Shotz Sports Nutrition originally started out as 'Carboshotz' back in 1995 before a name change in 2005 to coincide with the release of Shotz Electrolyte Tablets. The name might have changed but the philosophy remains the same; to create nutritional products tailored to athletes' needs whilst being easy on the stomach. CEO and founder Darryl Griffiths has spent the better part of 20 years researching and developing the best nutritional theories to help athletes perform at their best.
The Shotz Sports Nutrition range now consists of energy gels, energy bars, electrolyte tablets and protein bars, all of which the wider BikeExchange team tested out. Check out our thoughts below.
The energy bars come in four flavours; choc mint, sticky date, choc almond and apple berry.
These are definitely for the longer events containing over 60 more calories per serve compared to the gels. They also contain a small amount of protein to help prevent muscle breakdown after hours of activity. An energy gel and energy bar per hour will almost provide most people with all of the calories they need. Each bar contains 754 kj or 180 calories, 3.1 grams of fat, 33.8 grams of carbs, 9.6 grams of sugar and 8.6 mg of sodium.
Sticky Date - excellent flavour - very dense to chew.
The bars tasted great and were very easy to swallow and digest while on the bike.
The bars are great for longer days in the saddle. If I am riding over three hours I will switch from only gels to gels and bars. I've been working off a bar and a gel per hour and haven't hit any flat spots. I like the choc mint bar, it can be a bit tough to get through but actually tastes like choc mint and is more like real food than other bars. I'll also take the protein bar with me which I find much easier to get down.
The bars are ideal for when you not only need an energy hit, but something substantial with which to fill that empty feeling in your stomach. I don't usually get that feeling in races - you're too busy concentrating - but on training when the mind is allowed to wander I will more often than not hear some grumbling around the three hour mark, so the bars are great at this point. I thought the Sticky Date flavour was pretty innovative. It's nice to be able to opt for a bar that isn't just another fake chocolate taste (non)sensation.
There are eight different flavours of energy gel for you to choose; Berry Banana, Cola, Lemon Lime, Mango Passion, Wild Berry, Cola Vanilla, Green Plum and Cappuccino.
Each gel is 45 grams and contains 495kj or 117 calories. It also includes 29.8 grams of carbs, 2.9 grams of sugar, 36mg of sodium and 18mg of potassium. Three of the varieties (Cola Vanilla, Green Plum and Cappuccino) have 80mg of caffeine in them and are clearly marked with a unique design.
I am happy with the gels. Firstly I like the fact it has caffeine in it but also that it tastes like coffee. I normally have a coffee before work after training so when I am doing Three Peaks I know my body is going to feel like a coffee sometime in the morning. I plan to hold off on the Cappucino gels for this moment, and then at around the 120km mark when I know I am going to need another (mostly mental) boost. I like the fact they are quite liquidy - not cloying in my mouth as some gels tend to be. It makes them easy to digest and I suspect once the temperature rises in late spring/summer this is going to be a welcome feature. There is nothing worse than being hot, riding in the heat and having to force thick, sticky gel down.
Beard wearers beware. You will end up trying to wipe/ wash gel off your face if the utmost precaution isn't observed. I find them to be okay, but a bit too dense for my liking. I found they would come back up a bit (even half an hour after a ride) to sit in the back of my throat. But, they did do the trick, giving me a second set of legs for the final third of my ride.
The electrolyte tablets come in three flavours; lemon, orange vanilla and berry.
They can be used for muscle activity and recovery. There is very little energy in each tablet (24kj or 6 calories) but that is the idea. The aim with the tablets is to replace the sodium lost through sweating and to keep you calorie intake separate. Each tablet contains 430mg of sodium, 42mg of potassium, 37.5 mg of vitamin c and 20mg of magnesium
The tablets are sensational. I was lucky enough to have a sweat test done to discover my sweat rate and sodium concentration so I know exactly how much sodium I am losing. On heavy training days I was taking about two tablets an hour and didn't have any issues with cramping, even on hotter days. If I am starting to feel the effects of a few big days on the bike I'll take a tablet or two to help me recover. The lemon and berry are favourites.
The tablets have been great after runs. They taste nice and generally encouraged me to hydrate more.
I think these are awesome. I've been a bit ill as well and I think they have genuinely helped with my energy and hydration to get out on rides. They taste good and they don't cause that reflux in the back of the throat like some can have a tendency to do.
See also: Discover the value of a sweat test
The protein bar is suggested for use to maximise recovery. It contains 20 grams of protein which is pretty impressive for a bar that is only 55 grams and doesn't taste like cardboard. It only comes in choc caramel at the moment. The protein bar contains 800 kj or 191 calories, 20.2 grams of protein, 5.4 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbs, 2.7 grams of sugar and 234 mg of sodium.
I have only recently started to use the protein bar. I am doing this to try and minimise weight loss as well as encourage muscle repair. I am doing a lot of weekday brick sessions at the moment so I come home in the morning after the bike/run and I will start nibbling on the bar, drinking water and getting ready for work. This also helps keep hunger away until I get into the office and can sit down for a proper meal. I am finding since I've started doing this that my energy levels are better later in the day. I am not a huge fan of the taste - there is always that same familiar taste in all protein bars, I find - but again it's not a heavy product. It doesn't sit heavy in my gut and the chocolate part is not overwhelming, so it's do-able to take this in before brekkie!