“I won’t lie, I just smash that down in the race,” Ben Turner told us as he revealed that SiS Beta Fuel gel was his favourite nutrition product.
At almost twelve stone and standing six foot 4, the Grenadiers’ exciting young British talent has a lot of body to fuel. And like his fellow riders he eats a lot. He must.
“These days it’s hard-racing from early-on, so you’re eating so much on the bike. How much you need to eat is surprising in races that are so intense. You’re in such a high heart rate/high power zone for a long time and afterwards you look at the numbers and think, wow, that was a really hard day. So, it’s just making sure [of your nutrition] and making sure it’s drilled-in all day from start to finish. I think that’s the new era of cycling, it’s all about nutrition to make the marginal, and big, gains.”
A COMPLETE FUELLING SOLUTION
For the INEOS Grenadiers team, SiS Beta Fuel has been a gamechanger. Originally launched by Science in Sport in 2018, it famously powered Chris Froome’s sensational 80km solo ride on Stage 19 of the 2018 Giro D’Italia. Science in Sport call it scientifically superior. And it is.
In 2021 they relaunched SiS Beta Fuel as a complete fuelling solution with an optimal 1:0.8 carbohydrate ratio, instantly making it a world leader. Suitable for all levels of athlete, the ratio provides ultra-high levels of available carbohydrate through a combination of maltodextrin and fructose to multi-hour endurance athletes with no stomach upset to enable athletes to sustain high performance intensity with lower perceived effort – a 17% increase in energy efficiency to be precise.
HOW SIS BETA FUEL HAS CHANGED THE GAME
That the sport has changed from a nutritional perspective is undeniable, as Ben Swift explains. “Throughout my career we’ve seen a lot of changes in development, technology, and just the way the sport has progressed. And nutrition has fallen in with that as well.”
Luke Rowe is of the same opinion. “Like everything in the sport, it [nutrition] has evolved massively. The biggest change is the knowledge behind what the individual athlete needs. And then the quality of the product is clear to see, it tastes better, and it’s better for you.”
For any nutrition product the criterion for success is tough, and professional athletes are often their biggest critics. But unbelievably, that success isn’t just about the science and the performance benefits. It’s also about taste. And whether it’s easily digestible. And whether it enables riders to carry less on the bike.
“I really like the Beta Fuel chew bar, more for the taste because it’s not a sandwich or rice cake or bar. It’s more enjoyable when you eat it,” says Elia Viviani.
Current Time Trial world champion, Filipo Ganna, uses SiS Beta Fuel gel for training and racing. “I use Beta Fuel gel because when you use it you get the energy from the maltodextrin and fructose immediately in the legs and you can spin well.”
Geraint Thomas echoes the benefits. “The Beta Fuel range is definitely an improvement as it’s got dual-source carbs. I don’t know the technicalities, but it has a perfect ratio that allows you to absorb more carbohydrate. Obviously, it’s a higher concentration so you don’t need to have quite as much, especially when you’re going up and down mountains, as you don’t want loads of stuff in your pockets at the start. So, psychologically that feels better anyway when your jersey’s half the weight. And I like them, they taste good. So that really helps when you get into the third week of a Grand Tour.”
Fuelling some of the world’s best riders in one of the world’s most successful teams in professional cycling is no easy task. But Science in Sport continues to do just that, satisfying its riders with world-leading nutritional products.
In fact, Luke Rowe credits SiS Beta Fuel for the Grenadiers’ continued success. “The Beta Fuel range, I think, is pivotal to our success to be honest. It covers all areas, you can have it in a lot of different formats and it’s just really knowing that if the race is really on – it’s intense, or it’s attacking in the start or you’ve got a technical section or a descent – you can eat one or two items of Beta Fuel and you know it’s enough to get through the next half hour or hour of racing. It’s just having that bit of security, that extra bit of bank balance in your pocket. It’s nice not having to eat lots on the bike. If you’re going 180-beats-a-minute it gets hard to eat, so it gives us an advantage.”
A VARIETY OF EASY-TO-CONSUME FORMATS
When you’ve been heavily involved in a sport for as long as SiS, you get to know what its athletes need. For that reason, they developed and delivered Beta Fuel in a variety of easy-to-consume formats because they know that every rider has individuals tastes and preferences. Some prefer gels, some like something to chew, some like to use different products at specific times of a race.
The most staple product used by the Grenadiers will be found in their drinks bottles. Beta Fuel 80 is an isotonic drinks powder that delivers a massive 80 grams of carbohydrate. Other products from the range are no less popular, as Ben Swift attests. “I’d say my favourite SiS product is the new Beta Fuel Nootropics Gel. I think it’s a really powerful gel. I like it, it’s something you feel work straight away and you feel the benefit from it.”
“I try to use it going into the last hour of racing really, says Geraint Thomas, “obviously for the caffeine boost for that final kick. I try to cut down on caffeine in the lead-up to a race as well, so I feel a bit more of a benefit from it. And the carbs in there help as well for that final hour of racing. These days it’s hard from the start anyway but it’s good to have that pick-me-up and that boost for when the final really kicks off.”
Before SiS Beta Fuel, the only isotonic energy gels on the market contained around 20 grams of carbohydrate, so many athletes hold firm with what they’ve always used. But Beta Fuel gel has 40 grams. Significantly, in studies carried out by SiS, it was discovered that athletes could tolerate 120 grams of carbohydrate per hour, substantially higher than the 90 grams previously recommended. That’s only three SiS Beta Fuel Gels per hour compared with six to achieve the same intake.
2018 Tour De France winner, Geraint Thomas, has some advice for those who are thinking of switching to SiS Beta Fuel. “The Beta Fuel gel is definitely sweeter as it’s got more carbs compared to a normal isotonic gel, so I’d try it before you use it for the first time in a race, just get your stomach used to being able to absorb those carbs efficiently and quickly. I use [Beta Fuel] all the time now. I still use the isotonic ones but my go-to is now the Beta Fuel because it’s packed with more carbs.”
INFORMED SPORT CERTIFIED
Science in Sport is a brand trusted by sports professionals the world over. Even if you’re not a professional, all their products, including SiS Beta Fuel, are Informed Sport certified, meaning every one has been tested for banned substances. It’s an important consideration for all athletes and, for INEOS Grenadiers riders like Luke Rowe, it means their reputation is protected.
“Having Informed Sport certificate on the products gives you peace of mind really. You know when you’re dealing with a company such as SiS, everything’s done correctly and to order, but just to have that logo on there just gives you that extra bit of confidence.”
SiS Beta Fuel includes the Dual Source Energy Drink, Dual Source Energy Gel, Dual Source Energy Gel + Nootropics, and Dual Source Energy Chew. Read more about SiS Beta Fuel and explore the range here.