Thursday, November 23, 2017

SiS REGO+Fruitflow gels – mini review

According to Tim Lawson, founder of Science in Sport (SiS), when we undertake an intense (either hard or long) training session, we not only cause trauma to the muscles used during the exercise (a necessary part of building strength and adapting to heavy workloads) but we also cause other types of inflammation in the body caused by the ‘activation’ of blood platelets.  This secondary form of inflammation is undesirable as it can slow down the recovery and adaption processes.

Muscle inflammation is part of the reason many athletes choose to don super-tight compression gear after a hard session, but SiS does not believe this provides a total solution to the problem.

Instead, SiS thinks it has found a way to directly combat the inflammation caused by platelet activation – their new SiS REGO+Fruitflow gel.

At first glance, it looks like any other carb gel.  But, in fact, it’s not even a carb gel at all.  Instead it contains some clever new formulations designed to reduce the creation of pro-inflammatory platelets during hard exercise.

The idea is that you take one gel 1.5-3 hours before a hard workout.  Included in the gel’s formula are some “naturally-occurring tomato compounds which can beneficially interact with blood platelets”.  And this formula has been patented by SiS, so apparently no one else has anything quite like it.

So what was it like in real life?

Taste – the flavor is promoted as “Banana & Mango” and to be fair it does a fair job of masking some of the tomato flavor.  But let’s be honest, it’s not going to win a taste test against a GU Peanut Butter or Espresso Love gel – the tomato tang still comes through quite strongly.  But perhaps that’s missing the point – this is a pre-exercise ‘primer’, not a mid-workout treat.  Take the gel with a flavored drink and it goes down easy enough.

During exercise – I can’t say I noticed any effects during the training, but to be honest I didn’t expect to.  The REGO+Fruitflow gel isn’t trying to achieve the same goal as Xendurance or other lactate buffer type supplements – it isn’t enhancing your performance ‘during’ exercise, so much as speeding recovery ‘after’.

The next day – so far, I’ve tested the REGO+Fruitflow gels with a mix of hard TT-style effort bike rides and longer (90 min) progressive runs (I still have some sachets left, so tests will continue).  And I can say that, as per SiS’s claims, I have felt less sore and stiff the next day – meaning that I’m ready to get on with my training program and don’t feel like I need to take extra rest.

At £2.29 a shot (the per unit cost comes down if you buy multi-packs), this isn’t the sort of supplement you’d take before every session – but SiS is clear that this isn’t the intention.  What you can do is select the 2-3 workouts per week where you’re really pushing your body and use the gel for those.

From my limited testing, the early signs are that the REGO+Fruitflow gel really does have a beneficial effect (I confess I forgot to take a gel before a 90-minute run this weekend and am feeling more sore today than after a similar workout last week where I did take the gel).  I don’t pretend to fully understand exactly how it works, but my own experience has shown that I definitely feel less sore the day after a hard session when I’ve used the Fruitflow gel before.

If your training is at the point where you need to start really pushing beyond your comfort zone, the REGO+Fruitflow gel could be the answer to ensuring you’re still fit to train in the days after your harder sessions.