I’ll be honest, given that NamedSport were a title sponsor of the Giro last year, and this year, I hadn’t heard of them until the box of supplies arrived at my house. I should note that you’re probably already saying it wrong … it’s pronounced “Nah-medd .. Sport” … yeah, I agree, it’ll just end up being called Named Sport. But anyway, the team at Vanilla messaged me saying I was getting a delivery of some new nutrition to test. Great news, I thought, considering my training had stumbled due to work, parenting, studying etc, this would give me the kick start to get back into it, and even though time is tight, it certainly has.
I was sent the following:
First up, let’s talk about the energy drink. As a general rule, every cyclist likes to have an energy drink, or at least keep stock of one for any big rides, races, or events you have planned. I am a fan of anything orange flavoured, so when this drink came through I was pretty excited to try it. I can categorically say, that this red orange NamedSport energy drink is quite simply, the best tasting energy drink I have ever used, and I’ve used a lot. It’s dangerous in that all you do is swig from the bottle, it’s moreish, it’s refreshing, it’s just plain lovely. I finished my ride at the weekend and had a quarter bottle left, and just drank it up while I watched the finish of the Tour de Suisse. I also liked that they didn’t include the unnecessary plastic spoon in the tub – everyone has spoons at home so why do brands ship tubs with spoons in??
The energy gels and jellies are great, they taste natural, particularly the jelly ones, they actually taste like real fruit that has been put into a paste or, well, a jelly – the below image is a jelly (left) and a gel (right), on a plate. I prefer the jelly ones as they are a refreshing change to the gloopy gels from other brands. A lot of other gels are not natural tasting, or in a gel form that isn’t really natural. If you mash up fruit and put it together, you expect it to have some texture and these do. The ‘normal’ gels from NamedSport, are fine, they taste nice too, and do the job, and they certainly aren’t gloopy or watery. They are nice middle ground – so if you want a gel that tastes good, these fit the bill. But for me, the energy jellies are the winner here.
So as well as the jelly and gels, they have an energy bar that I tried as well. Again, it’s like NamedSport have thought and looked at what is on the market and decided not to just do the same as others, like the jelly, these bars are something different. They pack in all the stuff you’d expect from a mid-ride bar, but they are not your typical cereal or chocolate-based bar. They’re on odd one that took a few bars to get used to, when you first have a bite, they taste a bit fake, as if they are not actual food, bear with me, but a quick check of the ingredients and its all good. I wasn’t sure about them to begin with and like I say, it took a few rides to get it. They’re light, and once you are used to the texture, they are quite tasty, and they do the job. They don’t leave half of the bar around your teeth and they don’t sit on your stomach. They’re a nice choice if you want a change from the typical energy bars on the market. As you can see from the picture below, they’re held together with a sugar paper type coating. Overall I think they’re pretty good, whether I would buy them would depend on the price point. They are a refreshing change, but if that’s enough to make you buy them over your “go to” energy bar, I’m not sure.
The last box in the package, were the vanilla caramel protein recovery bars – and in my opinion, the stars of the show! They. Are. Delicious. I cannot stress that enough, they’re good enough that should they be on the shelf in a sweet shop, you’d reach for them. They’re a combination of a Lion Bar and a Boost. Super moreish, which again, like the drink, is dangerous, but if you have some self-restraint, you should be fine. Like all the NamedSport stuff, it’s all natural stuff, and they are palm oil free and contain no hydrogenated fats either – which is a bonus compared to some other brands. They don’t taste overly sugary and contain 13 grams of protein. All in all, a great bar to end your rides or workouts with.
Judging by the box of treats I was sent, I would suggest NamedSport will do well in the UK market, the flavours are great and the ingredients are natural. I for one, will be stocking up on the energy drink and protein bars.