Science in Sport Whey20 protein gel - review - Road Cycling UK

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Science in Sport Whey20 protein gel – review

Fast and convenient protein gel but costly and not a complete recovery solution

Think of gels, and chances are you’ll think of using them on the go, providing a fast carbohydrate hit to maintain your energy levels on a long ride or simply get you home if you’re flagging. Protein probably doesn’t really come into the equation.

However, Science in Sport have diversified the application of the gel with a newly-launched product, Whey20. As the name suggests, the gel contains 20g of whey protein in a 78ml serving, while it also includes 7g of branch-chain amino acids, which Science in Sport say support the growth and maintenance of lean muscle.

While, of course, protein can be derived from any number of natural sources in a post-ride meal, Whey20 is designed to provide a fast, quality and ready-made protein hit in the crucial 30-minute post-exercise window, negating the need to use a shaker for a protein shake. This makes Whey20  incredibly convenient – especially if after a sportive you quickly need to get back into the car and start a long journey home, or simply don’t have much space in your gym bag after an intensive session.

Whey20 is Science in Sport’s latest recovery product

However, a quick glance at the full nutritional profile shows that a Whey20 gel doesn’t include much in the way of carbohydrate – still key to replenishing energy stores after exercise and, therefore, maximising the body’s ability to recover. For riders on a calorie-restricted diet this will be a positive as Whey20 gas just 88kcal per gel, and that’s highlighted as a selling point by SiS, but for many cyclists, in order to fast-track recovery you will also want a source of carbohydrate – a further supplement or food alongside the gel.

– Six things you need to know about… recovery –

This means Whey20 isn’t an all-in-one recovery solution and that makes it quite expensive at £2 per gel. It’s an innovative product and one which is a good option for maximising protein intake after a ride but a complete recovery supplement is probably the best bet for value (and, indeed, overall effectiveness). Science in Sport’s own ReGo recovery drink contains a mix of carbohydrate, protein and electrolytes – but the key difference, of course, is that it’s a powder, not a gel.

Something that often polarises opinion when it comes to gels (energy or otherwise) is the taste and consistency. Sometimes, gels can be too thick for easy consumption, or too sweet and sickly to consume without a swig of water to clear the mouth.

– Nutrition: understanding protein and recovery for cyclists –

However, as far as Whey20 is concerned, it’s less of a concern as it doesn’t need to be consumed while actually riding. Instead, as a post-exercise supplement, super easy swallowing is less of a priority, and this is reflected in their yoghurt-like texture. This provides substance to the gel in terms of volume and weight, meaning you do feel a little fuller than you tend to when having a ‘normal’ energy gel.

Each 78ml gel contains 20g of whey protein and 7g of BCAAs

Regardless of texture, the taste is still pretty important and it’s pleasant, in my opinion, with the lemon flavour tasting slightly bitter like Greek yoghurt, while the strawberry tastes slightly sweeter. Both are palatable, and don’t take forcing down, and they don’t need to be stored in the fridge to stay fresh. One final thing to mention is that because Whey20 contains whey protein, it’s not suitable if you are lactose-intolerant, but it is wheat and gluten-free.

Conclusion

The new Whey20 protein gel from SiS provides a good source of fast-acting and easily-assimilated protein. The key to Whey20 is its convenience, as it doesn’t need any preparation, other than to rip it open. It’s low calorie, protein-focused composition will appeal to some, but it’s not cheap at £2 per gel and you still need to think about carbohydrate. However, Whey20 makes more sense when you know you’ll need a convenient and quality protein hit after a hard session.

Pros

– High quality protein source
– Easily digestible
– Surprisingly pleasant taste

Cons

– Not a complete recovery option
– Costly

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