This sport of ours demands energy. You can feel like an Olympian going out but, for any reasonably distant ride, you do need to hydrate and you really should take something with you to eat. Jam sandwiches are actually great, but they can be messy. Water is fine, but it’s good to have something more. You really don’t want to be bonking. Unless you’re not riding in which case……..
So, how do you prepare? Pop down to Tesco the day before a Sportive and pick up whatever is on offer? Perhaps get some inner tubes from your online retailer and chuck in whatever’s cheap in the energy drink section? Do you stock up on a load of stuff you like in advance and hoard? We’re all different. I tend to leave it till the last minute and make do with whatever’s available locally after finding out that the stuff in my drawer has expired.
And the other thing is, well, variety is the spice of life and all that. We’re all stuck in our ways and, I guess, that means that we have those who swear by SIS, those who would never eat anything other than a Clif bar and those who espouse the virtues of Nectar. And we stick to what we know because it’s folly to try anything else. Wouldn’t it be good to be able to go to one place for all your needs and to be able to choose something new and different, or just have one place to go to for all the stuff you already like? What if you want a variety of things and don’t want a box of 24 things? Well, Fuelit have all that sorted for you.
I’ve been doing food recipe boxes for a few years now. I have a Gousto subscription because the variety of food is excellent and it’s just brilliant getting that box on a Monday. Above all it’s really nice discovering something new. I had a Graze box delivered for a while. So something that combines sport, and getting something new and exciting through the post is a nice combination. I’m surprised it’s taken until now for somebody to come up with the concept.
Enter Fuelit. Founded by experienced athletes Huw and Jon they aim to cut out the confusion and provide a one stop shop for all your energy needs. It works like this. They sell you complete boxes of nutrition that will get you through your training or your big event.
If you pop over to their website you can see that you have two choices of box type available to you. You can either choose from a Discovery box, and let them do the the choosing for you, or you can opt for a Custom selection. If you choose a discovery box then you can have one with all bars, or all gels, or have a mix of both. Obviously, if you choose a custom one you can choose as many products of whatever type you want. Before I get into it I’d say this, get a Discovery box first. Hell, get two, one of bars and one of gels because, as you’ll see later, you might actually discover something new that you’ve not tried before.
Once you’ve decided what you want, you can then decide how often you want it. Perhaps you just want it to be a one off or, instead, set your order to recur at regular intervals (for which you get a 10% reduction in the price). It’s pretty flexible actually and you can use the drop down selection to get something which should fit your personal circumstances. The other great thing is that when you order a second, or recurring discovery box, then the products in that box change each time. That’s pretty cool and enables you to discover new and interesting products. You may hate some of them, that’s the nature of the market, but you’ll love some of them and those will become your go to products for your custom box!
The cost of a discovery box of 10 items is £9.99. Postage is £1.50. The cost of each box is claimed to be equivalent to about £15. I did a bit of maths and, yep, that’s pretty much spot on for the products I received.
In terms of the ordering process the website is pretty easy to navigate. My only slight criticism is that to find the custom box selection you need to click the three straight lines up by the shopping cart. That takes you to a side-bar with all of the other options you need. Provided you order by 4 then it goes out that day. I selected £1.50 second class postage and everything was with my exactly as promised 2 days later. That’s important. If you need something in the days coming up to a Sportive then you don’t want to be waiting.
And it’s not just about you. It’s about supporting some up and coming athletes as well. If you click on this link you can have a look at the bios for the Fuelit ambassadors. If you order and put their code in then you get 10% off your first order. Seriously, £8.99, what is there to lose? Incidentally, Russ Best came 9th in the Cardiff IAAF World Half Marathon Mass Race which is seriously impressive.
What I won’t deal with in this review is the energy that each product gives you. That’s a very personal thing. We all work differently. There’s a link to each product. Some will work quickly, some will work over time, some are to hydrate, some are to give you a bit of a buzz. All the info is out there on kj and protein etc. Much of it is in the links below. I won’t pretend that Xmas cake isn’t excellent. But it’s good to have a variety of stuff in the armory.
So, you’ve ordered your box. What if you’re not in? Does it fit through the door? Check. So there are no issues with waiting in for the postman or needing to go down the sorting office. Everything is recyclable as well with on annoying landfill waste. Huw and John are perfectionists. They were worried, in the pics below, that some of the products had slipped to one side. When I opened it I thought it looked beautifully presented! So there’s a lot of love going on at the other end. It’s great to see that passion. They’re great on facebook and twitter, respond quickly to emails and are just nice chaps. Get in touch, give them a suggestion if you want to see something added. Just don’t get them to add that SIS Whey2o stuff. Please.
So, what’s in the boxes? Let’s take a look. I’ve added some brief tasting notes so far. I roped the eldest and the Mrs into the testing so consider it to be a consensus. Let’s just say that much of this was either as expected or a really refreshing change from the norm!
One really important thing to note at this point is that Fuelit are the sole UK supplier of 32GI energy products. And that’s a good thing because my experience with those particular products was very good.
