disappointed when it was all gone. The same went for the cherry anytime bar that I had whilst riding. The flapjack is the cyclist's best friend, and this was no different, providing me with the pick me up I needed deep into the day. OTE provides a good range of flavours in these two bars that usually prove fan favourites. I only got to try the vanilla and cherry respectively, but I'm sure the other flavours would likely get a Paul Hollywood handshake.
A big plus of this pack is its 20 tab tube of electrolyte tablets. Rather than just one or two individual sachets, OTE has treated us too enough tablets for at least 10 rides. Coming in three flavours - blackcurrant, cherry cola and lemon - most bases are covered flavour-wise, and should give options to even the pickiest. The blackcurrant tabs were what got me through this weekend's multiple rides, and there was one thing that had me shouting from the rooftops. Unlike competitors, the tabs are not so fizzy and acidic and remain neutral on the stomach. Often, I will drink an electrolyte drink and it will have me begging for pardons yet with OTE, the drink went down easily and caused no internal worries. Add to this that they are low in calories, suitable for vegans and naturally flavoured, and you soon see you are on to a winner.
Overall this pack is very good, and for £10 rrp, its also a bargain considering they chuck it all in a 750ml water bottle too. The OTE Energy pack is amongst the best, if not the best, in its category of sub-£15 energy packs with water bottle.
The next time you look for some fuel for a long ride or sportive, I definitely suggest checking out OTE before turning to the bigger players in the sports nutrition market.