Chemicals, gels, and other unnatural foods were not generally part of my riding or training regimen- I am more of a banana and peanut butter kind of guy. I have found a few of the products out there that I like, and these tablets from ZYM seem like they may make it into the rotation this season. Each of the 10 tablets packs between 4 and 7 calories with 1 gram of sugar and 1 gram of carbohydrates, which is slightly less than the Camelback Elixir that I have used before. Endurance tablets like this have often left me with distended belly syndrome due to the amount of sodium bicarbonate in them. The same compound that made your seventh grade volcano “erupt” is not what you are looking for 12 miles into a 24-hour race, or at any time, for that matter. The ZYM tabs seemed like they had a bit less sodium bicarbonate than the comparable tablets I have used.
As far as the flavor goes, they passed the test. They had a flavor that would keep your attention when you took a swig of it, but not distract you with a film or an aftertaste while completing your event. My wife even tried it at spinning class, and said that the flavor was good, and she is repulsed by most “endurance food.” Speaking from a cyclist and chemist experience, you need to keep the lid tight on the resealable, water resistant container because any moisture that creeps in will cause the tablets to start to break down.
One great benefit to these tablets is that you could bring them on out to your activity and drop them in on the course. Try doing that with a powder! I look forward to testing out some ZYM product this season when the temperatures and distances require an endurance tablet. www.gozym.com
Pat Engleman is a native of North Eastern Pennsylvania but he has been living in Philadelphia for the last twenty years. Cycling was his way to get to different skateboarding spots in his small hometown, but that has blossomed to a full blown passion that has grown into racing, advocacy work, trail building, bicycle retail and event promotion. His most recent work has been in the development of the annual Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo and of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League, http://www.pamtb.org.