What I’ve not done here is to comment at the moment on how long everything lasts whilst exercising. The nutritional info is there in all the links so you can decide which suits your particular task. Clearly some will have more energy than others. I’ve concentrated on taste and, where anything more needs to be said, pointed that out to you. What’s great about this is that I’d not experienced about 70% of the stuff that Fuelit sent me. Some of the boxes are still blank because there’s a load of things to get through and I haven’t yet tested each and every one. But eventually all my comments will be in there along with my comments on the xug
Discovery Box (Bars)
|AM Sport Energy Bar||Good consistency. On the right side of chewy. Good overall taste.|
|Beet-it Sport||These seem a bit polarising. Myself and the eldest liked them. Mrs wasn’t quite as keen. They’re in between sweet and sharp so a nice addition to have to the sportive wardrobe.|
|SIS Go Energy Bar||Cherry vanilla. Really nice, easy to chew, easy to stick back half eaten in your pocket to get to later on.|
|9 Bar Nutty||I like 9 Bars. They’re great and one of my existing favourites. I’m fairly sure much of what they produce is also gluten free as well. So if you need to addition (or omission!) then that’s something to bear in mind.|
|High 5 Coconut Bar||Welsh word, lush. It’s a nice consistency, tastes like coconut, which I love.|
|Mule Bar (Eastern Express!)||What a surprise. It’s like a curried mule bar. But with nuts and a hint of other things. It’s actually lovely. A real contrast to constant sugar on a ride.|
|32Gi Foodbar||Mine was the fig and cashew version and this was another product which doesn’t over do the sweetness. Easy to swallow and not sticky.|
|OTE Anytime Caramel||Really nice flapjack. Moist and goes down easily. Stays soft and won’t break your teeth. Which is nice, my teeth are awful!|
|OTE Vanilla Energy||It’s alright actually! It tastes like vanilla. I don’t generally rate non fruit drinks where you add water to a powder but this is very agreeable. Different. I’d probably opt for the orange if pushed to make a choice but this was really nice.|
|32Gi Endurance Drink||Nice. Mine was the raspberry flavour and it was a lot closer to raspberry than generic fruit flavour than most. In fact it reminded me of the flavour of a raspberry ice lolly and was pretty refreshing. No grit, dissolved quickly. I’ll be ordering some more of this!|
- I missed the Firestar out of my box. Tasted like sherbert. Went down quick. Seemed to work! I took it when I got home one day and it perked me up for a bit.
Discovery Box (Gels) Discovery Box (Gels)
|My Protein Ener Gel||Yeah, definitely orangey again. Bit like Fanta. Again, one of those gels that’s more drink like (pour in) than gel like. Don’t take the fanta thing as a criticism, it’s nice and orangey. Nice amount as well. Very easy to open.|
|High 5 Energy Gel||Usual High 5 standard. Though not the biggest of the gels, easy to drink down.|
|SIS Isotonic Energy||Good taste, more of a medium consistency.|
|Nectar Fuel Gel||Much like the High 5 a smaller gel but easy to ingest.|
|OTE Orange Gel||The OTE stuff was new to me and, like the sports chews below, I liked the real fruit flavour of this one. Quite a lot of gel and pretty easy packaging. It’s quite watery as well so it’s a cross between pouring and having to suck it out. That’s a plus in my view.|
|32Gi Sports Chews||These are really interesting. They’re massive for a start, 4 in a pack. The orange ones are really orangey (and taste quite natural IMO). Consistency is like the inside of a jelly baby with none of that hard to chew nature. The aftertaste is, well, orangey. Really impressed by these. Zero stickiness, easy to carry.|
|32Gi Sports Gel||Interesting one. No teeth required. To open this one you snap the packet backwards then apply pressure to the front. You may need to slide up from the bottom to get all of it out but it works. Flavour was pretty good overall for something which claims to be coffee but which is not a flat white!|
|AM Sport Competition Energy Gel||These are really easy to open and on the right side of watery for easy consumption.|
|Truestart Coffee||Really liked this. Offers a controlled dose of caffeine. Really good for an instant coffee! I’ve been drinking it before commuting and it does give you a real buzz. And whilst I said above I wouldn’t necessarily concentrate on performance I was zinging every time I drunk it. I will be ordering some more. (Note, this was a freebie by now but I’m sure it will make its way onto the site as a regular if you ask!)|
|High 5 Energy Source Drink||It’s High 5. It’s utterly dependable and tastes good.|
Custom Box (Custom!)
So, I ordered the Custom box with no issues at all. I chose variations on the products that I was impressed with first time round and duplicated a few because they are a) so good or b) I’ve always found them really effective. Ordering was easy and, as expected, posted before 4 pm and then came two days later (2nd class post).
I’ve added the links and will update the missing taste tests soon!
|32GI Orange Drink (x2)||I’ve been using these for all my long rides and they work really well. They dissolve easily and are very easy to drink.|
|AM Energy Sport Gel (wild berries)||See above.|
|9 Bar Carob Hit||Really good new discovery. Not too chewy but substantial. Could quite happily snack on these off the bike.|
|My Protein Ener Gel Blackberry||I think these may be my favourite gels. There’s a lot in there and they are very easy to open and, essentially, drink. Good hit overall. Very digestable.|
|Mule Bar (Apricot and Walnut)||A consistent and favourite performer. A bit chewy sometimes but good energy and easy to eat on the move.|
|Mule Bar (Choc Orange)||It’s a chocolate mule bar. It’s lovely!|
|SIS Gel (Lemon and Lime)||Tidy. Good quality and decent amount.|
|32GI (Apple Bar)||Coming Soon!|
|32GI Sports Chews (raspberry)||Just like the orange ones, these are really raspberry ish. Nice.|
|SIS Go Bar (Chocolate and Orange)||Good amount, easy to eat.|
Brilliant idea, well executed. I definitely fell into the category of getting whatever was on offer. I’ve quite a few big events coming up this year and will be making sure that all my mates know about Fuelit. It all seems such a simple idea and it’s great to see someone doing it well.
None of this is overly complicated but, here’s the thing, these guys have done the tasting and the testing so you can be sure that the goods available are great and that they work. But it’s the approach that’s refreshing.
Good old fashioned excellent service. So, Fuelit goes to the top of the class with Prendas. You order it, it gets sent out, it arrives. No fuss, no drama, just a great old fashioned approach in a high tech world.