Science in Sport Beta Fuel has been in testing since 2017, and was developed to maximize carbohydrate absorption while minimizing the risk of gastrointestinal distress.
What is it
Science in Sport Beta Fuel is a new super-isotonic hydration drink that's used by pro riders including Tour de France yellow jersey contender Chris Froome. Science in Sport Beta Fuel aims to provide the maximum amount of carbohydrate possible without upsetting the stomach. Did SiS succeed in creating a super isotonic or is this another drink mix that could sit on the shelf in the garage? Read on to find out.
- Clean and natural fruit taste
- Thin water-like viscosity, unlike other super-calorie drink fuels
- Zero cramps and other signs of GI distress on long, hot rides
- Single serving packets assure correct amount is used
- Aimed only at 2.5 hours and longer rides
- Limited flavor options
Science in Sport is relatively new to the U.S. cycling scene, but most recognize the logo plastered on WorldTour team kits, including Team Sky. The London-based company has been around since 1992, selling on-bike fueling products and off-bike recovery elixirs that have attracted dedicated users worldwide. All SiS products are manufactured in the U.K. at the company's Innovation Centre in Lancashire, which is Informed-Sport tested and accredited.
Their newest fueling innovation, Science in Sport Beta Fuel, has come with a steep ask from demanding endurance athletes: Create a drink with the maximum amount of carbohydrates possible without upsetting the stomach.
Having supplied fuel for Olympians and tour de France winners, SiS didn't shy away and launched Science in Sport Beta Fuel. The product has been in elite testing since the summer of 2017, and was developed to maximize carbohydrate absorption while minimizing the risk of gastrointestinal distress.
Science in Sport Beta Fuel is considered a breakthrough in endurance nutrition and the pH-neutral isotonic solution was used by Chris Froome and Team Sky during a victorious 2018 Giro d'Italia run. But, how different is it from other isotonic drinks that are already available?
Science in Sport Beta Fuel is said to increase the number of carbohydrates the body can oxidize in an hour from 60g to 90g, essentially giving the body more fuel faster. Science in Sport Beta Fuel is 80 grams of carbohydrate, 20 mmol/L sodium, and 500 ml of fluid per serving. SiS adds fructose to the solution and enables the body to absorb 90g carbohydrate per hour, 50% more than the 60g per hour achievable with glucose alone. Alongside the glucose and fructose are the usual ingredients of sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which act as staples for most isotonic energy drinks.
The 2:1 ratio sports drink is new to SiS, but is not to the sports drink world. Most carbohydrate drinks operate in a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose with added electrolytes delivered in hypertonic solutions that can add the risk of upsetting the stomach. Science in Sport Beta Fuel is a new technology, delivering the serious dosage of carbohydrate while maintaining an isotonic solution, being good for the belly and the muscles.
I used Science in Sport Beta Fuel on longer rides and one short intense race to see what would happen and how I would feel. During my five hour ride in humid July heat, Science in Sport Beta Fuel was a godsend. I tried to keep my gel and solid food to a minimum and used the drink as my primary source of carbs and fuel. I noticed my stomach felt light, maybe because I wasn't eating my usual gels or rice cakes on the ride, but the feeling is welcome. Every rider likes to feel lighter on the climbs no matter what the reason.
Science in Sport Beta Fuel is said to increase the number of carbohydrates the body can oxidize in an hour from 60g to 90g.
The taste of the orange-flavored Science in Sport Beta Fuel is subtle and natural, not syrupy or over sweetened. Post ride I felt adequately fueled and had no stomach issues. On the shorter 90-minute race effort it was hard to find a place to eat, while drinking was much more accessible. I found myself fueling on Science in Sport Beta Fuel and a single gel for the whole race, and was pleased not to bonk or have any race belly issues that often accompany recovery from a cross-country mountain bike race.
I also liked the Science in Sport Beta Fuel single serving packets for travel, and they are nice for race day packing. Mix one serving with 500ml water and drink during exercise to meet fueling requirements. It would be nice, though, if Science in Sport Beta Fuel was available in a tub, creating less packing waste.
Bottom line: Science in Sport Beta Fuel
Science in Sport Beta Fuel is an excellent solution to fueling on long hot races and rides where gels and bars inevitably cause GI issues. I highly recommend it for riders who tend to cramp or have sensitive stomachs to sugar-laden sports drinks.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Price: $45 for 15 single serving packets
More info: www.scienceinsport.com