Beet It Flapjacks and Sport Shots
40g bar £1.85
Confession, we've never really tried beetroot unless it's managed to squirm its way into a summer salad somehow. For you vegetarians and salad lovers, it's as common to you as Weetabix is to me (I go through quite a bit!). So when approached to test out some beetroot flapjacks, I thought I'd jump out of my comfort zone and see what a beetroot flapjack does for me. I have just come out a short phase of making my own granola so the taste buds had the urge for some more oat based products.
Researching about beetroot in some areas, it's branded as a 'superfood' (often find this term laughable as it's not like these 'superfoods' have all of the sudden been imported in from Krypton on a free trade agreement after the announcement of Brexit!). Apart from it's strong natural dye where if you consume too much of it, we assume your pee will turn into some sort of laser quest show, it's main pull that it's full of nitrate which according to Beet It is 'scientifically proven to improve exercise performance by reducing the amount of oxygen the body needs to maintain a set intensity of exercise'. The oats from the flapjack would balance this with it's carbohydrates to combat any fatigue issues. The nitrate is then broken down via a process in the body into Nitric Oxide which 'is a vasodilator (Nobel Prize for Medicine 1998) that increases blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles and positively impacts muscle strength and endurance, a similar mechanism (but legitimate) to blood doping.' I just hope I don't get pulled over and tested on one my commutes home!
Our commute is not particularly long so I thought I'd give each flapjack a test out at different times of the day and see what impact they had on my ride and overall fatigue levels during the day. First flapjack was consumed at brunch time (11am-ish) as this when I get the grumbles from the belly. They weren't lying about the beetroot dye because the flapjack is a dark pink. I found the flapjack quite dry but this is probably due to the lack of sugar or preservatives present. My own homemade granola was a little oily because of the ingredients I used so the Beet It flapjack does give off a natural vibe. I wasn't too sure what I was expecting for taste, a possible sweet one perhaps but what made it known quite quickly was the apple concentrate used as it had a slight acidic after taste to each bite. Raisins were the other main ingredient but I couldn't work out where they were as the dye and apple concentrate were the main protagonists here.
Fuelling wise, it was very light on the stomach which meant I was more hungry than normal come lunch time. When testing the Fuel10k quark pouches, I didn't fancy eating all my lunch and I felt fuelled right up to my commute home. These flapjacks are not designed for long fuelling so I decided the next flapjack would be consumed later in the day closer to my ride home to see any effects on energy levels. It is only natural after a day at work, our bodies energy stores will be depleted but your diet and overall daily activity level should counter act this. The apple really does take hold of the taste and does make me wonder what it would taste like without the added concentrate? It is a quick 6 miles home and I follow fast roads so pace is usually 20mph majority of the time so I am looking for my legs to keep a high cadence rather than a slog. I do feel a little lighter with a later time of consumption but in our opinion, this flapjack would suit a mid ride snack than a pre-fuel. It's not high energy enough to make you sting like a bee and not carb' enough to float like a butterfly. We would say it's more of a grasshopper???
Beet It Sports Shot
A sports shot? We liked the sound of this. Often to down a shot it would involve a couple of mixed spirits, a rowdy bar and a bucket! It's a nice idea too when you need a quick boost, reach into the rear of your jersey, open up a shot and away you go again. Again, we didn't know what to expect on the taste side. But we are going to be honest here, if this is what beetroot smells like, I'll happily stick to my Robinsons fruit juice. Undeterred by the smell, I sipped cautiously and the taste wasn't as near as bad but the smell started to get to me. I couldn't finish it. Sorry guys, it's safe to say that beetroot juice is for those with an acquired taste and a strong nose it seems. So apologies, no performance feedback to report. (Nitric Acid image courtesy of beet-it.com)
So a few things to bear in mind. We have never been accustomed to beetroot before. Our salads are normally green based with the odd carrot and onion thrown in for good measure. It looks like a lovely vegetable (I'm sure it's very polite!) and it has a good rep' in the nutrition world. We wasn't bowled over by the flapjack, if the apple is there to mask the smell of the beetroot, I can understand that because the smell of the sports shot was hard to inhale. Personally, the flapjack could do with a little more moisture but as a mid-ride snack I can see it's health benefits. There will be athletes out there where beetroot is like Nutella to a sweet tooth so I'll leave you with the old saying 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'.